Ever since she first started competing three years ago, Lynn Lammers has wanted to be number one — and this year she made it. The competition was tough for Lammers. She had to beat out competition superstars like former three-time champ Trang Nguyen (2nd place) and six-time top-five competitor John Hauk (3rd place). International competitor Catherine Wong Li Mei took fourth place, and 2006’s third place winner, Michelle Sproat, placed fifth.
Lammers used Cirque de Soleil as her inspiration for her Fantasy Nail Art submission for IBS Las Vegas, and came in fourth in the veteran division. The design took Lammers months to complete, and is sculpted entirely out of acryclic.
1st Place: Lynn Lammers Lammers went from not even cracking the top 25 three years ago to placing fourth last year to the number-one spot this year. “I competed in every competition I could get to this year,” says Lammers, “twenty-eight in all.” Competing in every category, from pink-and-whites to fantasy nail art and everything in between, Lammers traveled to competitions throughout the U.S. and even went to Canada three times. She finished the year with 104 total points, almost double the amount of her closest competitor, and she’s just getting started.
Lammers hopes to compete just as actively next year and is striving to get some international competitions under her belt as well. She says she wants other techs to know that making it into the top 25 is a very attainable goal for anyone who sets their mind to it. “I totally recommend techs getting out there and competing,” says Lammers. “You won’t know if you like it or not until you try it, and just have fun. You’re going to learn a lot and improve your skills, and if you enjoy competing, success will come.”
2nd Place: Trang Nguyen Trang Nguyen makes his fifth appearance in the top-five (three times making it all the way to the top). Nguyen has been doing nails for 16 years now, and has been competing for 15. At shows, Nguyen juggles between competitions and doing demos for his company Odyssey Nail Systems, but he still makes time to practice to keep up with the ever-improving competition. “The competitions have changed a lot — all of the competitors are very skilled. To win a competition now, you must practice very hard,” he says.
3rd Place: John Hauk OPI technical advisor and competitor John Hauk came in third place this year, marking his sixth time in the top five. Like Nguyen, Hauk is a seasoned veteran in the competition arena. He has been doing nails for 16 years and competing for 13, and was NAILS’ number-one competitor in 2002.
Hauk is an avid competitor, with more than 200 trophies from competitions all over the world, and he loves the challenge of competing. “It’s in my blood,” he says, “and with the competition getting tougher and tougher it motivates me to work that much harder.”
4th Place: Catherine Wong Li Mei Catherine Wong Li Mei placed 14th last year, but now she has made it all the way to number four. The Singapore-based competitor earned first place in the Fantasy Nail Art competition at IBS Las Vegas in July, and fourth place in the Hand-Painted Nail Art category.
Standing beside her model Gina Silvestro (right), Wong displays her submission for the Fantasy Nail Art competition. Wong’s entry included detailed three-dimensional acrylic sculptures as well as intricate flat nail art paintings.
5th Place: Michelle Sproat Michelle Sproat continues to build momentum with her fifth-place finish this year. Sproat came in third in 2005, the year of her first-ever competition. She has recently cut back on competing, citing the immense amount of time it takes to stay near the top. “I decided to back off on competitions this year and dedicate more time to international trainings for OPI and servicing clients in my salon,” says Sproat. “But I like competing and I have a real passion for trying to be the best, so we’ll see about next year.”
Show Winners IBS Las Vegas (June 28-30) (Superpoints) Hand-Painted Nail Art, Novice: 1st: Yasushi Arakawa; 2nd: Yeo Jung Shim; 3rd: Gina Stanberry; 4th Hiromi Yano Hand-Painted Nail Art, Veteran: 1st: Kirsty Meakin; 2nd: Mariko Nakamura; 3rd Elena Sivakova; 4th Catherine Wong Fantasy Nail Art, Novice*: 1st: Ghenna Gonzalez; 2nd: Kyoko Amemiya Fantasy Nail Art, Veteran: 1st: Catherine Wong; 2nd: Patricia Wong; 3rd: Hsiao-yi Liu; 4th: Lynn Lammers *No points are awarded for categories in which there are fewer than three competitors.
To see video of the competitors at Premier Orlando’s Design Sculptured Nail Veteran category, go to www.nailsmag.com/nailstv/ and click on “trade shows” under the business tab.