We first discovered Brittany Asch a year before we opened Paintbox. Following her beautiful work with flowers as BRRCH became an addiction, and luckily one that we could feed daily via her lush Instagram feed. We were beyond excited when she booked an appointment with us and when we launched Nails of New York, we knew we wanted to feature her and her work.
For our interview, Brittany invited us to her Fort Greene home, where she and a team of two assistants (plus her dog Tennessee) were busy prepping for a rehearsal dinner and wedding in the following days. We watched as she worked her magic with ranunculus, wild blackberries, blushing bride protea, and roses galore, with a manicure that sparkled in the afternoon light.
Why do you paint your nails?
I paint my nails because if I didn't, I would constantly be looking at tired hands. My mother always had beautifully painted nails and taught me that a lady keeps her hands manicured. Which, of course, I initially rebelled against and went polish-free for a good while. But that's all changed. Having my nails painted makes me feel like the hours of schlepping I do for work are actually lavish hours. I can't wear heels on the job but I can have nice nails. I love being a woman and I embrace it in the details. When you work in decorative arts, you might as well decorate yourself, too.
Brittany and a bunch of blushing bride protea (our new favorite flower); an assortment of ranunculus looks beautiful against a velour sofa.
Do you have a favorite polish color or go-to look?
I like durable polish. I work with my hands and there is a lot of water, dirt, and thorns involved so instead of giving up on manicures completely, I go gel. I like defying expectations so having painted nails as a floral designer does just that and gel allows me to have a manicure that lasts.
Where do you find inspiration?
I'm inspired by so many things. Color interplay influences my work in a big way. I'm inspired by eccentrics, renegades, and creatives, and by art, music, fashion, and film—I could go into specifics but there's so much to reference, I'm not sure where to start. I'm inspired by the senses and endlessly by nature's landscapes—space, forests, the ocean. It's an endless pool there. What is there to not be inspired by, really? It's life, it's brimming. Taking notice of the world around you keeps things fresh and exciting. I think it's a great tragedy to think you've seen it all.
Brittany wears Cosmic Wonder in rose gold with Geometry Class accent nail.