You probably already know her as @snowglobenails, but meet the face behind the flawless manicure: Megan Denman. We talked to the artist one on one about her love for polish, her commitment to giving credit in a world of online sharing, and her life outside blogging.
Us: What got you into nail art?
Megan: I’ve been painting my nails as long as I can remember, probably from the age of 7. But I seriously got into it about 3 years ago when I joined Instagram and saw so many beautiful pages about nail art. I followed a few feature pages, then created a nail-only account. I took tips and made close relationships with many passionate and talented women who inspired me, and still continue to.
What was your first bottle of polish?
When I was younger, I remember buying a certain chemist brand all the time, I think it was Ulta3. It was usually a bright purple or blue.
What was the manicure that started it all?
One of my favorite manis started with the nails I had for my wedding day: Plain black. I’ve always loved darker, edgier polishes and manis and I love looking back on my wedding day pictures and seeing the contrast between my ivory dress and black nails.
What’s one of your favorite blog posts?
Probably the post about online bullying. After I posted it, I received plenty of personal emails and messages from followers who thanked me for talking about it and shared their own experiences. It was a reminder for myself that I’m certainly not alone and it really encouraged me to keep my head high. Sadly, there are a lot of big accounts on Instagram where the owners are so rude and horrible to their followers, calling them names, etc. It’s so disheartening to see these users abusing the fortunate spot they are in, especially with so many impressionable young followers who look up to them. I don’t associate with any of these accounts.
What’s your favorite nail art you’ve done? What inspired you to try it?
A favorite of mine is a black studded one from about a year ago. I’m obsessed with anything studded! I’m a bit of a punk. (I would advise against rubbing your eye with these studs though – I learnt that the painful way at 3am one morning while half asleep! But it was so worth it).
I also love using acrylic paint on my nails too, it makes doing nail art like florals (like shown at the very top of this story) so much easier and I’ve done a few that I can definitely call favorites!
What is your “day job?”
I’m an Administrator for an Aged Care facility. The job involves plenty of rosters, plenty of talking to families about their loved ones’ needs, lots of data entry and paperwork. It can be emotional and challenging, but I enjoy my job. I even do some of the elderly residents’ nails here sometimes, and I’ve made the ladies some little blinged out nail kits.
What else do you do outside your blog?
Other than working full time, I’m a real homebody. I love nothing better than marathon watching a good TV series and having friends over for drinks and dinner. But I go to a lot of concerts too, as I’m a big music fanatic.
How do you juggle nails and other aspects of your life? Do you have a routine?
I usually come up with designs for my nails while I’m at work. Sometimes I even sketch it out. When I get home, I’m ready to do the work. My husband and I don’t have kids, and don’t have plans to, so that makes it easier time-wise to do my nails at my own pace. My hubby is really supportive and encourages my work. The only distraction is my cat Bowie meowing at my feet when I sit at my nail desk.
What’s one secret to a successful blog you can share?
Be honest. Don’t say things because you think that’s what people want to hear. Be your own quirky self and have fun! People will enjoy your blog when it’s more than just ten fingers, they want to see a personality too! I love reading about the person behind the nails.
What is your absolute favorite color of polish?
I don’t think I could choose between purple, blue or green. I’ve never been a pink kind of girl. I love eggplant shades, bright blues and jade greens.
How many different polishes do you own?
I think I own around 300 polishes. Everything from bright colors to darker shades, glitters, indies and everything in between. Friends are never surprised when I say, “I have that one.”
Which celebrity’s nails would you jump at the chance to design?
Most definitely Lady Gaga! I’m a true “little monster”! She is such a strong, confident woman that I look up to in every way as an inspiration. I’ve seen her live 3 times and about to see her again in a few weeks.
What would you put on her nails?
I would match her outfits by basically doing the polar opposite on her nails. I’d make her manicure a strong contrast so it stands out and makes a statement.
What’s your favorite nail trend?
I’m loving the dry drag nails that Chalkboard Nails did. They’re so easy to do and you can make it as different as you like. And gradients are always a favorite, but they’re annoyingly messy.
What’s the coolest thing to happen on your account?
Something amazing was hitting 50k followers on Instagram recently! I never thought 50 people would want to follow me, let alone 50k! Another thing I am excited about it that I have actually started my own indie polish line! It’s something I always wanted to eventually get into. I’ve been working on it for around 9 months, mixing and testing, etc. If you’re interested, pop by @bettiepainpolish on Instagram to check it out! My first collection just released to the public and I’ll be selling on Etsy.
Are you close with other bloggers or indies in the community? Who? Do you partner up on anything?
There are a few nails girls I’m very close to and talk to outside Instagram like we live in the same town. Atima from @nailsbynemo has really been a rock for me in the nail community. Danielle from @nailsbydaniellet has also been so supportive and lovely. On top of their friendship, they are both incredibly talented!
Have any nail art tips?
Don’t give up if you have a “nail fail”. Go back and try again. I sucked so badly at galaxy nails when I first started, that I was too scared to attempt them again. But when I finally did, I surprised myself with how well it turned out. Keep practicing. Also, make sure you invest in a good angled brush to clean up your cuticles after polishing. Nothing frustrates me more that pictures of nails with polish all over the skin! Treat them nicely and be patient with the process.
You also have an Instagram account called @ignailartcredit used to report those who steal nail artists’ work? How did you start it?
I started this page probably about 9 months ago. I saw how nail artists were being taken advantage of with other accounts reposting their pictures without crediting them. Some accounts even cover the owner’s watermark and claim it as their own, which disgusts me. @Ignailartcredit is there to report these accounts that are breaking property violation laws and their owners who have no intention of doing the right thing. The account makes it easy for nail artists to report their work and block harassers if necessary to prevent any future abuse.
What have been some of the obstacles with @ignailartcredit?
Unfortunately, 99% of the accounts that are improperly reposting pictures are run by underage users. They seem to think they are invincible behind a keyboard and will very often swear, call names, and have their friends attack as well. These users cannot grasp the terms and conditions which Instagram is run by and are really just out to cause trouble. I’ve had a hate page started against me (which was closed by IG) and I’ve been called “Nail art police” before, which I find highly amusing. It can be hurtful at times being attacked over doing the right thing, but ultimately, these pages will get closed if they don’t show proper respect and etiquette.
What should people know about the account?
Only nail artists are accepted to follow the page, which makes it a very tight-knit page. We have a zero tolerance policy, so if we see any followers using bad or abusive mannerisms, they’ll be taken off the page. We ask that the followers approach these accounts with kindness at all times. It can be difficult, but you don’t need to stoop at that level to do the right thing.
Do you still manage it today? Do you have help?
At the moment, I have @apolishprincess running it. She introduced our “kindness policy.” I needed a bit of a break and asked for volunteers who would be able to run it with a dignified manner. She is doing a beautiful job and is a very lovely young woman.
Find Megan’s creations online:
Bettie Pain Polish on Etsy: etsy.com/au/shop/BettiePainPolish
Bettie Pain Polish on Instagram: @bettiepainpolish
Nail art credit account: @ignailartcredit
[Images: Megan Denman]