Full Name: Celina Rydén
Hometown: Stockholm
Salon: Celinas Naglar
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic paint
Favorite Nail Trend: Ombre and bohemian style

I’m 30 years old and I’ve been working with nails for 10 years. I’ve also been working as a professional dancer and occasionally I write songs and perform/sing/rap with my EDM/pop group RAW. To have some kind of creativity in my life is not an option, it’s like breathing. When it comes to nail work I love coming up with new ideas and trying to set new trends. I’m also into classic nail competitions and I always strive to make my work as perfect as possible with every client. I’m definitely a perfectionist and I love to be challenged.

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Final Challenge: CND

Beauty Changes Lives Part 2

Click on the image above to enlarge and see all five sets.


Set 1: What is beautiful to you?


This set was  requested as being very wearable, so I wanted to go wearable in two aspects. Making them short and oval shaped means they will be short and fit the most people. The design itself should also be wearable so I went with a clean design that still told a story. For all my sets I’ve decided to go very personal and spiritual and I really want you to get to know me. The lace and the peacock colors are symbols for beauty and then I wanted to add some attitude into the collection, hence the gold metallic. The blue stone is featured through all sets and for me that symbolizes my love of nature. When I was little my grandma had a fantastic stone/crystal collection and that was the most amazing thing I knew! My love for stones and crystals has lived on and I still get amazed with all the breathtaking forms, colors and shapes nature is able to create.  I love being at my family home in the Swedish archipelago  more than anything and a lot of that is because you can really feel all the energy that nature radiates. Nature has so much to give us if we only let it and you can see the love for stones and crystals on the pinkies in this set. One other thing that I’m a strong believer in is The Universe and The Law Of Attraction. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s a way to think positively to attract positive events. On one nail you can find one of my tattoos called Buddha’s Eyes, which is a reminder that my dear grandpa is always with me. You can also find a mandala on the middle finger, which is a symbol of creativity which is such a huge part of my life that I’m very grateful for. Then we have the two arrows that symbolize chasing after your dreams and setting up goals. I’ve always been that kind of person who loves to dream big.


Set 2: How has beauty changed your life?


This set was requested to be wearable but with a little 3-D. Since I already did a wearable set, I decided to do the length and shape that I myself usually wear with some 3-D. So how did beauty change my life? My life changed from feeling lost and sad about the fact that I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do, to opening up a whole new world of positive emotions and a new sense of life purpose! I was still a dancer but that part of my life was over, even if I still worked as one. I was feeling depressed, my body was aching and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get back to that love or passion that I once felt.


I then got back into the nail industry and everything had changed during the time I was away! Suddenly people were into nail art and they wanted to express their personality on their nails! Everything changed for me and suddenly I felt at home. In this set I’ve decided to symbolize my spirit opening up with a lotus flower on one of the thumbs. When I’m opening up my chakras I visualize them as lotus flowers opening up and glowing and that’s how it felt when I got back into the industry. I felt like I was lifting a mask of my life and revealing so much about my creativity that I never knew I had, so I decided to place a lace mask onto one of the ring fingers. On the opposite finger I decided to create a mandala shape using flat embellishments and crystals, and another kind of mandala pattern on the index finger, symbolizing creativity of course. On the other thumb I decided to place the symbol for “Aum”, that symbolizes “The Universe” to represent how it helped me and guided me though intuition to find my way in life. You can also use the word “Aum” in meditation to find peace and that is the general feeling I got when I changed my carrier – spiritual peace. The eye is also a symbol of the whole new world that was opening up right before me and the feathers are a symbol of hope – feeling optimistic and hopeful about the future ahead. The compass and the wings are of course symbols of one of my dreams coming true through the beauty industry – traveling! Traveling has always been a very big part of my life and now thanks to my job I get to travel all around the world.


Set 3: What does the future of beauty look like?


No one can know for sure what’s in the future of beauty, but if I’m allowed to dream, I wish that there would be no limitations for our creativity. I also wish that we will be in better harmony with nature and produce and use products that are cruelty-free and kind to nature in general. The butterfly with the lace details represents beauty and the dream catcher is all made from scratch and represents our ability to dream big and without limitations. The spiritual girl represents the creativity that comes from within and that we should listen more to our inner voice. Both index fingers represent the harmony between nature and the beauty industry using clock gears and roses. The thumbs hold the clock (that actually works) and represent the future. The peacock is another piece that I’ve decided to incorporate in all the sets as it also represents the word “beauty.” In this set it also represents the harmony with nature and it’s also sitting on a moon, which represents aiming for the stars. The universe nail represents the endless expressions and magic we can create if we just expand our minds. The pinkie is a mandala that also represents creativity. If you can dream it you can do it – so dream big!


Set 4: Shout your beauty


I’ve decided to do a sub theme to the main theme and I call it, “Wear your scars like jewelry.” When I was 15 years old, I was a gymnast and injured my knee so bad that I was forced to quit gymnastics for good. As a result of that injury I was left with a huge scar going across my entire left knee. I was so ashamed and I refused to show it to anyone for over three years. Now, 15 years later, I’m proud of my scar because it’s part of my history and something that has made me the person I am today. Personality is beautiful, even if it’s in the shape of a scar. Tattoos are also another version of scars, but made beautiful. It’s another way to express our personality and an expression of art. Tattoos are also like a memory bank and connected to a certain part of your life. I also wear mental scars after losing my grandpa in a car accident six years back. I’ve since then been battling panic attacks, but it’s something that has made me a stronger person today, which I’m very proud of.  No matter what type of scar you are wearing, you should be proud and celebrate that we all are different. You can also find the stone texture in this set. It’s old, worn out with cracks going through it, but that makes it much more beautiful. Our experiences and our differences make us beautiful. I also decided to create an arm piece connected to the nails on the left hand, representing my tattoo sleeve, and then a hand piece connected to the right thumb representing my tattoo on my right underarm, all created from scratch of course.


Set 5: Jan’s Nails


When you think of Jan Arnold, you of course think of high fashion, upcoming trends, and wearing what you love to wear. For this set we got an inspiration board created by Jan herself to get ideas from. My eyes were instantly drawn to the tartan pattern but I still wanted to go with the color theme of my collection. Then I wanted to incorporate something that would feel kind of androgynous, upcoming, and trendy so I decided to add white “nail implants” that you probably will see a lot more of this year. On one of the implant nails I created a texture inspired by the army jacket I wear in my profile picture. She is truly a power woman and she has really made me so much stronger during this competition. It’s a symbol of unity and that women can empower each other. I still wanted to give her a little bit more attitude so I added studs to the checkered nails and then smoothed it out by adding small bubbles around them. They are actually representing the Lady Gaga bubble nail I made for the first challenge that I know Jan loved. The scale-like ring finger is actually a personalized version on the pinkie in my BCL set. I know that that is also one of Jan’s favorites so I wanted to give her one of her own. The eye in the middle is of course representing her being the head judge in this competition. I then added a ring piece attached to one of the ring fingers. I made this set as wearable as possible but still with enough elements to rock New York Fashion Week. I mean, Jan Arnold is not a plain person and her nails of course have to match her fun, spunky, and fashion-forward personality!


Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial of one of Celina’s sets.


Click here to see a video diary about Celina’s nails.

Final Challenge: CND

Beauty Changes Lives

When I started my research on Tippi Hedren (which is actually pronounced “Hedrén” as her grandparents are Swedish!) the first thing that comes up is of course her part in Hitchcock’s classic horror movie “The Birds.” As I did some more research it became more and more clear to me that I basically had to do two sides of Tippi – “Tippi the Hollywood star” and “Tippi the humanitarian and animal rights activist.” I also found her relationship to Hitchcock and his obsession with her very interesting and something that I wanted to incorporate into the design as well as several elements from the movie “The Birds” and other accomplishments from her Hollywood career. On her personal side, I wanted to highlight her animal preserve Shambala and her humanitarian work, especially with the Vietnamese-Americans in the 1970s. One thing that is very dear to my heart is education, so I wanted an entire nail to represent the CND Beauty Changes Lives (BCL) Tippi Hedren Scholarship that supports prospective and newer students entering a nail program. Tippi sure has a big heart and I really hope that this set will do her amazing work, both on and off screen, justice!

Week 10: EzFlow

Easily Enchanted

Up here in the north, we’re all about myths and tales about forest creatures. I’ve always had a huge fascination with it and as many of you might know, one of the best places in the world for me is at our vacation house out in the Swedish archipelago. There’s something about the trees, water, and forest that just fills me up with more energy than a one-month vacation on a sunny beach.


I decided that I wanted to create my own little mystical and magical forest, a place where I would like to lay down in the grass and just look at all the amazing things around me. My goal was to make it so magical that you could almost hear the sound of sparkling glitter in the air. So welcome into my enchanted and magical forest! I hope that you’ll become friends with all of my forest creatures and that you’ll find yourself a favorite spot where you would like to sit or lay down and inhale the soothing and magic energy.


Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial of Celina’s nails.

Week 9: INM

Animated Short

In one of INM’s videos, Jimmy the Swan is dressed up as “Captain Save-a-Nail,” so I decided to go with that version of him. I wanted to think as if I was hired to do a marketing concept for INM’s new winter collection. So I came up with the idea of having the Grinch stealing the winter collection and having “Captain Save-a-Nail” save the day (and Christmas). I also wanted to make it a little bit more personal so all the illustrations in the Grinch story are made by me.


Click here to see a video diary about Celina’s nails.

Week 8: Gelish

Rocky Horror Halloween

My model for this week is also a nail tech (and a huge Rocky Horror fan!) so I created something that would definitely be wearable for her as she’s used to long nails and a lot of 3-D nail art. When I first got the challenge, Frank’s mouth and shoes came to mind. But I really wanted to take it to the next level as we’ve come this far into the competition. The checkered backgrounds are inspired by the glass window over Rocky’s bed and the three skulls were inspired by the awesome grandfather clock in the hallway (and of course Frank’s love for human experiments). I think of them as part of the crew (Riff Raff, Magenta, and Columbia). I also really wanted to add Frank into the design in some way, but to be honest, after working as a dancer for over 10 years, Frank’s face isn’t that scary to me. So I decided to combine two of his trademarks: his love for feather boas and of course his beautiful singing voice – hence a songbird! In skull form of course – we still need to stick to the Halloween theme! One other very important character is Rocky so that was my next challenge. As Frank claims to have discovered life itself and actually brings his experiment Rocky to life, I decided to portray him as a human heart and to add some gore to the design. The cross represents the engagement/marriage of Janet and Brad, the swirly pinky stands for the evil sweet madness that goes on in the castle, the hat was inspired by the dancers’ outfits, and the stocking nail of course represents Frank’s obsession with stockings (he wants everyone to wear them). I then blinged up the entire set, because what is Frank without his glam, and there you have my interpretation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show!”


Click here to see a video diary about Celina’s nails.

Week 7: China Glaze

The Next Picasso

Since we were allowed to paint whatever we wanted, I started off by getting to know him a little bit better first. If you’re going to paint like Picasso you have to think like Picasso! Picasso always had a strong drive to experiment and push boundaries with his art. His work was often considered obscene, obnoxious, and even provocative for his time. He wanted to have a strong statement with his pieces and make people think and react.


So, to create a Picasso masterpiece, you really need to add some meaning behind it! I wanted a theme that is close to my heart and would make people think and react, so I ended up with “how today´s society affects the way we feel and think about our bodies and appearance.” I’ve been working with kids and especially girls since I was 15. I know how hard it is for them growing up with the image of being that perfect woman. They don’t feel like they are good enough just the way they are and that is just horrible. There is a lot for young girls today to hate about themselves because of how society tells us what’s perfect or not. I’ve always had a calling to help young girls with their self-confidence so this is definitely a subject that I would like people to talk more about.


Editor’s Note: Click on Celina’s picture above and then use the arrows to see the thumb.


Click here to see a video diary about Celina’s nails.

Week 6: Gel II

Sky's the Limit

I’ve lived in Stockholm my whole life and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. We have a lot of history in our city with old buildings and places and Stockholm is designated as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. This is definitely where my heart lies and I’m actually the third generation in my family to live here. My favorite time of the year is fall, when the sun is shining and the leaves turn into these amazing colors. The air is fresh and clean and you just want to take a walk with a nice take away tea down by the water and the boats around Djurgården. If you haven’t been here, this is definitely a place to visit! In my piece you’ll find some of Stockholm’s most famous buildings and places like the Globe Arena, Old Town, Kaknästornet (The Kaknäs Tower), Riddarholmskyrkan (The Riddarholms church), City Hall, and much more. Welcome to my hometown!


Click here to see a tutorial for Celina’s nails.

Week 5: Bio Seaweed Gel

In Unison

This week’s challenge was a very emotional one for me. As soon as I finished reading the instructions, I had my design sketched up in my head. This was the challenge that I wanted to dedicate to my grandfather and also tell you about the accident that would change my life forever. To overcome the severe panic attacks I suffered as a result of the accident, I started to attend meditation classes and learned more about the body’s seven chakras. When they are all united, your body is in harmony and you can also take it one step further and connect to the spirit world. The unity of the chakras helped me to get back to life and it also became a very important tool to get in touch with one of the people that had meant the most to me. I also incorporated one of my tattoos called “Buddha’s Eyes,” which is a symbol of harmony and the understanding that there’s more to the world than what we see with our physical eyes. I decided to design and do this tattoo as a symbol of my journey and to remind me that my grandfather is always with me and that we are forever united though space and time. The large swirl in the middle is actually sanskrit for the number “one.” It symbolizes that everything in the world in connected to one big Universe – united as one.


Click here to see a video diary about Celina’s nails.

Week 4: Orly

L.A. Legend

This week Orly asked us to recreate a Hollywood landmark. I’ve never been to Hollywood, so this of course made it a little bit trickier for me, but hey, what’s a competition without a little bit of a challenge, right? I Googled and Googled and finally I came across this super awesome theatre called Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre! Perfect match don’t even describe half of it since I’m a huge Egyptian history fan with all the pyramids, wall paintings, tombs, pharaohs and cool, creepy stuff! One particular thing that stood out was the huge decoration in the ceiling in the shape of an Egyptian scarab and a sun, so I wanted that to be the main focus in my design. I also found a cool old-looking sign outside of the theatre, so that was a must to incorporate in some way to capture the theatre feeling instead of just a general Egyptian theme. The last thing that I really wanted to incorporate into my design was the hieroglyphs! As I said, I am totally in love with Egyptian wall paintings (which they of course have a lot of in the theatre), so I looked up a couple of symbols that I found on the walls and then I found a poster from the theatre, which reminded me of papyrus paper, so that basically sealed the deal! As always, I had a blast creating this piece and I really hope that you’ll enjoy watching it!


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

Week 3: Entity

Pink & White Couture

Since I do traditional pink-and-white competitions (but only in gel), I was really excited to try out my first acrylic nails ever and on top of that – competition style with an haute couture twist!


A couple of years ago I ran an online shop where I sold my own handmade jewelry called “byCelina.” So that’s what I wanted to incorporate into my design. Haute couture for me means statement design that’s really over the top and one of a kind, something that you’ve never seen before. So I pulled my former jewelry designer skills back and really tried to make something that would be memorable.


I started by doing some research online to find out what colors and textures are in for the fall and winter seasons. Since the base would be mostly white I found that I still wanted to keep it clean by sticking to the colors gray and black to complement the pink-and-white base and still be fashion-forward when it comes to coloring. I then did some research on textures and shapes coming in this season. I saw a lot of lace and large wavy skirts mixed with metallic (both gold and silver), so those elements were definitely something I wanted to incorporate. I did also find that a lot of the designers used hand and nail jewelry in their collections with a lot of rings, so that worked perfectly with my vision. The “spike piece” on the pinkie was inspired by a hat I saw and the large white nail/finger piece was inspired by one of the large wavy dresses, so I ended up with my take on if I would have been an haute couture nail designer! I hope that this piece will get your inspiration going and maybe want to try out something that’s a little bit over the top.


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


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

Week 2: Akzentz

All Fun & Games

I chose chess simply because it is my absolute favorite board game and my dad taught me to play when I was a kid. I have played it on my Amiga (people born in the 80s or before know what I’m talking about — the whole board game was basically just one big pixel but it still was a lot of fun!), I’ve played it on my phone, on every computer I’ve ever owned, and of course played the real thing.


As soon I decided to do chess I started to get ideas on doing it with a Tim Burton/Alice in Wonderland twist, since I’m a huge fan of both. I love to create creepy “cute” things and chess can absolutely be creepy cute. It was my first time ever doing 3-D with gel and I learned so much on the way! I really hope you’ll enjoy it and get into the Wonderland mode with me.


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

Week 1: Dashing Diva

Pure Diva

I chose the talented Lady Gaga as my favorite diva for many reasons. This amazing “power girl” has influenced the entire world when it comes to fashion, music, and even dance. As a former professional dancer and choreographer, I’ve been doing choreography to probably every song she’s ever written so I know every lyric and beat there is from Lady Gaga.


Another reason I chose her is because she has a special connection to Sweden. Her first single and album were produced by a Swede called Red One. Lady Gaga also worked with another Swede called Jonas Åkerlund, who produced her video “Paparazzi” — she even speaks Swedish in that video! She been here many times and I happened to be backstage when she was here doing her first concert. One of the strongest memories I have from that time was her absolutely fantastic bubble costume and her silver dress, which I wanted to include in my set of nails.


Doing nails for her would absolutely be a dream come true, especially if it was for a show or a video. This set of nails is my vision of her and every nail brings back a lot of happy memories from my dance career. Hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did creating it!


Click here to see Celina’s Pinterest board.


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