For some, the Super Bowl is about football, family, and cheering on the home team. For others (me), it’s about shoveling as many Totinos Pizza Rolls in my mouth as humanly possible while cranking up the volume on the commercials and halftime show. And for those in the latter camp, some good news: You don’t even have to sit through the game this year, because most of the ads are dropping early — including my personal favorite, "Is Pepsi Ok?"
The spot, which plays on the classic waiter question, features Lil Jon, Steve Carell, and Cardi B. But the real star of the show is Cardi’s Swarovski crystal-encrusted Pepsi manicure, which she satisfyingly click-clacks against the can.
Fascinated by her blue-and-red bejeweled claws, we caught up with Cardi’s go-to nail artist, Jenny Bui, to get the scoop. She told us that the nails were Cardi’s idea, but that the star initially only wanted one color: blue. "I suggested that she do three colors to match with the Pepsi can," Bui says. "I actually tried to create the Pepsi logo with crystals, but Cardi said no, because she didn’t want to give away that she was doing a Pepsi commercial [before it aired]."
— Pepsi™ (@pepsi) January 25, 2019
Bui started by painting on white, blue, and red polishes, getting as close to the brand colors as she could. Le Chat’s Into The Deep nail polish, which rings in at just under $7, ended up being the perfect match for the blue, Bui says. Then came the real task: painstakingly glueing on every last Swarovski crystal. "I used around 25-45 Swarovski crystals on each nail. So, altogether it was hundreds of small crystals," Bui says, adding that she sourced the bling from Dreamtime Creations. "Ultimately, it took around two and a half hours to complete."
In the end, it was well worth the effort, with fans taking to Twitter to share their praise. "The Pepsi ad would not work without them nails," wrote one fan, while another posted, "A LOOK OK? & the Pepsi color theme. Her team really works hard forreal."
Now, with this fan-favorite ad filmed and ready to make its Super Bowl debut, Cardi and her team are planning her next move. "I am very excited to work with her for the 2019 Grammys," Bui says. "I don’t know what she’s wearing yet, so we haven’t decided on the nail designs, but it will be very Cardi." It always is.
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