Street style and stage presence meet in nail art masterpieces! Melia Barnes has chiseled a lifetime of dance energy into some haute couture spirit fingers with her spectacular manicures. Now that she’s back on stage heading up one of the nation’s premiere dance competitions, you better believe she finishes the look with genuine Swarovski crystals.
Q: Tell us a little about your position as Talent Director with Showbiz:
A: I am the Director of the West Coast region at Showbiz! I coordinate the administrative and operational details, as well as market upcoming shows; I also host the shows live during the events, in additional to being a choreographer/teacher on our workshop Showbiz Xtreme, and choreographing the opening number at our nationals! I wear many hats at Showbiz!
Q: What celebrity style can you most relate to?
A: I like a variety of styles and so I could not pick one person! I am influenced by the pin-up styles and couture from the 40’s and women like Bettie Page; I love Beyonce’s bold pieces and versatility; I adore the sleekness of Kim Kardashian’s style; I like Cher’s sense of sparkle; I even love the classiness of Diane Keaton!
Q: Why is nail art so beloved?
A: I feel nail art is just one more way for the individual to express their style and personality- another way to “polish” our edges and make a statement! It gives us all another place to let out our creativity! :)
Q: As a professional in a very visual role, do you have to stay within any boundaries in your nail art?
A: I am very lucky, because my individuality and off-the-wall style is completely embraced in the environments in which I work! However, my sister-in-law works for a high end retail designer, and has to keep her nails much shorter and more conservative. She still does nail art- just in a much more muted fashion than myself!
Q: You purchase the Swarovski rhinestones yourself and bring them to the nail techs, as you can’t always rely on salons stocking Swarovski while traveling for work. Why not use the stones the salon has in stock? What is it about Swarovski that you love?
A: I choose not to use the stones that my nail techs have in stock for a variety of reasons! First, the plastic or “knock-off” crystals just CANNOT compare to the shine and the sparkle of the Swarovski. I grew up around rhinestones, being a dancer, and I was able to point out the difference between a “fake” and a high-quality Swarovski rhinestone from an early age! It is just a better product and everything I purchase comes down to quality, my mother taught me that. Swarovski is the Neiman-Marcus of the rhinestone!
Q: If you were a Swarovski stone, what color would you be?
A: OMG this is too hard!! LOL. Hmm… haha! (Sits frozen at computer for about 40 seconds. Googles the Swarovski color chart just to be 100 percent sure.) I guess if I HAD to choose one… it would be Fireopal. A close second would be Crystal AB.
Q: Where do you get your nail art inspiration?
A: I often search Instagram for nail art inspiration. I use different hashtags like #swarovski or #nailart to find cool pictures to take ideas from!
Q: What are some of your favorite Swarovski stones to use on your nails?
A: I love Fireopal because my hair is ombre’d red to orange! I also love mixing the Jet Hematite with Black Diamond or I love to use different color schemes and add the AB versions! I can often be found with one nail ALL Crystal AB’s as a “bling nail!”
Q: Any predictions for nail trends in the next three years?
A: I see the “Casket” shape nail coming in to style a lot lately, and color-blocking; but I think the Swarovski-inspired nail art is going to continue to take the lead of the fashion trends for nails over the next three years!
Q: For those new to nail art, can you describe a wear-anywhere starter design?
A: Try picking a matte, no-sparkle, color for all of your nails, maybe offsetting one color on each finger! Then, I would suggest using one size 12 Swarovski on the center near the cuticle of each nail bed! Perhaps offset the colors to coordinate! That will give you a little edge, but you can choose muted and neutral colors if you don’t want to be too bold! :)
Q: You have expertise in the dance world. What do you believe rhinestones can do for a performance?
A: I truly believe that rhinestones add a “finished” quality to a performance. It gives the added “magic” of watching the expression of a person through movement and music- it adds that last visual element that creates the complete formula for WOW. I have always been amazed and mesmerized by the costumes I see on stage with rhinestones, and have always been intrigued to find out more about them when off-stage! They just add a very special touch.
Q: If it were up to you, you’d love to see __________covered in crystals.
A: I want to say EVERYTHING but I think that might be cheating!? LOL. I would like to see a wall of my house covered in stones someday. That would be sooo killer to have in my home! It would be my dream!
Q: Any tips for DIY crystallers?
A: Use good nail glue and glue every other rhinestone separately! Don’t lay too much glue at once because it dries quickly and creates ridges!
Q: How has your personal style changed since experimenting with nail art?
A: I think my style has just gotten more finished and unique since I have started incorporating rhinestones and nail art into my wardrobe. When I am onstage, people can see my hands sparkling and have commented on how great it looks to me afterward! I love that added detail of originality and pop. It makes getting ready to get my nails done every few weeks that much more exciting and fun! :)
Like high fashion on the runway, Melia’s bold style will not translate to everyone, but it can inspire your own show-stopping masterpiece. Swarovski crystals can be set into gel topcoats or glued to the top of your cured lacquer. Try using your favorite shades in a size 5ss. Remember not to apply the topcoat over the face of the crystal, which will diminish the brilliance. Instead, seal the edges in place by using a fine detail brush to apply topcoat around the perimeter of the rhinestone base. Let your imagination run wild, and add a little sparkle into your everyday routine.
P.S. Want more? Watch a video tutorial and more by visiting http://www.rhinestonesu.com/nails. Then, go forth, and steal that spotlight!