A huge thank you to everyone who entered this year’s NAILS Self-Portrait Contest. The winners were once again phenomenal.
MEET THE WINNER
A cosmetologist for more than 30 years, Merilee Vados has always had a knack for painting. “I’ve been doing miniature painting on my clients’ nails right from the start at my fi rst job,” says Vados, owner of Nails by Merilee at Jackiegene’s Hair Studio in Lino Lakes, Minn. “ I even paint miniature portraits of pets and people on Christmas ornaments and jewelry.”
It took her about four hours to complete the winning portrait. “Many times I thought I was done, but I just couldn’t stop puttering with it,” she says. “The hardest part was fi nally deciding I was done, then top-coating it, and leaving it alone.
“I am known by all of my clients and everyone at the salon as ‘The Nail Artist.’ I’d say 90% of my clients get some kind of artwork, be it handpainted, glitter, 3-D, etc. I post photos of my work on Facebook, Pinterest, and on my website — and my clients love seeing their nails on display.” You can check out Vados’ art on her website, www.nailsbymerilee.com and on Facebook (search “custom designed nails by Merilee”).
1st place: Merilee Vados, Lino Lakes, Minn.
2nd place: Molly Fleming, Bloomington, Ill.
3rd place: Christy Slavinsky, New Port Richey, Fla.