Full Name: Amy Gustafson
Hometown: Victoria, BC, Canada
Salon: Diamond Nails Studio
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic
Favorite Nail Trend: Swarovski crystals

I am brand new! I’ve been a certified nail tech for a year and a half now, working out of a home-based studio. I specialize in acrylic nail art. I am committed to providing excellent service and providing a truly pleasurable experience tailor made for each of my clients.

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Week 3: ORLY International


When asked to create a modern LA-focused French, I think about Los-Angeles’ famous rich celebrities and their paparazzi. I wanted to create a look for a famous celebrity who wanted a modern twist on the classic French. It had to be something classy and elegant for the day, but something that could also be dressed up for a night out on the town and have her looking fabulous! It had to be something the paparazzi would notice and ask “Whose nails are you wearing?!” When I think about French nails, I always think about a classic squared nail, so I chose to do my design on a squared nail instead of the trending almond shape. The modern twist would be the choice of accent nails, added gold polish and crystal embellishments. The white tip goes with any outfit and the gold will match every gold accessory you can buy in Los Angeles! This design is very versatile in salons, as you can switch up the gold accent color to match any event color theme, such as a wedding.


Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial of how Amy created these nails.

Week 2: Bio Seaweed Gel


“In Too Deep” was an awesome color collection to be inspired from. The two color names that grabbed my attention right away were “Mother of Pearl” and “Treasure Chest,” so I knew one nail would have a treasure chest with embellishments and another would be the mother of pearl nail, which I found inspiration from a piece of jewelry online. I had no idea how I would do it, but my plan was to come up with an acrylic design and just make it happen with gel. I had a starfish necklace that I lost so I wanted to challenge myself to create a starfish wrapping around a nail. (It took over three hours, but it was totally worth it!) Since the sponsor was Bio Seaweed Gel, a seaweed nail was definitely a must. I had those four nails thought up pretty quickly. So then I started thinking about colors. I wanted the final nails to bring certain thoughts to one’s mind: deep ocean (In Too Deep), mother of pearl, treasure chest, and the colors to mainly be red, blue, green, and neutrals. So I figured out the colors of the first four tips and then decided I wanted more red, so a red coral nail was created. I wanted all the nails to tie together somehow with seaweed, seashells, bubbles, and of course the colors. I am so proud of these nails. I truly didn’t think it was possible with gel and I was wrong!

I am so thankful for this challenge! There is no way I would have believed I could sculpt 3-D gel and have an outcome that looked like acrylic. My thoughts on gel have completely changed and I owe that to this challenge. I really hope newer nail artists following this competition will get inspired from my experience and try something new! I truly feel that’s what this challenge is about. I am so lucky to be a part of it.

Click here to see a video of how Amy created these nails.

Week 1: Young Nails


When I read that we were to create a personal motto/caption, I knew right away what mine was going to be. I wouldn’t say this is my personal motto, but it’s something that I always end up saying to my clients! I have a lot of clients that work on a nail design with me as we go, along with a lot of very indecisive clients. I always ask if they want to add crystals at the end, because when I’m allowed to add crystals it makes me very happy! If my clients are unsure of how to finish off the design, or if they feel like their nails are just missing that final touch, they usually ask me what I think. My veteran clients have come to realize that I always give the same answer. “When in doubt, bling it out!” Every nail design in my opinion looks better with Swarovski crystals. I was excited to spend some time creating a mural design across 10 nail tips because I will mount them on my wall and now I have a piece of art backing up my continuous saying.

I thought it would be fun to pay a tribute to the sponsor this week, as my “caption” is nail related. So I decided to do a mock nail polish bottle with a caption bubble on it similar to the newly launched Caption by Young Nails line. I did a classic hand and polish picture spread out across all 10 tips. I used nail polish on the fingers and for the bottle with the rest of the design done in acrylic paints. I am not the best acrylic painter nor have I ever done a mural on a nail. I found myself continuously thinking, “Is there something I can do to finish off the design?” Golly, it would have been nice to listen to my motto and bling it out! To finish off the design, I ended up used a pearl paint along with matte and gloss top coats.