Full Name: Lavette Cephus
Hometown: Toledo, Ohio
Salon: Beautè Asylum
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic, polish, acrylic paints
Favorite Nail Trend: Handpainted detailed nail art, nail bling, 3-D art, and stiletto nails

I have been doing nails for seven years, and it’s so much more than work. I have a true and deep passion for nails. I love designing nails. I’m always trying to find the next new thing in the nail world, and I’m always eager to learn more. My clients ask and I deliver above and beyond their expectations.

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Week 4: INM


The ideas of inspiration for this challenge were taken from my life, some Google images and art itself. I am African-American and my country of origin is Africa. Africa is well known for its safari and wildlife, so I decided to incorporate this into my nail design, by sculpting the country itself and adding safari life to it. This is attached to a giraffe print nail. I chose this print because of the giraffe in the safari sunset image I painted on Africa. What also comes to mind are the different prints and patterns (tribal) that are worn in Africa. I love the tribal art so that inspired my tribal printed nail. African art is amazing. It has very vibrant, bold colors and it can be very abstract as well. I wanted to incorporate a little of my life and what’s important and I found a beautiful somewhat abstract painting of a mother and child. I had to paint this and everyone who knows me knows that my daughter is the most important person in my life. This painting shows the love of a mother. Part of the African culture is very unique, women wear a turban so they can carry items on their heads. Another form of art is the handcrafted mask they wear over their face. I wanted to test this technique although I can’t wear mine (my nail is) I wanted it to come to life so I made it in 3-D and made it look as realistic as possible.


Click here to see a video of how Lavette created these nails.

Week 3: ORLY International


For this challenge I wanted to try to stick to the modern French style, which has so much variety in 2014. I really like the French manicure style that has an opaque cuticle area and a bold free edge, (example a solid gray cuticle area with a turquoise free edge). So I decided to base my French look off this style. After researching a little about LA, the fact that it is the City of Angels stuck out to me the most. So my Angel standing over the city pretty much resembles the hour glass French look with the top of her wings and head creating the moon shape around the cuticle. So here’s my C.A. (City of Angels) French Manicure


Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial of how Lavette created these nails.

Week 2: Bio Seaweed Gel


For this challenge I could not stop thinking about creating fish scales in 3-D on a nail because I wanted to challenge myself. I thought of a book that I read when I was younger “The Rainbow Fish.” So after creating the fish I had to think about what else can I incorporate into this design? I figured I would have a man catching this beautiful rainbow fish. The two nails to the right of the fish create the scene from which the rainbow fish was caught. There is a school of black and yellow fish fleeing from a shark. So this left me with one nail to create and I thought I’d add another person in the boat with the fisherman. She is spotting a beautiful treasure along the shore. This was very challenging for me because I have never sculpted with gels before.


Click here to see a video of how Lavette created these nails.

Week 1: Young Nails


So after re-sketching my design approximately five different times and attempting and finishing one design with the caption “never look back,” I was just not satisfied. My friends say I am hard on myself, but I just want to make sure I am submitting the best work possible. Then my best friend asked me, “Why don’t you use your motto you made up when you opened your salon?” This was perfect. So this design was finished in about 19 hours broken up over a few days — and with a few redo’s. So the nails I am submitting to you today are inspired by my salon’s name Beautè Asylum and my motto/caption, which is “Crazy About Beautè.” Beautè is the French spelling for beauty. I went with this because I feel like all women are pretty crazy about beauty. So to explain the nails: I drew a woman who is obviously crazy about beauty, so crazy she’s pulling at her hair with all of the beauty thoughts bursting out of her head.