Jenny Bui, Nail Tech to Stars Including Cardi B, Reveals Her Process—and New Collab With Makartt
If you follow celebrity nails, chances are that you know nail tech to the stars and the "Queen of Bling," Jenny Bui.
Perhaps best known for creating Cardi B's unforgettable nail looks, Jenny is a master of crafting bold, unforgettable and undeniably eye-catching nail looks, and there's a reason her skills as so highly coveted. We had the honor of chatting with Jenny about everything from how she got started as a nail tech to what looks we should expect to see this summer, her favorite celeb nails and her awesome new collab with Makartt. Keep reading to find out all of it below.
Sweety High: How have you established yourself as a nail tech to the stars? What is it about your approach that's been so long-lasting and made your looks go viral?
Jenny Bui: I have been doing celebrity nails for a very long time, starting from Yandy Smith from Love & Hip Hop to Chanel West Coast, Cardi B and Kalia. To be honest, I think being a successful celebrity nail tech is about being open to your customer's ideas, understanding their personalities and then transforming that into the art of nails. With all of my clients, celebrity or not, I spend a lot of time getting to know them, their emotions, their moods, their personalities and I communicate openly with them during the nail session with ideas so that together, we can create nails that I'll love doing and they'll love wearing.
SH: What do you think are going to be the biggest nail looks this summer in terms of colors, patterns and shapes?
JB: Definitely bright colors. Bright colors have always been a staple when it comes to summer nails, but even more so this year because having bright nails is something that can help uplift everyone's spirits. 2020 was an extremely difficult year for everyone and having bright, pointy stiletto nails is a way of showing our power to take our lives and destinies back into our own hands.
SH: What chic but simple look do you recommend this summer for girls who are new to the mani game?
JB: Whenever I have customers come to my shop who are new to the mani game, I always tell them to spice up their nails with either a bit of design or a little bit of bling. Nails are a way for you to express yourself no matter where, what time or on what occasion. You go home at the end of the day and you take off your makeup and hairstyle off, but the thing that stays with you is your nails. So add a little spice to it! People always say that when you wear my nails, you don't need to wear jewelry. There ain't no such thing as too much bling!
SH: When a celeb comes in, how do you capture exactly what they want for their nails?
JB: I think it's about being really humble and being very open in communication. When Cardi has a nail session, we talk and talk forever. Part of it is catching up with each other on our lives and sharing our achievements and challenges with each other, but another big reason is because as part of the nail creation process, I need to know what emotions and thoughts are running through my client's mind and heart at the moment so that I can translate that into nail art.
SH: Has there been a particular celebrity design you love that you'll always remember?
JB: I'd probably say the Met Gala Nails for Cardi B. Both Cardi and I were super excited for the Met Gala and after discussing with Cardi, we wanted to go with something a little different from what she and I were both used to. We wanted to go slightly softer, really, really elegant and so we ended up deciding that we wanted to incorporate pearls into the white nail look. However, at the end of the day, it's still me and Cardi so we still had a lot of bling on it!
SH: What is "Queen of Bling" the perfect nickname to describe you?
JB: I absolutely love my nickname "Queen of Bling." When I first heard it, I remember thinking to myself, I don't deserve that nickname. However, over time, I think I've grown to a point where I want to be able to live up to the name that my supporters gave to me and I always think to myself, how do I continue to live up to that name and challenge myself in my art.
SH: Tell us about your collab with Makartt! How did it come about, and what types of styles did you aim to capture with these nail sets?
JB: I'm so excited to share with everyone about my collaboration with Makartt. People from all over the world fly to New York and book an appointment with me so they can get the "Queen of Bling" nails and I remember thinking to myself, what about those who cannot fly to New York and get their nails done? About a year ago, I had the opportunity to speak with the founder of Makartt and together, we came up with the idea of what if we created a collection of press-ons designed by me and the team at Makartt and a year later, here we are! Makartt is a brand that has been known for its nail collaborations with nail influencers like Emily Susanah and Femi Beauty and when I was approached with the idea of doing a collaboration with them, I was over the moon! I remember when we created these nail looks, we spent hours and hours brainstorming and trying different designs up until 2 a.m. and finally, we decided on six final looks.
I wanted this collection to have something for everyone. We have "Super Xxtra," a beautiful lime yellow nail with an intricate bling design for those who love their super extra personalities, "Dream in Bling," a slightly translucent soft pink for those who dare to dream, as well as "Queen of Bling," a super classic French nail that has the perfect shade of nude, dressed with bling fitted for a queen.
SH: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
JB: I am really excited and nervous all at the same time for this amazing opportunity to launch a press-on collaboration with Makartt. I've been working on this project for over a year and I'm so excited for the launch. I really hope that my fans love this collection as much as I do.
Obsessed with all things nails? Click HERE to read our interview with Femi Beauty on her own Makartt collab.