Full Name: Cate Widemire
Hometown: Wickliffe, Ohio
Salon: The Black Comb
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Gel
Favorite Nail Trend: Exotic nail art, snake skin and crushed opal

Twelve years ago, I accepted a difficult challenge to mix nail polish colors to create a perfect match to replicate a BMW insignia. When I created this unattainable color, I know nail art options were endless. Today, my passion for nail art has grown to be the Next Top Nail Artist. Everyday since becoming a nail technician, I strive to learn something new, work with amazing mentors in the industry, and appreciate the clients who put great trust in my skills and dedication.

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Week 8: ibd

Scream Queens

There was a lot of enthusiasm at first when Catherine flashed the most intricate elaborately decorated nails the small town of Novelty had ever witnessed. The women of the town were inconsolable if they didn’t have immediate access to new and flashy. Catherine knew this and refused to share the name and location of the nail artists who were capable of sheer magic creations that mesmerized the eyes like a tale in Greek Mythology.  It seemed like harmless fun at first, but when the sheriff of the town showed up at Catherine’s door strongly encouraging Catherine to advise the women of the town who created this magic, she knew this was no longer a prank to agitate the ruthless women of Novelty.

Catherine’s best friend, Lucy, arrived at work anxious to hear Catherine’s decision to release the demographics of this amazing artist. Lucy gazed at the picture she had taken on her phone of the glamorous yet ghoulish nails festive for this Halloween season. The women of the town started to gather outside the office building, local reporters and news cameras were waiting to capture a look at the much talked about nail art and learn the whereabouts of the artist responsible.

Lucy became suspiciously nervous when Catherine never arrived at the office and no answer to texts and calls. From the growing crowd, a young boy, frail and pale, handed Lucy a small box, blood stained and tied with black cord. Lucy began to shake as she opened the box and found the hand of her best friend donning the beautiful nail art with the first finger amputated. The detailed art was untouched almost intentionally preserved to maintain the glamorous beauty.

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

Week 7: INM

Northern Lights

Close your eyes, relax, imagine. Take a few minutes to travel to Alaska, experience the splendor of this northern trip to encounter nature at its best and most of all, the Aurora Borealis, a northern light show like no other. Truly an inspiration for design, as many of nature’s most spectacular events motivate artists to create art using naturally occurring collections of colors, shapes, and sleek lines. This great natural masterpiece occurs as the sun’s particles are blown into the earth’s atmosphere by solar wind and the dancing begins with an amazing display of color, sparkle, and shooting rays that light up the night sky.

This camping trip in a cold climate is surprisingly warm and cozy in an igloo complete with the crackling sounds of a warm fire. While the fur around the hood of your parka tickles your cheeks, you wait patiently by the crisp, clear glacial lake for the march of the polar bears that come to feast on the northern pike, salmon, and blackfish. The high elevations of this mountainous area may even provide additional colors to the Aurora, beyond the pale green and yellow normally seen.

It’s time to transcend back to the reality of the day and return from Alaska and the gifts of nature. This challenge was an opportunity to explore a place I have always wanted to visit and create an object showcasing light and color. Not only am I inspired as an artist, I am encouraged to add this beautiful place as a vacation destination for my family and children to see this amazing natural light show that offers a different show every night.

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


Week 6: Artistic

The Artist Within

When posed with the question, “What does being an artist mean to me?” My first thought was to travel to the Cleveland Museum of Art and surround myself with great pieces of art. I was looking for inspiration and an answer to the question, “Where does my passion come from to create pieces of art that inspire and signify meaning in our lives?” The museum has endless rooms of breathtaking paintings and sculptures that all tell a story and offer a message the artist wanted to convey.

I was immediately drawn to a piece displaying Shiva, the Hindu God responsible for destroying the universe in order to re-create it. The meaning behind destruction is to obliterate illusions of an imperfect world offering positive useful change. This aspect of destruction provides the opportunity to create and rebuild.  Shiva is a god of untamed passion, which explains the Hindu belief that this being demonstrates extremes in behavior, all qualities of great artists. Having the ability to create art, see it for the depth of its meaning, realize the imperfections, make destructive changes to recreate and improve a piece is the passion of a dedicated artist.

Growing up in a family of many gifted artists, I have always known how difficult it is to create a piece when there are constraints and specific limitations. Being an artist means having a limitless palette to create, inspire, and offer meaning to life.

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

Week 5: Akzéntz

Decade Decadence

Welcome to the 1970s, where everything is groovy and out of sight! The ’70s was a time that was full of peace-making amid war and individuals trying to gain rights in the United States. Disco was the popular music genre of the ’70s and that is what gave me the inspiration for my designs.

I wasn’t able to experience this time in history, but some of my favorite movies and TV shows were released during this decade and the music totally draws me in. The bright lights and neon colors caught my eye and brought me into the psychedelic vibe, can you dig it? I would have been one of those people during the ’70s traveling around in a Volkswagen bus, going from music festival to music festival to unwind and have a good time. There is definitely enough room in this bus to transport all of your favorite hippy friends and have a wild time.

The 1970s was an important time for women’s rights, as we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 19thAmendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote. Women attained greater success in business, science, and education during this decade due to more doors of opportunity being opened to them. I am grateful for the feminist movement during the ‘70s that paved the way for me to be the business owner that I am today.

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

As an innovative nail artist, I am always looking for inspiration, which at times can be very challenging.  About six years ago, I read through countless magazines for inspiration. I came across this hot new product that all of the celebrities were wearing. Minx nails was exactly the inspiration I was looking for and inspired my creativity for new nail designs. My search began, looking for classes and instructions to learn the techniques to apply Minx and a segue to introduce this product to my clients.


As a Cleveland native, I found the nearest Minx class in New York City and signed up right away. New York City can be very terrifying, but when I arrived for class, I knew I was in the right place. The instructors as well as the attendees were very welcoming and ready to share their knowledge. My experience interacting with celebrity nail artists was more than I could have imagined, their expert mentoring skills have made me the nail artist I am today. This opportunity provided me with more than skills as a nail artist, it also began my journey with Nail Talk Radio.  


The staff from Nail Talk Radio was attending the Minx class and little did I know a year later that I would become part of the team. I have been able to travel the country meeting nail artists from all over  and I am able to share and inspire others with my experiences since my first Minx class. My biggest word of advice to any nail tech although many tasks may seem daunting or even difficult to master, work with mentors, use resources on the internet and magazines, it will lead you to great opportunities. My art this week may look challenging, but with hard-word, concentration and determination, it is achievable. Give it a try! Taking out my Minx collection reminded me of the mentors and friendships I made at the first Minx class I attended. Their dedication to nail art changed my career path and offered me opportunities I would have never expected. 


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

Week 3: Gel II

Timeless Treasure


Timeless treasures of the 1930s managed to stand the test of time, World War I, and the Great Depression. By the end of the decade, there was an increasing threat and growing concern of another world war looming. These fears generated a well-known war effort that stimulated economic advances in American industry and production. Technology was the focus and innovation was gaining speed with uplifting entertainment like Flip the Frog, the first color film cartoon. The Polaroid camera was able to produce instant black-and-white photos, a crowd pleaser when the traveling photographer canvased neighborhoods taking the iconic pony pictures. The hard-wired wall-mount phone became mobile and sat comfortably on tables and desks. National pride grew with the adoption of The Star Spangled Banner as the country’s national anthem. One timeless treasure created in the 1930s still puts a smile on faces today: The savory smell of chocolate chip cookies that were soon baking in ovens across the country.

Unemployment and poverty had an enormous impact on the lives of most Americans during this decade. Despite facing some of the greatest challenges to survive and provide a means of survival for families, new ideas were challenged and developed and remain some of our most valuable resources today. It’s amazing to think that current generations are able to watch Flip the Frog, take an instant photograph, play The Star Spangled Banner, and instruct their oven to bake chocolate chip cookies all from the smartphone in their back pocket.

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

Week 2: Orly

Sunset Strip

Telegraph to:

Schwab’s Pharmacy

8024 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood


Dear Mr. Sidney Skolsky,


Photoplay is my favorite column in the New York Daily News, “From A Stool At Schwab’s.” Your description of Marilyn Monroe arriving at Ciro’s nightclub, the hottest club in Hollywood, featuring the Who’s Who of American entertainment, made me feel like I was there dancing on the dance floor to the big band sounds of Glenn Miller or Benny Goodman. Thank you for describing the excitement of life on the Sunset Strip to all of America to enjoy through your eyes.


Happy Holidays! The rich history of the Sunset Strip is the perfect location to showcase Orly’s upcoming holiday collection. From its early roots as a poinsettia farm, this 1 ½-mile stretch of rolling hills in West Hollywood, California became known as the Sunset Strip, which quickly grew into the playground of Hollywood’s most famous celebrities. Any Hollywood star of tomorrow, rocking the 1950s Marilyn Monroe-inspired diamond feathered starlet brooch nails would certainly gain entrance to the likes of glitzy clubs like Ciro’s, Mocambo, or the Trocadero. Poinsettias reminiscent of the early roots of this iconic location in America showcase the alluring colors of the Orly holiday collection. Sidney Skolsky, a 1950s Hollywood gossip columnist, would have devoted his entire column to describe the expert details evoking Marilyn and the strategic use of glitz, feathers, and diamonds to epitomize this holiday collection.

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

Week 1: Gelish

Squadron Goals

I had to make a tough decision earlier in the year: travel to Egypt or enter NAILS NTNA. The option of traveling came up around the same time the entry videos were due. I knew that if I made the choice to visit Cairo in September it would be during the heat of the competition. Traveling with all my nail supplies to accomplish two weeks of NTNA challenges was not an option. It has become a huge goal of mine to make it to the Top 3 ever since I witnessed Winnie take the title in Chicago earlier this year. Being in the top 12 with 11 very talented nail artists from all over the world is confirming that I made the right decision. Being from Ohio, the birthplace of aviation, I knew that this first challenge’s theme was confirmation that I was supposed to be here. We wouldn’t have the means of transportation like we have today if it weren’t for the Wright brothers. We will all remember this journey every step of the way. I love to travel and I know I will make it to Egypt to visit one day. We will see what the future holds.


Click here to see a video diary for Cate’s nails.