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Top 12 Nail Art

Top 12 Finalists Celebrate With Nail Art


We asked our finalists what it meant to be named the Top 12 in NAILS Next Top Nail Artist competition. Here are their verbal and artistic responses.


Amy Gustafson (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

I am so honored that I have made it this far! I am so grateful and happy that NAILS thinks I have what it takes to make it to the end. I truly cannot believe it! I am so excited to see myself grow as a nail artist. The last three entries I’ve already pushed myself to try new things and it’s such a proud feeling! I feel this contest is about learning new techniques, inspiring not only the public viewers, but yourself as well.  I am so stoked to represent Canada! I am so eager to see where this challenge takes me with my future career in nail art and design. I have a dream of working for a certain company and it would be absolutely incredible if they noticed me and thought I had what it takes to be a part of their family. I can’t wait to show myself and the public viewers some hidden abilities I still don’t know I have! Thank you so much for giving me the chance to wow everyone!


Danielle Constantino (Lincoln, R.I.)


It feels so amazing to be picked as one of the Top 12. I was so nervous, because everyone is so talented! I think we all have areas we excel in, so I want to try and be as well-rounded as possible. I’m so exited to be in the actual competition, it’s my first competition so I have no idea what to expect! This entire experience has had me on top of the world.


Karrie Bowers (Morgantown, W. Va.)


Being a Top 12 finalist in this competition is a very rewarding feeling. Having such professional respect for last year’s contenders, my fellow Top 12 members this year, Nails Magazine, CND, as well as many of the other sponsors, I’m very cognizant of this honor. Making it to the Top 12 is a goal I set for myself; saying I’d be thrilled just to advance to this point. I still feel like I could put down my brushes and still be very proud of myself, as I already feel like I’ve won something very valuable. I have gained so much confidence in my abilities and have now done things I never have before. It’s helped me to realize I really can do whatever I set my mind to. I feel that advancing through this competition isn’t impossible if I have the chance to continue to be challenged. That’s why I did my first ever mural with 3-D acrylic elements and acrylic paints, two techniques I learned because of this competition. I’m using this set to remind myself “even the sky isn’t the limit!”


Lauren Boyd (Memphis, Tenn.)


Everything in this nail design signifies hope. From a religious standpoint, the sun/son, is a big thing. Light is life and love and love is God and he is in me. The sun is smiling and it’s also a clock. God is smiling on all of us and the time is now. If I didn’t feel like it was in his will or it wasn’t his time, I wouldn’t be here right now. It’s not a coincidence that I didn’t enter last year, I wasn’t ready. Now is the time, the energy was present and I conceded.


When I think of the competition, I think of the song by Notorious BIG “Sky’s The Limit,” so “NTNA 2014” written in dripping letters in the sky. I chose to do a third nail completely unrelated to the story. I’m drawn to graffiti and most of it is done with a spray can. This is my favorite image of a spray can so I made it spray out multicolor paints on the other nails. I also drew the “Keep Calm” crown and words and below it I wrote “I do this” which is just my message to everyone. Then of course, my salon initials “GNB.”


Lavette Cephus (Toledo, Ohio)


Top 12 feels amazing, unbelievable, an honor, and the list continues, but most importantly it is truly a blessing!


Lexi Martone (Dix Hills, N.Y.)


What does Top 12 mean to me? It means dedication, determination, and passion. Its the second time around for me and I want this more than ever. Being in this competition last year has brought me some of the best opportunities in the world. I would have never dreamed in a million years I would be where I am today. To win this contest it takes 100% dedication. Nails all day, all the time. Polish is always on the brain.


Lini Sherburne (Sparks, Md.)


Making it into the Top 12 has been like a whirlwind of emotions! Excitement, uncertainty, happiness, nervousness, and pure joy are among some of the feelings I’ve gone through since starting this competition. Now that I’ve made the Top 12, I also have a sense of peace, because even though the real challenge is yet to come, I know I’m ready for it. I’ve been waiting to truly put my creativity to the test, and NTNA is a great way to finally do so. Wherever I go in this competition, I know I can look forward to improving my skills as an artist and nail tech and learning more about the industry in the process.


Marisol Alvarado (Stockton, Calif.)


It still hasn’t hit me yet. It is such an honor to be in the Top 12 right next to one of my nail idols, NailGurl. As much as I want to win, it would be an honor to lose to her. I am amazed that I have already made it this far!


NailGurl (New York City)


I have to say that I am pretty anxious more than excited. I’m a personality type that works without any rules or regulations, so it will definitely be interesting to see how far NTNA will take me.


Sherri Traweek (Redlands, Calif.)


Competing for the title of Next Top Nail Artist feels so amazing and unbelievable! I can’t believe little ol’ me made it to the Top 12. I can’t wait to see what the future brings, and the crazy fun challenges that await. These 12 nail tips are shaped like a spiral staircase, because are all climbing the ladder to the top.


Simone Gilbert (Victoria, Australia)


I am so proud of myself for having made it to the Top 12 of this year’s NAILS Next Top Nail Artist competition. I feel truly honored to be competing with some of the most talented nail artists I have come across, many of whom I have been following via social media for quite some time now. So far, this amazing competition has encouraged me to venture outside my comfort zone and work with mediums I was too afraid to touch until now. I look forward to seeing myself grow as an artist through my participation in this competition and I cannot wait for the first challenge.


Yesenia Oliva (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)


I feel like the queen of nails! I used everything that basically describes me. I’m sparkly, unique, and love glitter.