Jessica-Marie Ellison, an instructor at Yorkville School of Makeup and Esthetics in Toronto, picked up the award for Nail Tech Artist of the Year.
The Metro Toronto Convention Centre was the setting for the 17th annual Contessa Awards, a photo competition designed to recognize Canada’s most talented beauty professionals. Of the 22 awards presented at the November 13 ceremony, two went to nail technicians.
Rheanne Thackeray’s designs (left to right)
The winner in the Nail Enhancement Artist of the Year category was Rheanne Thackeray, a nail tech and esthetician at Kenneth Blair Salon & Spa in Lloydminster, Alberta. This tech of five years admits she’s on something of a roll. “I started competing in Allied competitions two years ago and I’ve been doing really well,” says Thackeray, who was a first-time entrant in the Contessas. Her specialty, she says, is gels: “When I started in nails, they were the hot new product. All my clients get them. It’s pretty much that way throughout the area.”
Ellison made the heart out of black acrylic and added amber stone appliqués. She used a form that had been doubled for length and sculpted it out right from the nail.
Jessica-Marie Ellison, an instructor at Yorkville School of Makeup and Esthetics in Toronto, picked up the award for Nail Tech Artist of the Year. (She also won in this category in 2004.) Her theme this year: shoes. “I have a serious love for shoes,” says Ellison. “I love them almost as much as nails.” She also wanted to inject a note of fashion savvy into her entry. “I think people are missing out on the fashion aspect of nails. In terms of nail art, we’re sort of stuck in the ’80s,” says Ellison, who often treats clients to designs featuring stilettos or purses.
To get these nails to look like a fashion sketch, Ellison applied two coats of white enamel over Brisa gels. After allowing the polish to dry thoroughly she used a pencil to sketch her designs, then went over them with a black illustration marker. She painted highlights with pink watercolor paint and finished with two layers of top coat.
These sculpted acrylics were made with Creative’s Metro powders. She sculpted each piece of the 3-D stiletto individually, then assembled them to form the shoe.