Meet Marble Valdez, A Talented Young Lady Shaping The World Of Nail Art

Marbles Valdez had a creative mind from an early age. Her dream was to become a fashion designer with her own streetwear brand, so she was excited to begin her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, where she graduated in Fashion Business Management in 2019. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit 2020, she felt completely lost and reconsidered her decisions.

She’s now a 20-year-old bonafide nail artist with nearly 12k Instagram followers who works out of her own Manhattan studio on the Lower East Side, where she does manicures and sells cute accessories like phone cases and keychains. Along with having a huge following in New York, she’s also doneWhitney Peak’snails for HBO’s Max’s Gossip Girl relaunch and for the 2021 Met Gala, Yung Baby Tate’s for the 2021 VMAs, and other TickTokers and influencers.

Growing up in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side as a first-generation Dominican, she was steeped in the beauty world because her mother worked in a salon. So when she found herself with plenty of free time in 2020 while in isolation, she found solace in creative endeavors including making press-on nails, drawing and making accessories out of beads. She quickly learned how to make acrylic nails and practiced with friends, posting manicures to a public Instagram spam account. Unsurprisingly, she blew up.

Courtesy of Marbles Valdez

If you visit her Instagram @ibedoingnails, you’ll see her account title is “XTRA NAILS FOR XTRA PPL” and boy, does she match that title. She is a self-taught expert in all types of nail art, including cartoon characters, gem,  nail charms on gel polish, and acrylic extensions. Although the most popular designs she has been asked to do these days have different textures such as raindrops, blooming gel designs, airbrush designs, animal prints and mix and match designs, her inspiration initially came from Japanese cultures (think kawaii and Harajuku-inspired designs).

“I love seeing how much detail I can squeeze into a small area; [it’s] really fun and challenging,” Valdez told Allure. Her favorite designs are the “super extra” kawaii 3D charms and rhinestones, but she’s so talented that sometimes clients ask for her freestyle, in which case she’ll use new techniques that she’s dying to try. Most of her sets last two to three hours to complete.

Courtesy of Marbles Valdez

Valdez fell in love with meeting new people and helping them express themselves through nail art. “I love providing a fun service that helps people ‘match the outside with the inside,'” she says. “I help nurture your inner child.” I mean, just check out her Instagram and you’ll see how many nostalgic nail designs are trending right now— ’90s designs, Vivienne Westwood-branded charms, and chrome sets, to name a few.

For budding nail artists, she has some key tips. Practice consistency first, but also “try new products to discover your favorites, practice on your own or with friends, constantly post your creations on social media,” she advises, acknowledging that you can start from scratch and evolve over time. . . “You can find inspiration even in the darkest places, let your imagination run wild.”

Courtesy of Marbles Valdez

As for the future, Valdez dreams of expanding her artistic interests and possibly continuing to launch her streetwear brand, which she is already growing through the accessories she sells. “I’ve built a pretty big platform for myself on social media and I have an amazing, loyal following that would allow me to explore this new territory and have great support to be successful,” she says. She also wants to explore the possibilities of more nail art for film and television, hoping for a career similar to Natalie Minerva, Euphoria manicurist.

Valdez is leading the way into the future of nail art and doing it so successfully at such a young age. Even if you prefer simple nails to more extra designs, you have to admit that this kills the manicure game. But we recommend following her on Instagram for some great nail art inspiration to fill your feed.