When she dreamed up an extraordinary interpretation of a French manicure in week three of last year’s NAILS Next Top Nail Artist competition, Sarah Elmaz was happy with the result. Yet the Melbourne-based nail artist likely never dreamed she would make it into the NTNA Top 3, fly to Chicago’s ABS show, win 2nd runner up, and produce her first NAILS cover.
“I had such an amazing time, my model was lovely, and sitting in a room next to Celina (Ryden) and Winnie (Huang) creating nails simultaneously felt like it was meant to be,” she says.

Model Kaisa Johnson (left) gets the royal nail treatment from NTNA Top 3 finalist Sarah Elmaz.

Model Kaisa Johnson (left) gets the royal nail treatment from NTNA Top 3 finalist Sarah Elmaz.

Elmaz, owner of Get Buffed Nails, has a very unique style with her nail looks. While squeaky clean and precise, the designs almost sing with color and playfulness. For the cover look, Elmaz took the Baroque elements of her NTNA French Couture set and dove in a bit deeper. She blended the stylized curlicue patterns and rose gold foil with a dark matte glitter nail that is topped with a perfectly sculpted velvety rose. Although rich and sophisticated, the design has a versatility that appeals to many different clients.

Since her NTNA achievement, Elmaz was tapped by Australian company GellyFit to develop a collection of colors inspired by her signature style. “Competing in NTNA opened my eyes to the fact that I can push myself to the absolute limit and achieve my goal if I set my mind to it,” she says.

Here are Elmaz’s steps for how to get this month’s cover look:

Chocolate Rose:

1. Paint the thumb nail with sheer black gel-polish before painting the black designs.

2. Paint a layer of black gel-polish on the middle finger in preparation for the dry glitter.

3. Attach rose with jewelry gel and cure.

Regal French:

1. Paint the foiled nails with a gold color before applying the foil glue, just in case the foil does not adhere to every area of the nail.

2. Over the top of gold gel-polish, coat with foil glue, then allow five minutes of drying time before applying foil.

3. Place Swarovski crystals with dots of brush-on glue; when dry, apply top coat around them.

Golden Baroque:

1. Apply two coats of the gold gel-polish.

2. Once foil is applied, coat with one layer of base coat and cure, then one layer of top coat; remove tacky layer.

3. Paint design with black gel-polish, then dust with acrylic powder and cure. 

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