When our client Usha Joyrama's gorgeous manicures kept popping up in our Instagram mentions, we took note. This globe-trotting corporate lawyer-by-day, classical-Indian-Dancer-by-night gal had serious flair and a passion for manicures we couldn't help but love. We wanted to get to know her better so we met up with her post-manicure (she schedules them bi-weekly), and spent a few hours wandering SoHo talking about the magic of classical Indian dance (Usha showed us some incredible hand choreography), her cosmopolitan background (born in Malaysia, educated in Australia, lived in Singapore, and now in New York), and, of course, nails.
Usha wears Divergent from the Paintbox FW'14 Collection.
Why do you paint your nails?
Simply put: I am never without a manicure. And I’ve been doing gel for my manicures as long as I can remember. As soon as I get one, I just want to take tons of photos of my hands. I love adornment—I am in no way a minimalist. I love colors on colors, jewelry on jewelry, blingy rings—all forms of embellishment, which is how I view nails. They’re truly an accessory. The only time I would not have my nails done is if I keep it too long between appointments!
Cosmopolitan combo: Usha's vintage Céline bag paired with a stack of her traditional wedding bangles.
A classically trained Indian dancer, Usha has been dancing for over twenty-five years.
Do you have a favorite color or go-to look?
I’m very open to experimenting with looks. I love bright colors and I don’t like nails that blend in so I opt for looks that will stand out. No matter what look I choose, I want it to make a statement. Paintbox is amazing because I can choose looks that feel experimental, yet they’re toned down enough that they go with anything and I can wear them anywhere (including work). But, really, I will try anything once! When I choose a look, I just go with whatever my mood is that day.
Usha's favorite post-manicure indulgence? An almond milk latte at Two Hands.
Where do you find inspiration?
Dancing. I dance as often as I can. It brings me so much happiness and joy. I’ve been a classical Indian (Barathanatyam) dancer for over 25 years and though I don’t perform as much anymore, I still make time to practice at least once a week. Who needs therapy when I can dance?
I’m also inspired by living in New York. There is so much energy and character here—I can just wander around the city for hours soaking it all in. That’s actually how I found Two Hands. I was walking around after a manicure at Paintbox and came across Two Hands and fell in love. Now it’s become my ritual—a manicure at Paintbox followed by a latte at Two Hands. I've lived in a few different cities and my mantra is that wherever you live, you build a routine and rituals and those punctuate your life. And I love New York because you don’t have to play a role. I can be a corporate lawyer and yet wear funky, non-corporate clothes (on the weekend, of course). Here, I have the freedom and the luxury to express my personality any way I want.
Follow Usha's adventures in NYC and around the globe via her Instagram.