Sponsors

  • Gel Two

  • IBD Beauty
  • Kupa Inc
  • LeChat
  • Orly Beauty
  • Swarovski
  • Wildflowers Nail Academy

Product Sponsors

  • Swarovski

Profile

Full Name: Valerie Ducharme
Hometown: Laval, Quebec, Canada
Salon: Valerie Ducharme INC
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Mixed-media and dip systems
Favorite Nail Trend: Catwalk nails

What sets me apart from the other candidates is my versatility. I can execute many nail styles all depending on my mood. However, those who know my work can easily recognize my brush strokes. I believe that people will want to vote for me because I am energetic and positive. I apply myself and put a lot of effort into my creations. I know that people will be able to see the stories I tell through my art. Through my art I am free and I can express myself.

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Week 10: Wildflowers

Nails on Point

Mental chaos is what happens to me when I have to create without a theme to refer to. My mind goes into overdrive with a thousand and one ideas that jostle and collide, creating  pure chaos. That is when I totally lose myself. So here is my interpretation of neo-impressionist pop art chaos. When I’m creating, I have to stop to meditate and breathe in order to ground myself. I have to find ways to anchor myself, because otherwise, I live in an imaginary world of creativity and it’s easy for me to get lost in it. I have to find a balance, so that I can be there for my children, my family, for myself and my responsibilities. I made a paper collage that resulted in an image that represents me: colorful, fun, chaotic, and psychedelic. I am, and urge others to be, confident in our differences. I do not try to please others by fitting in a mold, I remain true to myself. Creativity also lies where we least expect it, sometimes in the crafts of our childhood.

Click here to watch a video diary for these nails. 

 


Week 9: EzFlow

Avant Garden

The seed needs soil, a safe space to grow, and to plant its roots. The natural curves of plants remind me of their fragility. Despite industrialization, they find small spaces in order to survive. I wanted to demonstrate their fragile habitat in a tiny terrarium and the beauty of a paradoxical world by defining the lines of a solid structure as very graphical. It’s the balance of life. I looked at the branding of the product. Here are the words, as I perceived them, that define the range: EzFlow is a symbol of grace, femininity, romance, it is classic and reflects both classical and modern beauty. The shimmering colors of this collection had to go in the same direction. Although everyone sees me as a little rock and roll, ride or die kind of woman, I never get tired of creating a flower world. The flowers are symbols of transformation, fulfillment, and beauty. In my Avant Garden, I planted rich colorful seeds without really knowing what was going to come out of it. What bloomed was a mixture of textures, shine, and grace beyond the structure that was my secret garden that I was protecting. Now I let myself explore and flourish in this wonderful garden of creativity. The free edge of the nails represents the roots from which the flowers grow. I also perceive the branches with small buds as a representation of my creative ideas in maturation right before they flourish. The rocks are the obstacles we face; we can get around them and continue our way, or let them stop us. The golden gate is my secret garden. The small tiles represent the mosaic of a city.

 Click here to watch a video diary for these nails. 


Week 8: KUPA

All Dali'd Up

She is an ordinary woman, the kind you don’t look at twice when you see her on the streets. However, if you only got to talk to her, get to know her, you’d realize that she has her secrets and her desires hiding deep in the drawers of her heart and soul. She works hard and tirelessly to reach the top of this pyramid. She knows that if she reaches the top, she will find happiness. A big dream supported by fragile little nails.

So much happiness is offered to her by feeding her with the spoon of her dreams: NTNA. She finally tries to show in her true light, under the gaze of others, with the fear of being criticized and judged. She presents her art to the judges, the public, and her fellow artists. Her art = her essence (the eyes that look at her from the top of their pyramid). She finds his story quite similar… his fears, his doubts, his visions, they are fascinating and disturbing. All these things keep him awake at night. His nails are not solid like rock, they are soft so they can adapt to the change that each challenge reveals. His nails are a reflection of a range of emotions.

Despite the criticism she provokes, she feels the support of her family and her friends. They help her move forward. His nails are moods during the great stage of life, filled with doubt, fear, joy, wonder, madness, hope, sorrow, purpose, fulfillment, awakening , of love, hatred, anger… they are the colors of a full life.

The pyramid represents action toward something bigger. The tripods are the necessary support given throughout this adventure. The tongue and the spoon are the competition itself, nourishing, and rewarding. The drawers are the hidden secrets that I finally let explore. The eyes perching on a pyramid are the observers. They have the power to love or to hate. Ants are the parasites that prevent me from moving forward, which give me black ideas and distract me from my goals and objectives.

Click here to watch a video diary for these nails. 


Week 7: Gel II

Thrill Seeker

What could be better than being inspired by our cravings? Sugar Rush is an ideal theme park for me. I’m inspired by nature and landscapes. I constantly stop to look, touch, and feel, I cannot live without nature. I go there to relax and recharge.

The only thing I like as much as nature are sweets. What if the mountains were made of ice cream? I could climb them, do trapeze between two of them. From these mountains a cascading chocolate stream would flow. And in this stream I could slide downstream on a sugar donut. When I climb its sugared cliffs, the smell escapes from the valley, and when hang-gliding over the valley, you would be amazed by the abundance of what this amusement park has to offer. A candy land filled with sugar and thrills.

Sugar Rush, a place of a thousand and one colors, tastes, and heavenly scents. Of course, the adrenaline is at its height when the heart attack invades us. It can be caused by an excess of rides or an overdose of sugar. At Sugar Rush, you just have to spin the wheel to find out which plush toy you have won.

I first created my world on paper, with my inspirations greatly influenced by my cravings. From mountains made of ice cream cones, where you can climb, zipline, and slide down its streams on tubes. Are you starting to get a little hungry?

Click here to see a video diary for these nails. 


Week 6: Bio Seaweed Gel

Two Negatives Make a Positive

It is my pleasure to present you my sixth challenge, my negative space reversed, with Bio Seaweed Gel. I took a risk this week and I hope with all my heart that I did not innovate too much with my abstract nail art. This week I had problems grasping the meaning of the theme. To me, it’s always important to find a story to tell in order to inspire me and especially to find a way to reinvent what has not yet been done. All that came to my mind was geometric shapes. Shapes can be purified for art. I like them because their simplicity gives us room to breathe, to create. But in this case, for this theme, to draw inspiration from a cube is not obvious. Finally I found some cube images superimposed, as well as a sculpture with a gaping hole. An empty space in a solid area. That was to be my negative space reversed. I managed to develop my story: the impact of an invisible force that creates a void. This finally allowed me to see a thousand and one colors. Without this emptiness, no color could have been observed. The positive and the negative together to create the masterpiece of a lifetime, filled with a facet reflecting the colors. This creation is inspired by chaos.

Click here to view a video diary for these nails. 


Week 5: Orly

Pastel City

Street art is for me is a way to get a message across, to defend a cause, to express an idea. This art form that comes from the street is a very powerful medium of communication that targets a wide audience. Orly’s healthy nail products are enriched with several antioxidants and vitamins in their polishes and in their gel. The emphasis on health gave me the idea to talk about our environment. So I created my nails with the theme of safeguarding nature, because in the 21st century, the protection of the environment has become a major issue. Here is my message: Let’s protect our planet one step at a time. Let’s all do our part. Nothing is more precious than the land and the water.

Click here to see a tutorial for these nails. 


Week 4: ibd

Heartbreaker

Heartbroken: A Narcissistic Valentine’s Day

This is the story of Snow White of the modern times. In 2007, there was a giant leap into the world of technology; this made social networks more easily accessible. Phones are now more that just devices that allow us to call our friends and family — they are now  a computer, a camera, and a tool for work and entertainment. Phones are now one of the 50 most influential technological gadgets of all times. Our phones have become the mirror of ourselves. They even becomes toxic for some of their users. Of course, the phone alone is not responsible for the profound change in our daily lives. Our behaviors, influenced by social norms, are easily modified because of how accessible everything is. All these changes are only a few touches away.

Social networks allow us to see ourselves in a different light, and because of this, some people fall in love with their own reflections. So be careful: Even if the character in this love story is fictitious, this love story happens every day.

In my story, Valerie spends days contemplating herself on social networks. She is uninterested in everything around her and nourished by her success. But when Steve Jobs rises from the dead, he builds an app that causes all of the phones and social medias to self-destruct. The love that Valerie felt for herself has just been destroyed because she can’t access her social media accounts. She doesn’t know how to exist, she feels empty, and heartbroken…

Click here to watch a video diary for these nails. 


Week 3: LeChat

Hand in Hand

I could have called this set  Valerie and Ludovico, but  Ludovico and his piano sounds better. His music is meditative, introspective, and simple. It makes me feel good and it transports me. It makes my head fill with ideas, it helps me escape. His music is an endless source of inspiration for me. As you already know, art can take different types of colors and shapes. That’s why I created gears, it represents the way everything comes together when ideas perfectly fuse and it all connects.

Click here to see a video diary for these nails. 


Week 2: Akzentz

Vintage Couture

Paco Rabanne was a Spanish couturier. He defined and reinvented fashion in the 1960s. His avant-garde and shocking dresses totally seduced me. I could see that he studied architecture; he used those skills in the making of his dresses. I just love the clean lines of Paco Rabanne, this great artist succeeded in creating collections that were both avant-garde and provocative without compromising the beauty and femininity. So here is my vintage interpretation with the Akzentz gel paint. It’s a wink to his early work and let’s not forget flowers for his perfumes.

Click here to see a tutorial for these nails. 

 


Week 1: CND

Runway to NTNA

By trying to understand the Libertine collection, I think I became a little crazy… I lost all my bearings and felt more and more lost. This collection attracted me so much, but there were some things I didn’t get. Between my tears, I figured out that Johnson Hartig was an alien that came here to create collections that were completely crazy. What a relief, I thought I was broken! The reason I chose the Libertine look I did was its flamboyant colors. However, for the same reason it gave me a hard time. The creation itself is difficult because the combination of the nails must fit perfectly, and the balance between too much and not enough is hard to reach. I took care to observe the little things all around me, because inspiration can be blocked when we put too much focus on an idea, and then nothing happens. I created a mood board that I can always refer to when needed (and this time, I needed it a lot). I created all my 2-D elements with Shellac. I never thought I could create so much jewelry with Shellac. What makes me very proud is my little badass dog with his emoji necklace. My rings remind me of my father who is a jeweler. What strikes me as funny is that I always told him that I would never ever make jewelry, yet here I am doing the opposite of what I said in Shellac.

Click here to see a video diary of Valerie’s nails.


Sponsors

  • Gel Two

  • IBD Beauty
  • Kupa Inc
  • LeChat
  • Orly Beauty
  • Swarovski
  • Wildflowers Nail Academy

Product Sponsors

  • Swarovski