Naomi Gonzalez-Longstaff: International Nail Designer and Artist
Tell us a little about yourself, and what you do?
I always get a little nervous when asked this question, because I do so much and wear many hats. My professional hat is very niche being an International Nail Designer and Artist, and celebrity manicurist. I have been in the nail, beauty, and fashion industry since 2008 so my career is coming to a ten-year anniversary soon. Hence my role continues to evolve. Time flies when you’re having color fun!
How did you become the sought after and talented manicurist that you are?
In 2010, I entered my first image into a NAILS Magazine Cover competition, and made finalist. The image was “Candy Button Nails” and since that was posted, I began receiving inquiries about this particular piece. This was before Instagram and Twitter, strictly Facebook social media and NAILS Magazine Coverage. I was recruited to work with CND in 2011 and that opened up extraordinary opportunities for me to hone my skills with acrylic and gel enhancements sculpturing which is an added bonus for being an editorial manicurist and working on sets. Then did my first photo shoot with ESPN The Body Issue in 2012 and my first NYFW that same year and the rest is nail history.
What’s your favorite part about your “job”? and What is your least favorite?
My favorite part of my job is meeting different people every day. I love the personalities, the diversity, the differences of view on creativity, and adore when collectively we meet and discuss designs and ideation for new nail trend looks. My days are never ever the same. This isn’t a job for those that want stability and routine, since you must be flexible and an efficient time manager in order to handle the spontaneous changes that occur within the field.
What are your must have beauty products? What can’t you leave the house without?
Beauty is ever-changing and constantly in a state of innovation. However, my must have beauty products for my work are as follows:
Whish Deodorant Swabs are the best! They come in individually package and keeps me fresh for over 12hrs, and if you are an urban nomad like me, being active is your routine so having a strong deodorant is a must. Love the pink packaging as well.
Herban Essentials Lavender towelettes; I never leave home without it! They are herbal scented antibacterial wipes individually wrapped. When you open one of these, it’s like having your own aromatherapy session.
My signature scent is Channel Chance, love how people recognize me by scent they say “Naomi, you always smell good!” that’s a fantastic first impression.
C.O. Bigelow Rose Balm-anything with roses is my fav; but this balm makes my lips feel hydrated and great prep before lipstick application.
Lauren B Beauty-Nail and Cuticle Balm Pen love, love, love, love this fits into my purse perfectly. And the Lauren B Beauty Nourishing Hand Crème love the convenient size and the smell of Orchids and Peony.
What do you think defines beauty?
Beauty is an artistic word in my mind, it inspires magic and poetry and encompasses so many dimensions of a woman. I think of beauty as defined by those that are comfortable in their own skin, love who they are at the core, and has a kick-ass shoe collection. In all honesty, beauty magnifies with understanding of an individual and choosing to accept and love them unconditionally. This is where our eyes go straight to a person’s heart and see their beauty.
Who are some of your icons, or people that you look up to, or learned from in the beauty industry.
Wow, so many beauty mentors in my life but to begin with Roxanne Vallinotti from CND would be instrumental. She really believed in me and gave me an amazing opportunity so fresh in my career. Noel Asmar is iconic in the Spa industry. She’s created an empire all while balancing family and business. Erin Giddings with ZOYA, who taught me the value of creation and design and how that would come together in work and personal life. Sally Hershberger taught me about excellence and being fierce without excuse, to just go for it with such a zest for life. I also learn and look up to my nail team, each of them bring about so much into the industry with individual knowledge, skills, and journeys, being around them makes me a better designer.
What is one piece of advice that someone told you when starting out that you felt was valuable and stuck with you?
“Be careful of relationships that make your world small!” I learned this and live by this motto every day. I apply this to my professional and personal life, since we never want to be in an environment where we are only tolerated versus celebrated. If we are not being seen for the value of our contributions, then question this! We are meant to live big, dream big, and love big!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Do I need to tell? Well in addition to chocolate, I love this stuff omg and pizza haha, One of my guilty pleasures is going to thrift stores! I get a high when I am able to find vintage and retro home décor stuff and repurpose them. I am a big DIY’er, and making my home a hot spot for cool design themes (right now my FL home is country shabby chick) is a big part of my life. I think my third career will be in Interior designs, concentrating on small space. If that doesn’t work out then I would be a DJ.
What is your favorite thing to do on downtime?
Downtime, what is that? I could say the usual Netflix, everyone Netflix’s but I love the outdoors. So my downtime consists of being active walking, hiking, and Salsa and Swing dancing-LOVE IT!
What is your favorite song?
If I am cleaning I love anything that will get me motivated; but I am a huge “The Civil Wars” fan and their song “I Have A Friend” is so flirty and fun.
What do you think is the next trend in nails/polish?
I can see a return to classic manicures and a goodbye to French manicures the way traditionally it’s been done. I see Cuban manicures or reverse French, making a comeback which I love since that’s my personal style. This design naturally elongates the nail by creating a visual illusion. Elaborate nail art is fun, however; I can see some of those elements becoming more minimalist and abstract. Think about Gustav Klimt painting “The Kiss” and the way color and patterns are incorporated into the canvass. I see this becoming architectural nail painting-yes I coined this term
Tell us one thing on your bucket list.
I want to go to Manchu Pichu! I have traveled a lot in my career and haven’t travel or vacation fun in a while so Manchu Pichu calls to my spirit heart. I want to see the amazing design of this location and feel its energy. I want to learn from the people of Peru and understand their beauty regimes and traditions. This fascinates me!
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