For the third season of NAILS Next Top Nail Artist, the competition reached international heights. Celina Rydén traveled from Stockholm, Sarah Elmaz from Melbourne, Australia, and Winnie Huang journeyed from Vancouver, Canada. All three competitors represented their home countries proudly on and off the ABS Show Floor in Chicago. The marathon NTNA finale included showing a set of nails at the Beauty Changes Lives Experience, demoing an aspect of their final design in the NAILS booth, and answering questions live in the CND booth for a Miss America-style interview with Jan Arnold.

But in the end it was Huang who edged out the competition and took home the title. The judges faced a difficult decision and deliberated much of the afternoon before announcing the winner at ROOF at theWit in Chicago last night.

Left to right are NTNA winner Winnie Huang, second runner-up Sarah Elmaz, and first runner-up Celina Ryden.

Left to right are NTNA winner Winnie Huang, second runner-up Sarah Elmaz, and first runner-up Celina Ryden.

Last season’s winner, Lavette Cephus was on-hand to officially pass the title on. Rydén was named first runner-up and Elmaz was named second runner-up. Huang said in her acceptance speech that she will continue to change lives through beauty. She also said nail artists should be themselves when it comes to nails whether it be goofy, elegant, or authentic.

The night ended with a champagne toast from CND’s Jan Arnold. Huang was awarded the biggest prize package in NAILS NTNA history, including a gift basket from CND, $2,000, a spot on the NAILS blog roll, the opportunity to judge next year’s competition, a trip to New York Fashion Week, coverage in Modern Salon Magazine, and the title of guest editor at NAILS Magazine for one year.

NAILS would like to congratulate all of our finalists and applicants. A sincere and huge thank you goes out to our season three sponsors: Akzentz, Bio Seaweed Gel, China Glaze, Dashing Diva, Entity, EzFlow, Gel II, Gelish, INM, and Orly. A special thank you to our top sponsor, CND, for helping to make this event possible.

Re-live Huang’s entire rise to the top by clicking here.

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