Interview with Jaclyn Ngo: Inside Out and Gudetama

Inside Out and Gudetama Nail Art

Name: Jaclyn Ngo
Experience: 12 years
Speciality: Nails & Bridal nails
Vanitee Profile:

In 2003, Jaclyn Ngo (@luxewomen) started doing her own nails on the weekends. Mondays were full of compliments at the office – the designs were quite eye-catching. The encouragement from colleagues was enough to make her pick up a part-time nail course. After her first child was born, Jaclyn left her corporate job and life as nail artist came naturally as a less hectic lifestyle. Since 2010 ahead of the Luxe Women salon in Ang Mo Kio and now a nail art teacher, she puts it simply: “I hope to inspire more enthusiasts to share this passion of mine”.

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How did you learn the trade?
After I graduated from my nail course in 2007, I felt it was not enough and I started participating in nail competitions. I watched what other nail artists from various countries around the world were doing and it opened my eyes. They were so ahead of me! I started learning by myself and also look for trainers who were able to teach me the advanced techniques. Finally, I managed to find myself a mentor who took me under her wings to push me up in the competition standards, which is where I am today.


What is your daily routine as a beauty artist?
My routine is always changing. My priorities are my family, shop & students. I train my own staffs so their skills will be on par with my standards. My own clients know this, so they are very comfortable to be served by my staff. I do keep track of their standards as my clients frequently tell me their experiences. Usually I’m busy, out conducting my 1-to-1 courses with students.


Why did you specialize in bridal nails? How many brides have you prepared?
I realised that most brides are not aware that their nails are the second most important part of their wedding, apart from their dress. Brides have to exchange wedding rings and the photographer will take closeup shots, so having bad nails can really ruin a great wedding. I’ve met brides-to-be coming to us to redo their nails as they felt that the designs and colors didn’t match, so I felt that we needed to help these troubled brides. With our expertise in nail designs well suited for weddings and – most importantly – a bride’s skin tone, we became the bridal nails specialist in no time. They even send us wedding photos of their nails!

Where do you get inspiration for your designs? Do you have a favorite style?
I have good friends in this industry, so we are always sharing our insights and latest designs with one another. Nowadays, we are lucky to have social media, where latest news and trends are shared everyday. Personally, my own favorite style is the stiletto nails and inlay art. Stiletto nails are my strength, and I’ve been a category champion in the Thailand Nail Awards. 3D art will hinder me & my daily chores, so I settled for inlay – then I can still enjoy nail art while not being frustrated at the constant “hooking-on” accidents.


You draw a lot – Inside Out characters, Gudetama. Were you always good at drawing? Is that a passion? Isn’t it hard to draw such little figures?
I can tell you that a steady hand, passion & patience are key to doing nail art. When I look back at how I drew nail arts 10 years ago, I can say that I’ve gone a long way. I really envy those who are trained in Fine Arts, which makes it easier for them to convert their knowledge onto tiny nails. I have a Fashion Design diploma instead, so I had to learn on my own by watching how others do it and trying out myself bit by bit. I’m never good on the first round, so practice really makes perfect for me.

What are some really extreme design requests you got from clients?
I have a bride-to-be who wanted 4D fantasy kind of nails for her wedding. We did that for her and she had to sleep sitting on a chair to avoid damaging her nails! But she got really a lot of attention at her wedding! As we are always posting our unique nail artworks on Instagram and we have several loyal clients who are always willing to try out new trends to be ‘ahead; of their peers. These clients really make our day as their requests are really our passion!


Why do you think nails so important to Singaporean ladies?
The modern Singaporean lady is no longer a shy housewife. She has to balance business, family, social circles, etc. With the increase of time spent with friends, colleagues and clients, she has to be sure of proper personal grooming to have that good impression all the time. Not only nails are important. Hands, too. They come into the picture with simple actions like shaking of hands, a random sweep of hair, etc. If ladies can spend hundreds on good facial regimes and makeup, why neglect their nails?

What is your top tip to keep nails in shape, then?
Good nail grooming does not means to nail art all time, but at least a classic manicure with a monthly hand mask will ensure healthy-looking nails and hands that can ‘upgrade’ your confidence.

And why do you like nails so much?
My passion started years ago, when nails were not such a big thing in Singapore. That this ‘hobby’ passion of mine could grow to such a level is mainly due to the support I get from my husband and friends. They are constantly pushing me to master what I love doing, so I’m here now!

You also teach nail arts. How is that going?
Teaching my students now reminds me of my past. I had gone a long & hard way to get here, so I hope my students can cut short their learning journey and achieve their goals faster. Teaching also allows me to share my passion, and I hope to inspire more enthusiasts to share this passion of mine and be successful in what they are doing.

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