Alaina of The Little Canvas seems to always fit the most elaborate designs on the shortest of nails. Over time, her work has collected a swarm of followers (including us), and we’re excited to have the chance to talk to her!
Nail It!: What got you into nail art?
Alaina: I started creating nail art at the end of 2011 after watching a YouTube video tutorial for strawberry nails. I didn’t own many polishes at that time, however I did have a red and a green polish so I thought I would attempt to recreate the design. As I had no idea nail art tools even existed, I used toothpicks and was able to successfully paint strawberries on all ten of my incredibly short nails. To my surprise, I received many compliments and I decided that it might be fun to attempt to paint more designs in my spare time. So, from there, I began searching for nail art ideas online and creating my own designs. Shortly thereafter, I created The Little Canvas which has become my passion.
What is your absolute favorite color of polish?
I tend to gravitate towards blue and purple polishes.
How many different polishes do you own?
I have a small collection compared to many nail bloggers. Currently, I have approximately 250 polishes.
What’s your favorite nail art you’ve done (attach photos)? What inspired you to try it?
My favorite nail art that I have created to date is my “PixieDust Star Manicure.” I was inspired by the Chalkboard Nails Sugared Stars and Stripes manicure. I really loved how the texture popped from the crème base.
At the time I created this design, I had both the Summer and Fall PixieDust polishes lined up in rainbow order on the top of my polish drawers, deciding how I could create an interesting design using them. I loved how all the colors blended so nicely with one another, which made me want to do a gradient. After seeing Sarah’s manicure, I decided to create a gradient using the Pixie Dust polishes and a star single-hole punch.
A close second to my “PixieDust Star Manicure” would be my “Minion” nails! I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved the movie “Despicable Me”, and I really enjoyed painting Minions on my nails! In preparation for the second movie, I painted the little guys on my nails again and created a tutorial for the design. To date, the Minions are the most viewed manicure on my blog.
What’s your favorite nail trend?
My favorite nail trend in terms of nail polish has to be textured polishes. I love creating different designs using textures as I feel they add flair to simple manicures. In terms of nail art, I really love gradients. They can be a really neat canvas for different nail art designs, or can be worn alone for an amazing look.
When did you realize your blog was a success?
I started my blog after being inspired by Chalkboard Nails, Chelsea Queen, Let Them Have Polish, and The Polishaholic. I wanted to one day inspire someone like they inspired me to paint. I realized my blog was a success after I received an e-mail from a follower sharing with me how I inspired her to start painting her nails and she kindly asked me if I would take a look at a few of her manicures and give her my opinion.
How long have you been writing on your blog?
I started my blog in February of 2012. I can’t believe that the two-year anniversary of “The Little Canvas” is right around the corner!
What is the best part of being in the business of beauty?
The best part of being in the business of beauty is seeing how uplifting something as simple as a manicure can be for someone. Polished nails contribute to making people feel attractive which inspires confidence in their individuality, beauty, and personal style. Manicures are unique because they are universal…One size fits all!! It doesn’t matter how old you are, what height and size you are, how much money you have, where you live, etc. Manicures make everyone feel beautiful equally!
What was your most recent impulse buy?
Nail wheels! Whenever I shop at Sally Beauty, I always find myself picking up and looking at their 10 pack of nail wheels, but I have always put them down thinking they would most likely be a waste of valuable time. However, instead of looking at them and putting them down during a recent trip to Sally, I picked up the package and, without hesitation, brought it to the counter and purchased it. The result? Best purchase ever!!!
What do you do outside your blog?
Outside of my blog and work, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy baking and crafting. If I had more time, I would probably have a blog tracking each of my hobbies.
Are you close with other bloggers in the community?
Yes, most certainly. I have to say, I was apprehensive to enter the nail blogging arena because at the time it seemed that everyone in the community were very well established and connected and I didn’t know if I would be welcomed and viewed as a worthy participant. Through social networks like Twitter, I was quickly welcomed and embraced by this wonderful community of very talented nail artists. Through my “Nail Artist of the Month” feature, I have made many new connections.
How do you juggle nails and other aspects of your life? Do you have a routine?
After people see my nails, they commonly ask me, “How do you have time to create these beautiful and/or intricate designs?” My answer: I have developed a nice routine that does not interfere with my personal and/or professional life. Every few days, typically in the evening, I paint my nails. For me, it is a way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. The following day, I typically photograph the nails and add my watermark if time permits. Painting nail art and blogging definitely takes time and dedication, but if it is something you truly enjoy, it is relaxing and rewarding. Typically, I can always find some time in the day to spend on it!