My name is Allison Goertzen but a lot of people know me as Ally G. I am a nail artist of 3.5 years and well… nails are my LIFE! I’m known for doing freestyle designs for my clients; most people will give me an inspiration (whether it’s a photo, article of clothing, or just a colour) and I do the rest. I’ve always loved creating unique designs tailored to each individual’s personality! When I’m not doing nails, you can find me at home with my boyfriend Austin, and my fur baby, Willow. I’ll most likely be in the kitchen trying a new recipe or drawing on my iPad.
What you can expect from me in this competition is inventive and unique ideas as well as fun videos; I can’t wait to see what everyone creates! My goal for the future is to teach and share my knowledge to other nail techs and I’m blessed to have this opportunity to bring me further towards my goal. Thanks NTNA!
Final Challenge: CND
Set 1: Symbol of Strength
To me strength is the ability to not break under pressure, to be resilient against all odds. And that is why I admire my mom’s strength and why she is the inspiration behind this set. The past year has proven some challenges for my family yet we have come out stronger than ever. This set of nails goes out to my mom, I want her to know how special she is to me. So I took a page out of her book and tried using one of her painting techniques on nails and it worked!
Set 2: Beauty Changes Lives
Is it true that beauty changes lives? In my experience I would have to say absolutely! Before becoming a nail technician I didn’t know what I wanted, yet the the beauty industry welcomed me with open arms. In this set the hand is offering a flower… resembling an opportunity. And on the other side the head is bursting with a garden of flowers resembling success. BCL is an organization that is giving out “flowers” and I think that’s a beautiful and wonderful thing.
Set 3: Dream Client
When asked who is my dream client, surprisingly my first answer was not a celebrity or someone rich and famous. I think of all the amazing relationships that I have built with my clients and one stands out in particular. My dream client is my client / friend / hairdresser, Lexy. We both love girly, fun, extra nails and that is what makes her my dream client! I tried to take elements from all of my favorite sets we’ve ever done and put it all into one!
Set 4: Porter Pose
When thinking of of Billy Porter I think of his unapologetic stance with fashion; breaking the rules and what’s considered “normal”. So for this set the goal is to notl only think outside the box but to think of a new way to make the box. Behold the finger rings! A truly unique accessory that makes wearing nails an entertaining and intriguing experience. If these were worn to an event they would be sure to turn some heads.
Set 5: Janicure
Jan Arnold is known for her dynamic sense of high fashion. Unique prints, bold silhouettes; she is truly an inspiration to many. When speaking with Jan about her style she exclaimed that she wants to be able to laugh at herself, she finds the humour in fashion. This amazed and intrigued me. So in this set I attempted to make something FUN and FRESH! The abstract sillyness is balanced with the precise handpainted patterns. The outcome is a set that embodies the energy I feel when I see Jan Arnold and I LOVE it!
Week 10: Wildflowers
Week 9: KUPA
For this challenge, I had a hard time choosing between two of the five topics: mermaids and unicorns. Both are such beautiful mythical creatures and I love them both. So, I decided to sneak in elements of both while keeping the pastel neon colour way. I know this was possibly a risk going outside of the challenge guidelines, but I really wanted to think outside the box this week!
I want these nails to provoke joy and happiness! I feel like everyone could use a little extra colour in their lives right now. It was SO much fun to work with this colour palette, I love rainbows so much. The wings were something I was just dreaming of and at first, I didn’t think it was possible. But with a lot of trial and error I was able to make it work and I’m proud, especially because it is made of 100% acrylic.
My goal with this set of nails was to use as many e-file techniques as possible. I show a variety of different ways that you can use an e-file to create nail art. I learned a lot about how to use different bits for different purposes.
Week 8: Swarovski
For this challenge, I decided to go with the trend Edgy Illumination which is a mixture of Gothic and romantic style. It stands for activism and empowering fight for the future. I decided to take this concept paired with the awareness of time as a chance to express my thoughts about self-care during these unprecedented times.
I want these nails to represent taking time amongst all the craziness to take care of what’s important, ourselves, our families, and our communities. This set of nails is representing taking a stand for human well-being right now because time does not stop for anyone or anything. The clock represents the reminder to take time for ourselves and the spinning rods represent the four pillars of well-being; physical, emotional, spiritual, and emotional. Right now, it’s our time to shine.
My goal with this set of nails was to challenge myself by trying another new shape as well as trying to incorporate as much of the inspiration photos as possible. I was looking to create a lot of texture and depth. I really enjoy how it all came together; I think that the colours juxtapose with each other nicely. My favourite part is the inlaid designs, I really like how they pulled the vision board inspiration together with all the different textures.
Week 7: Gel II
New York has always been on my bucket list of places to visit, so I really enjoyed learning more about the culture (and their accent). Since Broadway and acting is such a huge part of New York I decided that I would create a show on the nails, and the show just happens to be about New York! I tell the story as a taxi driver that suggests you see this show that will teach what the real New York is all about. I attempted to take details from all the different names of the Gel II polishes. Here I will explain:
– Greenwich Village-inspired the Broadway show as it is home to the oldest running theater in all of New York, known as Cherry Lane.
– Manhattan is the place to go if you want to see some amazing graffiti art. One example is the graffiti hall of fame.
– Times Square inspired the street sign as it is an iconic area of New York City.
– Staten Island is known to have amazing views of Lady Liberty, so I knew that I had to create some type of view in the distance!
– The other polish names were represented through the graffiti art.
My goal was to combine the skills of detailed hand painting and precise 3-D art. I knew that I wanted to add as much detail as possible without overwhelming the overall balance of the piece. The 4D gel was an incredible product to work with especially for creating the folds of the curtains. At first the colours seemed intimidating however after working with them I found they really balanced each other out nicely. I especially loved the shade Manhattan for creating all the concrete aspects of the designs because the shimmer adds a whole another layer of detail.
Week 6: ORLY
Is there an artist that you can listen to on repeat for weeks on end? For me right now, it’s Billie Eilish! So when we got this challenge, I was so excited to create a set of nails with her edgy and loud style. She is only 18 and is making huge waves in the music industry; testing social norms and pushing boundaries. I really love and admire that about her.
You can often find Billie in bright oversized designer clothes and you will never catch her without her chains and rings. That concept is what I drew my ideas from. So, the nails are all designed with loud prints that represent different outfits that Billie has worn in the past. Also, each nail is studded with jewels and chains to complete the Billie aesthetic. While these are all very dramatic designs, I took lots of time to play around with the colours and layout so it would be cohesive, and all go together.
My goal with this challenge was to push myself out of my comfort zone by trying out a bunch of different nail shapes that I have never done before. I think these are the longest nails I’ve ever done! I definitely learned a lot this week and I am excited to try more extreme shaping in the future.
Week 5: Ugly Duckling
This challenge brought me back to when I would read to my brother every night. So, I gave him a call and while we reminisced on our childhood, we seem to both have a strong memory of the nursery rhyme, “Hey Diddle Diddle” so I knew then I HAD to create the nails with this theme!
Since the challenge was nursery rhymes, my goal was to create a story on the nails. To accomplish this, I formed various elements that are interactive and moving. This reminded me of children’s toys which I found to be very fitting. The characters were placed strategically to keep the eyes moving and to help tell the story.
For the style of art, I used inspiration from the books I read as a child. Most of them were hand-me-downs so they had an older style that is very different compared to modern nursery rhyme books. So, I took this style and combined it with my own touch. Essentially, I was trying to achieve a cartoon appearance with some realism.
I decided to sculpt all the elements in white so I could have more freedom when painting. It was super helpful to have a blank canvas to work with. All the painting was done with Ugly Duckling gel-polish and art gel. I love how versatile these paints are! They mix very well together, and they also work amazing when thinned down with topcoat. I am so happy with how the nails turned out and I hope you guys enjoy my design! Thank you so much!
Week 4: Glitz Accessories & Such
I was so excited to get this challenge because I LOVE Las Vegas! I haven’t traveled much but I’ve been to Vegas four times already. Almost every year that I’ve been a nail tech I’ve attended the International Beauty Show. I usually go with a group of friends from the industry and we have a blast! During the day we are taking classes and learning about new products and by night we are hitting the Strip for a night of fun! So, with that being said, I wanted my nails to scream FUN and GAMES! Vegas is essentially an adult playground and I wanted the nails to express that! On these nails there is Poker, Blackjack, Russian Roulette, Craps, and Slots. Of course, these are accompanied with entertainment provided by the lovely showgirls. Creating this set made me want to hop on a plane to Vegas ASAP and I hope it does the same for you.
This week my focus was scaling down. The goal was to get as much tiny detail as possible within the time frame. The lettering was especially a challenge, but I think it turned out so good. I also tried to focus on adding more depth and dimension to my characters than I have in the past; I learned a lot more about the profiles of the face by sculpting with the 4D gel. I was awesome using a product that had infinite play time AND stayed in place. I can see myself using it a lot more in the future! I really appreciate this opportunity to grow my skills and stretch myself farther than I could have ever imagined.
Week 3: LeChat
What is it that holds you back from chasing your dreams? If you said “fear” you are among the majority. Fear will stop you dead in the tracks when you’re on the way to success. I know this because I’ve been there many times. It wasn’t until I shifted my mindset that I was able to get rid of those mental blocks and really start achieving some amazing things in my life and in my career. To me, that is a superpower because nothing can stop you once you aren’t afraid to fail or be humiliated.
In this set I decided to depict fears as monsters for TWO reasons! Firstly, fears are scary, and monsters are scary, it just makes sense! Secondly, I really wanted to show the judges that I’m capable of creating much more than just a pretty set of nails. I LOVE Halloween and SFX makeup and I felt those skills really came in handy this week.
The spider represents the fear of insects, the brain surgery man represents the fear of blood, and the octopus represents the fear of drowning or the ocean. These are all common fears that I’m sure a lot of us can relate to. Lastly the woman represents someone who has conquered their fears as she is mediating and is at peace.
I wanted to take the risk of doing something I’ve never seen before, so that’s why I chose to create the different characters in 3D fashion. They are extra large because I wanted to have a shock value when people see them. I will admit that my idea was maybe too ambitious to create in one week however I’m proud of myself that I didn’t give up. “Feel the fear and do it anyway!” is the motto that I like to go by, I hope that you enjoy seeing how this set was created!
Week 2: En Vogue
Before this challenge, I had NO idea that Gemini and Aries were compatible. It turns out that my boyfriend and I are aligned with the stars and are meant to be! This got me super excited because it made it really fun to research and learn about.
My goal for the piece was to illustrate the similarities and the differences between these signs. Both hands are vastly different yet they mirror each other perfectly! The Gemini side is airy and light, while the Aries side is fiery and dark. They share qualities such as the child-like characters, and the compass symbolizing adventure. Despite their differences, you can see that they are drawn to each other like MAGNETS!
A big aspect of my design was knowing how I wanted the final hand pose. This is what made me choose the constellation moon charm standing up sideways instead of flat. I think that decision combined with the compass magnets on the pinky balance it out perfectly and keep the eyes moving.
This week, I tried very hard to keep out the “I’s” from my video, and I agree, it definitely makes the video flow much better. I find I need to remind myself to come from a teaching perspective. I attempted to fill this video with as much knowledge as possible, nothing held back. I hope that the improvements are noticeable!
Week 1: CND
Since the Romantic movement was heavily influenced by art such as paintings and poems, my goal was to create a piece of framed art that could be displayed on the wall that also fully represented a snapshot of this time period. The English Garden, perfectly imperfect; the woman sitting alone, writing poetry; and the old hand carved frame to tie it all together. When I conjured up the idea to create a shadow box with only nail products I was worried as the nails wouldn’t be very prominent in the design. Then I thought, what would I do if I were a Romantic in the 18th century? In times where art was taken as a very serious discipline, Romanticism challenged that notion. There was were craving for freedom from classical restraints. I think Caspar David Friedrich said it best, “the artist’s feeling is his law” and I think this is true since no matter how hard I tried to come up with a different idea, this one kept on coming back. So I had to listen to my heart. No matter what happens, I am truly very happy with this piece, and I feel like taking the risk was 100% worth it! What can I say, I guess I’m a Romantic at heart!