The Top 12 celebrated making the cut by creating works of nail art. Here, they share their reactions and their creations.
Ashton Harlan (Henderson, Nev.)
It’s something I’ve wanted to be a part of for a very long time, and now that it’s happened it feels so unreal — kind of like I died and went to heaven!
Dana Cecil (Dover, Ohio)
To make it to the Top 12 again is an amazing feeling. I’m so grateful that The NTNA team believes that much in my artwork! I included in my design some things that make me happy: a black cat, letter balloons that spell out my excitement, foils, mermaid glitter, and Swarovski crystals! I added 12 Swarovski stars to my design to represent the amazing stars in the Top 12. I can’t wait to get started!
Halley Fortenberry (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)
I feel like I’m over the moon! I feel lucky to have the talent that I possess, hence the golden lucky cat, also known as Maneki-Neko. When I was little, I honestly thought I was a cat, so I gave myself Swarovski Crystal wings so I could fly high. I feel like I’m destined for greatness, and the only way to go from here is up. I felt very much like myself when I was working on this creation, so I included a Pisces constellation along with circles, stars, and dots (which is something I’ve doodled since my school years). I’m into astrology and spirituality, so I’m happy when I’m thinking or talking about it, just as I’m happy to talk about making it to the Top 12 this year!
Hemi Park (Cupertino, Calif.)
I was caught off-guard when I found out I made the Top 12. I felt butterflies in my tummy the whole weekend after the announcement. I was laughing and excited but also freaked out. The unorganized pieces of my emotion are all in one giant nail tip to show you how I feel about making to the Top 12 and moving forward with amazing nail artists from all around the world. This artwork represents myself in three different cat forms with different emotions including the faces of my beloved kitties Meoo (grey), Tiger (yellow tabby), and Boing (the fat black one).
Jenna Jupin (Odense, Denmark)
Making the Top 12 feels like a wish come true! I chose to make my favorite kind of French nails with gel, deep smile lines, and a C-curve, just because they make me feel happy and complete. To challenge myself I created a crystal ball with me inside holding my hands up cheering in glitter rain.
Jennifer Wirth (Waunkakee, Wis.)
I feel proud as a peacock! It feels absolutely splendid to be one of the Top 12 for Season 5. I am relishing the experience of digging deep within myself to express my artistic talents in this competition.
Katie Barnes (Warwick, England)
Out of this world!
Kostadina Tsihlas (Athens, Greece)
My brain was spinning around from reading the news! Since this was my fourth time applying, I learned you have to never give up.
Liza Waitzman (San Diego)
I’m kinda freakin’ out! The waves of emotion that you go through are mad intense! Obviously I’m super stoked and so excited that I feel like my head’s going to explode or spin off my body! You cannot text your friends and family fast enough so you can immediately post on social media and exclaim to the universe that, “I freakin’ made it!” You’re so damn proud of yourself for making it this far! Then after that dies down a little, the panic sets in, then the stress. This just got real! The “feels” you get through this rollercoaster are amazing, yet emotional. So the nails I’ve created are a caricature of myself caught in a vortex of emotions and it’s nuts.
Sammi Newell (Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada)
I feel like the girl on fire and I could fly across the universe! I spent a lot of time trying to think how I would explain my feelings in nail art form. I asked my hubby how he would describe me when I’m excited and he said it was all about my facial expressions. I decided that I would use a picture of me excited and my husband chose this one! I also feel like I’m dancing but with no music playing.
Trish Johnson (Shelby Township, Mich.)
Being chosen for the Top 12 has me feeling like a celebrity on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, just being the queen that I am, honored to be part of the action once again!
Valerie Ducharme (Laval, Quebec, Canada)
I’m following my own path, proud, independent, and happy. To be part of the Top 12 is a dream come true, it is simply amazing! I have the chance to evolve next to artists filled with talent. I am completely mad with joy, overexcited, and motivated to be part of the 12 best nail artists in the world.