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Heart your manicure at Salon Couture

Erin Bailey, 19, of Gurnee gets a Valentine’s Day manicure from Stephy Kurr, cosmetologist, at Salon Couture in Gurnee.
Erin Bailey, 19, of Gurnee gets a Valentine’s Day manicure from Stephy Kurr, cosmetologist, at Salon Couture in Gurnee.

This Valentine's Day, let your nails do the talking instead of candy conversation hearts. Nail art is trendy according to staff at Gurnee's Salon Couture, and they have ideas for a love-themed manicure.

Erin Bailey, Gurnee resident, said nail art goes beyond the usual manicure by including an artist's touch, like a theme or story, she said.

"The coolest ones I've seen are storyboard nails, or one that went from summer to winter [in colors across the nails of both hands]," Bailey said.

On Feb. 4, Bailey and fellow stylist Stephy Kurr practiced some Valentine's Day nail art with hearts, glitter and accents. Valentine's Day is a busy time for full service salons like Gurnee's Salon Couture, as clients come in to get pampered and look their best for the holiday.

Kurr, Libertyville resident, said nail trends are following the ombre hair trend, in which the tips are lighter than the base color. "A lot of people also have accent nails, typically on the ring finger or pointer finger, which are painted differently than the other nails," she said.

For Bailey's nails, she used both trends by dipping her tips in powdered glitter and painting large white hearts. "Nail art is small, so if you want your designs to be bold, you need color contrast," Kurr said.

As Kurr dipped Bailey's nail in red glitter, Bailey said "This reminds me of the slippers from Wizard of Oz."

Kurr said she painted through high school. "We're artists of the whole body," she said. Though Salon Couture's clients come in mostly for hair, the stylists would love to do more nail art, she said.

Kurr learned her trade at the Avon Institute. "It's all about beauty inside and out – giving back to society and making sure our products are natural and don't hurt the environment," she said. 

Bailey trained at the College of Lake County's beauty school while attending Warren Township High School. Salon Couture will be her date for Valentine's Day, but if she wasn't working she'd rock some loose curls and go out for steak, she said.

Yessy Molinaro, Salon Couture stylist who used to have her own salon in Costa Rica, said one of her favorite clients came in to get ready for a date. "She came in with this mess of hair, but when she left she looked so gorgeous, I myself fell in love with her," Molinaro said. "She got married so I guess the date ended good."

Nell Hughes, owner, said the classic dinner date look for 2014 is "loose curls, a no-chip manicure and natural make-up."

Hughes was only 22 when she opened Salon Couture's first location in Elgin seven years ago. Gurnee's Salon Couture opened in March of last year, and kept on staff from Salon Glow, which had previously been in that location. 

The cosmetologists were on hand at Gurnee Park District's Enchanted Evening Feb. 7 to do hair and make-up for six Disney princesses and smaller make-overs for the kids attending the dance.

For Valentine's Day weekend, Salon Couture will offer special gift packages on nails, hair, facials, waxing and massages. For information, call 847-543-8200.


Salon Couture provided these tips for a simple do-it-yourself Valentine manicure – or stop in and they'll do it for you.

STEP ONE: Remove any nail polish. Shape nails with a file – choose a shape that will suit your designs, whether it's oval, square or pointed. Use cuticle oil and a base coat to protect your nails and prevent polish staining.

STEP TWO: Paint on a coat of red polish – Salon Couture uses O.P.I. products. While the polish is wet, sprinkle on or dip nails in SuperNail loose glitter. Make sure to leave yourself canvas space for step three.

STEP THREE: Using a toothpick, drop small dots of white polish in a desired pattern – plan one big heart on each nail, diagonals or just an accent heart on your ring finger. Use the toothpick to shape the dots into hearts before they dry. Other shape ideas include lips or Cupid wings.

STEP FOUR: Let dry, slap on a top coat and admire.

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