Meet Hannah Pearlman, the nail guru behind The Dalai Lama’s Nails! We got the chance to talk to her one-on-one and discuss how she got into the world of nail blogging!
Us: What got you into nail art?
Hannah: About three years ago, I saw a YouTube video on water marbling – it was by My Simple Little Pleasures. I watched her water marbling video several times and then dashed out to buy supplies. It took over 4 hours, and I made a ridiculous mess, but I loved the result and it got a ton of compliments! That video started an obsession with nail polish and nail art. I was hooked, and tried more and diverse techniques and styles. The more designs I created, the more people asked, “how did you even do that?” Most people wanted to know if I used stickers, and after a while it made sense to explain my processes and specific colors.
How long have you been writing on your blog?
I started my blog in November 2011 as a way to document my nail art journey.
Tell us about either the first bottle of nail polish you remember having.
My sister and I used to love to wander the isles of CVS and pick out nail polish shades. We had a ton of Wet n Wild polish. I remember I applied so many coats of this one glitter polish because I wanted it to be opaque – but it wouldn’t dry because it was so thick! We had heard that dunking your hands into ice water would help the polish dry faster, but it turned into a gross mess. We also used to try to give each other tattoos with nail polish!
What sort of things will readers find on your blog?
I love nail art, and the primary focus of my blog is trying lots of different techniques and styles. The Dalai Lama’s Nails also features tutorials and how-tos, tips, and reviews.
What’s one of your favorite posts?
I’m a member of the Digit-al Dozen, which is a group of bloggers who do nail art on a theme for one week out of every month. Those girls push my creative limits! One of my all time favorite posts was some nail art inspired by the Grand Canyon during a Digit-al Dozen week. This was the first time I tried using perspective and layering to get a sense of depth. You can find the post here.
What’s your favorite nail art you’ve done? What inspired you to try it?
One of my favorite nail art looks was inspired by henna. I love seeing the nude nail through a design, and I love all the negative space in henna! I did this post as a guest post, and to this day it is one of my favorites.
What is your “day job?” What do you do outside your blog?
I just completed nail school, and will take my state board exams in a few weeks! Nail art has really changed my life! I want to spend my time being creative, artistic, and social – and nails are the perfect way to do that!
How do you juggle nails and other aspects of your life? Do you have a routine?
I do a lot of nail art in the evenings. I tend to focus my free time during the day on other blog responsibilities – commenting, sharing, tweeting, etc.!
What’s one secret to a successful blog you can share?
Do what you love – if you aren’t really into it, that will show through. Follow your passion and explore and play!
What is your absolute favorite color of polish?
Generally, I have an entire drawer of blue polish. Blue and teal!
How many different polishes do you own?
I don’t know! I’m afraid to count. Probably in the 800 – 1,000 range, if you include stripers and top coats.
What’s your favorite nail trend?
Negative space manicures. I love anything over a sheer or nude base. It just calls to me! I am also a big fan of gradients – I love gradients on their own or as a base for nail art. There’s something about the gradually changing color that I find so interesting and soothing!
What’s the most surprising thing that has happened since you started your blog?
Starting nail school has been such a game changer for me – I never thought I would try to make my hobby into a career, but it’s been so fun.
What’s your favorite base and top coat to use?
I am always on the search for my Holy Grail base and top coat! Right now I’m using Essie First Base, and I like it a lot. I also like to use Sally Hansen Double Duty. For top coats, Seche Vite is my first love – but it can sometimes get a little goopy. Nothing beats how quickly it dries and that shine, though!
Are you close with other bloggers or indies in the community? Who? Do you partner up on anything?
I recently got to meet a number of other bloggers at Cosmoprof in Las Vegas. That was such a treat, to put faces to names and get to know other bloggers. I so admire Katy from Nailed It and Andrea from Chickettes. Lucie from Lucy’s Stash has been so helpful, and I got to post on her blog while she was on vacation. I’m friends with Jessica from Be Happy and Buy Polish. Michelle from Manic Talons has been a mentor to me. Finally, I love, love, love my community of Digital Dozen Bloggers (there are too many to list here, but you should check them out!).
What else would you be doing if you didn’t have the blog?
I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather be doing! Other hobbies, though, include anything crafty. I love all sorts of art. I’m also a really big reader.
Have any last nail art tips?
Try everything – don’t be afraid to try your hand at a new technique or style. If it doesn’t work out, that’s ok! With practice, you’ll be amazed at what you can achieve.
[Images: Hannah Pearlman]