Nailed it!


Nail technician, Juanita Bester is taking nail art to sharp new levels. She’s transforming tiny canvases into extraordinary masterpieces, one delicate stroke at a time.

Juanita Bester’s first step into the business world started many moons ago, crunching numbers in the world of accounting. Back then, she never thought she’d swap rands for canvases smaller than a R1 coin. Not until she woke up, and smelt the nail polish, that is!

“I have always enjoyed art, and doing nails. I remember giving myself a manicure as a child and making little stars with nail polish and a toothpick. Even though I have always been creative, I never thought I would be doing nails for a living.
“Since I was a straight-A student throughout my school career, it made sense to study accounting. But, over the years I kept gravitating toward my first love – art [especially nail art]. And so, I eventually attended my first nail course almost a decade ago. I remember walking through that door, instantly knowing that this was what I was supposed to do. I was finally able to combine my love of art and nails.”

With some dedication, practice and a ton of YouTube videos, Juanita turned her part-time hustle into a full-time career. During this time, she taught herself everything there is to know about the intricate craft and decided that her love of art was going to set her apart from other nail techs.

It wasn’t long before she entered – and won – all kinds of nail art competitions. Think tiny graffiti, space, 60s and hippy-themed masterpieces. It comes as no surprise that her fave kind of nail art is colourful characters and cartoons.

“Some competitions I have won and others I have lost, but that doesn’t matter. I enter them because I like it, and it’s fun. I like to challenge myself, see what I can come up with, and keep the creative juices flowing. I can’t help but see a set of nails as 10 small canvasses.”

After having completed hundreds of tiny art pieces, she opened her very own salon, Juanita’s Little Canvases. Today, and thousands of manis and pedis later, it still doesn’t feel like work. In fact, for Juanita, it’s like ‘hanging out and chatting with friends while making them pretty’. Talk about a win-win!

But, it’s not only nails that bring her joy – quite the cook, she loves whipping up some delish meals for her family. Her signature butter curry chicken a firm fave in the Bester household! Your typical mommy next door, Juanita can’t go a day without spending some quality time with her hubby Raymond and two sons, one-year-old Juan-Ray and 8-year-old Stephan.

And even though life isn’t always perfect – you can bet Juanita’s nails are! And let’s face it, there’s nothing a fresh manicure can’t fix. She shares more about her lifelong passion for little canvases.

Follow @Juanitas Little Canvases on Facebook, @juanitaslittlecanvases on Insta and @Juanita’s Little Canvases on TikTok

Common nail myths debunked
Gel and acrylic products damage your nails. The truth is that bad nail technicians damage your nails. If products are applied and removed correctly there should be no damage to the natural nails. The only time a product can cause nail damage is if the product is not approved for professional use.

Your nails need to breathe in between gel or acrylic sets. This is a myth because nails can’t breathe. When you have a nail technician looking after your nails you don’t need to take any breaks in between getting your nails done. Your nails should be in good condition at any given moment.

Cutting cuticles makes them grow back thicker. When done correctly you are only removing (cutting) dead skin from your cuticle. This will not make them grow thicker unless you also cut the living tissue.

UV nail lamps cause skin cancer. You need a UV/LED nail lamp to cure any gel nail products. The amount of exposure you get from the nail lamp is not enough to cause any harm. You are exposed to more UV rays walking outside in the sun than getting your nails done.
White spots on nails show calcium deficiency. The small white dots on your nails are just bruises caused by nail trauma and will grow out as your nail grows.

Putting nail polish in the fridge makes it last longer. Placing nail polish in the fridge will not make it last longer, but will however change the consistency of the polish. So, make sure to remove the nail polish from the fridge a few hours before using it for a smooth finish. Closing your lid air-tight and keeping it out of direct sunlight will make the nail polish last longer.