People Connected By Similar Obsessions

Gracie J

Meet the trend-setting nail artist who’s making a big mark using the tiniest of canvases

Raised multinationally in a family of creative women, Gracie J’s artistry blossomed on the most unusual of canvases: fingernails. After launching her blog, The Editorial Nail, in 2014, her innovative designs soon landed her the role of key nail stylist for the mani-centric TNT drama Claws—which grew her celebrity client roster and further catapulted her to Instagram stardom. From minimalist, jewelry-like patterns to 3-D vaginas, this bold entrepreneur is carving a new niche for nails at the intersection of art, beauty and fashion.

On why she chose full-time entrepreneurship. “I decided to pursue this path because I wanted to wake up every morning and be excited about something I have passion for! I don’t like to be boxed in. I want to be creative and successful on my own terms.”

On travel being essential to her craft. “I think as a creative it's important to step outside of your comfort zone and experience things that are different from mundane city living. I get inspired by the lively colors, the people and the cultures of my travels. Being in a different space pushes me to reconnect with myself and recreate how I view my work.”

On why she travels exclusively with a carry-on. “I'm one of those travelers who hates checking bags. Things get lost or misplaced, and on top of that, you wait forever for your luggage to come down the conveyor belt. Ironically, I’m a minimalist, so when I travel, I want to focus more on being present—and less on material things. I pack just the basics: toiletries, denim, T’s, a swimsuit, cute flip-flops and a pair of sneakers. Your girl is all set!”

On the best way to preserve a mani. “A silk wrap or a hard gel overlay should do the trick. But most importantly, do not use your nails as tools. That's the quickest way to ensure a nail disaster.”