Full Name: April Ryan
Hometown: Los Angeles
Salon: Laque Nail Bar
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Builder gel
Favorite Nail Trend: Complex hand painting on long nails

I’ve been working as a nail tech for almost nine years. I’m trying to keep up with the best nail techs in the world by trying new techniques every day. Two months ago I opened my own nail studio in San Diego. I’m doing Russian style nails for my American clients and they adore it. I train my team of nail technicians so they can provide the same quality services to our clients. I’m very happy that I’m in the U.S. right now and have an opportunity to compete with such talented nail artists.

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Week 4: Orly

L.A. Legend

As always, it wasn’t easy for me to decide what to do for the challenge. I live in Beverly Hills so I’m pretty close to Hollywood. I have been to nearly all of Hollywood’s famous places so it was hard for me to decide which one to pick. There are so many landmarks to choose from:  Madame Tussauds with its perfect wax figures, the Hollywood sign, the famous Chinese Theatre, and the Walk of Fame with thousands of tourists and all sorts of street actors. Finally, I decided to put all of them in my design. My design is influenced by my love of mobile apps (especially games). I wanted to draw people in Fashion Illustration style since in my opinion it is the best way to show Hollywood. I chose acrylic paints to create this design because it’s easier to paint small details with them. I created a background with rough shades and drew people with blurred lines like the image of street actors. My design came out bright with a lot of colors — how I always imagine Hollywood.


Click here to view a video diary about April’s nails.

Week 3: Entity

Pink & White Couture

To me, haute couture means high fashion. It includes different standards, different visions, unusual shapes, forms, solutions, and of course denotes a luxury lifestyle. Haute couture is so beyond the ordinary that conventional thinkers have difficulty understanding it. Nevertheless, it’s impossible to be indifferent to high fashion. Couture creations cannot be restrained, they are pieces of art, expressing the individual vision of beauty of their creator. In my work I mixed all of these components – extreme length, luxury, and a lot of expensive (or expensive-looking) parts. As you can see I used chains, wire, polymer clay, studs etc. The goal of these nails is not that they be loved by everyone, but only by those who understand them. I tried to make everything as fancy as possible so I started with white (since it’s a pink-and-white challenge). So what’s the fanciest color? Gold, of course! Then I added some red accents to make my design complete. I absolutely adore the final look of my nails and hope you’ll be able to see all of my passion in it.


Click here to see a step-by-step of April’s pink-and-white look.


Click here to see a step-by-step of April’s haute couture look.

Week 2: Akzentz

All Fun & Games

To find the right game for this challenge was hard for me.  I spent several hours thinking of what I played when I was a kid. It was mostly dolls so not many board games in my childhood. But after couple of hours I remembered that I played a board game in kindergarten called Candy Land! I remember the rules were hard to understand at first but when you know what to do it’s really engrossing and you can play it for hours. Since I didn’t want it to be just plain Candy Land, I thought about a sub theme. After searching for an hour or so, I found it in my old photos: a picture of me playing Sponge Bob-themed Candy Land with my parents and brothers when I was a teenager. I loved this cartoon ever since it came out on Russian television. The characters and the whole underwater world are so bright and colorful, the jokes are super funny and you just love all the characters, even Squidward. Drawing these cartoon characters is not too complex but not too simple either, creating a great balance that keeps watcher’s eyes delighted all of the time.


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

Week 1: Dashing Diva

Pure Diva

For this challenge I chose Marilyn Monroe because she is a symbol of femininity. She excited men’s minds and made women go crazy with jealousy. Yet she was a person to look like, the symbol of an era. There were a lot of rumors swirling around her. Famous and powerful men wanted to win her love. Sure signs of a pure diva! I know few women with such an influence that endures for generations. Marilyn’s favorite color was bright pink so I used it generously in my nail art. Also I added lots of jewelry as proof of Marilyn’s love for brilliance. (“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”) To me, “Pure Diva” is a synonym for Marilyn Monroe.


Click here to see April’s Pinterest board.


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