Nail Files: Simone Cummings Never Repeats the Same Art Twice

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Cummings launched her career at WAH Nails, a cultural landmark for the city’s cool girls, after realizing her enthusiasm for colorful manicures was quickly starting to turn into an expensive hobby. “I was never someone to have a basic color on my nails, so it would always be the case where I would go to a nail salon and would request, like, every single color on the shelf to have on my hand. Which of course is also very expensive so I was just like, you know what, I need to figure out how to make this cheaper. That’s when I started learning the craft.”

Seven years later, Cummings, who is now represented by CLM Agency, has built up a clientele of industry heavyweights including JW Anderson, Campbell Addy, and Sephora. Below, she shares her manicure staples and explains the reasoning behind her one-and-done approach to nail art. 

Manicures–occasional treat or lifestyle?

Lifestyle. I would say every two to three weeks, when I start to see the regrowth, I get a new one.

Favorite products for prep?

Moisturizing with cuticle oil is definitely going to help maintain the strength and durability of the nails. I also always tell my clients they should have a bottle of hand moisturizer right next to their bed. Really good ones are the Augustinus Bader Hand Treatment and Chanel Le Creme Main.

Go-to shape?

Because of the work I do, I would say rounds or squoval. I personally like those shapes as well because they retain more of a natural look even when growing out. 

Gel or regular?

I usually go with gel because I’m not patient at all when it comes to hands. But every six months or so I break it up a bit and put some lacquer on.

Defining color?

When it comes to colors, I usually never tend to stick to the seasons of the year based on what I choose for my nails. My favorites at the moment are The Gel Bottle’s Lime Punch and Cinnamon Spice, which is more of a brown color.

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

I think that if you have a color in mind but want to be slightly different, it’s not a bad idea to go slightly darker on the toes but at least in the same color. I do, however, think that a French mani on your hands paired with a Big Apple Red or Rouge Noir on the feet is cute. Over the summer, I’ve seen a lot of people having matching French on hands and feet which also looks chic.

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

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