If you paid attention to last year’s Next Top Nail Artist competition, then you know the name Lauren Wireman quite well by now. You would also remember that Wireman won the CND Every Week is Fashion Week Challenge. The prize package for this big win was a chance to attend NYFW to design nails in the CND Design Lab.
Back in May at Premiere Orlando, Wireman got a chance to talk with CND co-founder Jan Arnold who suggested Wireman do her nails for Fashion Week. At the time, Arnold seemed to already have a design in mind. As NYFW inched closer however, Arnold presented Wireman with an NTNA-esque challenge for her nails. “I learned that Jan wanted me to create three design concepts for her. The first being ‘cracked Earth’, the second ‘nails as armor’, and the third was up to me,” recalls Wireman who dove in head first to the nails as armor concept. “It’s funny, when you sit down with someone new, and they want you to come up with nails for them right then and there, it can be very challenging because you don’t know anything about them. Jan Arnold is totally different. Just by looking at CND’s advertisements, website, and Jan’s amazing sense of style, I feel like I already know her, and it was so easy for me to create nails that I knew she would love.” Wireman actually thought of six design concepts before forcing herself to put the pencil down.
Her armor nail design came about after an Internet search and a prototype was made for Arnold to see. Arnold was blown away by all the designs, but selected the armor one for herself. “I wondered why I even spent the time designing the other sets after I designed them, but I did it anyway, I didn’t want to disappoint,” says Wireman. As it turns out, one of her other ideas was chosen for the Libertine runway.
Shelena Robinson prepped Arnold’s nails. She had the daunting task of encapsulating wire netting into eight nails, which were sculpted out into a clear free edge using CND’s Retention liquid and powder. Once Robinson shaped the nails into perfection, Wireman took over. “I was not nervous at all. It’s funny when you hold someone’s hands you look down, and they are just hands, just like everyone else’s hands. She has nails just like most clients that sit in our chairs on a daily basis. I just focus on the task in front of me, have fun, and the nails just happen. I don’t expect perfection from myself because it’s unrealistic and frustrating, but I do push myself to do my very best,” says Wireman.
She created the shards and shields of armor out of full coverage silver press on nails, which are already curved to the shape of the nail, making them really easy to place. Wireman embellished with chains, bullion, holographic film, and six tiny poppies she hand-sculpted using shellac and jewelry wire. The flowers are removable, and were inserted into Arnold's nails for a runway show. It was a cool nail art take on a corsage for a special occasion. All in all, it took a total of 10 hours for Wireman and Robinson to complete Arnold’s nails. “It was really fun to watch Jan show them off during Fashion Week and rave about all of the compliments she received!” As a matter of fact, I observed a model at Opening Ceremony compliment Arnold on her nails, saying that Phillipe of The Blonds would love them. But Arnold isn’t the only person raving, Wireman had many positive things to say about the nail icon. “She is really easy going and easy to work on. Being around her gives me inspiration for days!”
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