Amazing nail artist and outspoken contestant on Oxygen’s new show Nail’d It, Classic Mully sat down to talk with me about how she started, what is was like to win the first two Nail’d It challenges, and how it felt having Jan Arnold tell her to “be more humble”.
What made you want to become a nail artist?
I had gone on a vacation with my ex-husband to Tokyo and Osaka and the ladies in the Harajuku district had such stunning nails that I wanted to get mine done. I had never worn anything on my nails like this until then and it was love at first sight. The manicure cost $300+ USD and took 5-6 hours, but it was completely worth it. It was life changing. I knew right then and there I wanted to do be a nail artist forever.
With over thirty trophies you’ve received from various nail art competitions, what was your hardest competition so far?
The hardest and most fun was the Extreme Stiletto Design– Shades of Orange Competition. We had to create a minimum of 2 inch long nails with a design only using shades of orange and gel or acrylic- no paint or embellishments! My competitor number for that show was “007” which was perfect because no one saw me coming and I’m a huge James Bond fan!
Where do you get inspiration for your nail art?
Anything and everything! Flowers, fashion, you name it. If I see something that could be a new art piece, I’ll take a photo to reference it later. Who knew something like a sparkly jacket (inspiration for my first challenge on Nail’d It) could inspire nail art with multidimensional details and texture?
To date, what is your favorite nail art manicure that you have created
My pride and joy was the day of the dead set I created. The complete set took just around 200 hours.
You claim to be a “golf junkie”, what kind of nail art do you wear on the course?
I love golf. I’m always down to play if I have the time. I started out playing golf with my long stiletto-style nails. As a way of advertising, I would wear long nails on my non-dominant hand (my left) and shorter nails on my dominant hand (right) so functionality was easier achieved. Now, I keep my left hand shorter so I can get a good locking grip on my club. Don’t get me wrong, I still go out and swing with Stilettos [nails] every once in a while.
Usually, I like to wear plaid or argyle nails when I’m on the course. I even have a nail stamp with a golf cart and golf ball. I am the only girl at StoneTree Golf Club to win a “skin” playing with the boys.
Your competitors in the first episode of Nail’d It, Jamie Melchor and LaToya Parker, have nail art great enough to make it on the show, but how do you feel about their work?
I’ve competed with Jamie before. We use to be on the same team. She has killer paint skills, especially with logos and faces. I didn’t know LaToya until we started filming, so I only knew of the work presented on the show. I think she has good potential. I think both need to work on sculpture and really getting the nail shape down. Each have their own style and they rock it. The three of us really have different styles and techniques.
What was it like winning both the quick dry challenge and the elimination challenge? Shocked, surprised, expected?
I was floored. I thought I knew TV well enough to know that if you win one challenge, you don’t win both, but I had confidence in my work that I had it. After the judges told me I was arrogant (which, I am absolutely not!) I was near sobbing to someone offset, swearing I wasn’t going to win. When they announced me the winner, the tears just flowed. It was absolutely surreal.
Jan Arnold told you to “be more humble.” Since then have you eaten some humble pie?
I am a very humble person and when she said that I think my heart stopped because my ex-boyfriend is the most arrogant, egotistical person I have ever met and being “placed” in the same category as him tore me up inside. Yes, I have shown myself being more humble. Everyone that knows me truly knows that I am a giver, not a taker.
What celebrity you would love to work with?
I want to “nail” Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. They are awesome!
What’s one tip you can give to aspiring nail artists?
PRACTICE! When I was in school, I practiced 3-4 hours a day. I still practice every chance I get. To succeed, it takes time and practicing is key. I’m just as obsessed with nails/nail art now as I was the first time I saw my Tokyo manicure sparkle.
An earlier version of this post said that Classic’s ex-husband was “arrogant and egotistical”. It was meant to refer to Classic’s ex-boyrfriend, not ex-husband. Classic’s ex-husband is still her best friend. The error in this post has been corrected and Manicure Du Jour is sorry to have made the error. Oct. 9, 2014, at 3:14 p.m.