New York Fashion Week and entertainment’s 2020 awards season saw a major movement in fashion: Dramatic nail art. Fashionistas everywhere traded in their subtle French manicures for more attention-grabbing styles. Celebrity manicurists are decorating A-lister nails with everything from gemstones, dangling crystals and glitter, to confetti, metal studs, ombre color and designer logos.

Even nail shapes are bold and new. Some of the most popular shapes are tapered almond, stiletto, coffin, mountain peak and lipstick. Nail lengths run the gamut but longer nails are trending. If you’re thinking of trying a statement-making style, look no further than right here in Yakima.

Paulina Mendez, a 12-year veteran of nail artistry, creates amazing designs on acrylic-coated and natural nails. She explains how the process works and what inspires her designs.

Shannon: Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?

Paulina: I am always on social media looking at what is trending, and I learn something new every day. Clients will bring pictures for inspiration or already know what they want. If a client chooses a style that is not best for the shape of their fingers, I let them know something else would look better.

Shannon: What are the nail trends to watch for in 2020?

Paulina: I see a lot of celebrities with blinged-out nails. Trends come and go. We are now seeing a 1960s comeback. I love creating all different styles and I look forward to spring for all the fun pastel color requests.

Shannon: What is your favorite nail product to work with?

Paulina: My favorite is Shellac nail polish. I am so grateful this product was invented because it cuts drying time and looks good for weeks.

Shannon: Who is your favorite celebrity nail artist?

Paulina: There are too many to list, but my top favorite is Kimmie Kyees. She does all the Kardashians’ nails.

Shannon: Nail bling. How does it stay put?

Paulina: I use a special type of glue called “resin.” Once applied, I immediately set the gems and spray them with a resin activator. The gems will stay on for a full three weeks before I remove them.

Shannon: You’re the queen of “cuticle blending.” Please explain that.

Paulina: I’m super picky so I get as close to the cuticle area to blend acrylic perfectly. I also do a dry manicure on everyone to rid the nails of cuticles before applying acrylic or polish. It makes the application perfect every time.

Shannon: What sets you apart from a nail technician?

Paulina: There is more to nail artistry than what a nail technician will do. Everyone in my chair deserves respect and patience. A full set with all the gems and art takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I pick the best products out there and cleanliness is priority. Plus, what is said and done at my studio, stays here!

To check out Paulina’s designs or make an appointment, visit her Instagram page @makeupnailsbypaulina or reach her via email at: