After winning last year’s Contessa award as Nail Technician of the Year, salon owner Debbie Krakalovich told NAILS that she hoped a member of her staff would walk away with the title the following year. Her chances were pretty good going into this year’s ceremony — three of the five nominees worked at Krakalovich’s salon, The Nail Shoppe, in Toronto. The winner, Trina Cellupica, not only works at the salon, but was trained in nails by Krakalovich two-and-a-half years ago after leaving a career in fashion design. Cellupica’s flair for the visual and creative undoubtedly gave her a leg up on the competition. Entrants submitted three “before” and “after” photos of nail enhancements, which were judged on the basis of visual appeal and artistry, in addition to technique. The concepts behind Cellupica’s entries — two acrylic and one fiberglass — came together slowly over a period of months, she says. Then last-minute inspiration led to some extra touches at the photo shoot. All the Contessa winners were honored at a gala awards ceremony presented by Salon Magazine and Salon Beauté in Toronto on November 17 of last year. Their work can be viewed online at www.beautynetcom/contessas.

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