Nail Files: Juan Alvear on Why “Cutesy Toes” and “Spiky Nails” Do in Fact Go Together

Go-to shape?

A short, square nail. It’s easier to keep press-ons on a short nail! I can only go a few days with longer extensions before I switch them, they’re more for an event.

Bare nails or extensions?

Lately, I’ve been doing more natural versus extensions because when I’m working on my client’s nails mine tend to get scratched or filed off. Even the silver set I put on yesterday has nail paint cured on it and buffing marking all over the thumb.

Defining color? 

Silver chrome. It matches my jewelry but also makes my nails look like jewels as well. And it’s not a super common finish.

OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer

Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish

Clean and simple, minimal design, or next-level art?

I like a little bit of edginess, like a short, spiky nail. I like that level where it’s a little different than what you might have seen.

Favorite salon or nail artist you’re a fan of?

I would love to get my nails done by Krocaine. I love her work and feel like she has been doing something that’s a unique style to hers for such a long time, really making it her own and mastering the vision that she has.

Favorite products for prepping your hands?

I feel like Young Nails makes really good products for prep so that’s mainly who I use. Also Bio Seaweed Gel has good products which are heat resistant and durable, I like their base gel.

Young Nails Swipe Pre-Prep

Bio Seaweed Gel Base Coat

Matching mani-pedis: a must or rule meant to be broken?

I mean, I love a matching mani pedi, you can’t go wrong with it. But there are ways to make it a cute moment with a mismatched toe. Like pink, cutesy toes with hearts and then spiky nails—a duality. Oh my god: left side one vibe, right side one vibe. I’m gonna do that!

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