Ariana Grande's Go-To Manicure Is Perfect For Summer

Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP Images.
There are few celebrities these days who fully commit to maintaining a consistent signature aesthetic. We get it: With so many eyeliner trends and gradient lipstick effects out there, how could anyone stick to just one look?
Ask Ariana Grande — because she certainly can. Day in and day out, you'll find the singer rocking the same sky-high ponytail (sometimes adorned with accessories), dainty cat-eye flick, and swipe of nude gloss. But we're almost ashamed to say we've completely overlooked one other beauty staple she always wears: neutral nails.
Maybe the feature is a little less iconic than the updo she talks about almost as fondly as she does fiancé Pete Davidson, but the feminine colour choice is crucial to Grande's vibe nonetheless. Don't believe it? We asked her go-to nail artist — and founder of Nail Swag salon in downtown L.A. — Natalie Minerva about Grande's preference for minimal manicures, how she keeps her nails so damn healthy, and exactly why the nail art in the "God Is A Woman" music video looked so familiar. Her answers, ahead.
Refinery29: How long have you been working with Ariana Grande?
Natalie Minerva: "About two to three years in total, but the past year we've been working together consistently."
How does that work for your schedule if you're based in L.A. and she's in New York?
"Well, she just moved to New York, so I've been in and out of the city all summer. We usually have briefs on what’s coming up over the next month or two and plan it out according to her schedule. Sometimes it's like, 'Hey can you get on a flight today?' and I'm like, 'Sure, let's go!' You just kind of get used to that, in this world."

A post shared by NAILSWAG (@nail_swag) on

What nail color does she ask for the most?
"When I go and see her, we always use gel extensions, to keep her nails as healthy as possible. We kind of plan out the colour and design, we see the outfits and go from there. We both decide together. Normally, it's probably white. It's nice because it's so clean and simple."
She doesn't use acrylics?!
"No! Fortunately, I have this amazing gel extension system, Gel-X, and it only takes me 10 to 15 minutes to do a full set of nails. It’s soft gel, so it soaks off like a regular gel, but gives you length so they look like false nails."
So that's how you can change her nails so often?
"It's so much less damaging; you don’t even need to do any buffing or filing off the top of the nail. It's great for people who have really weak nails or for anyone who likes to change them a lot."

DRIPPIN SWAGU @arianagrande ???✨ This nail look yesterday ?

A post shared by NAILSWAG (@nail_swag) on

Tell us about those Chanel nails.
"Her look for the Amazon Music Unboxing Prime Day event was really sporty and very early ‘00s, so I thought this was perfect and it would match so well. I'd actually made those nails for her once before and she loved it! I've also done a neon version [for another client] that could glow in the dark."
What nail art did you create for her in the "GIAW" music video?
"I created two different sets for that video. First, we did the Sistine Chapel nails again, which she originally wore at this year's Met Gala. We loved them and were so obsessed with them. That was probably our most beautiful and most decadent manicure yet. It was so rich and pretty, and my personal favourite. The other was a light lavender with an opalescent sheen — it was this shell-like colour with a pearly finish."
Lavender seems to be Ariana's thing lately...
"She loves lavender, she's a big lavender fan. We do lavender for her everyday manicures often and, for the video, she kind of knew what she was wearing and the overall vibe, and lavender was just the direction we ended up going in."

More from Celebs & Influencers

R29 Original Series