Our second pre-challenge paid homage to our head sponsor, CND, and their three word tagline: Nails. Fashion. Beauty. We tasked our Top 18 to think of their own three-word tagline and create a 3-D design across 10 nail tips (not on a model) using a variety of products. We wanted to see the three words in their finished design.
The judges were blown away by all the 3-D work that was done in just one week and enjoyed getting to know the competitors a bit better. Unfortunately, six contestants had to be eliminated from this round. The remaining 12 will go on to compete for the title of NAILS’ Next Top Nail Artist, starting September 7.
Alecia Mounixay (Wilmington, NC)
I chose this design because of the meaning of the koi fish legend. I wrote a poem about it a few years ago so naturally I went with these words, which I beleive fit me perfectly. I am determined. Through all of the bumps and puddles and even in times of doubt, I work hard for every goal I have set. Some I have accomplished and some are yet to be, but I won’t stop because I am determined to fulfill my dreams. I have dedicated myself to being the best nail artist possible. I have traveled near and far, as far as Korea to train with the best of the best, for I believe if you want to be the best, you have to learn from the best. Late nights and long days are spent preparing for a competition because there are no excuses. You have to grab every opportunity you can when it comes. One slip and you may be left with regret. Sometimes you just have to dive in and not let fear keep you from grabbing your dreams. To me, regret is worse than the fear of failure. Nothing ever works out the way you intend. There will be external factors that you don’t plan for, but knowing that you tried and you gave it your all is more than others can say from the sidelines. Even if it’s you by yourself against the world, be proud and go headstrong. In my piece I made two koi fish, one representing going up the river and one going over the waterfall. I made a massive and elaborate dragon holding a golden ball of wisdom on the other side of the golden gate. I made the whole set of nails to tell a story, a story of a determined koi fish who dedicated its life to never giving up and was eventually rewarded by the gods and turned into a beautiful, wise, and powerful dragon.
April Ryan (San Diego)
It was hard for me to think of a tagline which would clearly define the final look of my work. This is my first 3-D work. I raised the bar for myself and wanted this work to challenge me. After going through different themes I chose beauty, flirt and luxury, because it describes me very well. The fancy blonde and her seductive shape signifies beauty. Her dress, accesories, and crystals show luxury. Her provocative look from under the hat is flirty. I love this work because I belive it looks beautiful and it came out even better than I thought I could do.
Celina Ryden (Stockholm)
For this challenge, the three word tagline had to be perfect as it would affect the entire outcome of the design. I also wanted to end up with a concept that truly described me as a person and choose something that felt personal to me and so my tattoos came to mind. I have a mandala on my arm to represent “creativity” as my whole life revolves around it (everything from nails, drawing, jewelry making, photographing to dance, choreographing, singing, songwriting, etc) and it’s everything I am, so that ended up as my first word. I chose “dream” as my second word because another very important thing for me is to always follow my dreams. One of my biggest fears is to wake up one day when I’m older and regret that I didn’t take chances or live my life as I would have wanted to. I always follow my dreams and intuition and if it didn’t work out, at least I gave it a chance. For the last word I wanted something like “driven” or “ambitious” but it just didn’t seem to do it for me. But then I came up with the word “fighter” because I always fight for my dreams. When I’m determined I go all in. I think, eat, sleep and breathe it as long as I need to.
Emily Nash (Elkhart, Ind.)
For our second pre-challenge, I chose the tagline Harmony. Creative. Nurturing. Harmony describes my love and passion for music and the peace it brings to me. I have played the violin for many years and just started learning the guitar. I grew up around music with my dad being a huge music buff and playing the guitar, and both of my brothers play instruments as well. My next word is creative. I choose this to describe my artistic abilities. Not only do I do nails, but I paint and sew and make all different kinds of things. I also do hair and love being able to still get creative with that. My last word is nurturing. I choose this word because it describes my love and care for all things. I love animals. I have a little zoo at my house. I just adopted two new kittens that were rescued out of a drain pipe.
Halley Fortenberry (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)
I decided to go with a very special three word tagline. I asked friends and family what words they thought described me and my artwork best, and upon much deliberation I settled with Spiritual. Exotic. Ornate. I myself am a very spiritual soul, anything related with the subject immediately catches my attention. From the seven chakras to the pendulum’s self-inhibition, I like to deeply submerse myself in it. I chose exotic because although I am only half Korean, I was very flattered to hear friends thinking of me as exotic or foreign. I am so very American, but I have many Korean tendencies. For the last word, I was striving toward the word ‘flashy’ but I didn’t like how that sounded with the other two words. Ornate means basically the same thing, but better! I love very intricate, shiny, sparkly, swirly goodness just as much as the next woman, if not more. I hope y’all love my finished set as much as I do.
Jessica Warzyniak (Crown Point, Ind.)
For my tagline I chose “weird, wild, and fabulous.” Weird: when I asked people to describe me, that was the first and most often used word, and I have to agree. I’m attracted to off the wall, strange stuff. I like when things don’t match; the more eclectic the better! Wild: I am a goofball and I like to be a bit edgy too. I also love taking risks as long as it’s something I’m passionate about. If my gut says it’s ok, then I’m all in! Fabulous: I love to be over the top! Nails (obviously), makeup, jewlery, hair, clothes…. I love it all! My version of fabulous is funky,edgy, girly. I like things sweet and salty!
Karalee Chabot (Nashua, N.H.)
My three word slogan is Struggle, Strive, Succeed. I chose these three words as my slogan because it tells a story many can relate with, especially myself. Nothing comes easy in life. You must go through struggles, but only those who strive shall succeed. So I created a mural to go with this motto. I wanted to portray that pain leads to pleasure. This theme was bittersweet. This challenge was definitely a struggle, but because I strive for success I do in fact believe I have what it takes to succeed. Success is a feeling you get after you succeed in anything in life, whether it be a delicious meal you prepared, or you made it to the top 18. If you worked hard for it, then you are a success.
Kerlisha Munroe (Point Fortin, Trinidad)
Kerlisha Jamilia Renee Munroe or “Bones” as my family lovingly calls me is the first of two girl children in the Munroe family. A patriot of Trinidad and Tobago, my childhood was spent in the Southwestern peninsula of Trinidad. My sister and I yearly sang calypso and did native dancing at our school and church. I often say God used all my experiences to allow me to develop talents and skills to give Him glory. It started with the choosing of my name- which incorporates part of a national heroine; television personality, Salisha Ali. At every national school competition, whether Scrabble, song festival, or sports I entered to represent the South. People see spirituality and artistry in my whole life. At 7 years old, seriously hospitalized for two months with Sickle Cell, I was introduced to colouring books. While, in hospital one night I fell off the bed and fractured my right arm. Advisors said to sue since the staff confessed their negligence. My mother asked what to do. I told her I loved the nurses, they had been kind to me. We then professed that God would use this fractured hand to bring Himself glory. My teenage years, though challenging, kept me on a path of spiritual bliss, being involved in all areas of the church. I was a youth leader, worship leader, and member of the dance group. We empowered other youths to refrain from a life of crime. Our lives were the tools to demonstrate the power of Christianity. The death of my father drove me to focus my energy on nail art. The comfort which originates as each piece comes to life, signals it’s still a wonderful world.
Lauren Boyd (Memphis, Tenn.)
For my entry, I chose a phrase instead of three separate words. I find myself always telling people to trust me and don’t be afraid because being a graffiti artist means that a ton of colors are used and something crazy could happen, so I chose to do a 3-D graffiti mural. The reason I chose to do a mural instead of a bunch of sculpted characters and scenery is because I thought it would better convey the message of the phrase. There’s a bunch of art in the background and the colors of the letters are all the chaos people love to be scared of. It’s a perfect interpretation of my crazy art style that prompts me to offer the comforting words of “Don’t be afraid.” I chose to do a monochromatic background for my concrete wall and to add dimension and not take away from the colorful graffiti words. I used gel to sculpt the background of the words and acrylic to sculpt the actual words and spray paint can (which is my signature character), where I used Caption polish in white and Light Elegance gel paint to paint the details. Acrylic paint was used for the grey wall and I used a matte top coat on everything but the black background. Then I attached everything with clear acrylic and now I have my graffiti mural!
Liza Waitzman (Spring Valley, Calif.)
Vibrant by definition, is “great life, energy; very bright and loud.” Everything which is me. From my outer exterior to my high energy and loud voice (Loud was actually my nickname in high school). I chose a graffiti style for this word because to me, it is bright and loud, yet intriguing and curious. It’s a way some people express themselves and how their creativity flows from within. Witty was my mom’s first pick for me. She is always saying that I crack her up and I should have my own talk show or be a comedian. Personally, I would freeze up. The things that fly out of my mouth sometimes have no filter and are usually free flowing and never scripted. Hey, if you’re not laughing with me, you’re laughing at me and I’m ok with that. Laughter is the best cure for most situations and I’m all about feeling good. I chose to sprinkle my individually sculpted letters with glitter to really make it pop. Since these words are the whole base of this challenge, I wanted to make sure they stood out. I then chose the comedy masks with my own personal touch with my love for Day of the Dead. Passion for the things I love and the things I want drive me. It is the root word for so much more. It drives my tenacity, my determination to be better, it is my fierce competitor within. I chose to present this word as the roots of a tree that blossom into so many beautiful flowers and the flowers that represent so much more.
Sammi Newell (Dawson Creek, British Columbia, Canada)
The inspiration for my nail design came from a variety of sources. I appealed for an outside point of view via my Facebook page and, along with some funny inputs, I got some great starting points. After much deliberation, I settled on: Sparkles.Spirited. Music. Sparkles was really a natural choice because it is the name I am most known by, not just in the industry. I am often asked if it is my real name, most memorably by the lovely Vicki Peters when we caught up at Olympia, London in September 2014. Mediums used: gel polish, glitter, pigment powder, acrylic, and gel paints. When I Googled the word “Spirited” and read its description, I knew that this would have to be another one of my words. It means full of energy, enthusiasm, and determination. My friends often say that I work too much but I truly love my job, so long days don’t feel like hard work. Mediums used: gel-polish, matte top coat, watercolour pencils, acrylic, gel, and gel paints. I absolutely love music and I couldn’t imagine a day without hearing any. I sculpted a woman from acrylic and painted her with gel-polish so she resembled me somewhat. Then, taking the many gel-polish “stickers” I had made on a piece of clear plastic, I arranged them all through her hair and around her as if the music was coming from within as well as all around. Mediums used: gel-polish, pigment powders, acrylic, and matte top coat.
Sarah Elmaz (Epping, Australia)
My final choice was “Live in Color” because that is how I like to work and live my life. I am personally drawn to bright colours, perhaps that is why I love nail art so much. Colours can express your mood and personality, and what better way to express ourselves than on our nails. My first question to my clients before doing nail art is “What colours do you feel like today?” and that will lead us on our colourful journey to whatever set they end up with. Sometimes they choose a glitter colour and then we match nail colours to that. Or maybe they say “I feel like mermaid nails.” Then we choose colours to suit that theme. So in my job colour is the most important piece of the puzzle. The fantasy design is the kind of things that go floating around in my mind when I talk about using colours: purple butterflies, multicoloured rainbows, yellow flowers, and pink bows. So I hope this gives everyone a little snippet into my crazy mind and maybe makes you a little more likely to go crazy and wear some color in the future.
Sherri Traweek (Redlands, Calif.)
My three word tag line is Faith, Fun, and Glitter. Faith: My faith is everything. It keeps me grounded and gives me hope. It lets me love greatly, and forgive unconditionally. Faith has been the driving force in everything I do in life, family, and nails. Fun: I’m a fun-loving person! If I’m not laughing hysterically or smiling, I’m usually making someone else smile and laugh hysterically. You’ll often find me at a theme park with my family riding the roller coasters and having a blast. Life without fun is no fun at all! Glitter: A nail friend of mine dubbed me the “Glitter Princess.” I absolutely love glitter! I love how it sparkles and shines in the light. I love how glitter can light up someone’s world, or change their mood. Glitter makes people happy, and the world needs a lot more happiness. Just like glitter, I try to reflect the light I’ve been blessed with in a million different directions, and make a positive impact on everyone I meet.
Szilvia Egerszegi (London)
I chose elegant, artisan, nails as my tagline. These words describe me mostly and these words define my nail designs perfectly. I love the elegant but bohemian style that mixes different techniques. I love to make the extreme elegant, mixing the vibrant colours of acrylic paint on a calm watercolour background, decorated with custom accessories. As a professional, I design nail art that suits my client’s attitude and style.
Tan Nguyen (Conroe, Texas)
I’ve decided to go with confidence, faith, and dream as my three word tagline. The reason I chose confident is because if you lack confidence in life you won’t be able to achieve your goals. Always try for the best by believing in yourself. You yourself create your own destiny, so always have confidence. I chose to go with the dragon to represent confidence. Also because I was born in the Year of the Dragon. My second word was faith. I believe that through life you have to have faith. Faith to me is the driving force behind success. I chose to go with the Buddha because he was at peace sitting underneath the Bodhi tree to achieve enlightenment. My final word was dreams. I believe that we should always dream big. Dreams come true if you strive to make them happen. Having confidence in yourself, walking by faith, and having a dream means success is right around the corner. To represent dreams I chose a dreamcatcher because dreams can be captured.
Torie Bastian (Corwn Point, Ind.)
Eclectic~Bohemian~Soul sums me up best! I am very eclectic and I have a Bohemian Soul. Nothing stirs me more then a constant exploration of ones mind, body and soul. Staying positive and overall wellness is a way of life for me, but this wasn’t always the case. Through my journeys on this earth I have learned to to let go of the stuff you can’t control, keep a grateful heart, and to free your soul of anything keeping you from experiencing your own personal bliss. Opening myself up to these concepts, along with activities such as yoga, hooping, and meditation have helped me come into the woman I am today. I walk in confidence with my Bohemian style and my eclectic ways. I am so grateful for the opportunity to present you with a full set of nails to help portray these concepts. With the task at hand and my first word of my tag being eclectic, I took a multimedia approach with this set of nails. My tagline has such a wide range of personality and style it was so easy to come up with all of my favorite things. Creating these looks brought me great pleasure as they are all very personal to me.
Victoria Zegarelli (Ronkonkoma, N.Y.)
Back in 2013, I remember reading an article about how nail professionals can choose a number of titles to call themselves. Nail tech, manicurist, nail artist are just a few ways to describe the profession that appears on your license. That’s when I created a title tag line for myself that describes me and can engage appropriate future clients. As the saying goes… “ Nails without nail art make me sad.” Although a basic manicure is nice, I probably would not be the right choice for some because no one leaves my table without some sort of nail art. I am a couture nail designer. Couture is the design and manufacture of fashionable clothes but in my case, nails created to a client’s specific requirements and measurements that are very fashionable. That’s what I give my clients every day.
Winnie Huang (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada)
This week we were asked to create a 3-D design over 10 nail tips using our very own three word tag line. I wanted the three words to abbreviate into WIN, because WINnie. So I picked from a long list of words and ended up with: Weird, Imaginative, and Non-Stop. WEIRD: Because that’s what people usually think when they first met me. Like I mentioned in my video, I’d often like to think of myself as Limited Edition. Also, my mom says I’m special, so really that’s all that matters! IMAGINATIVE: As an artist, I always let my imagination run wild. In my piece, I had glitter bombs coming out of my head because the world is much more fun with glitter. So when I saw this word, I immediately knew it was the one. I incorporated pizza into this word because I often like to have pizza when I’m creating. Obviously not at the same time, but it definitely helps the brainstorming stage. NON-STOP: I chose this word because it is something I have to remind myself. Non-stop learning, non-stop hustling, and most importantly, non-stop believing in yourself. To grow is to keep going, no matter the obstacles.