Hot tips for 2022 trends: Deeper pigmented pastels, metallic & minimal 3D nail art

By Julia Babbage on September 5th, 2022

How one nail artist made it in the world of fashion and editorial

Julia Babbage – (@nailsby_julia_) is a busy session nail artist with a proven track record and a portfolio of work that includes stints at Fashion Week in London, Paris and NYC plus spreads in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and campaigns with streetwear and designer brands. Julia has held the hands of the likes of Kendall Jenner, Gillian Anderson and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and found herself in some very celeb-soaked locations. It’s a position that lots of nail artists would love to be in and they might assume it happened by chance or luck but they would be wrong. Julia began her nail journey in 2011 she was seeking a way to earn while still being a hands-on mother to her two children. Julia says “I knew I had to do something I was really passionate about and that was BEAUTY! I started off with nails and expanded my brand offering to more treatments. By 2014 I had built up quite a large clientele with my mobile beauty business ‘The Beauty Shak’ and I was finding myself getting overwhelmed with all the bookings and finding reliable staff was a real difficulty.” Julia decided to reframe her business and focus on quality over quantity. She started following manicurists, hair stylist, MUAs, stylists, photographers and production companies in the fashion and beauty industries on social media. “I sent out hundreds of emails and messages asking if I could be put onto their database to assist their artists or them. Out of 200 messages sent over the space of two or three days I only received seven replies. Yes seven! I felt deflated and frustrated but it made me even more determined and I hustled harder. I said YES to absolutely everything and made everything work. Three weeks later I was in New York assisting at Fashion Week!” explains Julia.

Julia went on to assist some of her favourite manicurists over the next few years as her contact list and her confidence grew and in no time secured herself her own agent. A lot of the work in editorial shoots is unpaid but Julia valued the exposure and the opportunity to express herself creatively and the resultant images built an incredible portfolio. So, what tips can Julia offer to other artists looking to get into the world of session work? “Social Media is your biggest self-marketing platform; don’t waste your opportunities! Your personality and passion together will make you as memorable as much as your work. That will lead you to more clients and work. YOU are the brand. Practice, practice, practice and stay on trend with brands and what’s out; say YES to every opportunity you can and in time it will come back round.”

Julia Babbage

After setting up her own beauty business in 2011, Julia quickly established an enviable list of clients gaining recognition for her high skill level, creative flare and immaculate attention to detail. Now, some years later, her portfolio boasts international A list names as well as her work gracing the pages of magazines including GQ, Stella and Wonderland.

All articles by Julia Babbage

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