Betina Goldstein (@betina_goldstein) is a household name when it comes to editorial nail artists, and she’s on the cusp of launching her own jewelry company (more on that later), but life wasn’t always so glamorous. Like many ambitious young adults, she packed her bags and moved to New York City after college to pursue a career in television. She landed an internship in the post-production department of NBC’s Saturday Night Live!, where she discovered a new passion. “By dress rehearsals on Saturday, the post-production work was finished, so a few interns would assist the hair and makeup department,” Goldstein says. “It was my first glimpse into the world of professional beauty and I was fascinated.” Over the next few years, Goldstein held variety of jobs (dog walking, designing floral arrangements, casting audiences for The Jerry Springer Show) until she fell into the beauty industry again, by chance.
“I was working for a company that produced runway fashion shows,” Goldstein says. “We were on location and one of the producers asked if I knew how to paint nails.” Eager to please, Goldstein said yes without hesitation—little did she know, 27 models needed their nails done backstage. “After the adrenaline rush subsided, I realized I found my calling. I continued working in the production industry while building my portfolio as a manicurist,” she says. “The more people I worked with onset, the more often I was recommended to other clients.”
Today, Goldstein has nearly 40k followers on Instagram and she’s quickly becoming one of the most recognizable names in the nail world, but that didn’t come without challenges. “Working without agency representation took me out of the running for high-profile jobs in New York,” she says. “But agencies were reluctant to take me on as an artist because of my limited portfolio. So I took on all of the editorial and no-budget work that I could find.” Working strictly on editorial and commercial campaigns (and countless nude nail looks) left Goldstein hungry for creativity. “That’s when I started experimenting with nail art on myself,” she says. “Painting with oil on canvas has long been a hobby of mine, so I taught myself how to translate the techniques of light and color to this new tiny canvas.”
Goldstein quickly recognized that the majority of people don’t (or can’t) wear elaborate designs to work. To create a look that’s both corporate-appropriate and fun, she developed the mani ring. “The idea sparked when I was playing around with large pearls,” she says. “I wrapped the pearl in wire and made a bird’s nest, and turned it into a ring. I wore it to an event and multiple people asked me to try it on, but the pearl was glued to my fingernail,” she says. Goldstein toyed around with gold wire and beads and created her first handmade mani ring but without the fingernail glue. She posted a photo on Instagram and received an unexpected response—people wanted more. With that, Doublemoss Jewelry came to life.
“If you look at my nail art, you will see I’ve always loved intricate floral patterns,” Goldstein says. “Doublemoss is the name of a rose I came across while looking for inspiration. The description read ‘delicate but extremely resilient,’ which I feel is a perfect representation of my jewelry.” Doublemoss falls into the fine-jewelry category, meaning Goldstein’s team will develop a collection of rings, earrings and necklaces using 14k gold as their primary metal, along with high-quality gemstones like rubies, freshwater pearls and diamonds. “I want Doublemoss to be known for unique yet approachable designs with exceptional quality,” Goldstein says.
From the outside looking in, Goldstein appears to have it all figured out—she’s just scratching the surface on an editorial nail career that’s steadily on the rise, and she’s at the helm of a new company. “I can’t say it’s easy,” Goldstein says. “I have a hard time finding balance. Building a company from the ground up takes an unbelievable amount of time and dedication, and it’s especially hard to find balance in the fashion industry because there’s no regard for holidays or weekends,” she says. “The biggest advice I can give is to do something that you’re passionate about, something that equally excites you and challenges you. That way, it never feels like work.”