Acrylic Nails

Behind the Scenes: Two Talented Techs Created the April 2011 Cover

Viv Simmons (from Australia) and Catherine Wong (from Singapore) created this month's extreme spring look using a combination of colored acrylics and gels. See how they did it.

<p>Simmonds made some of the elements, like the hummingbird and tree fairy, before arriving at the NAILS studio.</p>

Viv Simmonds (left) is an internationally recognized nail artist from  Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She’s been doing nails for more than 20 years, along with ­educating and winning competitions (including the title of Australian Champion five years in a row).

Catherine Wong is a sought-after nail artist, competitor, judge, and educator from Singapore, who runs Ecsalonce, a prestigious training center and product distribution company for nail techs.

<p>Viv Simmonds and Catherine Wong teach classes all over the world as VivCat Designs.</p>

The two talented techs came together when mutual friend and mentor Alisha Rimando introduced them. “Viv and I hit it off the moment we met and there are a lot similarities in our personalities, business ethics, and artistry,” says Wong. “We both love to teach and are people-oriented. We definitely complement each other when we represent our design style, as she is quite meticulous and a perfectionist, while I’m more spontaneous and impulsive.”

<p>Catherine Wong and Viv Simmonds often do extreme design work on one model — working side by side, each on one hand, to create a cohesive look.</p>

The two teach classes around the world individually and as VivCat Design. (Click here to see the class schedule.) Their signature is each doing one hand of the same model. They come up with a theme and both interpret that theme in their own way. But of course, they communicate with each other as they create. For this month’s cover, we asked them to come up with something with a bird theme. The amazing designs they created blew us away.

Here’s how you can do these nails:


(Note: Catherine used The One Gel Art and The One New Acrylic Collections from Odyssey Nail Systems.)

1. Extend the nail forms and apply ­Duvet Pink from the center of the nail bed to the free edge.

2. Add a combination of white, blue, brown, and green to create a marbled and colored background. Cap with clear and finish file.

3. On an Arabella Fantasy Form, create an overlapping feather with acrylic white and double-dip with color.

4. Attach it with clear powder to the finished base.

5. Create all 3-D details of birds, ­flowers, branches, etc. Enhance and highlight the design with color gel paint.

6. Apply gel top coat and cuticle oil.



(Note: Viv used The One Colored Acrylic Powders and Gels and Arabella Fantasy Forms.)

1. Extend the free edge using ONS The One Colored Acrylic Powders.

2. Create the 3-D vines directly on the nail, with the exception of the raised vines.

3. Using an Arabella Fantasy Form, create the fairy, raised vines, and some of the flowers and leaves.

4. Attach them to the nail. Do the same for the raised vines, then build them up with colored acrylic.

5. Highlight the fairy, leaves, and flowers using ONS The One gels. Carefully attach the hummingbird with a fairly dry bead of clear acrylic.

<p>Simmonds made some of the elements, like the hummingbird and tree fairy, before arriving at the NAILS studio.</p>

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