And as far as we’re concerned, they’re all winners. BBSI has nominated three talented candidates to vie for a North American Hairstyling Award (NAHA) in the category of Nail Makeover. Entrants submitted ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures, which were judged both on the tech­nical quality of the nails and the artistry of the photos. Look for the winning image on NAILS’ October cover.

Shari Finger owner of Finger’s Nail Studios in W. Dundee, III..opted for an oval shaped nail covered with sheer opalescent polish in the photo above. “Mango” the parrot thinks he’s a star; says Finger. “You should have seen him strut around the photo studio.” Setting up the shots was difficult, she says, because the parrot would perch only on the highest point on the hand. Finger bartered with the photographer for her services.

This above photo, submitted by Tom Holcomb of Irving, Texas, was one of five shots taken over the course of 16 hours. The model started the session with long nails which Holcomb cut down, reshaped, and repolished for each shot. The nominated photo, which features oval-shaped pink-and-whites with moons, was the last one of the day. Holcomb wanted to create an elegant, feminine with no props to distract from the model’s hands and smooth skin.

In the last photo, Rene Gliatto, a nail technician at Golden Shears in Runnemede, N.J., photographed her daughter Melanie who was 4½ at the time. “I didn’t want to push too hard. I thought, ‘If we can’t get the perfect photo, then I’ll have a nice photo for myself.’ I asked Melanie just to do her best and she really came through,” says Gliatto. She spent several weeks getting her daughter used to the idea of having her nails worked on. We played with different polishes, trying to find the right shades of pink and white to go with her skin." Gliatto found a very authentic-looking ladybug at a crafts store.

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