When Clara Kang arrived in Canada from South Korea in 2015, she knew exactly what she wanted to do.
“I’m a creative and artistic person, and I love details,” says Kang. “I learned how to do nails in South Korea, so when I found out about Her Majesty’s Pleasure, I applied and they hired me. It’s a really fun place to work.”
Kang entered the Contessas with encouragement from her boss, Sara Kardan, co-owner of Her Majesty’s Pleasure. “She really believes in me and my work,” shares Kang. “I eventually decided to enter because it was a great way to exhibit my skills and see where I stand in the field.”
The Inspiration Behind Her Contessa Collection
For Kang’s Contessa collection, she found herself inspired by nature. “I wanted to do something really fresh, bright and positive that brought a feeling of travel,” recalls Kang. “I was inspired by birds and all the different designs found in nature, so I chose to work with very nature-inspired colours like pinks and greens.”
Finding Inspiration While Staying True to Your Style
While Kang’s creative inspiration ranges from fashion to fellow nail techs, she has stayed true to her own sense of style. “I would say my style is simple and minimalistic,” says Kang. “But I get inspiration from everywhere, clothes and patterns from handbags and shoes. In magazines and online, I look at
what nail brands are doing to see what the trends are for the season. I look at Pantone colours. But I really look at Japanese and Korean techniques.”
Kang says she looks up to manicurist Eun Kyung Park, founder of Unistella Salon in Seoul, South Korea, who has an impressive Instagram following of more than 200,000. “[Being a nail technician] is a very creative job,” says Kang. “Nails are so small; it’s not a big canvas and you only have 10 fingers to work with, so it makes you think about how you can mix colours and patterns. Drawing something can be challenging but fun. You have to believe in yourself, and let others push you and inspire you to work hard and not give up.”
What’s next for Kang? “Continuing to compete and push my creativity,” she says. “I want to focus on winning competitions, specifically the Contessas!”
The Secret Weapons of a Contessa 28 Finalist, Nail Artist of the Year
Emigrating from South Korea in 2015, Clara Kang has demonstrated a passion for the nail industry as she pushes her creative boundaries. With the support of her team at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Kang plans to continue entering nail competitions and refining her craft.
See her three go-to products for getting that winning look.