Learn How Editorial Nail Artist Betina Goldstein Turned Her Passion into a Career

Photo Credit:  Rebecca Glasser-Baker,  Skirt by Eliza J Dresses

Photo Credit: Rebecca Glasser-Baker, Skirt by Eliza J Dresses

By:  Caroline Vazzana

When flipping through a fashion magazine, and admiring all of the editorial campaigns, there are certain people you obviously think about. The model, of course, the stylist who put together the looks, and the hair and makeup team. But, there is one very important person at almost every shoot that I feel sometimes goes unnoticed. As a self proclaimed nail addict, I mean, I love a good nail art moment- I am always fascinated by the career of a nail artist. So, when I had the opportunity to speak with editorial nail artist Betina Goldstein, you could image I had a million questions. Like what does your job really entail? And how do you even get your foot in the door?

As someone whose always had an interest in art and design, Betina's career as an editorial nail artist really found her. While working on set for a campaign (not as the nail artist), Betina was asked to step in and do the models nails. That wasn't the job she was hired to do, but it was one of those right place, right time moments. And the rest really is history. Today, Betina has worked on campaigns for many major brands like Celine and Tod's offering her opportunities to do the nails of it girls like Kendall Jenner and Chiara Ferragni, just to name a few. Read ahead as Betina shares secrets to making it in the industry as well as some major beauty musts to keeping your nails strong, healthy, and camera ready!

When did you first discover your passion for nail art?

I’ve always had a passion for arts and crafts, especially painting.  When I started my career as a Nail Artist, I began applying my artistic techniques to nails. I love the idea of creating simple yet intricate designs. 

What was your first internship or job in the industry, and how did it impact your career? 
My first Internship was as a Post Production Assistant at Saturday Night Live. On Saturdays while the rehearsal and show was running, me and 2 other interns would help out the SNL hair team with all the wigs. I was fascinated by the idea of working on that side of the industry. But, it wasn’t until a few years later that I had my first opportunity to work as a Nail Artist for EXPRESS. It made me not only realize that this was something that I enjoyed doing and had a talent for, but could also make a career out of. It can’t get better than that, right?!

You have had such a unique journey in this industry, what would you say was your big break?
I was lucky enough to have immense support from Navia Vision, a production company. They believed in me and brought me onto so many great projects, where I was able to build my portfolio. But, I think the job that really elevated my portfolio was the Celine Campaign. 

Who have been your biggest mentors in this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you? Or what is the best advice someone has ever given you? 
Makeup artist, Benjamin Puckey, was a very special person in my path. He not only encouraged me to start my nail Instagram, but gave me the confidence to believe I was in the right industry. 

The best advice I’ve ever received is from my husband,

“You can do anything you put your heart into”. 

What does a typical day look like for a nail artist?
Your agent or producer sends the call sheet the night before. The call sheet tells you when and where to be. Every job is different. That is one of the greatest beauties about this industry. One day we will be shooting in a mansion in Malibu over looking the ocean, another day we can be in the middle of the desert. Once you arrive to the location and set up, you speak to the stylist about the direction they want to go in. Sometimes they know exactly what they want, and other times you go over all the looks with the stylist and collaborate what color or design would work best. When it’s a beauty shoot, there can be as many as 8 nail changes. You have to be able to work fast and work along side the hair and makeup team to make sure we get talent out in time for the next shot. 

What has been your favorite project to date?
That’s a hard one. I’ve had a few “Pinch Me” moments, but I have to go with Bloomingdale’s campaign in Puerto Rico with photographer Hugh Lippe. It was an amazing team and the locations were unreal. One day we were in the jungle, the next staying at the 4 Seasons Hotel on the beach, and ended in a field that looked like Africa with a Zebra. I have some great memories of that job. 

Where do you look for inspiration when creating a nail design?
I love modern art. I enjoy going to museums and galleries to get inspired. I also get inspiration from vintage clothing. I love going to thrift shops and seeing all the different graphics and textiles.

What would you say are some of your tips and tricks to maintaining and growing healthy nails?
Oil based Non acetone nail polish remover is a game changer for me. My favorite one is by Karma Organic, Soybean and Lavender Oil Nail Polish remover. Acetone can be so harsh on your nails and cuticles. This is a great way to keep your nails from getting weak in-between each polish. I also recommend lathering your hands with a heavy cream, like Burts Bee’s Hand Salve, and putting on cotton gloves before you go to bed or when you do a face mask. 

As an entrepreneur, what are some of your favorite and least favorite aspects of working for yourself?
My least favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur is where to draw a line from personal to business. I will have an idea for a nail design and will want to drop everything I’m doing to execute it. I am always trying to see what’s next. The benefit of working for yourself is you get to see the results of your hard work. 

The idea of being a nail artist sounds so incredible, but how do you go about finding and securing steady clients?
While building my portfolio, my clients came to me through word of mouth through industry connections such as, producers and photographers. Some clients find me on Instagram and contact me directly through there. Now, I am fortunate enough to be represented by, Lowe & Co Worldwide. Between all of these channels, I manage to stay quite busy throughout the year.

As a busy women on the go, what are three items you never leave home without?
Glossier Stretch Concealer, Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, Chanel Lipstick in Enigmatique.
What are three beauty products you swear by?
Shiseido Instant Eye and Lip Makeup Remover, Burts Bee’s Hand Salve, Moroccanoil Hair Treatment. 

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your company what would it be? 
Don’t get discouraged. 

With the industry changing so quickly, what advice would you give to someone hoping to follow in your footsteps? 
Passion is the key to success. 

Where do you hope to see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years? 
Collaborating with brands, and becoming an Ambassador for one of the companies I support. 


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