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A Magazine for Sheffield

Ellen O'Connell Fizz Fingers and the Natural Nail Club

Ellen O’Connell is part of a growing community of nail artists in Sheffield who are pushing the boundaries of creativity to create wearable art.


I may be a little late to the party, but a while ago on Instagram I started noticing the most beautiful, hand-painted nail art coming out of studios in Sheffield.

Keen to know more about this blossoming community of artists, I got in touch with Ellen O’Connell, also known as Fizz Fingers, to chat about natural nails, nail art as a form of creativity and her experience of setting up a new business during the pandemic.

Hi Ellen. Nice to meet you. First things first, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how Fizz Fingers got started?

Hey! Fizz Fingers started back in the depths of the first lockdown after falling in love with nail art thanks to the very talented @nailsbyyagal. When I was furloughed, I bought my first gel kit and practised on myself, my girls and my (very) patient boyfriend. I then spotted that @glossnailsbybillie was looking for a nail tech to occupy a desk at GLOSS nail art studio, so I applied and was successful. I’m now there full-time and could not feel more at home with that incredible bunch.

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The intricacy of some of your designs is pretty incredible. What do you think about the idea of nail art as an art form?

It gets me so excited! I love that manicurists are starting to get more recognition for their insane skills.

Creating nail art is a mindful and therapeutic process for me. I’ve never been good at drawing, painting, sculpting or writing, but painting tiny little works of art on people’s nails seems to be my thing. The fact that it brings joy to the wearer is the biggest bonus.

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I’ve noticed a flurry of nail artists emerging, including yourself, who align themselves with the Natural Nail Club. Why do you think there has been a move towards more natural nails and how does it feel to be part of this community?

I think this is largely down to innovative products in gel technology such as builder gels and overlays. I know how appealing the quick fix of extensions can be, but to see the satisfaction on clients’ faces when they achieve dreamy, healthy nails naturally is a great feeling. Seeing the results, I can’t see myself leaving the Natural Nail Club.

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Starting a new business during the pandemic, especially one which relies on you being able to meet with people in person, must have been a challenge. How have you been navigating the ups and (lock)downs?

Lockdown gave me the free time to practise for hours on end. I am very grateful to have had that time to focus, allowing me to jump in feet first when I went full-time. It’s terrifying starting a business, especially with the uncertainty of recent times, but there was no better place for me than GLOSS.

Your designs are wonderfully varied. Can you tell us about some of your favourites and how they came about?

I am still figuring out my signature style which has been so much fun. My favourite designs are ones that grow out beautifully on a natural base with something adorable on, perhaps some mini fruit or some seasonal florals. Most of my designs are based on the work of other fantastic nail artists – too many to name, but my girls at GLOSS provide endless inspiration.

by Felicity Jackson (she/her)
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