Behind the Scenes: Gothic Gold Acrylic Nails

by Beth Livesay | September 18, 2018

Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-based nail tech Halley Fortenberry has quite an impressive resume despite having been in the business for just four years. She competed on Seasons 3 and 5 of NAILS Next Top Nail Artist, achieving the position of first runner-up in the latter season. The concept for this month’s cover was taken from the first challenge of Season 5. Inspired by runway looks from CND for Libertine, Fortenberry created this glimmering gold set that calls to mind the intricate shapes and precious metals found in Gothic art and architecture. Follow her on Instagram @missexclusivenails.

Cover tech and NTNA Season 5 first runner-up Halley Fortenberry with model Katie Boone.

Cover tech and NTNA Season 5 first runner-up Halley Fortenberry with model Katie Boone.

Here are Fortenberry’s steps for this month’s cover look:

1. Prep nails, apply forms, and dehydrate the nails further. Saturate nails with Protein Bond and follow with two light coats of T primer. Extend the nails using acrylic. Pinch the C-curve of each nail before fully cured.

2. Remove nail forms and file into a stiletto shape. Use an e-file with a barrel bit to balance the nail, and finish with a hand-file.

3. For black matte nails: Apply two coats of Akzéntz Gel Play in Black Paint, curing between coats. Apply top coat and cure. Paint symmetrical jewel shapes with black gel. Fill in with CND Shellac in Palm Deco and Peacock Plume, and Akzéntz Gel Play in Golden Nugget. Cure. Dust CND Emerald Mirage additive into Palm Deco. Use a no-wipe top coat to top coat jewels only. Cure.

4. For gold nail: Paint nail with two coats of Golden Nugget, curing after each coat. Dust Valentino gold chrome into tacky layer. Apply no-wipe top coat and cure. Using Black Paint, draw a teardrop shape in the center. Start outlining and adding different angled lines for a gemstone effect. Cure. Top coat and cure. For gold/clear nails: Leave the tip clear and embellish with gel and Swarovski Crystals.

Nail tech Melba Mosley demonstrates reflexology techniques on colleague Apryl Moore, while...


Foot Forward Summit 2019

by Staff

NAILS' second Foot Forward Summit was held in Atlanta August 11-13. Nail techs gathered for speaker presentations, advanced education, and networking.

Nails by Tracey Lee


Up Your Acrylic Skills: Mix Ratio

by Tracey Lee

Even though mix ratio is fundamental to learning about liquid-and-powder acrylic application, it’s still one of the biggest challenges for nail professionals in the salon. The performance and longevity of our product is hugely affected by an incorrect mix ratio.


In our video section, watch salon professionals in action, listen to the advice of salon business experts, and tour inside the world’s top salons.

What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms


What's The Difference? Clarifying Commonly Confused Nail Terms

by Holly Schippers

You probably know the essential differences between the products and nails terms you use in the salon every day — like soft gel versus hard or LED light versus UV. But could you provide a clear explanation to a curious client? And what about those fuzzy terms that can mean different things to different people? Here's a terminology "cheat sheet" we hope will help keep us all on the same page.

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