NEW YORK — Yayo was poring over a pair of hands, one of the three to five she tends to any given day at Vanity Projects in Manhattan. With a small pair of scissors she cut and placed a thin foil on each nail, creating boundaries for the polish. Then, with the pad of her index finger and thumb, she held the tiniest of brushes and painted white polish within the lines. The final touch was a fine gold powder that she sprinkled over a clear base and buffed to a shine.

The artist herself wears elaborate 8-inch-long nails covered in crystals and handmade 3-D appliqués. Yayo calls them her “superlong bling-bling nails.” Think Edward Scissorhands, but with diamond-encrusted talons instead of shears. While she works, the clicking of her nails is often the only sound that can be heard.

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