Dig Baton Rouge

Hand painted: Local nail technician creates works of art

Getting your nails done can turn any bad day into a better one. You get to sit back, zone out for an hour or so, and then you walk out a prettier human with painted nails. Baton Rouge’s nail scene got a lot more colorful and creative when Morgan Brittany moved to town.

Morgan Brittany, currently with Bliss Beautique Salon, specializes in creative nail art design as well as healthy natural nails. She moved to Baton Rouge from Detroit six years ago, and has been working for Bliss Beautique with a couple of hair stylists and a makeup artist since they opened about a year ago.

Brittany has been professionally painting nails since she was 16 years old. It all started when she was about 7 years old. She loved going to the nail salon with her mother; she would collect the nail clippings to glue on her cousins and sisters to practice her talent. The first salon to hire her in her high school days was very impressed by her nail art — she was paid in commission.  She was also trusted to paint toes and the infamous French tips.

“I’ve always been good at a lot of arts and crafts type things,” Brittany said.

She mentioned a party in Atlanta she went to last week, for which she made her own skirt. Her family and friends seek her help for sewing, decorating cakes, pretty much anything hands-on that requires creativity.

At Bliss Beautique, Brittany typically sees about 40 clients a week, by appointment. Thursdays and Saturdays are the busiest days for her with 10 to 12 clients a day. That is two hands, ten fingers. To put it into scale, Brittany sometimes paints up to 120 fingers in one day! And it is even crazier than that when Prom season rolls around.

She requires a $15 deposit, and then charges by the finger—two fingers for $5 for a basic manicure. But nail art and painting are two different things. Some clients request jewels like rhinestones and other extra decorations like bows; those types of manicures are usually two fingers for $15. Most of the time, each finger is different with nail art, so Brittany charges per finger.

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Some clients have bizarre requests, Brittany explained. There was once a girl who wanted an elephant on her thumb. Brittany said it was a symbol of her sorority. It was tedious because Brittany had to create an elephant from scratch, she did not have anything to go off of. But the elephant girl was pleased with her design in the end! Brittany has a record of happy clients.

“I’ve even gone as far as doing a portrait of someone’s face on a fingernail,” Brittany said.

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Not all clients have a request for Brittany. Most days, people come in and tell her to do whatever she is feeling, Brittany said. Being an expert in healthy natural nails, Brittany suggests to keep your nails manicured. One manicure every three weeks is the perfect amount. Two weeks is not enough time to let the cuticles breathe and grow, Brittany said.

Most people find the creative talents of Morgan Brittany through the app we spend our days scrolling, Instagram. The Instagram world is a great networking tool for nail technicians. Brittany said when she was in Miami a while back, she got her nails done by a nail tech she had been following. She used the same products Brittany uses on herself and her clients, which Brittany thought was pretty cool.

Photo courtesy of Morgan Brittany.

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