Interview with Nail Artist Finalist Naomi Misu

Welcome to those who are new to Nail That Accent, and thanks for being there to all my lovely loyal readers. I wanted to share with you a quick story of how my blog Nail That Accent started, and end by sharing some inspirational nail art and an interview with Naomi Misu, one of five Finalists selected as Canadian Nail Artist at the Contessa 2016 Awards.


One of the many questions people ask me is: “how did you get started in nail art?” and “how did you start your blog”?  Here is my opportunity to share with you exactly how my nail art journey began.

I had a demanding executive position at a technology company for many years. I was unhappy in my life and in my career for many reasons (won’t get too personal here) and decided to take some time off work. One of the many luxuries I was used to in my corporate life, was weekly manicures. When I wasn’t working, I was so sad to have to give this up but clearly, a weekly manicure was not in the cards. As a gift, my fabulous sister took me to the coolest nail bar in Toronto, Tips Nail Bar. At that point (in 2012), I didn’t even know what nail art was (other than an ‘accent’ nail that was a different colour). Entering Tips Nail Bar was like entering a therapy room filled with luxurious chocolate. I know this probably sounds like an odd analogy, but let me explain.

Tips Nail Bar offered (and of course still offers today), the most creative nail art. I could indulge myself in nail art for hours (I could also eat a whole box of chocolate, hence the chocolate analogy). Who did my nails? The Contessa 2016 Finalist – Naomi Misu! She created a purple and black nail art look that was beyond anything I could have ever dreamed of – my fingers were a piece of art. This first experience with nail art was like receiving therapy – before I knew it I was chatting about my personal life with the nail technicians, and was relaxed and enamoured with the whole nail art experience (hence the therapy analogy).

I loved my new ‘nail art’ designed manicure and wore it for two weeks – I didn’t want to remove the polish. Unfortunately, as I wasn’t working at the time, going back to Tips and paying over $50 for a manicure (who knows what the cost is today…), was not an option for me – I would have to teach myself – and there began Nail That Accent.

So here we are in 2015 and since that initial visit to see Naomi, I’m so proud say that I am now a certified nail technician myself, have worked with international nail polish brands like Sally Hansen, essie and OPI, and have developed a successful blog focused on nails and nail art. In recent months, I’ve also had the opportunity to expand Nail That Accent beyond nails and nail art to encompass all things beauty (makeup, skincare, hair…) – something I have loved (or been obsessed with) my whole life.


The Contessa Awards are THE gold standard in Canadian beauty awards with the longest-running track record of excellence. Since 1988, each year the Contessas bring the best of Canada’s talent together to measure their creativity in a photo-based competition. The Contessas are open to all licensed beauty professionals, from coast to coast.

Here is where my stories collide – when I saw that Naomi Misu was selected to be one of five finalists of the Constessa 2016 awards, I knew that I wanted to feature Naomi on Nail That Accent. So now let’s turn to Naomi’s incredible designs and see my interview with her nail bar, contessas, salon magazine, contessas 2015, nail artists, canadian nail artists, contessa nail artists tips nail bar, contessas, salon magazine, contessas 2015, nail artists, canadian nail artists, contessa nail artists tips nail bar, contessas, salon magazine, contessas 2015, nail artists, canadian nail artists, contessa nail artists
Nail That Accent: The three nail art looks you created are stunning. Is there a common theme between the different looks? I’m thinking, 60s, 70s, and 80s?

Naomi Misu: Good guess! I surrounded my theme around the 70’s. I’m very attracted to the bold colours, prints and more importantly, colour blocking of shades we normally wouldn’t think of pairing together. That was the 70’s, the more the merrier! Plus, I’m a 70’s baby!

Nail That Accent: Did you choose to work with press ons rather than natural nails and why did you make this choice?

Naomi Misu: For this shoot I was able to do both! The great thing about shooting one handed shots is you can have a different manicure on each hand! It is too time consuming to create looks like this on the day of your shoot. So having your model prepped the day before with 2 looks cuts down on stress the day of.

Nail That Accent: How and why did you choose the nail shape for your designs?

Naomi Misu: I chose a longer oval shape for my designs. When I think of the 70’s woman, I think feminine but independent. Fun but daring. She’s manicured, she’s well put together. A soft almond shape also creates the illusion of a more elongated look.

Nail That Accent: What nail art tools did you use to create these looks?

Naomi Misu: I used 2 brushes to create all 3 looks. I used a gel brush to paint the base shade and a striper brush to create all of the other details. A striper brush is a great tool for creating fine lines and filling in small areas, it’s my definite go-to!

Nail That Accent: If you had to pick a favourite of the three designs, which one would it be and why?

Naomi Misu: If I had to choose one design, I would have to choose the design that is paired with the phone. This print was my starting point, I spent more time perfecting it. I could imagine what the image would look like. It helped get my creative juices flowing and I was able to build a theme surrounding it.

tips nail bar, contessas, salon magazine, contessas 2015, nail artists, canadian nail artists, contessa nail artists

If you’re lucky enough to live in Toronto, I definitely recommend visiting Naomi at Tips Nail Bar. Otherwise you can follow her INSTAGRAM account and get inspired by her fabulous work.

I wish Naomi the best of luck at the Contessa Awards on Sunday – I know who I’m voting for!

Until next time,

nail that accent


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *