Nail Care Has No Gender at Beverly Hills Nail Studio Bicolor

Welcome to 10 Questions, a monthly series that explores L.A. through the eyes of its coolest citizens.

UncoverLA 10 Questions - Bicolor Nail
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UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ

If the nearly 50 million posts of #nailsofinstagram are any indication, people love decking out their digits. Angelenos in particular have a penchant for fabulous manicures. Did you know that at 1,229 salons, L.A. County has the largest percentage of nail salon workers and businesses in the U.S.?

Helping pave the genderless mani movement in L.A. is Bicolor, a private nail studio in Beverly Hills founded by Tuguldur Erdenejargal, or 'TJ' for short. After moving here three years ago and learning the ropes as a nail tech, the 24-year-old Mongolian native opened the space with the belief that nail care has no gender and that nail art is meant to bring happiness to everyone. He's quickly become busy and booked and estimates that one-quarter of his clients are men with that number growing every day.

From pearlcore – a 3D manicure with pearlescent shades – to cloud-adorned jelly nails to chic checkered nails, TJ's glossy, meticulous hand-drawn designs posted to his personal Instagram @nailboii are making mani lovers swoon. So far, they've attracted about 7,500 followers (which is no small feat if you're trying to build a social following organically).

We caught up with TJ to learn more about his background, favorite nail trends, top L.A. spots, and more as part of our monthly '10 Questions' series where we explore L.A. through the eyes of some of the coolest Angelenos. Keep reading and scroll through the gallery above to check out more of his mani masterpieces.

UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
Photo: Courtesy of Bicolor Nail

What's your background and if not beauty and nails, what was your inspiration for starting Bicolor?

I was born and raised in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. I moved to D.C. four years ago and then to Los Angeles a year later. When I moved to L.A., I had the opportunity to do nail tech, and it was the first time I touched nail polish. I enjoyed doing nails as if I had found my calling. I always wanted to start my own business. I was a kid who said I would have a company when I grow up. But I didn't know what kind of business it was until I became a manicurist. That was my inspiration for starting Bicolor. 

Who were your role models growing up and who are they today?

My mother has always been my role model. She is very strong, determined, and always does what she wants to do. She never stops learning and is always eager to learn something new. So she's my biggest role model. Chaun Legend has been my role model since I started doing nails. I admire his work and I always learn a lot from him.

Do you listen to music while working? If so, what are your jams currently?

I've been listening to Clinton Kane's songs a lot lately. Sometimes I have to sit for a long time to do my clients' nails so listening to good music is very entertaining for my clients and me.

Other than running Bicolor, what does your ideal day look like from waking up to falling asleep?

In the morning, I start meditating and doing my morning exercises. I usually exercise at home using the Apple Fitness app, which saves me time and allows me to choose from a wide variety of exercises. Because I sit all day, I try to exercise for my lower back as much as possible. And somedays if I have time, I like to run in the park.

Breakfast is a very important meal for me, so I never miss it. Also, I study health science at the University of the People. This is my first year and I chose this field because I wanted to expand my knowledge about health and safety. I do my assignments and homework whenever I can.

If I have free time, I like to go to Echo Park, which is close to my home, and I think it has the best view of Downtown. I like to go to Pan Pacific Park also because it's close to work and it's big. I just love people-watching because it helps remind me that we are all different and we are all living in our own timeline.

What's next for Bicolor?

My immediate goal is to make Bicolor a big nail salon. There are lots of things that need to be done within the next year or two. But our main focus is to build our business model so that we can stand out from the other nail salons and give our clients an experience that can be had only in a Bicolor nail salon. As for our new branches, we are planning to open another nail salon in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.

UNCOVERLA 10 QUESTIONS - Bicolor Nail Founder TJ
Photo: Courtesy of Bicolor Nail

What nail trends and/or nail artists are you particularly excited about at the moment?

Negative space nail trends are the most exciting to me. I like to keep the back of the nails mostly natural and keep the multi-colored design on the front of the nails. Even if the nails grow, the manicure will look beautiful for a long time. It's really trendy these days.

I follow nail artist Sigourney Nuñez on Instagram and I love to see her designs. Her negative space nail art is so beautiful and I learn a lot from watching her videos.

You're sitting down with your 20-year-old and 80-year-old selves – what are those conversations like?

I had just moved to the United States when I was 20 years old. I was confused and didn't know what to do. I never thought that one day I would become a manicurist and open my salon. If I had the opportunity to give myself advice to a 20-year-old self: "Anything is possible, even if a lot of people say you can't. You can show them by your actions that it is possible." My 80-year-old self would say to me, "Thank you for not giving up on all these life challenges."

What's your spirit animal?

I would say unicorn. Probably because it's mysterious and magical.

You're taking a first-time visitor on a one-day tour of L.A. Where are some of your top stops?

If they only came one day, I would take them to West Hollywood. I think it has most interesting and fun places. My top stop is The Abbey.

I think I'd also take them to the Walk of Fame and Melrose Avenue. These places are still new to me because I also recently moved here. I don't remember the names very well, but many of the stores I've never been to on Melrose seem interesting. We'll be tired at the end of the day, so we'll go to EP & LP and eat dinner and have some drinks on the rooftop and watch the sunset.

Favorite outdoor place to get away in L.A.?

Little Tokyo is one of the most interesting places. Everything here is unique. The restaurants, the delicious mochi, and the cute otaku shops are of great interest to me. My go-to restaurant in Little Tokyo is Sushi Enya. I like the quality of their sushi and atmosphere. It's really different when you walk down the street in Little Tokyo. I always go to all the stores there, but Popkiller is one of my favorites.

Scroll through the gallery above to check out some of TJ's manicures and click here to book an appointment at Bicolor.

Bicolor Nail, 8383 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90211; (424) 234-6139; open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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