Swarovski’s newest Nail Art Report gave the company insights into three nail art wearing personas. These consumer profiles are: The Crystal Lover, The Color Freak, and The Style Setter. For the second pre-challenge of NTNA S.7, Swarovski matched each of the Top 18 with one of the consumer profiles. Contestants then had to create a wearable set of nails inspired by this profile.
The Crystal Lover is clean, classic, and immaculate. She is sophisticated and all about the crystals. This superstar always has immaculate nails and enjoys the attention that is given to them.
The Color Freak’s favorite color hasn’t been invented yet, so she wears them all. Her ever-changing individual style is a mix of fun colors, effects, and mixtures. She is ready to adapt to any trend, occasion, or situation, and opts for unexpected nail art.
The Style Setter’s style changes daily, and so do her nails. If everyone else is doing it, she wants no part of it. She is cutting edge, a boundary pusher, and seeks out extraordinary nail creations.
1. Adrianna Mondelli (@adriannasdesignstudio)
For this challenge, I was assigned the category of crystal lover. Stereotypically, the vast majority of people associate "immaculate, sophisticated, and classic" with pink and whites. I wanted to look at it in a different way, and add warmth, depth, and representation to my immaculate set. When I read my challenge, I instantly thought of my Swarovski Crystal Duck collection! In my opinion, there's nothing more immaculate than a Swarovski crystal. I started this collection when I was very young, and have since collected every single color. The yellow crystal duck was my inspiration for this set!
I started out by sculpting out my nail with a thin layer of clear acrylic in order to be able to encapsulate the yellow holo foil, and glitters. I then finish filed and began decorating. For my decorations I used a mini 3-D duck. I created this using clear acrylic, and coloring it with yellow art ink to keep the transparent appearance. Next I used acrylic flowers, as well as the provided silk, AB, and stunning sunshine delight pointed back crystals. I added my own smaller silk, and yellow crystals, as well as small round Swarovski pearls. I pierced the tip of one nail using a nail piercing tool, and strung a jump ring, and chain through. This allowed me to create my 3D hanging embellishments. After top coating these, I got the most beautiful crystal cut effect replicating the Swarovski crystal duck perfectly.
2. Allison Goertzen (@allygnailartistry)
The crystal lover is classy, sophisticated, and loves immaculate nails. So I knew that I had to create something that was timeless with impeccable details and with just the right amount of Swarovski Crystals. I wanted every detail in my nails to be purposeful and perfectly executed. Rather than add an overwhelming amount of various elements to my design, I decided to keep it simple, yet using advanced techniques. My main focus was keeping the design balanced; I feel that this is exactly what a crystal lover would want. This took a lot of restraint because I love busy nails and I often like to add many elements to my designs.
When I think of classic, I think of pink and white nails. I wanted to take this timeless concept and elevate it x 100! That is where the white encapsulated flowers come in. I love these flowers because they don't sit on top of the nail, they act as a very subtle yet intricate background on top of the pink base. I took lots of time to make sure every single petal and leaf was placed perfectly.
I chose the Russian almond shape because I think it gives a very elegant look and will stand out in a crowd of basic nail shapes. This is where I took a lot of time perfecting since it was my first time creating this shape. I find that this persona; crystal lover, is the type of person who really appreciates a perfectly sculpted nail.
For the crystals, I wanted to combine different finishes to add depth and interest to this design. In this look we have the classic shiny crystals, pearl finishes, and metallic from the silver glass beads. I found this really made the nails stand out and look like little pieces of jewelery. Lastly, because crystal lovers like their nails to shine like no other, of course I had to use a shiny top coat!
Crystal: Raindrop, Flame, Square, Diamond, Kite, ss3, ss5, ss7, ss30
Light Silk: ss7, ss12, ss16
Vintage Rose: ss7, ss9, ss12
Blush Rose: ss5, ss7, ss9
Cream Pearl: Navette, ss12
3. April Lang (@april.lang.nails)
For the second pre-challenge sponsored by Swarovski, I was assigned The Crystal Lover consumer profile. According to the brief, The Crystal Lover is clean, classic and immaculate. It stated that she is sophisticated and all about the crystals. Also, the brief states that The Crystal Lover always has immaculate nails and enjoys the attention that is given to them. The Crystal Lover sounds like my kind of client!
One of the requirements for this Pre-Challenge was that the set had to be wearable. To accomplish this, I created a classic manicured look with a traditional almond shape and nude polish. I used a matte top coat to make the crystals stand out and really pop. The length and shape are wearable and sophisticated.
For the crystal element, I used a combination of stones provided by Swarovski as well as Swarovski stones from my personal collection. A different crystal design was created for each nail. My design was influenced by jewelry. I took ideas from classic brooch and necklace designs and blended them in my creation. The final product made me think of wedding nails. I enjoyed creating this set and felt this profile fit me and my style. My clients love crystals and so do I!
Crystals used in my design from my personal Swarovski collection:
Round Crystals in the Colors “Crystal” and “Crystal AB”
Sizes: ss3, ss5, ss7, ss9
Shaped crystals in the color “Crystal AB”
Raindrop, Kite, Navette, Diamond, Baguette
Crystalpixie- “Cute Mood”
4. Becca Compton (@knitfinknails)
For my challenge, I was given the Style Setter Persona of Interest. I really wanted to include trends borrowing from the past, to be reworked into a new style. This immediately made me envision a model jet setting to the pyramids for a photo shoot. She loves the excitement of travel, but wishes she could take a small comfort from home with her. Her themed manicure has the Egyptian goddess Bastet on one hand, and her beloved orange tabby cat on the other. The hieroglyphics on the first hand are mirrored with emojis on the second. Both are tied together with the burnt papyrus background.
I loved the large crystals included in the Swarovski package, and wanted them to look like jewelry with their own animal settings. I also wanted the cat sculptures to be centerpieces, and have the modern cat to appear to be made of Crystalpixies.
I purchased some extra crystals to use in my design. They were a Xilion Rose Lt Chrome FB / Jet Hematite FB pack, a Xilion Black Diamond FB / CR Gold Shadow FB pack, and a Xirius Flat Back Mixed Crystals pack in Volcano. These crystals were used for the eyes on the cat sculptures and to fill in some of the small glyphs on the nails.
5. Bojana Radojicic (@bojana.radojicic)
The Crystal Lover is clean, classic, and immaculate. She is sophisticated and all about the crystals. This superstar always has immaculate nails and enjoys the attention that is given to them. My inspiration for this pre-challenge is the sky and the clouds. I often say “The sky is the limit,” so I think my Crystal Lover thinks the same. She is sophisticated in pastel layers of blue and white, and all their shades. And she has Swarovski Crystals like the sky has the stars. She always draws attention and shines wherever she goes. She is an immaculate superstar.
6. Carrie-Leigh Allen (@carrieartistic)
The style setter establishes new standards and creates the look others try to emulate. Seeking out inspiration from the world around them, finding fashion in places of natural beauty to create the perfect set of nails.
The Style Setter Challenge is my interpretation and along with my sponsor crystals to inspire me, I looked to my environment to decide on my initial color scheme idea. The Swarovski Crystals I received included Jungle Green Crystalpixie, iridescent green/blue. Once opened, I instantly saw the stunning waters of Ascension Island sparkling in the crystals. This crazy, extraordinary place is unique in the world. There is nowhere else quite like it on Earth; just as there is no one else quite like our Style Setter: a pusher of boundaries, a rule breaker, an adventuress. And so, my idea was born.
As the brief describes our client as changing her nails and mind daily, I opted to create matching jewelery in the form of a ring with attached charm piercing, covered in crystals and sea glass from the island and a turtle piercing in crystals and pearls. These are interchangeable, as is her mood.
Due to its modern cutting-edge style, I chose the edge shape tip. The extensions are liquid and powder. I used a variety of techniques to create the art so that this keeps our client interested and she will notice something new and distinctive at every gaze. I colour blended using colour powders, encapsulated glitters, holographic flakes and a shell plate. I used gel paints to create the line detail, then added crystals, sea glass, and shells. A similar technique was used to create the ring and bring the design together.
7. Christy Homolya (@thelittlenailhome)
My persona of interest was The Crystal Lover, who is classic and immaculate. She is all about the crystals, her nails shine like no other. Sophisticated but with a sparkle of superstar that draws attention to her nails decorated with small sized, flat back crystals in different shapes, in color Crystal, Crystal AB. She likes classic nails, so my inspiration was a clean French design, but with a little twist. The colors are still subtle, a perfect fit for her. This 3-D effect French look is paired with a clean French ombre and aurora nails. The color changing base makes the crystals brighter and gives a little extra sparkle to her style, because her motto is: “if it shines like a diamond, it’s on my nails.”
The length of the nails are a wearable, curved almond shape that makes her hand more elegant and draws attention to the crystals she’s wearing. I used nail guard under the artificial nails, because I wanted to keep the design. All of the nails were sculpted on a nail form with clear acrylic powder, and for the design I used gel-polish colors and clear acrylgel. I attached the Swarovski Crystals with brush-on nail glue to the surface and used non-wipe top coat to achieve a glossy finish.
I made the crystalised design with the cystals that Swarovski sent me and added a few more in different color and size as well. It is really important to not cover the crystals with the top coat, because they can lose their shine.
8. Giselle Caballero (@egobeautyca)
I was especially excited to work on this challenge, as I identified with the Crystal Lover. I started out by extending and building my nails over press-ons for easy removal and re-application and by doing so I’ll be able to wear them over and over again. I wanted to create a set that was both classy and sophisticated, but also full of bling for the true crystal lover, because nothing compares to the sparkle that Swarovski Crystals has. In order to complement my design with the gorgeous sparkle that the crystals have, I chose a subtle palette for a more classic look.
I love how working with crystals is so versatile, they allow us to create embellishments that give the illusion of jewelry or even 3-D elements that can take any shape and form.I wanted my design to be dynamic by utilizing different techniques. These techniques give different effects that catch the light from every angle and make for a more eye-catching look complementing the crystals.
I love a good set of nails that turns heads and the crystals make for a perfect addition to any set elevating the design. When doing full crystal nails its important to add some glitter in the background to help fill in any empty spaces, doing this will give the design a more polished look. The crystals are definitely the star of the show in this set and the design is sure to please crystal lovers like me.
9. Helen Christopoulos (@black_swan_beauty)
I was given the Colour Freak as a client to create a set of nails for and I couldn't have been happier! The Colour Freak is so my type of client! Someone who is not only adventurous with colours, but with textures and shapes as well. To me, this type of client sounds like they live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, like Brunswick for example. They love to make statements with the clothes they wear, tattoos cover their skin and their hair is a canvas for the most vivid of colours. Their nails aren't any different! So I thought I'd channel the vibe of Melbourne's inner city suburbs and bring the graffiti alley ways to life on my client's nails!
I lay a base of white acrylic on the client's 10 nails and finish filed them. Then I attached wires to the tips of the nails to extend them to a long coffin shape. I added splatters of bright vivid colors to the nails using gel-polish, and once that's cured, I sculpt 3-D letters on the nails, which spell "SWAROVSKI.” Each of those letters are painted to resemble graffiti. Then I use brown, red, and black acrylic to sculpt bricks on my graffiti wall nails. Then finally, I adorn the nails with a selection of Swarovski Crystals. Larger crystals were attached with acrylic, while smaller ones were attached with nail glue. The whole set is top coated with a matte gel top coat and this set is complete.
10. Honey Phan (@hnnailsbyhoney)
My challenge is The Color Freak - her favorite color is so hard to choose so she decided to wear them all. In my nail art I put many bright and colorful colors together because she doesn’t know which color to choose and she is ready to adapt them all. I use black color to bring out the designs of the art because the color black is associated with power, mystery, and strength. I created the colorful flowers and butterfly to bring out her fun personality. The nails are also a little longer than usual because she is up to the challenge of wearing long nails and the unexpected nail art would be the 3-D art fantasy such as butterfly and flowers. It can be a bit difficult to move around with all the fantasy on top of the long nails, but since she loves the fun and unexpected, she is ready to have them all.
11. lona Vasiliauskiene (@ilonavas)
To me, freaks are associated with creative people, who are not afraid to be themselves and show their true faces. I believe they are colorful people. Since I am an absolute melomane, all of my free time gets spent listening to all sorts of music. This work was inspired by a music video. Music videos forced me to become closer to pop art style, which is very bright and has some color that doesn’t even coordinate. This style fascinates me because it is very clean, clear, and even a bit strict. Aside all of that- in the end it looks very playful. I noticed that one of the most popular forms at the moment is stiletto. Using this information, I decided to do stiletto nails and add designs.
For the nail extensions, use MOSAIC forms + Viva La Manicure CAMO1 gel. Create the stiletto form and buff. On the extension, use Viva La MAnicure CAMO1 brush to create all kinds of playful designs. Dry the forms under a lamp, and create different forms with the help of a buffering tip. Use MOSAIC ICE gel to attach the designs to the stiletto nails. Draw more designs, encrusting Swarovski crystals. Pour Swarovski Crystalpixie onto wet top coat. Top coat nails with non-sticky top coat.
12. Jessica Warzyniak (@OohNiceNails)
How do we see color? Within light, color is the way we perceive the reflection of specific wavelengths. Swarovski's Color Freak knows this, and that her favorite color is out there on some wavelength just waiting for her! Since her favorite color hasn't technically been invented yet, she's wearing all of the colors. Swarovski has beautiful crystals that show those wavelengths so well, and this color freak is inspired by their Aurora Borealis effect, specifically Crystal AB and Rainbow Dark. This is shown with a light and a dark shaded hand of nails and cuffs. Her nails are a velvet aurora borealis rainbow blend of colors with 10 different Swarovski crystal facets hand painted onto the face of the nail. She's got crystalpixie on the underside of her nails, so when she’s not wearing her bomb-dot-com cuffs, she can wear her version of neutral: Crystalpixie. The Color Freak is ready to adapt to anything, so when she's feeling high-fashion, she adorns her nails with her custom-fitted Swarovski crystal finger cuffs! She's the most sparkling trendsetter and the coolest girl being able to transition from low key to hard core fabulous in the blink of an eye.
13. Kadee Brown (@hotpinkzebrapolish)
I had many ideas when I saw that my assigned persona was Color Freak. Initially my plan was to narrow it down to a single animal to base my theme on. Then I realized that what I was doing is exactly what my persona was described as doing, being indecisive. So I decided that she would go with all the animal ideas as well as all the colors!
To start my design I began by sculpting length on my nails with acrylic. I created some coffin shapes and some stilettos, figuring if the Color Freak couldn’t find the perfect color she probably wouldn’t be able to find the perfect shape either.
I have always been amazed by the colors that are found in nature, both plants and animals. I did my research to find some of the most colorful creatures on the spectrum, including a macaw, a toucan, a chameleon, a tree frog, an angelfish and beetles. I used neon gel-polishes to make the natural coloring of the animals pop as well as vibrant Swarovski Crystals to accent them.
Not only did I want to create a mix of colors but I also wanted to play with a mix of textures. I used both matte and glossy top coats, chrome powder, and transfer foil to keep the design interesting. The beetle nail and the leaf nail have a slight 3-D texture to them with the layers of gel-polish applied over a finished background.
I placed the Swarovski Crystals along the branch that each animal is sitting on. I also placed them here and there throughout the design to add a splash of color and glam. The crystals I used are Electric Orange, Electric Blue, Ocean Delight, Black Diamond Shimmer, Rose, Rose AB, Peridot, Peridot AB, Hyacinth AB, Crystal AB and Ruby.
14. Kelsey Waldo (@kelseysklaws)
For pre-challenge 2 we were designated to work with a specific consumer profile. I was assigned the “Color freak.” This persona is defined as someone who wears a mix of fun colors, effects, ready to adapt to any trend or occasion and opts for unexpected nail art! My mind IMMEDIATELY went to the gorgeous, colourful, eccentric, bold style of Tokyo‘s Harajuku.
Harajuku decora is a mixture of Japanese sub-styles, mainly focusing on rainbow colors, bold accessories, and ornaments. Let’s face it, this style is not for everyone, but I am personally drawn to it! I think it pushes the boundaries of fashion. There’s something so visually wrong about the color combos, large accessories, patterns and textures, but at the same time it’s intriguing, it captures your attention, you want to stop, stare, and take it all in. It’s a visual buffet!
Swarovskis used: Electric Pink, Electric Orange, Electric White, Electric Blue, Crystal Pointed Hexagon and Diamond, Crystal AB, Crystal AB Round Spikes, AB Heart, AB Moon, Black Diamond Shimmer, Lavender DeLite, Laguna DeLite, Ocean DeLite, Sunshine DeLite, Padparadscha, Fushia, Rose, Light Rose, Tangerine, Aquamarine, Yellow Opal, Crystal Pixies: Ocean Dream, Cute Mood, and Sunshine Kiss.
15. Lechele Barnett (@daduchessdondiva)
I call this set “Unmasked in Venice.” The centerpiece of this design was inspired by Tuscano’s Mask of the Venice Wall. To give the scene a more realistic look, the mask was built in a nail art style called infused art, a style in which 3-D art is added to present an illusion that the design was meant to be in its place.
The mask was built up slowly with multiple layers of gel paint. It features chrome faded pink, gold, and blue colors with an outline of white and gold swirls. The opposite side of the mask features a vibrant blue peacock. The tail feathers run up and down the sides of her mask. Her mask features touches of gold and Swarovski gems to accent the sides of her face.
The Venice masks accent nails on opposite sides have a white gel-polish, a chrome feather, and a gold chrome rose with Swarovski crystals spiraling into a gold plated outline. Her left hand features a white mask outlined in gold, and a gold peacock adorns her third and index fingers with a Swarovski crystal color called crystal paradise shine, which reminds me the most of the color of peacocks.
The elaborate gems were added with gold plated lines encircling her cuticles and outlining her stiletto nails for a gleaming finishing touch. I wanted to feature gold leaf and gems heavily in the design because they also feature in many of the Venetian masks. The quality craftsmanship that goes into these elaborate and intricate masks means they can be very expensive, but their stunning beauty and uniqueness make them instantly iconic. These nails are meant to represent the beauty, skill, and quality that goes into creating these masks, showcasing the historic culture of high art and craftsmanship unique to the beautiful city of Venice.
16. Stella Sampson (@nailart.stella)
A style setter is the type of person who seeks out unique and extraordinary designs. She wants to be a pioneer and not to follow the crowd or the trend that's already in fashion at the time. In order to satisfy my persona I decided to create a unique nail shape and design so it's customized just for her.
Since she loves changes I got inspired by a gyroscope and created two rings, one inside the other that spin on an axis. In the center of those rings I put Swarovski crystals. I wanted to base the whole design on Swarovski crystals and their shine, which is enhanced when they rotate. This design demands absolute precision in order to be able to spin effectively. I was opting for a set of nails that combines the austerity of geometry with the anarchy of an abstract design. This is why I chose to create an abstract marble design with a touch of geometry and texture. In order for the crystals to stand out I preferred to have a matte base on which to place them.
17.Trina Wright (@OohSnaap)
In being given a set to create for a Style Setter, I had to do my research. Since the style setter is advanced in trends, I looked up fashion trends predicted for 2020. A style setter seeks out extraordinary nail art, cutting edge ideas and most importantly, is unique in style and is customized each time. One of the fashion trends that represented this style the best was sustainable fashion. Upcycled art is in fashion, used in art and now can be applied to nail art creations. Each set not only serves as a recycled art piece, but can be tailored with the things that are dear to the heart and will be a limited edition per each set.
One of the inspirations to this set was an upcycled purse that I was given to by one of my co-workers that visits the Philippines every year. I’ve always loved and have been amazed by this one-of-a-kind purse that is made up out of reused juice packets. With this purse in mind, I got to experimenting. Ultimately, I found out that Skittles candy (which I love) can shrink in the oven to the perfect nail art size! The Swarovski Crystals that brought this whole look together was from the persona of interest collection; Ocean delite and Sunshine delite.
I started out by creating clear acrylic tips for the foundation. The nails are considered a hybrid set as they are made of both acrylic and layered with gel for a luminous encapsulation of the design. For the set to be simple and not bulky, diamond and heart cutouts were created and inlaid on four nails. A thin cutting of the edge of the Skittles bags were used for a contrasting textured/upcycled effect. The heart cutouts were also used for the creation of glass beads to exemplify another way to reuse the upcycled pieces and to add an additional style-setter dazzle. The glass beads were made of gel in free hand.
The nails with the diamond cutouts were inlaid under a 3-D diamond faceted glass effect which was built out of gel. I was inspired to use this technique shared by Naio nails, I just changed it by building the bulk with gel instead of using just a top coat.
Lastly, I topped a shrunken Skittles bag with gel and created a ring. It was fun to create this upcycled nail creation. I may have to look for more things that I can shrink down into nail art and make some style setter nails to sport of my own!
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.