Behind the Scenes: Lady Gaga Bubble Nails

by Erika Kotite | July 1, 2016
My goal was to make it perfect and stick to the time schedule,” says cover tech and NTNA 1st runner-up Celina Rydén of her cover shoot.

My goal was to make it perfect and stick to the time schedule,” says cover tech and NTNA 1st runner-up Celina Rydén of her cover shoot.

If you’re ever watching Celina Rydén at work on a nail design, don’t expect much chitchat. What she does, she does with a laser focus that obviously bears superlative results.

Rydén’s first challenge in NAILS Next Top Nail Artist Season Three captured “power girl” Lady Gaga — the divine diva in all of her glamorous, extravagant outfits. She reprises the look for this month’s cover. “I was really happy and excited when I was asked to do a version of this design because it was the first challenge I won in the competition,” Rydén says.

Rydén and her two fellow finalists met for the first time at America’s Beauty Show and after a long flight from Sweden, Australia, and Canada they got an early start doing their covers together in a large room at McCormick Place. “It was a really surreal and fantastic time sitting next to my nail BFFs and doing nails,” Rydén recalls.

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

1. Extend the nails using forms and Light Elegance’s Natural Fiber. Apply it over the entire nail to give the long nails extra strength.

2. Cure for two minutes in a UV lamp or 30 seconds in an LED lamp.

3. File the nails to a salon stiletto shape.

4. Make sure that the edges are thin and then buff the entire surface of the nail.

5. Apply the color and cure. If you use Light Elegance’s Pink and Purple Pastel Paint as I have, you need to double cure it, as it’s highly pigmented.

6. Do an ombre design on the middle nail, mixing the pink and purple together, and cure.

7. Build all the nails and shape them with a hard gel.

8. Apply the “mermaid effect” by applying one layer of color (or clear gel), cure it, and then just brush the pigment over the tacky layer using a fan brush. Cure it one more time to really make it stick to the nail. Here I’m using Light Elegance’s “Gold Sparkle Pigment.”

9. Apply the bow using some acrylic (the bow is made out of acrylic and then painted with chrome gel and acrylic paint).

10. Apply the bubbles using gel (the bubbles are made out of clay and gel).

11. Make sure to attach and cure the bubbles one at a time.

12. Bling up the nails as you wish, using acrylic or glue.  

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