March 05, 2018 5 min read

If you’re anything like us and get excited every time your nails are done, well, no one other than Annabel (@followthatway) knows the feeling quite like you do.

To say nail art is a passion to her, is an understatement. She lives, breathes and loves everything to do with nails. She’s a driven young lady with already an amazing track record to boot! We have been very inspired by her story and growth in the community.

We were so lucky to have the pleasure to get to know and fall in love with her even more. Celebrating International Women’s Day, we are proud to present Annabel as our first feisty Zahara Warrior of the week! Read on for our full interview with master of nail art herself, Annabel Lee.

Zahara: You’re a graphic designer, and a nail artist. What else do you do?

I read books and talk to authors for a living! Sometimes, I make Youtube videos to go hand-in-hand with my nail art from Instagram.

Zahara: When did you first discover your liking for nail art?

Right after I graduated from Junior College. I started with swatching bottles after bottles of nail polishes, and then I plucked the courage to use a toothpick to dot some flowers. Looking back, it was a disaster, but totally worth it.

Zahara: You do such amazing and intricate nails! Where did you learn how to do it?

Thank you, that’s so kind of you to say! I didn’t really learn the skills specifically. From a young age, I’ve always been able to draw, or at least sketch a decent shape of a human being. I remember once, I was obsessed with English roses and I started looking at how artists paint flowers on canvas. Farbi Flora was one of my earliest inspirations. But, to translate canvas painting techniques into nail painting techniques requires a lot of time and practice, and therefore a lot of patience.Eventually everything just clicked.

Zahara: When did you know it was a passion of yours you knew you had to pursue?

When everything around me magically turns into a nail art inspiration. From toilet wall tiles to my colleague’s dress, I saw potential nail designs in almost everything. It’s scary and amazing at the sametime, because that just meant that I couldn’t stop thinking about nails. I’m also someone who loves challenges, and to be able to paint on 10 tiny canvases really gave me a mad sense of accomplishment. Coupled with the fact that I was gaining traction on Instagram andrealising people wanted to see more of what I come up with, I felt that this isn’t something I should give up on.

A post shared by Annabel Lee (@followthatway) on

Zahara: How did your family feel about this?

At first, hesitant andsceptical, and it’s notwrong, because the nail art scene is highly competitive, and I was working on a degree and so they didn’t really quite get why I was suddenly so invested in this. Right now, they’re 100% supportive and my mother is my number 1 supporter, and also my regular client every 3-5 weeks. I help my grandmother and some of my aunts as well. True story: I paint my uncle’s toenails gold every Lunar New Year.

Zahara: What are some of your accomplishments which you are most proud of in your life?

Right off the bat, working on a job that requires totally a different skill set from my degree. I majored in English Literature, but I’m working as a graphic designer. I think picking up the courage to create Youtube videos, edit them, and injecting my own style into them. Lastly, I'm super happy that I decided to take the plunge, go on a hiatus last year, and learn under the tutelage of a renowned nail artist and educator for 2 months to be a certified nail artist.

Zahara: What inspired you to start a Youtube channel?

Besides pushing myself to create things I wouldn’t normally do, I’ve always loved the idea of educating anyone who is interested. I thought a Youtube channel would be a great platform for that! I try my best to break down my techniques in drawing roses, and other designs as well. More importantly, I’m working on how to better provide video tutorials that are comprehensive.

Zahara: Many are fans of your work! Do you provide nail art services?

Thank you! Yes, I do provide services. Usually, I’ll release my schedule on Instagram so keep your eyes peeled for that! People usually come to me more often for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day.

Zahara: Describe yourself in 3 words.

Resourceful, Curious, Straightforward

Zahara: What are you currently binge watching?

Friends! Okay, I am extremely late to this but ever since it got on Netflix, I just can’t stop.

Zahara: Besides nail art, do you have any hidden talents?

I can play the guzheng. If I rewind to my secondary school days, I clinched the Gold with Honours award for the guzheng ensemble at the Singapore Youth Festival competition with my team. In fact, I got into my JC because of guzheng, so in somesense I’m eternally grateful that my mother pushed me to pick up a musical instrument. I also make a pretty mean guacamole – my boyfriend can vouch for this.

Zahara: What is on the top of your ‘to-do’ list today?

Do a gel nail extension for mythumb nail because I was stress-peeling it. And then replenish some nail items because I’m running low on them.

Zahara: What makes a strong woman?

Having the grit to push through, even during the toughest of times, and always possessing the tenacity to look out for each other.

Zahara: What’s your favourite Zahara product?

Definitely the Halal nail polishes! Thecolour range is beautiful, and I’ve already started telling my Muslim friends about Zahara!

Zahara: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully, I will be able to work with a brand I truly believe in and be an educator for their products. I also wish to work for a non-profit charityorganisation to help the disempowered.

Zahara: Complete this sentence: A beautiful woman is someone who…

takes control of her own life and not settle for anything less than her worth.

To follow and learn more nail art you can find Annabel through her Instagram and Youtube channel. We simply cannot wait to see what her next creations will be.

Till then, stay tuned for our Warriors of the Week tomorrow as we bring you another Zahara Warrior who’s creativity has passion for love and family is nothing short but admirable by all!

Love from,

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