At age 28, Chicago native Ash Crowe has channeled her creative instincts into a career as an in-demand nail artist. She’s painted, sparkled and spackled the nail beds of everyone from pop-music icons to models in magazines (e.g. Marie Claire) and on runways (e.g. designer label Akira). For this month’s Spotlight, we ask Ash how she exudes personality through her nail designs and through her ensembles.
Ash Crowe Nails the Balancing Act
Celebrity nail artist and Instagram sensation (check out @astrowifey) Ash Crowe would rather overshare across the manicure table than on social media. Yet this year, she’s letting her fans and followers get to know her story, meet the face behind the nails, and support her work in new ways including an upcoming natural skincare line and new t-shirt art.
Ten years into her career, celebrity nail artist Ash Crowe has an incredibly dedicated fan base. She has built a community of over 71,000 (and growing) highly engaged Instagram followers and launched the #naturalnailgoals hashtag. They’ve applauded her accolades – including being named Refinery29’s most mandatory nail artist to follow in Chicago and Modern Salon’s Top 100 Beauty Professionals of 2017. They also clearly support Ash’s chromatic, creative stylings but they also support her as an entrepreneur. “This year, I’m trying to branch out and share more about myself,” says the sought-after industry star who has only featured herself in seven of her last 200 posts. “People are now putting a face to the artwork.”
“You get the best result when you allow people to do what they’re good at.”
While doing nails at ELOQUII’s booth for theCURVYcon in NYC this September, flocks of girls raved about how they already follow Ash’s work. “I had no clue. It definitely feels like you’re putting in hard work and people are receiving that and keeping up with me. I don’t think about myself that way but people want to order and support you even from afar.”
Now she’s creating new merchandise that gives her fans what they want.
In 2018, two projects are underway. First, a new round of graphic tees like her previous ‘Worship The Wu’ and ‘Go Hard In The Nail Paint’ creations. And second, a natural skincare line for manicures and pedicures. Ash appreciates that her followers trust her professionally. “You get the best result when you allow people to do what they’re good at,” she says. This is also a sentiment she expressed about the level of trust she felt about one person on the ELOQUII Spotlight shoot: The stylist.
“I trusted her eye and her judgment,” she explains. “Plus, she kept elements of me in there like my necklaces and rings that are part of my identity and I even sleep in.” The two creative collaborators put together memorable ensembles that aligned with Ash’s self-described street art-inspired personal style.
Just look at the sequin jumpsuit or the purple lame top. “It reminded me of Prince, so I said, ‘Let’s try it.’ And the purple satin top with the cheetah jacket was so crazy, so rock star. I love the element of being unexpected.”
Commonly seen in sneakers and dresses, she has filled her closet with unusual or asymmetrical styles and statement pieces. It’s no surprise, then, that she also loved the pearl-studded long sleeve top with tulle underlay. “I naturally love, love, love the 3D element. It was totally me. I could see myself wearing it on a regular basis.” This piece was also reminiscent of one of her favorite ELOQUII looks she wore to both a wedding and on a TV interview: a black tube dress with lace sheer overlay.
Having clients such as Lady Gaga, Zoe Kravitz, Lily Allen and a strong local Chicago roster, Ash is using fashion to express her personality through more than just nails whether she’s in her home studio or on our set.
Who are your style icons?
Cher and Sade for their throwback vintage style. Solange & Rihanna for their unique and identifiable looks.
What was your first ELOQUII purchase?
A blue sweater tank top with lace-up ribbon on the side. I get obsessed with something and wear it constantly.
How did you connect with ELOQUII?
I direct messaged ELOQUII on Instagram when they were coming to Chicago, which led to a call. I had no idea that my mom had sent them a handwritten letter about me already with 30 pictures she printed out of me. I was so embarrassed and then I realized how thoughtful it was!
What moment do you remember feeling your best?
Presenting to Chicago public high school students about how I turned an afterschool painting class into having my own nail-art business. I was wearing a long-sleeve turtleneck dress with asymmetrical cuts.
What style are you most excited to try in 2017?
A statement jacket – oversized and floral. I only have practical ones because Chicago gets cold.
Inspired by Ash? Us too! Get her looks below to match your next manicure, then shop all our new arrivals.