EXCLUSIVE: Pink Square Nail How-To from Celeb Manicurist Alicia Torello

OPI just launched a Hello Kitty collection with the girliest nail colors — and names — imaginable. We got manicurist to the stars Alicia Torello to show us an easy mani that anyone could do at home using  the colors.

Alicia mostly works on fashion shoots and became a manicurist while working at a talent agency and falling in love with the work of a Bed-Stuy artist named Honey. Honey encouraged her to go to beauty school, so she started taking classes from 6 to 9 after work every day. Soon enough, she was officially working as a manicurist and got signed to the agency where she’d once handled bookings.

Now, she regularly polishes the paws of stars like Jennifer Lawrence, Kylie Jenner, Kendall Jenner, and Anne Hathaway. And thanks to both her incredible skills and her insanely relaxed demeanor (“I’m so chill I’m basically dead,” she jokes), she gets booked over and over again.

In her spare time, she updates her must-follow Instagram account with super artsy and complex nail art for fun.

Now here’s how to achieve the “soft square” look we requested that’s perfect for Hello Kitty lovers or just anyone who wants a Valentine’s Day nail look that’s fun but relatively simple to achieve at home.

1. Remove your raggedy old nail polish.

This goes without saying, but make sure you get rid of everything. Alicia recommends then cleaning your nails with OPI’s lint-free wipes, which she says are incredible and totally necessary. When you clean your nails with cotton balls, bits of cotton will get left behind and cause air bubbles. The line-free wipes make this unnecessary.

2. Apply a base coat.

Don’t skip this part! Your nails can get stained and the manicure just won’t look as nice.

3. Apply three very thin coats of Hello Kitty x OPI’s “Let’s Be Friends.”

Wait, why should the coats be thin? Isn’t it better to slop on two thick coats so the polish looks globby, shiney, and thick?

Hell no, Alicia says. The more polish you have on your nails, the longer it’ll take for your nails to dry — and more importantly, the sooner they’ll chip. That’s right, thinner coats make your mani keep from chipping. The more you know!

4. After that dries, use a striping brush to draw squares in “Look at My Bow.”

Alicia stores her striping brush in acetone so that she can use it over and over again in different colors.

If you have trouble keeping your hand straight to draw the stripes, she recommends steadying your hands on the table while you paint. And when drawing with your weak hand, try keeping your weak hand still while you move your strong hand against the brush, instead of painting with the weak hand the way you normally would.

If all else fails, use Scotch tape to keep the lines straight.

5. Apply a clear top coat.

This will really clean up the nail and it’ll make your squares look sharper. Putting the clear top coat on “changes the game,” she said.

6. If your cuticles are looking haggard, throw some oil on.

For many of us, this shit is necessary and we forget that it even exists. Alicia put some on my dragon-skin and it looked instantly refreshed.


Your nails are done and you’re so adorable. Enjoy.


Gimme More Beauty

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