Pay It Forward: Who Won and Who’s Packing Up Their Paintbrushes



Congratulations to Lavette Cephus for winning this week’s Pay It Foward challenge. We love how personal this challenge was for you and we applaud you for taking the steps to build a life for you and your daughter through the nail industry. We love the symbolism of the open door and a wide open road that is representative of your bright future. Looking at this nail, we knew exactly what it stood for. This is the perfect example of the road you can take to become NAILS Next Top Nail Artist. We also loved that you took us to Mom’s House and showed us how it directly impacted your own life. Your design was well-constructed with lovely detailing work. We like that you combined 3-D sculpting with handpainted details to create a crisp, clear message. We know this nail and your story will inspire others out there. Congratulations on pushing yourself and encouraging others to not give up. This is great work.




CND head judge Jan Arnold said, “Your message was simple, graphic and crystal clear. Beautiful story, excellent precision!” Gelish’s Danny Haile said, “We thought that your message/charity was portrayed well in your design. Your technique was nice and clean and you marketed your story well. We liked that you were able to relate your own life and accomplishments to this experience.” NTNA winner Ryoko Garcia said, “The door looks perfect. The road is clean. The mom and the child are well done. Your video is edited great. Thank you for sharing your story.”


Other judges described this design as “inspirational,” “symbolic,” “impactful,” “bright, crisp, and clean.”


Read more comments about Lavette’s winning look in our Top 2 & Bottom 2 article. Lavette will receive a Harmony ProHesion Master Kit, a Gelish Pro Kit with LED light, and nine Gelish and Morgan Taylor Two of a Kind matching color duos. (Approximate value: $450)


NAILS Magazine and Gelish will also be sending a donation to Mom’s House in Toledo, Ohio, in Lavette’s honor.




The nail tech who is packing up her paintbrushes this week is…Lauren Boyd. Lauren, we love your sense of style and your unique take on every challenge. Your graffiti nails are truly works of art and we can’t wait to have you do our nails! We appreciated how you took our comments and suggestions and improved week after week. You pushed yourself to try new techniques and styles, and we can see how you’ve grown from the start of this competition. We will miss your signature style. We loved having you in the Top 5 and you should be proud to have made it so far! We look forward to seeing so much more from you in the months and years to come.


This won’t be the last time you hear from Lauren. She will move on to CND’s Last Chance Design Lab where she’ll have one last chance to stay in the competition. Check back next Friday to see who will move on in our Last Chance battle — Sherri or Lauren.


You can find follow Lauren at






Tune in Monday to find out the Week 9 Challenge and vote for your favorites! Good luck to our FINAL FOUR: Danielle, Lavette, Lexi, and Simone.