Meet Emily Zheng aka ByChezNails on Instagram. She is the talented nail artist behind a lot of the nail designs you see across our social pages. Based out of Seattle, Washington, Emily works in finance but when she’s not at the office she enjoys traveling, pilates, reading and ice skating. Creating nail art is a therapeutic activity for her. She loves to experiment with new polishes and designs but overall wearing her art everyday is the most fulfilling part for Emily.
Being a second generation Chinese-American Emily shared that her culture is a fundamental part of her identity. “In my heritage, food is more than a delicious meal — food is family bonding, a time to gather with loved ones, and most importantly an expression of love. That’s why the Chinese ‘I love you’ is ‘你吃了吗’ (have you eaten?)” she explained.
To celebrate AAPI Heritage Month, Emily always makes the effort to support AAPI businesses, media, and creators throughout the month and year-round. Emily is also celebrating Asian culture through a series of nail art inspired by popular foods, traditional paintings, and current trending designs in Asia.
Read on to see our quick Q&A with Emily about beauty, nail art and her Chinese-American heritage.
Sheer nude works well for any occasion! I love wearing 2 coats of Macaron for an elegant and chic look on its own, or using it as my base color for nail art.
Bold colors are my favorite for a confidence boost. Bonus points if it has extra shimmer to help you shine! Public, which is a shimmering burnt orange, paired with fun accessories instantly boosts my serotonin.
Sleeping in, taking long walks with a friend, eating a delicious meal, and reading a good book.
My favorite series will always be Harry Potter. I read the entire collection probably 7 times in my childhood, looked up to Hermione Granger, watched all the movies, and visited Universal Studios Hollywood. Shoutout to my fellow Ravenclaws!
Probably not surprising for me to say, but painting my nails! It’s such a fun hobby and I love it.
One of my go-to comfort foods is mapo tofu, though my favorite dish of all time has to be my mom’s stir fried noodles with fish tofu and egg.
Michelle Kwan was the first AAPI public figure that I remember looking up to. She was such an accomplished athlete and has established a successful career outside of sports as well.
My favorite designs don’t require any special tools. If I can create nail art with just the polish’s brush and maybe a dotting tool (or Bobby pin), then I will! I remember being intimidated by all the tools I felt like I needed when I was starting my DIY nail journey. In reality, you can create so much with just the polish brush and household items.
Practice is key! I started in late 2019 and could barely paint my nails one color without getting polish all over my skin. After only a few years of painting my nails 3-5 times a week, I can now create so many different designs and I’m still learning how to get better every day. It’s such an enjoyable process for me and I can’t wait to see how my nail art will continue to evolve over time.