Caitlin Iley

Nail Tech Talk: Tayla-Rose McBride of TaylasDream

By Callie Iley | 29 April 2023 | Feature, Tech Talk

Taylasdream Nail Tech Talk Feature

Freehand artist, Tayla-Rose McBride, shares the motivation behind swapping tattoo ink & needles for gel products & brushes.

Pontypool-based nail stylist, Tayla-Rose McBride, has been a vivid dreamer with an interest in art for as long as she can remember. The former tattoo artist has, in recent years, used her Instagram account to document her creative journey, and believes in making anything happen with a dream and a vision.

Tayla boasts extensive experience in the art with a range of mediums, and has designed some of her own body artwork based on dreams. She has a degree in visual communication and found her preferred canvas for expression to be nails. “There are endless opportunities and avenues to embrace in the nail industry,” she enthuses. “I’ve never felt so fulfilled in a career before.”

Tayla combines her love for both the nail and tattoo industry, with this nail-themed tattoo flash sheet.


After graduating from a graphic design course, Tayla started working in a design studio, soon realising that she wasn’t suited to an office environment. “I’m autistic and struggled with office formalities,” she explains.

On leaving her job, Tayla completed a tattoo apprenticeship and worked in the tattoo industry for four years. “Completing the apprenticeship was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was more challenging than degree,” Tayla reveals. “I’m so proud of how much I grew as an artist during that time, and it taught me to analyse my work. I learned so much and wouldn’t be the nail tech I am today if I hadn’t undertaken tattoo training.”

The tattoo industry ground to a halt during the lockdown, with artists unable to carry out services, much like the nail industry. “I struggled with depression during the lockdown, and my mum suggested I paint nails as an outlet for my creativity. I started painting press-ons at home, and a passion was ignited. I knew I wanted to pursue a nail career and direct my energy solely towards the craft.”

After the lockdown ended, Tayla commenced nail training at Kaycie Kyle Brislington Salon in Bristol. “I thought I’d be suited to a more hands-on, less formal approach to art,” she shares. “Kaycie has been doing nails for over a decade and helped me problem-solve as I trained. She takes pride in nail fundamentals and structure, which is the basis for any good nail service. It was the perfect introduction to my nail career.”

Influence & inspiration

Tayla’s aesthetic is anime-influenced with Kawaii elements, and she loves creating freehand designs for her clients. “I love bold colours and clashing colours. If my clients ask me to choose a design, I tell them to brace themselves as the finished result will be as subtle as a freight train,” she laughs.

Her love for pink is shown both in the nails she creates and throughout her nail space, situated on a Pontypool High Street. “If I had to pick one colour to characterise my personality, I’d choose pink. I have a pink salon, and a pink Hello Kitty-themed kitchen at home. It isn’t a colour choice, it’s a lifestyle!”

In the salon, Tayla offers mystery manicures via a gumball machine. “I filled a gumball machine with various nail ideas, which takes the pressure off my clients to decide on a nail design, and it gives me the opportunity to tap into my creativity. I love freehand nail artistry, and there is so much room for innovation and growth in the nail industry. It’s great to be a part of it.”

“I still have such a long way to get where I want to be and it’s only the beginning for me in terms of my artistic journey with nails, which is so exciting. You can take nails to levels that no one has ever seen before.”

Tayla hasn’t left her tattooing days fully behind her, often turning to tattoos when she’s seeking inspiration for nail designs, as well as artists, music, and designer prints and patterns. “I never get my inspiration from one place,” she explains. “I choose whatever draws my attention. The preferences of my clients are varied, which keeps me practising all elements of nails.”

“There are so many similarities between tattooing and nail styling. You must have a steady hand, offer a superb client consultation, and manage the client’s expectations. Both offer the opportunity to push yourself to perfection at every appointment, and evolve.”

Career highlights

Tayla had the opportunity to work as a subcontractor, creating nail styles for a comedy scene in the show, Am I Being Unreasonable?. “It was my first ever experience of being on a TV set and I loved every second of it,” she shares. “I created a set of L&P acrylic nails with nude gel polish on a hand double, and a press-on nail to match, as the concept was for a scene with a nail injury.”

She also worked with Netflix for three days, creating four sets of L&P acrylic enhancements for a show currently in production. Alongside her work subcontracting, Tayla cites starting her own salon and being listed as a UK Hair & Beauty Awards finalist as some of her top moments of her career.

Fun fact

Tayla has a long-haired chihuahua called Daddy, who Tayla credits as her best friend and source of moral support. She has a portrait tattoo of the dog, with nautical-inspired designs around him, as they lived on a narrow boat together, with Daddy as captain.

Follow TaylasDream on Instagram, here.