Full Name: Lexi Martone
Hometown: Dix Hills, N.Y.
Salon: Finger Painted
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Gel-polish, acrylic paints, colored acrylics
Favorite Nail Trend: Pointy nails, 3-D nail art

If you were following along last year then you may already know me. For those of you who don’t, I’m Lexi. I’ve been doing nails for two years, I love the color black, I live for Halloween and Christmas and can guarantee you I will use fashion as my inspiration 99.9% of the time. I’ve always been an artist, constantly exploring different mediums. I’ve tried them all until I set my heart on nails. So…what happened last time? I was in the Top 3 for four weeks, won two challenges, and then I did some stupid Halloween nail and got sent home. And no one has let me live it down. So, this is redemption. There is no room for mistakes this time. I’m here to win.

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Final Challenge: CND



For this challenge I wanted to take the key elements from both Libertine and surrealist artists and blend them together. For the geometric nails I used Delaunay’s paintings as inspiration. I used common shapes and colors she uses throughout her work.


The “Libertine” nails are inspired by the Dada movement. The dada movement is mainly based in typography and text collages so I used that concept to create this set.


The next set is inspired by Dali’s “Persistence of Memory.” I took Dali’s melting clocks and turned them into skulls and eyeballs. Skulls and eyes are both reoccurring objects in Libertine’s clothing, as well as surrealist works. The roses embody Dali’s “Meditative Rose” painting, which features a single floating flower.


The 4th set has different versions of Johnson Hartig’s face. Surrealist artists create a lot of altered faces and portraits. I created geometric faces, an eyeball “apple”-covered face to mimic “The Son of Man” and a removable face on a magnet. I wanted to mirror how Hartig prints images on his clothing so I used two of my own printing techniques. For this set I made my own drawing into a print and then created water decals. Hartig has worn several shirts featuring artists’ names so I chose to incorporate some of those who have inspired me in this collection. The skulls are a contour drawing similar to those of Jean Cocteau. For the final set I combined Cocteau’s outline drawings and Hartig’s screen printing and painting on his clothing. I used a 3-D printer pen as my second printing technique. The paint streaks represent Cocteau’s line drawings as well as Hartig’s hand painted clothing technique.


Click here to see Lexi’s inspiration on her Pinterest board.


Click here to watch Lexi’s final video.

Week 10: Gel II


To represent hot and cold I chose to use the Heat Miser and Snow Miser from the movie “The Year Without a Santa Claus”. They are two feuding brothers who both want their climate to reign supreme. I not only wanted to convey polar opposites in the theme but also in my mediums. I used the juxtaposition of metallic polishes and the flat acrylic paint to further convey the idea of opposites. I also used the contrast of shiny and matte top coats. I used an ombre technique on my two ring fingers to represent the blending of colors in the Reaction color-changing polishes.


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


Click here to see Lexi’s HOT and COLD Pinterest inspiration boards.

Week 9: SuperNail


The city of Townsville is under attack by Mojo Jojo and Fuzzy Lumpkins! The mayor rushes to the hotline to alert the girls of danger. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup fly off to save the city. They see Mojo and Fuzzy terrorizing the town! The girls kick their butts and stop them from destroying the whole city. Once again, the day is saved thanks to the Powerpuff Girls!


It’s no secret that the Powerpuff Girls are my favorite superheroes, but they also have some of my favorite villains. I’ve never gotten a chance to showcase them so I wanted to dedicate this to the villains. I chose two of my favorite and most iconic villains from the show. Everything is hand sculpted and painted using colored acrylics, gel-polish, and acrylic paint. The first frame, which showcases the Mayor and the Powerpuff hotline is complete with red blinking light. I used a soldering gun to hook up all the wires inside the phone. The next frame is the flying Powerpuff girls, leaving a trail of glitter. I sculpted their bodies around a small straw. I also used clay in some parts as a platform for the larger pieces of the characters’ heads and bodies.


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

Week 8: Gelish


I wasn’t exactly sure where to go for this challenge at first. A few charities came to mind but I wanted to do something a little more obscure rather than the charities everyone knows. I was in Salem when I first received the email and heard some places mention the Witches Ball Charities. I did some research and the light bulb immediately went off in my head. They hold a costume party every year to benefit both domestic and wild animals. They help to provide medical care, housing, and food for animals to live happy and healthy lives. I thought it was a super cool and unique idea and wanted to bring some awareness to it. It’s close to my heart because #1…umm it’s witches and Halloween so it had my attention immediately. And #2, I have three crazy little puppies so I love animals. I used part of the charity’s logo as my inspiration and added a bubbly smoking cauldron as she casts her spell to bring love to all of the animals. Since NAILS Magazine and Gelish will be donating to the winner’s charity I decided to “Pay It Forward” as well and donate to the Witches Ball along with creating my nail.


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

Week 7: It’s So Easy


My inspiration started with a picture of an eye with a clock inside the pupil. I used that as my central image and built around it. For the rest of the nails I chose to focus on different elements of a clock. The pinky highlights the clock hands while the other three nails display with internal gears and mechanisms of a clock.


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

Week 6: Dashing Diva


When I heard “bejeweled,” I immediately knew I wanted to use emerald since its one of my favorite stones. I realized I hadn’t done a fashion-inspired challenge yet, which is totally abnormal for me, so that’s where I went with this. I found some awesome snakeskin bags and intricate necklaces from a designer called Shourouk. I used the patterns and colors as the inspiration for these blinged out nails!


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

Week 5: Entity Beauty


When I first looked through the Entity ads there was one that stood out to me immediately, the flames. All of the other pictures were very light and airy and I’m drawn to the darker colors. I wanted to represent the fire in a sort of abstract way to make them a little more interesting than just a flame on a nail. I used a combination of 3-D and handpainted designs to represent the flame. I also added the Entity logo since that’s who we’re celebrating and incorporated a number 10 using the same style.


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

Week 4: INM


I am 100% Italian so my nails are inspired by Italy. Italians are all about the food so naturally that’s what I went with for my nails. I have gelato, some vino, spaghetti and meatballs, and Chef Luigi complete with a spinning pizza! I finished off my set with the sign hanging in my kitchen “Mangia e statti zitto”… Shut up and eat!


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

Week 3: ORLY International


For this challenge I wanted to take the iconic principles of a French manicure and put my own spin on it. When I think of the basic fundamentals of what makes a French, the following comes to mind: negative space at the cuticle and color at the tip. I started with this concept and knew I had to come up with an innovative “smile line” of sorts. I thought architectural structure would be a cool inspiration to develop my smile line from so I began researching some modern buildings in LA. I found some unique homes from an architectural firm based in LA that were ultra modern and almost futuristic. I loved the varying heights of the different walls and windows layered on top of each other. Color-wise, I chose to stick with black and white. They are a neutral color palette that matches with just about anything and can go from day to night effortlessly, another key element of a French manicure. I embodied the essence of a French without creating an old school pink-and-white look.


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

Week 2: Bio Seaweed Gel


For this week’s challenge I decided to use one of the polish names from the new Bio Seaweed Gel collection as my inspiration. I chose “Treasure Chest.” Naturally, the first thing that popped into my head was a giant skull, so I decided to go with a pirate theme. I created an overflowing jewel-encrusted treasure chest, a treasure map with some pirate gems across the way, and the pirate herself equipped with gold earring and feather hat!


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

Week 1: Young Nails


My caption is “witch is the new black.” Anyone who knows me knows how well this really suits me. I bought a sign recently with this quote on it, and it was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the challenge. I have an infatuation for all things witchy and magical, as well as an undying love for the color black. I only wear black, ever, and I thought this was just the perfect little humorous caption for myself. My witch is complete with her black cloak, of course, casting a spell over her bubbling cauldrons. I wanted my caption to be incorporated into the scene somewhere instead of just randomly placed across the nail so I wrote it in her spell book. It just wouldn’t be “all about me” without a little Halloween magic.