clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Meet Chicago's Most Badass Nail Artists: AstroWifey, Spifster, and Crowezilla

 Photo: Courtesy of Crowezilla
Photo: Courtesy of Crowezilla

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Tomorrow night, Tipsy Zine and DJ Lani Love will host Tipsy Love at Beauty Bar. The girly-with-an-edge bash will feature "myself on the tables and AstroWifey, Spifster and Crowezilla on nails," Love tells us. Translation: This is your chance to get polished up by one of Chicago's most gifted nail artists—and swig a little something stiff. (Martini-and-a-manicure packages are only $15 a pop.)

Which master of the nail-polish brush should you try to book? Learn more about each of the three artists, below. And get the full event details here.

Photo: Courtesy of Astrowifey
Name: Ashley Crowe
Nail Art Name: AstroWifey
How you chose your nail artist name? It's a long and funny story that I usually share during a nail appointment if asked, but it involves a slang web dictionary and female empowerment. You will have to book an appointment to find the full scoop!
Artistic background: I've always been into art since I was a kid, and in high school I took a painting course with After School Matters. That was my first introduction into painting. Painting large canvas overwhelmed me so when I randomly painted a Keith Haring tribute on my nails I was instantly hooked. The challenge of scaling a painting extremely small is a really fun for me. I didn't at the time realize this would become my passion and career, but I fell hard in love and never looked back.
Signature nail art style: Extreme paintings on natural nails. I also really love fashion prints and art tribute nails.
Most complicated nail-painting job ever: Hmmm, this is a tricky one. I recently did a Jesse James artist tribute session, it was really detailed and took a lot of time. This has been one of my favorite manicure's lately!
Nail polish crush: I'm still obsessed with Jin Soon's Blue Iris, its my favorite pedicure shade and looks great on everyone. I am also a loyal Shellac'er—I love CND Shellac on my nails. Its such a gentle system that doesn't cause damage to the nails and lasts two weeks or more.
Dream nail client: Azealia Banks, she always has some really bangin' nails!
What's one other beauty service—besides manicures—you could never live without?:A relaxing pedicure! Nothing feels better than a fresh pedicure. I am also hooked on a good eyebrow tint. I love visiting my girl Jackie at the Benefit in Wicker Park.
Signature cocktail at Beauty Bar: I'm pretty simple: Gin and Tonic.
Song request for DJ Lani Love? Anything from the new Beyonce album! Obsessed!

Photo: Spifster
Name: Tacarra Sutton
Nail Art Name: Spifster
How you chose your nail artist name?: I went by "Spiffy" starting in like my senior year of high school, based on my style of dress and graphic designs. It eventually led me to research the name and settle at Spifster, the one who makes things "spiffy."
Artistic background: I started graphic design around the age of 12 or 13. I always was an artsy kid, doodling on something. Nails came when I wanted to stop biting my nails. Polish came first, then I started experimenting with designs, via sharpie markers
Signature nail art style: abstract patterns in bold colors with detailed line work.
Most complicated nail-painting job ever: no design is ever too complicated for me, but one thing that does complicate things for me: working with gel, actually! I just can't get it to give me my crispy lines
Nail polish crush: Floss Gloss. The girls of Floss Gloss have the coolest polish names and most clever inspirations for the shades.
Dream nail client: Beyonce, hands down. We're separated in the Virgo five days—we got some things in common.
What's one other beauty service—besides manicures—you could never live without?: Getting my hair done! Perfect color. Precise cuts. I'm blessed to manage a hair salon with the dopest on hair, Shervan McClain (owner). I'm pretty much set in stone on the hair tip.
Signature cocktail at Beauty Bar: Whiskey Sour with Jim Bean.
Song request for DJ Lani Love? Shabba by A$AP Ferg.

Photo: Courtesy of Crowezilla
Name:Shani Crowe
Nail Art Name: Crowezilla
How you chose your nail artist name: Crowezilla is a cyber name I developed in high school, just because I thought it sounded cool. I've used it as my name on most social media since then. When I started doing nails, people started referring to me as that, since the bulk of my nail career was carried by Instagram. No one calls me Crowezilla in real life, I just go by my name, Shani.
Artistic background: I come from a family of artists. My brothers is a retired graffiti artist and my father is an illustrator, so I've always been immersed in the arts. Since I was my a nail bitter for the majority of my life, I would always play around with artificial nails. In college I started doing my nails more often, which attracted clients. I would experiment with nail art and post the pictures, which landed me a job at Shine Nails Chicago.
Signature nail art style: My signature style is what most people would call tribal. I'm very inspired by African textiles, geometric patterns, and symmetry. Im also very into black and white.
Most complicated nail-painting job ever: I did some renditions of Basquiat pantings and drawings on a friends nails a couple years ago. It wasn't hard necessarily, but I had never tried to do anything like that before. It took a while, but they turned out great! The sucky part is, I forgot to take a picture, so the only evidence is a picture she posted on Instagram, of only one hand.
Nail polish crush: Don't make me choose! Although I've got to say, I really enjoy Color Club's entire line up of glitter. Super dense, great coverage, awesome product. One of my current favorites is Cherubic, from their holographic line.
Dream nail client: I would love to do M.I.A.'s nails! I just love her! What's one other beauty service—besides manicures—you could never live without?: I must keep a clean brow! I have thick eyebrows, which I love, but I must pluck them every few days, or risk looking like Drake—no shade.
Signature cocktail at Beauty Bar: I'm a fan of dark liquor, so I usually go for cognac or whiskey. A wise woman once said, "That Brown will never get you down." I carry those sentiments in my heart and my glass.
Song request for DJ Lani Love?: I wouldn't mind hearing "Yo Vogue" by French Fries. I enjoy working to house and electronic music.
· Astrowifey [Official Site]
· Spifster [Official Site]
· DJ Lani Love [Official Site]
· Crowezeilla [Instagram]
· Tipsy Love [Official Site]

Beauty Bar

1444 West Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL