Nail tech Albee Chen’s boldly colored twist on Japanese-style art won the top spot this year. Darlene Tewitz’s elegant stiletto nail design took the first-runner-up spot, while Kryssy Hawkins’s sharp geometric design was the second-runner-up, and KaSundra Anderson’s glitzy foil nail look was the third-runner-up. Congratulations to all of our finalists, and many thanks to everyone who entered this year’s competition. 

Meet the Winner

Albee Chen
City of Industry, Calif.

A nail tech for over 10 years, Albee Chen used to run a nail salon, but now works behind the scenes as the R&D director for Aprés Nail, where she works on product testing, education, and tutorial creation. The inspiration for her winning Cover Tech Contest entry came from Japan, where she received her nail education. “I wanted to pay tribute to the place where I learned my foundation and skills as a nail tech,” she explains. “When I saw that the cover would be for January, my immediate thought was of the Lunar New Year (or Chinese New Year).”

Chen based her design on traditional Japanese woodblock prints from the Edo period, and chose to use red in her image because it’s considered an auspicious color for the New Year. To create the nails, Chen used Aprés Artisté Art Gel and gel brushes on Gel-X Stiletto Long tips. “Everything was hand-painted, and no stencils, stickers, or stamps were used,” she says. The set took about three hours to create.

Chen has a lot of experience creating art on a tiny canvas and says her favorite thing about nail art is its creativity and expressiveness: “There’s no limit to a person’s style nowadays and no rules when it comes to expressing yourself.”

1st Runner Up

Darlene Tewitz
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

2nd Runner Up

Kryssy Hawkins
Clarksville, Tenn.

3rd Runner Up

KaSundra Anderson
Conyers, Ga.

Other Finalists

Chantel Weir
Mulwala, Australia

Kaitlin Smith
Garrettesville, Ohio

Lorna Andrews
Padiham, England

Phoebe Dingman
San Jose, Calif.

Rochelle Dingman
San Jose, Calif.

Tanya Dimitrova
Coral Gables, Fla.

 More Great Entries

KaSundra Anderson
Conyers, Ga.

Amanda Viviers
Tokoroa, New Zealand

Bridget Pritchard
Hartford, Wis.

Hannah Lippke
Bend, Ore.

Ilona Vasiliauskiene
Vilnius, Lithuania

RussAnna Dudley
Dahlonega, Ga.

Krisztina Homolya
Hayes, England

Daniella Carpenter
Seattle, Wash.

Ayano Okazawa
Chiba, Japan

Nina Hribar
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Phoebe Dingman
San Jose, Calif.

Kimberly Harr
Everett, Pa

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