Full Name: Amber Dunson
Hometown: Bossier City, La.
Salon: Destiny Day Spa + Salon
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic
Favorite Nail Trend: Ombre, coffin nails, and glitter

I am a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and artist. I have been licensed for three years. Before being licensed, I ran a nail art blog and I have always loved everything creative and artistic. Carrying that artistic ability over to nails was such an easy transition, it just came naturally. Nails and nail art are much more than just a job for me, it’s my passion. I eat, breathe, and live nails.

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Week 5: Akzéntz

Decade Decadence

I was an ’80s baby so I knew right away I needed to bring the ’80s back. The ’80s were all about bright and bold colors and that’s what always keeps me in the ‘80s state of mind. Being a kid in the ’80s, I wanted to bring something to life that I relate the ’80s to. I thought it would be fun to share some of the toys I played with and my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. I was all about Rainbow Brite, The Care Bears, and of course the iconic smell of my Strawberry Shortcake dolls. There’s nothing like the smell of a brand new Shortcake doll.

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

I chose to do a girly punk rock look complete with hot pink, black, studs, plaid, and of course a 3-D glow in the dark skull. I used a mixture of lacquer, gel-polish, and acrylic paints to complete this look, as well as various handmade and pre-made 3-D elements.


Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial for how Amber created these nails.

Week 3: Gel II

Timeless Treasure

My family is the most important thing in my life. Our memories are priceless and will stay with me forever. I chose to do a family tree and a hope chest full of mementos that mean something to me. The tree is a Southern Magnolia to represent “home.” The Magnolia is the Louisiana state tree and I am a Louisiana girl through and through. The quilt is for a quilt that my Mamaw made me; her quilts are some of my most prized possessions. My wedding dress of course represents my marriage. We’ve been married for 16 years. Marrying my husband is one of the best things I’ve ever done; he’s my best friend. The fishing pole represents my Papaw. He loved to fish and I spent many days with him on the lake as a kid. The teddy bear is for my children. My best friend gave me a similar one when I found out I was pregnant for the first time. We had several miscarriages before having our children and while the bear represents a sad memory, it will always be precious to me.

Everything is sculpted using liquid and powder acrylic and hard gel. I painted using a mix of gel-polishes, gel paints, and acrylic paints.


Click here to see a video diary of Amber’s nails.

Week 2: Orly

Sunset Strip

This weeks challenge was sponsored by Orly and their newest holiday collection, Sunset Strip. We were supposed to create a wearable look that would give anyone VIP treatment behind the velvet ropes. Having never even been to California, much less LA, I had to do my research. I began by reading as much as I could online and ended up finding a great documentary on the Sunset Strip and was instantly inspired. The documentary began in the 1920s and went all the way to now. There is so much history and intrigue behind the Sunset Strip. I loved hearing about the glamorous, sexy, and dirty Hollywood gossip. From the 1920s to 2016 the celebrities are always around. Whisky a Go Go, The Rainbow Bar & Grill, and The Roxy were the places to be and be seen. I was very inspired by the late 70s and early 80s rock and roll presence there. Guns and Roses, David Bowie. and every other rock and roll, punk, and metal band in between, they got their start on the stages of Sunset Strip venues. My piece this week was inspired by the 70s and 80s punk rock glam and of course the beautiful jewel tones of the Orly Sunset Strip Collection. The graffiti nails are a nod to the worldfamous handpainted billboards that line Sunset Boulevard. They ranged from detailed to graffiti style but they were always eyecatching and bold. The stones and chains are inspired by the leather and studs worn by some of the greatest bands in history who got their start here. And of course I had to add the iconic palm trees that line the streets of Sunset Blvd.

Click here to see a step-by-step tutorial for how Amber created these nails.

Week 1: Gelish

Squadron Goals

My entry this week is inspired by my favorite place to be: the beach. Generally, every vacation or weekend trip we make involves the beach somehow. Whether we go to Arkansas to the lake or Mexico to the crystal clear ocean, we want to be by the water. I chose my favorite destination, Cozumel, Mexico, and even included some sand I smuggled home from our last trip. Everything from the flowers and bathing suit to the tequila bottle with real liquid inside was made from gel and acrylic. I used gelpolish and acrylic paints to accent.

Click here to see a video diary of Amber’s nails.