Full Name: Halley Fortenberry
Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Salon: Miss Exclusive Nails
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic, gel, anything you would have never thought about being associated with nails
Favorite Nail Trend: Aztec/tribal, gradient, hand painted madness, there are too many to pick from, I love it all!

I have only been professionally licensed since the end of summer of 2014, and things have escalated quickly since then. I’ve only been seriously interested in nails for two years, so I can’t imagine where I’ll be in five years. I’m all smiles and I am excited for what is to come!

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Week 6: Gel II

Sky's the Limit

Seoul, South Korea is an ancient city nestled along the Han River that has seen many dynasties throughout its time. A walk through the magical city will reveal centuries-old buildings next to modern buildings, and it all just seems to flow. Through recent years, Seoul has undergone a groundbreaking amount of construction to keep up with modern times. The particular skyline that I have chosen does not exist yet! It is currently undergoing monumental construction, and what you see here is known as the “Dreamhub.” The huge building in the center is the Dream Tower and it will be completed within the next few years. The buildings surrounding it are strategically placed and designed under feng shui. Almost every skyline photo of Seoul has the N Seoul Tower peeking out in the background, which is atop Namsan Mountain. I chose this particular city as my inspiration, because it is the closest major city to my grandparents’ home just two hours away. It is a thriving city that never sleeps, and is ranked among the most beautiful cities in the world. Once the Dream Tower is complete, it will hold the #3 spot for the tallest skyscrapers on Earth.


Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial for Halley’s nails.

Week 5: Bio Seaweed Gel

In Unison

Personally, nothing screams UNITY like sitting at the dining room table with my family. Since I can remember, my mom always made it a point to gather the family together to nourish our bodies with delicious food — and for good reason. When family from out of town, or fresh off the plane from Korea come to visit, we always had Walam Sam (Wah-lahm-sahm). Walam Sam is the Korean version of fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls. Everyone has a job — cooking the meat, picking perilla leaves, Thai basil, Thai peppers, red leaf lettuce, and whatever else from the garden. We prepare together, eat together, laugh together, and clean up together. All of the ingredients are set across the table in bowls and on plates, and they all come together in a rice paper roll, creating unity between the ingredients. Unlike restaurants, the way we do it calls for each roll to be made one at a time, to your liking. This calls for more time together as a family, while we fill up on healthy food, in unison. I chose to use blue orchids as the centerpiece because every time I see them, I think of my mother.


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

Week 4: Orly

L.A. Legend

I chose TCL Chinese Theatre (aka Grauman’s Chinese Theatre) because the structure itself, inside and out, is aesthetically pleasing to the eye. In 1968, this astounding establishment was declared a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural monument. At 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, just a hop and a skip away from the famous Hollywood “Walk Of Fame,” this breathtaking building portrays the classic Chinese architecture that we all have come to know and love. The massive forecourt is covered tile by tile with notable handprints and footprints of famous people dating back to 1927. As you walk inside, the ambiance engulfs you as you walk toward the concessions. The ceilings are adorned with beautiful detailed gold light fixtures, and the walls are abundant in traditional Chinese artwork. As you pass through beautiful gold gilded doors, where dragons and cranes are depicted and aged to perfection, you can expect nothing less than the extraordinary. The massive theatre seats 932 cinema lovers for the experience of a lifetime. I chose to use the decor from inside and out to create my Hollywood-inspired nails. This will definitely be one of the first landmarks I make my way to when I finally travel to Los Angeles.


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

Week 3: Entity

Pink & White Couture

At first, I had no idea what direction I wanted to go in for my haute couture look. Then a friend of mine directed my gaze to a beautiful blue and grey dress that had my mouth watering for more. It had intricate detail within a negative space and the fabrication was very similar to the line work that I love to do. It had feathers coming out every which way and it was very symmetrical, which I adore. Another friend of mine suggested that I create a look that I would wear myself to a very special event, and I took off. Here is what I created — I hope you love it!


Click here for a step-by-step tutorial of Halley’s pink-and-white look.


Click here for a step-by-step tutorial of Halley’s haute couture look.


Week 2: Akzentz

All Fun & Games

The very first board game that came to mind when receiving this challenge was Monopoly. But I thought, man, someone will probably pick that! So for a week I went back and forth between several board games that I also love, but realized that the love I have for Monopoly is uniquely mine. So how do I take it up a notch? Futurama, of course! I have watched every season of Futurama so it was a no-brainer. Creating this set brought back childhood memories of me sitting at my cousins’ house, bickering back and forth about who gets the thimble and dog. I usually got what I wanted, since I was the baby. There is nothing more traditionally American than Monopoly. I had so much fun doing this set and I can’t wait to frame it and keep it forever.


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

Week 1: Dashing Diva

Pure Diva

I chose Rihanna for my diva because she is a very relevant artist, and she was one of the first to come to my mind. I decided to go with a warm gold color scheme because she is after all, an island girl. She loves gold jewelry and her home country, Barbados. I also chose her because we are both Pisces; she was born the day after me. I decided to use her tattoos as my 2-D element because it was meaningful to me that both of us have right-hand tattoos. She is also one of my dream clients! I used Rihanna’s face in a diamond shape to resemble her song, “Shine Bright Like A Diamond.” Her diva demands make sense to me, and I feel even more connected with her after creating these nails.


Click here to see Halley’s Pinterest board.


Click here to see a video tutorial of how Halley made these nails.