When it comes to nails there are significantly more options nowadays than simply painting them a classic red or pink. Almost every girl I know looks on Pinterest for art inspiration before heading to the salon.
Tracy Belardo at Lookers Salon & Spa can bring those inspirational nail looks to life.
Belardo spent 11 years working for Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District before deciding to make a career change. "I didn't know where it would go. I didn't want to teach - but I've always loved doing nails," she said.
Belardo said that it was her grandmother who taught her about taking care of her nails as a little girl. "She taught me how to paint. She had nails like mine - they were long until the day she died."
Belardo polled some of her friends to see if they would be clients when she acquired a Nail Tech license. "They all said that they would come to me. I've done a friend's nails for their wedding and things like that," she said. "We were doing odd shaped French manicures in the 8th grade. I always had the coolest nails and loved art and glitter."
When it comes to art and painting - she can do it all from acrylics and gel manicures to intricate designs. Her most challenging nail art was when a client asked her to recreate the poster from the musical "Wicked" on their nails.
"The poster has the white witch talking to the green witch, so we did red nails to be the same color as ruby slippers and I put one of the witches on each of the accent nails," she said, admitting that she is a perfectionist when it comes to her craft. "I had the hardest time making each hand look how I wanted it to look. She absolutely loved it."
Belardo also enjoys doing Christmas-themed art on nails, such as snowflakes and snowmen. "Some designs are complicated - some are not," she said.
At Lookers, Belardo said she has the best job ever because it is a career that she truly enjoys. "I get to make somebody's nails pretty and I just giggle all day."