We are happy to announce our Top 3, the finalists who will be going to Chicago to compete for the title of NAILS Next Top Nail Artist.
It’s been a grueling 10 weeks. We’ve seen nail art that moves, cities come to life, high-fashion pink-and-whites, even full-on fantasy nails. We’ve had to say goodbye to a beloved competitor each week, and each week it got that much more difficult to let someone go. In the end there were two nail techs left standing: Celina Ryden and Sarah Elmaz. Two second-time NTNA competitors, Victoria Zegarelli and Winnie Huang (both originally competed in season one), had to duke it out for the coveted third and final spot in the top.
Introduced last season, CND’s Last Chance Design Lab is meant to give one deserving competitor one final chance to stay in the competition. After a record-breaking five-week winning streak, Victoria Zegarelli was eliminated, making Winnie Huang the ultimate Last Chance champion and recipient of the final slot in the Top 3. We now have a purely international top tier of finalists who will go on to compete for the title in Chicago at America’s Beauty Show in March.
Join NAILS in congratulating our season three Top 3! In alphabetical order:
The Record Holder: Celina Ryden
Representing Sweden, Celina shattered the NTNA record for most wins in a season previously held by Lexi Martone of season two. With six wins under her belt, she is the one to beat. Celina has done nails for 10 years and her creative streak does not stop there, as she is also a singer, songwriter, and dancer. Surprisingly, she had never done 3-D art before entering NTNA, but now she has proved her mastery of it. Celina found herself in the top every week in the competition, save for week two. With over 150,000 Instagram followers it’s no wonder she has championed the popular vote week after week.
The Queen of Clean: Sarah Elmaz
Representing Australia, Sarah is perhaps equally as well known under her salon name, Get Buffed Nails. Here at NTNA we know her for her specialized skillset of character art, color, and a squeaky clean finish. Sarah’s precision and attention to detail has landed her in the top four times and secured her wins in weeks two and six. A nail tech for 13 years, this Aussie’s social media has definitely helped her get her work out there. With 150,000 Instagram followers, she has proven to be a crowd favorite from the start.
The (Awesome) Wild Card: Winnie Huang
Don’t let those funny videos fool you, Canada’s Winnie Huang of The RAWR Shop takes competing very seriously. So much so that this competitor found herself in the top for the first weekly challenge and scored second highest in the ninth challenge. Despite not winning a challenge until the final CND Last Chance, Winnie has produced some of the most memorable designs this season, including Homer Simpson Operation nails; a glowstick-infused set; a Walking Dead snow globe; a Capitol Records shaped tip; and even created her own nail goddess. Though she has only been a nail tech for a few years, Winnie has already appeared on two art-focused reality shows and placed fifth in season one of NTNA. Not only does this artist know her way around this particular competition, she is a proven risk-taker who continuously surprises and amazes the judges with what she can pull off.
The last 10 weeks have been exhausting, but the challenges aren’t over yet. Our Top 3 will take on their greatest task yet: the multi-part finale that will begin online in December and culminate in Chicago in March. Please join me in congratulating our Top 3 and wish them the best of luck as they head into their final challenge.