Lexi Danh wears her heart on the sleeves.
She is passionate about art and her heart beats for it. “The universe is a work of art to me,”She stated that each fingernail and toenail was a canvas which can be used as a creative tool.
“I love all forms of art,”She spoke. “If you gave me clay, I would work with it. If you gave me sand, I would find a way to create pictures out of it. If you gave me dry dead leaves, I could come up with ideas to create a picture.”
Danh believes nail art can also be done in the exact same way as other types of art. “With finger- and toenails, the only difference is that the artist is using a smaller material as a canvas,”She spoke. “I basically paint what I would paint on canvases, only on fingernails and toenails. … I paint sunsets on canvases, I also paint sunsets on the fake nails I use.”
Danh arrived in Rochester, New York in 1980. Danh fled Vietnam with her family when she was four years old.
“We were rescued by the Malaysian government and stayed in refugee camps there, and were then sponsored by a Catholic family and church arriving in Rochester,”She spoke.
Danh has graduated from John Marshall High School. Danh moved to Orange County in California where she lived with her child as a single parent. She returned to Rochester in 2019.
When she was 22, her child was born, and so she had to take care of herself.
“I knew my current job was not enough to raise my daughter on my own,”She spoke. “The nail business was booming, and I was told it was good money.”She was 23 when she finished training to become a manicurist.
Lexi Danh shows the black gel. Acrylic nails were provided by Rochester’s designCoco Nails.
Joe Ahlquist / Post Bulletin
She loves giving manicures and is creative, but she dislikes working in salons.
“Doing nails is hard on the body, as it is very physical,”She spoke. “Salon owners expect you to be very fast.”
Her health was also harmed by the dust inhaled while she removed acrylic nail varnish. She now has asthma. So today, Danh creates her tiny masterpieces with less harmful products like gel and isn’t working at a salon, though she still loves creating nail art.
Kim Senst, one of Danh’s clients, sought Danh out for a pedicure based on her daughter’s positive recommendation. Danh’s personality is described as creative and outgoing by her. “I didn’t know about colors,”Sentiments “She picked the most beautiful pink out. It was amazing.”
This past December, Danh transformed Senst’s big toenails to look like gift packages with blue and white ribbons on a red background.
“I got so many compliments,”Senst said. Senst said she didn’t want to cover up her nail art with socks and shoes.
“You can trust her,”She spoke. “Say, ‘Do what you think,’ and she’ll create something beautiful on your nails.”
Danh’s nail art includes everything from butterflies to palm trees. These designs are abstract, with silver starbursts against a midnight background. They also feature angled purple stripes and sparkles. One designShe used colors of orange and sparkling red to create squares that were different in size, much like Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass windows. design.
Danh’s nail art is also sometimes 3-D. “One day I was bored and decided I would use acrylic and sculpted a little bunny sitting on my nail bed,”According to her. She’s also proud of a technique she developed to make a marbled swirling designOn the internet.
Danh confesses her love for showing off tiny creations. However, she acknowledges the fact that more experienced nail technicians are available.
Danh creates her nails with a wide variety of tools. Danh uses a variety of tools to create her nail art. Her other tools include wax paper, tiny screws, wax papers and toothpicks. Swarovski stones, foils, gems, dried flowers, and Swarovski crystals are just a few of the accessories she uses to complement her designs. Her accents include acrylic paint, gel nails, marker, and many other pens.
Every step of making tiny nails art presents its own challenges.
“Doing 10 fingers is not easy,” Danh said. “Especially making them all look the same or ‘shrinking’ the image on smaller nail beds such as the pinky fingernail bed.
“There are lots of things to consider that clients don’t think about when it comes to me creating designs for them,”She said.
Danh believes nail art can be transformative. “A person getting their nails done always makes them feel cleaner or sexier. They feel more confident. … They feel more secure. It shows their character. It takes out the dullness within them, and it takes them outside of their box, stripping themselves of their conservative nature.”
John Sievers is an Rochester freelancer writer.