5 Basic Top Tips for Nail Artists on Instagram

Saturday, 14 March 2015

I love Instagram, I have been using the app for years. My boyfriend first introduced me to it 162 weeks ago, that's over 3 years of IG lovin'. It has helped me hone my nail art skills. introduced me to so many amazing people and offered me the chance to pursue something I truly love.

My first nail post was 1 week after I started and here it is ...

... wow, everything about this makes me a little shivery. The pose, lighting, background and clean up is all wrong. I was such a noob! I started posting ONLY nail pics on my account 2 years ago but only seriously upped my nail game 1 year ago, just before I started my blog. I have seen the nail community grow and grow over this time, the talent on show is unbelievable and I love how we support and help each other grow.

However I have also seen the dark side of this community and it's not sparkly at all. I hope these 5 tips for nail artists will help some make better use of this amazing social media platform and stop others from committing what I like to call IG nail crimes.

1. Be Kind. 

I know for most of us this doesn't need to be said, however there are a lot of people who think that because they're hidden behind a keyboard they can say whatever the hell they like. This is NOT the case. For most people, a lot of love and time is put into their designs so it can be devastating to have nasty things said about it.

If you have nothing nice to say, scroll on and ignore. Constructive feedback is so different to 'eww your nails are gross' and 'I hate this design' which are both comments that have been left on my feed. 
You'll also find people will follow and like your images the more love you spread over IG. It can only be a win/win for all.

2. Natural Light is your friend. 

I know a lot of us create designs in the evening so it is not always easy to go outside and use natural daylight, A lot of people also think having a good lighting system is expensive and I just want to say, it isn't. 

I often get asked what equipment I use and it's simply my iphone 5, a white background and a daylight (white) bulb in a desk lamp. As ever, eBay is your friend and it's filled with daylight bulbs of all shapes and sizes so you can easily find one for under £5 for any lamp you have at home. The difference it makes to your photo quality is remarkable. Go now and buy one.

3. Credit, Credit and Credit. 

Plagiarism is a nasty word but one you find crops up a lot in the nail community in all forms. 

  • There are people who delete watermarks and claim the pictures are theirs. 
  • Other people copy your design and don't credit the original artist (I really hate this), recently there has been the case of the stolen designs of some top nail artists by a press on nail company which takes this to the extreme. 
  • Lastly some people will re-post your picture and not credit. I firstly think they don't know how to credit so let them know in a firm but friendly manner. However if you've told them how (and with the new editing ability it should be done asap) and they still won't do it, you can block and report them for 'Intellectual Property Violation'. Luckily IG has your back and these issues are usually sorted very quickly.

4. Keep Nails Tidy.

There are a whole host of products out there that will help your take care of your nails and hands and I suggest you try as many as you can until you find the best ones for you. Read my skin care post here for the products I love to use. Using them frequently will keep skin moisturised and nails strong. No one likes to see crusty, dry cuticles and broken skin. However we're also human so if this does happen, just edit it out of the picture using an app and the every fab 'blemish removal' tool. 

Also be aware of your nails and how they look in pictures, mine curve so I make sure to keep them a certain length so it's not visible. It may be great that you can grow them inches long, but no one will appreciate looking at them if they're curly and oddly shaped. The same goes for if one breaks, I've seen people post pictures with one nub and 3/4 other inch long nails. Go get a tip put on or file the rest down. If the corner chips off, ORLY Nail Rescue can help you re-sculpt it so you don't have to file them or lose your favoured squared shape. Lastly, use a cotton bud or brush and polish remover to clean around your nails and cuticle. Its amazing how much this affects your photos.

5. Don't Spam.

This really annoys me. STOP with the 1st, f4f, like for like or tagging me in pictures of your own work or of accounts that promises new followers. It only pisses people off and causes them to delete your comment and block you. Most people use IG to follow, like and comment on pictures they personally like. I love finding new accounts but won't be forced or told to follow certain people. There is a fine line between self promotion and slapping people in the face with your 'new nail account <--- follow here'.

If you want lots of followers you need to put the time and effort into growing an account people want to see work from. Hashtag your pictures and hope you get featured by some big accounts, comment and interact with others, like pictures of your field and always tag/credit your work with brands and those that have inspired you.

So these are basic my top tips, I am pretty sure that most of you will know and do all of these. However for some it may help. What do you think? If I were to add another 5 what would be your suggestion?

While I'm on my high horse I want to add in one more IG nail crime that I am not tolerating on my feed. So only read on if you want to hear more.

Recently a lot of large, popular nail accounts have started to promote a certain detox tea. I'm not going to name names but I would find that at around 11pm my feed would be full of the same images and for many reasons I don't agree with it. Firstly, they do not make it clear they are being paid to do these posts, which in the UK is now law, but they are also promoting a product that is a big fat lie. 

Detox is a term which has been thrown around for years to sell products that don't work to people who don't know better. As a scientist there is nothing that gets me riled as much as factless, unproven mumbo jumbo. I will advise you to read this post HERE if you are uncertain what it means and why people have it so wrong. You can not detox your body as it's not toxic, also these teas are not cheap and are advertised by skinny girls or muscly men which give the illusion that by drinking them, you in turn will look like them ... again not true. I could rant on and on but I won't.

All in all the whole business would, day after day, get to me so much that I was at risk in breaking my Number 1 rule in this post. So I unfollowed each and every one of these accounts. Please don't think I am against people using their hard earned work for financial reward because I am not. I just think this is nonsense and these girls/ladies have taken this on because they can (thanks to their followers) and are seeing dollar signs instead of sense. They are continuing to support the misconception about 'detox' by advertising a product that their younger, less wise followers may spend a fortune on. End.


  1. Well written and an honest post. I totally agree about the detox tea posts . So annoying

    1. Thanks Shakun, I felt it needed to be said xx

  2. I honestly don't know who these bloggers are fooling, I mean if the same tea pops up on your timeline at the same time from the same circle of bloggers, it doesn't take too long to put two and two together, and the products are bogus as well. Just drink some normal tea and take a laxative, it'll have the same effect LOL

    And about the lighting issue, even if you can't get your hands on a daylight bulb, if you set the white balance right, you can still get good photos without that horrible artificial light tint (which I hope I achieve :P)

    1. I agree, I have no idea what they are thinking. Its great that they have a lot of followers but it's not fair to exploit them for financial gain. Good point about the white balance, I know that's quite technical for a few people, well it is for me anyway x

  3. I read up on those detox teas. The morning brew is chocked full of caffeine to make you more 'active', they advise to drink tons of water before a meal (basically to fill you up so you eat less) and the evening detox tea is just a laxative. You'd probably lose a ton of weight but it wouldn't stay off for long, and not exactly worth the money! Totally agree with your point there. J x

    1. Yeah they're so awful. We all know that water is the best for us & that's the only thing they're advising that's any good ... which is free. I just hope more people research these teas and realise they're being duped. However years later lots of people like to think we can still detox, so I suspect not xx

  4. Oh my gosh the Instagram ads..... I've been thinking about these the past few days and gone full circle - I still don't agree with them. I can't believe some people are comparing these ads to polish swatches and reviews, saying it's all advertisement. Surely it's completely different talking about something you've tried and tested, rather than reposting a picture and some blurb about a product you've never touched and evidently wouldn't buy yourself? Maybe I'm just cynical but I do feel kind of used :/
    On a lighter note, I didn't know you were a scientist :) well maybe I did subconsciously, just from the style of your writing, I get a scientific vibe!
    Amy x


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