It’s with much excitement that we announce the 12 finalists in our inaugural NAILS Next Top Nail Artist contest.
Contestant #4: Jane Weiner
Salon name: Gloss Salon
Hometown: Asbury Park, NJ
Preferred nail art medium: Freehand designs using nail polish
Favorite nail trend: I love the current obsession everyone seems to be having with art deco patterns. The clean lines and cool color combos really work on everybody.
“My name is Jane and I do nails. I see nails as a perfect canvas for miniature masterpieces and every client as an opportunity to help them showcase what they love, what they connect with, and what they think is just plain awesome to the world. I have loved making crafts and art on a small scale since I was a child, and one day I realized that the smallest scale happened to be attached to my fingers. My love of pop culture and nerd culture is what drives my designs. I have made nail sets based on everything from favorite childhood cartoons to board games and video games; comic book characters to album covers and famous horror movie villains; and everything in between. I love clean lines, bright colors, and the look on my client's faces when they see a finished nail and go, ‘This is just so cool!’”
Contestant #5: Julie Ventura
Salon name: Bliss Hoboken
Hometown: Union City, NJ
Preferred nail art medium: Hand-painted using nail polish or acrylic paint
Favorite nail trend: Textured nails! Textured nails (caviar, velvet nails, etc.) are much bolder fashion statements and you can get super creative with the placement of the velvet and caviar. It’s art you can feel!
“I may be a new nail tech, having my license for only two years now, but I’ve been doing nail art for countless years before that. There is no greater feeling than to “WOW!” my clients with nail art and have them love their nails as much as I love doing them! I always try to innovate new and old nail trends and turn the simplest trends into extraordinary works of art. Whether it is as simple as a French tip or as complex as a mini portrait, I dedicate every ounce of my passion to making each design the best of the best! In the end, I’m just here for fun and to share my love for nail art!”
Contestant #6: Lauren Wireman
Salon name: Wildflowers
Hometown: Cape Coral, FL
Preferred nail art medium: acrylic paint
Favorite nail trend: moon-manicured almond shaped nails
Lauren started her beauty career as a hairstylist in 2001. In 2004 she began doing mainly nail art on other people’s manicures, but after soaking up everything possible from the Internet, she taught herself how to do sculptured acrylic, sculptured hard gel, airbrushing, 3-D nail art, one-stroke roses, nail foils, and everything in-between. Sometimes called the “Nail Ninja” (which she giggles at), she taught as an instructor for one year before venturing off to start her own private studio. She now has an overflowing clientele and serves as a private instructor for salons and other techs. When she’s not doing nails, she is leading worship at church with her husband, or jumping on her trampoline.
Contestant #7: Lexi Martone
Salon name: Finger Painted
Hometown: Dix Hills, NY
Preferred nail art medium: Gel-polish and acrylic paints
Favorite nail trend: Pointed/almond/oval nails
“Hi! I’m Lexi, and I’m from Long Island, N.Y. I’m 20 years old but I prefer to go by 19 and 12 months. I’ve been an artist my whole life. I could probably draw before I could walk or talk. I’ve explored just about every area of art there is. When I was in high school I fell in love with fashion design and went off to study it in college. It was there that I discovered that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wasn’t happy and art wasn’t fun anymore. When I came across the nail world I was hooked instantly. It was new and different, something I had no experience with. Just as in fashion, I was creating wearable works of art, but you don’t need to be a 6-ft.-tall, size 0 model to wear it. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like — nail art is for everyone. I want to show people the true art behind nails, that we aren’t just ‘polishing our nails.’”