So Hot and So Cold: Who Won and Who’s Packing Up Their Paintbrushes


Congratulations to Lexi Martone for winning this week’s So Hot and So Cold challenge. This is a record fifth win for Lexi! We love Lexi’s overall clean, crisp nail art style. While we hoped for more original art for this challenge, Lexi’s interpretation of the Heat Miser and Snow Miser was a cute take on the hot vs. cold theme. Her metallic, ombre, and distressed backgrounds with a mix of matte paints were very on trend. Using tips here was a smart decision because her nail shapes were consistent and flattering, and the tip application was perfect. We also like that the contrast between the hot and cold hands was obvious and bold.




CND head judge Jan Arnold said, “Nail shapes were consistent and flattering. Creativity and originality fell a little flat this week. Nice, tight write-up.” Gel II’s Doug Smith said, “Your artwork is really crisp and beautiful! The detail is amazing and I love the metallic elements you incorporated.” NTNA winner Ryoko Garcia said, “Great choice of the theme! Your hand painted work is always crisp and sharp. Using metallic gel-polish is very trendy and matching this theme really well. I love them!”


Other judges described this design as “your signature style always shines through,” “trend-worthy,” “great use of colors that pop,” “great demo.”


Read more comments about Lexi’s winning look in our Top 3 article.


Lexi will receive a collection of products from Gel II, including the new Cordless 40G LED Lamp, the fall Foggy London color collection, and more (approx. value $400).




The nail tech who is packing up her paintbrushes this week is…Simone Gilbert. Simone, as a two-time winner and frequent top finisher, we are sad to have to eliminate someone so talented. We love how invested in this contest you’ve been. You are a true professional and it’s been a joy to have an international voice and perspective in the contest. Your sculpting skills and attention to detail are stellar. We enjoyed watching you push yourself week after week to create intricate works of art. That secured your spot in the Top 3. We loved having you in the competition and we will miss seeing what you have to offer. We look forward to so much more from you in the months and years to come.


This won’t be the last time you hear from Simone. 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 — Lavette or Simone.


You can find follow Simone at:








Nail Art Gallery:


Tune in NEXT Friday to find out the final Top 3!