Friday, March 5, 2010


By Samantha Harris Author Politics As Usual

Remember this Lee Press On Nail commercial from ’85?

Well HER Nails is the, “Couture Lee Press On nails for the 21st century.” Melinda Mann Rivera fused her love of jewelry and nail art into event-nails. A set of temporary nails that she custom designers for you. She says her nail designs are, “whimsical, extravagant and unique.” HER Nails can design acrylics, natural nails and event-nails with minx, polish, appliqués, chains, bobbles, pearls, really anything your heart desires.

Melinda’s favorite accessory even before nails is jewelry the natural next step was for her to figure out a way to incorporate those jewels onto her fingertips. “Jewelry and nails go together, event-nails are nail jewelry.” She recalls making her first set of event-nails, from a broken pair of doorknockers purchased at the LA swap meat and, “glued nuggets of doorknockers to her finger nails”. She would love to see her event-nails reach a larger market in the next three to five years, “I don’t want them mass produced but I would like to see them in Intermix and Kitson. Hopefully having a high end version and even a set for little girls.” Currently she is trying to perfect adding zippers to her designs, “I’ve been playing around with zippers, that’s my new project, figuring how to put real zippers on nails. I’ve painted zippers on nails but I want real ones.” And, whom would she like to outfit in these tips? Jennifer Lopez or course.

If it were up to Melinda your nails would be long, oval and dripping in designs. “Really long nails are my favorite. The sky’s the limit if I can fit it on there it’s going to go on there. That’s the beauty of event nails you can do anything you want and take them off at the end of the night.”

Her predictions for nail trends this summer are aqua/green, coral and neutral skin toned nails. For the launch of Sex and the City the Sequel Melinda will be offering, “limited edition Sex and the City nails for each character.”

If decked out, dripping with stones, fly for the night nails are what your looking for then you need a set of your own custom event-nails by HER Nails. You can be as specific with shape, length and color or leave the theme up to Melinda either way within 10 days your ten fingers will be wild for the night. When you’re the envy of your friends and they all want a set of their own you can throw a nail party with Melinda at your house (if you live in the greater Los Angeles area).

HER Nails is a way for Melinda to bridge all her loves, “I like most women am very complex and what I do reflects all the many parts of who I am. And I try to cater to women to make them feel better about who they are. Part of what I enjoy about my job is be around girls and getting a chance to do some really girly sh*t.”

Her other love is working for Youth INC. were she helps build confidence in young women through social justice programs. She teaches art programs to fourth through twelfth graders. Young woman who she feels have lost their confidence, “Most of them deal with self-esteem and body issues. I am helping girls learn more about what beautiful means.” She says, “Growing up in a city that caters to models and actresses can really fu*k with your head. It means a lot to me to show these young girls that I’m a plus size model and show them my pictures and show them that all women are beautiful.” Melinda would also like to donate HER Nails services to young girls going to prom; “I am trying to think of a way for teachers to offer HER Nails services to girls this prom season.”

If you want your own set of custom event-nails, designs or want to throw a nail party contact Melinda at and be sure to check out her designs at Her and Her Nails.

In Her Own Words:

How did you get involved with Ladies Lotto?

I had heard about Ladies Lotto from a few different contacts in Los Angeles, but there weren't really a ton of LA events going on so even though I was interested in getting involved, I wasn't exactly sure what it was or how to make that connection happen. Then Natalie kind of serendipitously found me. She reached out to me, we met for lunch, and quickly realized how much we as individuals, as women, had in common but also what a strong vision we shared for women's work and the need for collaboration and support in the female community. As a nail designer, a model, a teacher, and an LA Native with many of the same girlfriends since Kindergarten--most of my professional and free time is spent working with women and girls. There is so much talent and passion in us, so much to be shared--but places like Ladies Lotto need to exist to help foster that communication and support.

How have you contributed to the LL Community?

I only joined LL this past year, and have been working with Natalie (Blacker, founder of Ladies Lotto) to brainstorm ways to strengthen the LA chapter. We have a lot of existing members already and so many more that I've spoken to that are interested in joining. We just need to have the framework to support new membership and keep the LA chapter alive and strong. I'm hosting the Lovers Rock event on February 10, and will also have a big part of the Women's Work event in the spring. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get the LA Chapter going strong. We are all so busy with out work, but we all need to commit a little more time to getting things going on the West. So if you're in LA and you want to help, please be in touch.

How has the LL Community contributed to your life/company?

I use the LL Community to publicize my nail days in Venice as well as for general advice and connections. I have met a lot of great women through LL and look forward to all the opportunities that will surely arise out of a strong local chapter. Just knowing the community is there, I find myself stumbling upon things often that I want to share with my fellow sisters. I try to keep my emails to a minimum, though there are surely a few things throughout the day that cross my mind to share. It's really great to know you basically have this sisterhood of women, many of whom are strangers, that are just a click away with support, advice, and good energy. Most women, most people, don't have that. It's no small thing what Natalie and the Ladies Lotto Community have created and maintained over the years. I'm proud to be a part of it.

No comments: