Nailed it!

Local teen turns Jewish ideas into Cosmo-worthy nail art

nailart image
Sometimes, Spangler makes nail art based on Jewish concepts--like this design of “evil eyes.”

Eva Spangler learned more than math in her eighth-grade class--she discovered a passion for nail art when her teacher started coming in with intricately painted nails, and soon decided to make her own. Over time, her dedication increased until she was painting nails for several hours a day in lockdown.

Spangler, now 18 and a senior at Oak Park River Forest High School, was recently featured on Cosmopolitan 's website in a compilation of the best Passover nails on Instagram.

"My Passover nails are my favorites because they were so fun to make; it was a really creative experience relating to the plagues and deciding how I should depict them on the nail," Spangler said. As part of her artistic process, she considers which holidays are coming up, considers their symbols and meanings, picks a color palette, and researches what other nail artists have done.

"It's more difficult finding inspiration for Jewish nail art online, so one thing that made me really excited about Cosmo reaching out is that there aren't a lot of other articles out there," she said. "It's exciting to go from looking at articles like that to being in the article myself!"

Jewish nails are a special focus for Spangler, who grew up attending Oak Park Temple and currently enjoys participating in her school's Jewish Student Connection Club. In addition to nails for holidays like Chanukah and Rosh Hashanah, she also draws inspiration from the natural world and Jewish superstitions like the "evil eye."

"I like relating my Judaism to my nail art," Spangler said. She has also created nails based on cartoon characters, movies, nature, and outer space.

As Spangler continues to grow her skills, she said, "my goal is to be the best nail artist I can be while also balancing everything else in my life."

Visit to see more of Spangler's designs.

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