Full Name: Torie Bastian
Hometown: Crown Point, Ind.
Salon: The Polished Pinky
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Gel
Favorite Nail Trend: Almond shaped, geode, natural stones

I allow my creativity to flow from my inner source guided by inspiration and constantly striving for perfection. This is why my style stands alone from the rest. I believe in originality. Therefore, I create the trend rather than follow the trend.

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Week 9: INM

Animated Short

This week’s NTNA Challenge is all about animation. We were tasked to create a fantasy nail art tip that contains at least one movable component. The inspiration for this challenge was based around a series of animated shorts featuring INM’s logo “Jimmy the Swan.” After watching these cute and eccentric videos, I instantly had a flash of inspiration. Thus, Jimmy the bobble head was born! It was a vision of movement that came to my mind first. I could see exactly how I wanted him to move and shake. It was just a matter of how I was going to make that happen. Let’s just say several prototypes later and after using a whole jar of gel, Jimmy came to life! I found that utilizing a spring in a horizontal position when paired with the shape of his long body, provided the movement needed to complete my vision.


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

Week 8: Gelish

Rocky Horror Halloween

I started by sculpting 10 nails with gel over forms in different shapes. I created a stiletto pinky nail, eight coffin-shaped nails, and one pointed index finger. During the sculpting process I wanted to create richness and depth by adding a mother of pearl inlay on two of the nails. This serves as a background to my elevator doors and Frank N. Furter’s face (the main character of the film). I continued with the general theme of adding the wardrobe of specific characters to the manicure, while keeping the colors red, black, and white to stay in the boundary of the requirements of the challenge. I had a blast creating this set, as I have used “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” as inspiration for other Halloween sets in years past.


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

Week 7: China Glaze

The Next Picasso

I decided to a take an overall Cubist approach to this Picasso-inspired set. Each nail is designed to highlight either a select movement, style or a source of inspiration throughout his career. Assemblage art, constructed cubism, and plastic arts play a strong roll in this manicure. Picasso played a major role in founding this style of art along with his fellow artists, Marcel Duchamp and Henri Matisse. Constructed Cubism is where a 3-D object is fixed to the main piece of art, causing it to protrude outward from the original. Plastic arts are the manipulation of a plastic medium through molding and shaping. This art pretty much sums up modern-day nail fashion. Assemblage art was a must in creating the foundation to my Picasso set. Picasso was both admired and detested, as his art did not appeal to all factions of the population over 100 years ago.  This is true even today;  he’s admired for his style, but remains questioned by many for his avant garde approach to art.


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

Week 6: Gel II

Sky's the Limit

I chose Chicago for this NTNA challenge.  I live just 45 minutes outside of the city, in  Northwest Indiana, which is close enough to call Chicago home. The task at hand was to pick a town with a remarkable skyline, but also a town that has epic architecture and skyscrapers to recreate.  I think what makes Chicago’s skyline so grand is its correlating shoreline to complete that picturesque finish. Living in Northwest Indiana is such a blessing, for it gives us a different vantage point of the city on a daily basis. The Steel Metropolis off in the distance perched over a shimmering Lake Michigan is enough to draw any Chicagoan on a long holiday into the country, to view it from our perspective. Chicago is a very large city. I knew that I would be very hard pressed to fit the whole city and every skyscraper over 10 nail tips.  So I picked my favorite view and stretch of Lake Shore Drive to serve as inspiration for my challenge.  I knew had to capture Grant Park and Navy Pier, because they are both timeless landmarks. I hand picked each building for its iconic feel.  There is no doubt that with one glance you would know that this was The Windy City.


Editor’s Note: Click on Torie’s picture above and then use the arrows to see the nighttime view.


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

Week 5: Bio Seaweed Gel

In Unison

Through my eyes I view Unity as all parts equaling a whole, whether that be an example of teamwork amongst a comradery of individuals, or physical pieces coming together. Unison is always my goal for clear communication. When people come together with a clear and honest approach to the common goal it allows us to continue with clear communication to avoid a negative outcome. For example, my salon is The Polished Pinky. We all maintain our energy in unison. We all take on certain roles to insure an overall happy and healthy atmosphere for our clients. Maintaining unison in all relationships will also help one’s overall health and wellness.


This brings me to my next point of view: the self, which is mind, body, and spirit. Magic happens when these three unite. That is why I chose to symbolize Unity in the form of a hoop dancer. When I hoop, it puts me in unison with a higher state of mind. Not only that, the circle is the most common known symbol for unity. It was only natural that I picked a hoop dancer for this challenge. Hoop Dance is a very sacred ancient art. Native Americans would tell stories about the unification of nature and animals through hoop dance expression. When I am in my hoop, I am in tune and unified with a higher source. It is through hooping I unify mind body and spirit.


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

Week 4: Orly

L.A. Legend

For this flat-paint challenge it was our duty to pick a Hollywood landmark then translate it into a beautiful manicure. I decided to choose the iconic Hollywood Sign nestled in the crest of the Hollywood Hills. I felt this scene would make an excellent subject for the direction I wanted to take this manicure. I’m a stickler for maintaining balance in design, so I quickly envisioned a landscape that would drape across five nails. Taking into consideration that embellishments were prohibited from this particular challenge, I wanted to achieve as much depth and dimension as possible in this manicure.


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

Week 3: Entity

Pink & White Couture

I chose a Crystal Goddess theme for my haute couture look for this week’s NTNA Challenge. When I think of haute couture, my mind gravitates to high end, one-of-a-kind, and an over the top presentation to tell a story. As we are just getting off Fashion Week, I was fueled with inspiration from all of the designers’ fashions down to the production of their shows. Typically a nail professional in this position would work with the designer to complement or complete that designer’s look. In this case, I am the designer. As such, I will do what I do best and create a story for this Crystal Goddess Set.


With consciousness on the rise and new energies abounding, more people are waking up to their own divinity within. Crystals have been found to be helpful tools in meditation and many other uses. Crystals have become so popular, that people are incorporating them into their everyday fashions to work with crystalline energies and metaphysical properties. Typically found in jewelry, I have adorned my own version of a crystal crown into this Goddess Haute Couture Manicure. May she be a pillar of light as she floats down the runway, bringing the gift of enlightenment to whomever may lay their eyes upon her.


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


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


Week 2: Akzentz

All Fun & Games

I chose to re-create a Ouija Board for our second NTNA Challenge.  I was very inspired with a vision I had with the layout of this project as a whole.


I wanted the nail tips to lay across the planchette in a crescent fashion as if they were playing the game itself. This also set the backdrop for a very Art Nouveau Ouija board. I tried to keep the rest of the art true to the actual game, for the pictures tell the story.  I also felt it was very important to include a set of the rules and instructions, for there are only three and they are very basic:

  • Be serious because it’s not a game. Being in a serious mood ensures your natural psychic defenses are turned on while you’re talking to the dead. …
  • Always say goodbye at the end. Mischievous or negative ghosts will refuse to say goodbye.
  • Never use the Ouija board in your home.


I had so much fun creating my Ouija nails; now let’s just hope they don’t start moving around on their own!


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

Week 1: Dashing Diva

Pure Diva

I chose Cher to serve as inspiration behind my Pure Diva Challenge. Cher has carried grace and an iconic style for the past 50 years. Her style has morphed through many incarnations, providing me with a wide range of options to create many different looks. The more I looked into Cher the more I loved her. I really resonate with her Cherokee Nation and 70s style. Past and present, she’s always been adorned with turquoise so it was very important that I bring the color of that stone into her design to provide her with a set of nails that she would love. Another driving force behind Cher’s nails was her designer and stylist Bob Mackie. Mackie has provided her costumes and evening gowns for the past 42 years. So the task at hand was to make an even blend of Bob Mackie glam and Cher’s own Cherokee style to produce a perfect set of nails fit for a true diva.


Click here to see Torie’s Pinterest board.


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