Salina Rush (insert left) achieved two things when she came to Los Angeles at the beginning of the year: She won first place in the Ladies’ Sculptured Nails competition at ICE Los Angeles, and she got to do the nails for this month’s cover.

Salina Rush, who ranked #11 in last year’s Top 25 competitors listing, came to Los Angeles earlier this year to compete at the ICE Show. It was the beginning of a big year for this Loudonville, Ohio—based nail tech—she has to make the Top 25 list again this year in order to reach her goal of being on the NAILS list five years in a row. With a solid first-place win in the Ladies’ Sculptured Nails category at ICE the day before our photo shoot, it looks like she is well on her way to reaching that goal. Salina entered the competition knowing that she was competing against a large number of Japanese techs who would be applying detailed colored acrylic designs on their models’ hands. She had planned to do the reverse French with white acrylic on the nail bed and clear acrylic with glitter additives on the free edge (much like the nails she sculpted on this month’s cover model) that won her first place.

Salina, who has been competing for 10 of the 13 years that she has been a nail tech, was extremely excited about her big win.

When she arrived the next day at our photo studio, she was ready to get back to business. She achieved the reverse French look using Creative Extra White on the nail beds and Creative Perfect Clear with a Strata gold shimmer additive on the free edge. She first applied the white to the nail bed, then shaped the smile line. She finished it off sculpting the clear free edge and buffed the nails to a high shine.

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