Eda Levenson Shares Her Process Behind Designing the Coolest Nail Art with TNT’s Claws
Eda Levenson Shares Beautycon 2018 in Los Angeles marked the final stop for the #ClawsUp pop-up mani salon truck.
Television network TNT teamed up with nail artist Eda Levenson aka Lady Fancy Nails, who created bespoke
nail art based on each of the series’ five main characters, to promote the second season of Claws. The series
stars Niecy Nash as a salon owner in Florida and follows her motley crew of manicurists who navigate organized
crime and money laundering. The #ClawsUp truck was sponsored by indie nail polish brand Floss Gloss and
kicked off in June at Herald Square in midtown Manhattan. It offered fans complimentary manicures with nail art
designed by Levenson. At the Essence Festival two weeks ago, TNT announced that Claws has been signed on for a third season.
Allure spoke with Levenson who chatted about her design process for the #ClawsUp project, as well as
celebrating nail art as an art form, supporting indie businesses run by women, her ride-or-die products, and why
base coat is the always the answer.
Eda Levenson: This is our second year working with Claws, which is based on the TV show around a group of
women that run a nail art salon, who are super amazing, eclectic, and dynamic. Our primary mission this year
was to find the top nail artists in the cities we were touring and bring in their talent and showcase their work
because Claws and nail art are rooted around artistic expression. We started in New York and launched a store
there, then we went to Essence Fest in NOLA and now we’re in L.A.
EL: The nail art designs are inspired by the five different characters from the show. What my mission was in
creating that is I wanted each nail art to look distinct and feel like the personality of each of the characters.
Desna (Nash) is the super boss and so I wanted to show her richness and royalty. And Polly (Carrie Preston),
who is one of my favorite characters, is really feminine and kind of floral but with these really vibrant poppy
colors. Virginia (Karreuche Tran), the fire nail, is super young, a millennial and just really hot, while Quiet Ann
(Judy Reyes) is graphic and Jennifer (Jenn Lyon) is inspired by birds of paradise and this feathery feel, like her
hair and her vibrancy.
What was your design process for creating the nails?
EL: I had to go through a full design process. I created mood boards for each character.
The research was based around their looks and from there I did a range of designs.
Then I sent it to TNT and gave them about four looks, and asked: “which ones do you feel is the best?”
They gave me two options and we tried to narrow it down from there.
What are the top nail trends this season and what do you predict for the next?
EL: What’s interesting about nail art is that it’s a long-standing and rich art form.
I think some of the trends that we’re seeing now are nail art looks that have been happening for a long time now.
For instance, we’re seeing a lot of nail piercings, which have been around from the very start and it’s now just
becoming more popular. It’s doing the crossover, so that’s something I’m excited about. I’m definitely seeing a lot
more maximalist nail art, really conceptual stuff and 3D nail art.
Is there a nail trend you wish would go away?
EL: I get asked this question a lot and I’m such a lover of the art form. And I think nail art is super personal.
It’s personal to the nail artist and the receiver of that nail art, so I feel like I don’t want to see any of it go away
because it’s an extension of the person. I feel like the more art, the better. I want to see more people embracing
it and I want to see nail artists being highlighted and recognized as artists and celebrated as fine artists,
not just as a nail tech who works in a salon. It’s a really creative way to connect with people, but it’s also an artistic expression.
What’s your top tip for making a manicure last longer?
EL: Wear a basecoat. The basecoat is a primer and you know how you wear a primer on your face to get your
makeup done — well, that’s what a basecoat is. It’s super important because it makes your manicure last.
What’s your favorite basecoat?
EL: Obviously, I love Floss Gloss because they do a really nice matte one that really adheres to the nail.
And I really love Revlon Quick Dry Base Coat, which is a sticky basecoat. And you can get that
anywhere. CND does a really good one too for gel.
What can people do for nail care in-between appointments?
EL: You really want to make sure you’re moisturizing and using cuticle oil as much as you can.
I keep some beside my bed and night and put it on before I sleep. When you’re sleeping, your skin’s getting
dehydrated so it’s like a facial mask for your cuticles.
What are your ride-or-die beauty products?
EL: I love Floss Gloss. We really came up in the game together and they’re an independent,
women-owned brand. I think it’s so important that we support smaller indie brands like that,
especially because women aren’t often given a platform to do that — so, definitely Floss Gloss.
My favorite color is Fastlane. I’ve used it multiple times while doing Fashion Week because it really pops on the runway.
I also love this new beauty line Circumference. It’s clean, eco-friendly, and they do an amazing toner.
Love, love, love their stuff — from the packaging to the products.
What’s your favorite beauty moment from the last year?
EL: I think Fenty is unbelievable — obviously for their products — but I think what they stand for is so
progressive and so now. Put women of color front and center. I’m 100 percent into that.
It’s reflective of what’s happening in the world and I would love to do their runway show and do Rihanna’s nails!
What project are you working on next?
EL: New York Fashion Week is coming for me.We’re already getting hit up and I’m like, oh my God, that’s literally two seconds from now.
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