O-M-G AMAZING nail art
If you’re an avid Pinner, ‘grammer, beauty enthusiast or general internet-using time waster, it’s likely you’ve stumbled upon some of Kayleigh O’Connor’s remarkable nail art creations. Though acrylics and gels are usually frowned upon in health and beauty circles (don’t take notice of the haters) O’Connor’s highly detailed entertainment-inspired nails are noteworthy enough to shut even the loudest cuticle campaigners down. The 24-year-old Birmingham student has created nails inspired by Batman, Game of Thrones, Freddie Mercury, video games, Nickelodeon TV shows, My Little Pony and the list goes on (and on and on). We caught up with the Internet’s latest imaginative prodigy about beauty, design and maintenance and have collected a nowhere near extensive gallery of some of Kayleigh’s awesome crafts. Colour us inspired.
Do you have a background in beauty?
No, I don't, but have always loved colourful makeup, clothes and nails. I’m a student at the moment studying for my degree course in Media and Communication.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Everywhere! After spending today in the garden I was soon working out how I could make snail nails! But I love so many films, television programmes and musicians, there is always more and more representations of these for me to paint on my nails.
How did you get into nail art?
I started wearing false nails about 8/9 years ago to cover up my horribly bitten real ones. After a while I just got bored with the plain colours and patterns so I wanted to make crazier ones, just to amuse myself really.
How long does it take to get a full set on from start to finish?
It usually takes about an hour, maybe two if they are particularly fiddly.
What materials do you use to get those textures?
I use anything I can think of. I just try to think outside the box and not be afraid to try stupid things to see if it would work. I don't usually plan ahead though!
Do you have a background in art? Your designs are seriously detailed!
Thanks! No, I've never really thought about it. I've always liked arty things, but never really been part of any artistic projects or courses.
Are you into other crafts?
I do like decorating things (like phones, vases, bags and mirrors) and making silly presents for my friends. But my main hobby is my nail art
Do you strictly use nail polish or do you use paint as well?
I use both. I only recently found out I could use paint on my nails so I've been having lots of fun with that!
What is your nail polish brand of choice and why?
I have such a big mix of brands but I have to say I love Barry M's polishes, the colours are fantastic and very eye-catching.
What do you think are the top 5 most essential make-up products otherwise?
Liquid eyeliner, mascara, blusher, consealer and loose powder... that makes me sound like I look like Baby Jane.
How do you revitalise your nails after all the glue-ing and re-gluing?
I think after all the years of abusing my nails, they’ve gotten used to it and evolved to withstand it. They are pretty strong so can handle all the terrible abuse I put them through pretty much on their own. But, I do like to give them a rest for a day or so, with nice long soaks and oily strengtheners.
What’s your favourite nail set you’ve ever created?
My favourites have been the Alien (Chestburser) ones and the Freddie Mercury ones. But, that changes every couple of weeks!
Do you plan on selling nail sets like the ones you make in the future? Or will you keep it as a hobby?
I am going to start selling some of my designs soon hopefully, but for now I'm just enjoying keeping it as a hobby
Have you been surprised with the popularity of your designs on Pinterest and online?
Oh yes! I only started taking and sharing photos of my nails to get a better mark for some old Uni assignment, so I was very surprised when I realised that other people seemed to like them too. It’s very flattering!