Sarah Kay Abbott won this year’s contest with her portrait of classic rap artist Tupac. The contest received entries representing a variety of stars, from musicians David Bowie and Nipsey Hussle to characters such as Moira Rose and Wonder Woman.
Sarah Kay Abbott
Meet the Winner
Sarah Kay Abbott of Fife, Scotland, was inspired by her daughter to create her winning nail portrait of Tupac. “My daughter Chloe is a really big fan of his,” she explains. “I thought it would be great to try and push myself and my art to show my daughter and make her proud.”
Abbott started her portrait with a pencil outline to make sure she had enough room for the face. “I used a mixture of gel-polishes to start, adding the base of the skin color and gradually adding the outlines of the eyes, nose, and lips,” she says. She used dark and light shades of brown gel-polish to create shadows and highlights on the face. “For the facial hair and eyebrows, I used black and browns to add small thin lines for the eyebrow, starting at the center of his face and working my way out until the eyebrows had a good shape,” she says. She used a stippling effect to add the rest of the facial hair, and mixed pink with brown gel-polish for the lips. She cured, applied matte top coat, and cured again before adding the headband and T-shirt to create more depth. After another layer of matte top coat, she used acrylic paints to add final details like eyelashes.
Abbott says she loves participating in competitions like this one: “They allow nail technicians worldwide to participate and push ourselves.”
David Bowie as Jareth from Labyrinth
Robert Downey Jr.
South Plainfield, N.J.
Catherine O’Hara as Moira Rose from Schitt’s Creek
Crown Point, Ind.
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman
Other Notable Entries
Sarah Kay Abbott
Millie Bobby Brown
Panorama City, Calif.
American Fork, Utah