In Partnership With

  • CND


Full Name: Emily Nash
Hometown: Elkhart, IN
Salon: Cutting Loose
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Gel Paint
Favorite Nail Trend: Fruit nails will always be my favorite.

My name is Emily, and I’m 29 years old with fur babies. For me, the nail industry has changed my life forever. I feel that finding my passion so early on in life really sets be apart from others. Having a passion for art outside of the nail world helped mold who I am as a nail artist

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Final Challenge

Jan’s Capsule Collection

EMILY’S FINALE ESSAY (and remember to click through the photos to see all the collection designs!)

It’s been no secret this whole competition that CND loves fashion. We had 4 previous fashion related challenges so we must go out with a bang for our final set of the season. We were tasked to create a “capsule” nail art collection, including our 4 past sets reimagined and a brand new set to round this whole “wardrobe” together.

A capsule wardrobe means owning between 20-50 items of clothing and being able to mix and match all the items to create multiple functioning outfits. For our nails we had to redesign the past ones to all fit in a way with each other and we were inspired by none other than the amazing Jan Arnold, a true fashion icon in this industry and in the fashion world as well. Jan’s wardrobe wouldn’t necessarily all be interchangeable per say but over all alike in volume, style and humor.

CND Couture: I originally did this all black and white, with just a pop of gold. To reinvent this I added loads of color, taking the nails and just filling in the flowers with white and repainting them in the exact way to keep them similar with the original. I switched up the basket weave to colors instead of gold. I chose to keep the basket weave because it was so well received first time around and if it’s not broke why fix it?

Back to the Future: For this, I knew I had to add edginess considering they were kind of dainty in the first place. I removed the “floating tips” and added a magnet to attach long pointy tips that are adorned with a chain and old English lettering that spells out CND. The tips are removable to be able to wear them short or long.

Fashion Fanatics: For this set I had originally done an Egyptian sarcophagus, painted 2d in Vinylux. I loved the look of the design and I feel like it goes with the flow of everything else but to add flair, I created a border around the outer edge, carving it to look like a rope detail. Then I added jump rings in a corset manner down the nail. I wanted to leave it untied with anything because I like the raw look of an untied corset.

Harajuku Punk: I had 10 nails but really 2 sets to choose from on the one, consider one was short and 2d and the other long and 3d. I decided to redo the short ones. I like mixing shapes and lengths so I added clear length to 2 of them. For the other 3 I chose to keep them short to stick with the original theme but added 3d spinning elements, completely encrusted with studs and mixed metals.

Last but not least, the new set. First off I wanted to have ALL the texture, but also challenge myself with 2d and 3d and still have that same “wow” factor. My set was heavily inspired by the movement and texture in Jan’s closet. Big ruffle sleeves, funky patch work and reversible items. I wanted you to look at these and not stop looking for something new. The gold pigment covered nails show all the texture you can create using CND product and really make it pop out.

Also the gold lips, hand, eye and polish are all removable and double as pins you can wear on your actual fashion! I love the mixing of textiles so I wanted to also incorporate that in this set as well. How cool would it be to have an outfit made of denim, ruffles and newspaper?!  And there you have it my, my final challenge!

Click here for a 7-10 minute video diary detailing the inspiration for her capsule collection as well as a look at how her new set of nails was created!

Click below for TikTok videos! 


Week #9

Game Changer

CND shellac was a game changer for this entire industry. The first of its kind. And when people found out they could get their nails done in record time, and walk out immediately with a perfect polish and never mess them up, oh it was over. CND created the change that would set forth a whole new era of nails.  So when asked what’s change I would like to see, I can’t help but think about the change in equality that this world so desperately needs.

I chose the topic of equality over all. From people of color, to lgbtq+ and disability equal rights, this world could use the change. Equal opportunity for every human should be a given right. The fact it is 2021 and we are still fighting for our voices to be heard astonishes me. That woman have to fight for the right over their own body, or that someone in a wheel chair will get discriminated against for a job they are more than qualified to perform.

The style of art I chose is mural style. Murals are used all over the world to promote change within communities. Usually bringing communities together to celebrate and that gets the topic talked about. Some might look at something and think how could this help change, but it’s starts with you. It could be that key for two strangers igniting the topic. You have to be the change you want to see so start that conversation and get people educated.

I am hoping that one day I can’t paint a mural in my own community. I feel like leaving my own impact of change would be healing to myself and hopefully inspiring to others who don’t know how or have the resources to start the change they want to see.

See Emily’s video here!




Week #8

Harajuku Punk

Harajuku punk is the definition Season 7 winner Giselle Caballero described Jan Arnold’s style. The perfect definition of fun and fierce and unexpected. For this set, I created harajuku punk nails influenced by Jan Arnold’s fun and pattern mixing style. 

We were asked to create two different hands, one being short and wearable, 2d only and the other being 3d with embellishments, runway ready. 

 There were so many similarities between harajuku punk and Jan’s style it was almost written right out in front of me. One of the elements from both that I added into my piece was the pattern blocking and patch work. Now of course I could only see a snippet into Jan’s style through her Instagram but I did go back to the first and second time I met Jan. In one picture she had plaid and the other she had a leather dress on. See, so unpredictable! Plaid is done with a lot in harajuku punk outfits so I had to add that. And of course Leather is a part too! I took one of the patterns I found on a pair of pants Jan was wearing in one photo, it also reminded me of traditional Japanese kimonos and the floral pattern they have. 

 To make both hands “cohesive” I painted the long 3d nails with solid patterns, but on the short, I painted every pattern on one nail, thus creating the pattern blocking. I also found a couple pictures with Jan wearing jackets with patches. So I added “patches” on top of the short nail patterns. For the 3d nails, I tried to incorporate a 3d element of the patch. 

We were asked to also include at least one non nail item. I created earrings out of polymer clay and attached them to the end of one of the nails. So you can detach them and have some fun earrings to wear! These is also a janicure necklace, and a ring…a whole jewelry set! 

Watch her video!

Week #7

Chandelier Chic

For this challenge we were asked to create chandelier looking nails to showcase the ever so lovely new Plexigel. We were to use no color to let the clarity shine through. However we could use glitter, foil, beads or crystals as well as jewelry making elements.

So I said, why not make little actual chandeliers on my fingers. Using the Plexigel I created candle holders just like a chandelier, as well as hanging elements off the nails. I wanted the clear to really shine through and give that “crystal” look so I keep it pretty simple on the extra elements. The hanging pieces have added gold leaf and the candles themselves have glitter and caviar beads.

Every nail had a different hanging element because I wanted to create a unique chandelier. A lot of chandeliers are uniform in structure so this was my take on making it more unique. I love the look of gold and clear so the jewelry jump hooks help add a bit of color without taking about from the crystal clear Plexi gel.

I can’t forget to give a special shout-out to the PlexiGel topcoat. The clarity and shine that this gave the chandelier nails, was absolutely mesmerizing! A+ topcoat.

See her video here.


Week #6

Fashion Fanatic

This week I was super excited to explore all the past nails created for Fashion Week, one place I’ve dreamt about working ever since I found out crazy 3D nails where worn on the runway. So when I was scrolling through all the nails, my heart beat a little faster when I got the Spring/Summer The Blonds collection. The amount of talent put into the whole collection blew me away.

With an Egyptian theme, there were sarcophagus nails, sculpted wings, earth elements and more! I couldn’t get over the sarcophagus nails, however.

Given the challenge to use Vinylux only, I wanted to make sure I showed how versatile painting with regular polish is rather than gel polish. Polish has been pushed to the far back burner since gel polish was introduced. It has most likely been 8 years since I’ve used polish to paint designs, so I wanted to push the limits of not just painting solid colors, but actually creating art.

As for ready to wear, I chose to sculpt using liquid and powder. I wanted the nail to resemble a coffin ( a popular and wearable shape) so the liquid and powder was the best to sculpt a beautiful c-curve and straight side walls. I also mixed up the design in giving two of the nails simpler art. Creating a more relatable and wearable set. I also kept the nails 2D to really play into the power of Vinylux and its versatility.

See her technique video here.

And see her inspiration here!

Welcome to Nailandia! A mystical and magical place where everything is nail related. A world where flying nail lamp helicopters soar the sky and black file panthers roam the ground. Sparkling nail polish fairies dance among the wildlife and flowers. And the rivers flow with glistening blue glitter water. Where you can take a trip to Glitter Falls to witness this beautiful water yourself. Doesn’t that sound like a place to be?

I wanted to paint a scene like a movie. I drew my inspiration from places like Pandora, where everything is out of this world and very fictional.

Everything in my set is created completely out of nail products, except for the rhinestones, obviously. I love challenging myself to use exclusively the products provided. To really embody what Nailandia would be, completely nails right? I used mostly Brisa and Plexi gel to sculpt most of my set. Gel isn’t your typical 3D building medium, however it was so fun to use!

I wanted my vision of Nailandia to be a place everyone would want to take a trip to and I hope I did just that!

See her YouTube Video Diary here and her TikTok Video here!

For this challenge I chose the summer 2018 collection Boho Spirit to reinvent in my own futuristic and modernized way, keeping the colors close to the original, but switching up the boho henna design.

I created gold accents on all 5 nails, detaching the tip of the nail and reattaching it with art and rings. This could be a fun and new futuristic nail art trend in the future! I wanted to give my design more of an edgy take on the whole boho theme so that is why I added the gold accents.

Because we had to have the nails wearable, I reinforced all the rings and art elements holding the tips together with the wonderful strong plexi-gel.  Plus it wouldn’t be an Emily design true to herself without the edge and modern take!

Click here to watch her video diary.

See the behind-the-scenes videos, too!

Click on the nail art image above in order to see additional images from each contestant.

Week #3

Solar Power

For our challenge this week, CND Solar Oil was the focus, and because Solar Oil is for the cuticles, we were asked to create nail art at the lunula of all 10 fingers. The Lunula (the white part at the cuticle portion of the nail) meaning “little moon,” our artwork was to be celestial inspired. We also had to use Brisa gel to do all enhancements and 3D elements.  

For my artwork I chose to do the zodiacs of my five earth bound godchildren (I have another on the way!) on one hand. My god babies are my sun and moon and stars and mean the world to me, I felt like this would be the perfect thing to represent.   

Each nail on one hand represents a zodiac. I used Brisa gel pure white to paint in 3D the symbol of the zodiac in the lunula area. And also using the Brisa gel, I made the corresponding constellation for the zodiac and attached it to the nail.   

For the other hand I made the ruling planet for each zodiac at the lunula. With two of the zodiacs having the same ruling planet, I painted the moon to tie it all together.  I added gold pigment to the clear Brisa gel to add detail and a sunburst effect to tie both hands together! 

Click here to watch her video diary.

Week #2

CND Couture

Receiving this challenge I knew I had to have something edgy and different. Going into research I had no idea what I was looking for. Mainly something that included beading, stitching or embroidery. Which landed me on the haute couture designers Viktor and Rolf. Founded in 1993, they have spent more that 20 years pushing the boundaries of couture and bridge the divide between fashion and art.  

I fell in love with their art of fashion. Collection after collection I realized that they were weren’t normal couture designers. I’m an artist myself, outside of nails, so I can appreciate how different their collections were. I chose the 2015 spring collection because of one piece specifically, the embroidery that floated off the side of the dress. Embroidery usually is sewn onto fabric so this made me think, this is an interesting way to display embroidery. Not only did they have 3D embroidery, but the other side also had 3D flowers flowing off it. And a straw hat to complete the look. I wasn’t sure if doing all black and white with a pop of gold would fail my idea but I feel like it’s just enough with all the fine line detail! 

Click here to watch her video diary.

Week #1

A to Z CND

  I wanted to share my personal journey in self-love. The three words I chose are Careful, Natural and Decided.  

 Careful: Making sure of avoiding potential danger, mishap, or harm; cautious. 

 In my journey to finding comfort and love in my own skin and body, I wasn’t always as confident as I am now. Careful describes how I used to hide myself in clothes or makeup. I was always careful I wasn’t showing too much legs, careful in making sure you couldn’t see I had a stomach. I lived for SO long thinking, “Omg, people know I have a body.” A careful little caterpillar, hiding in a world before its final form. 

 Natural: Relating to nature; characterized by freedom of artificiality 

 It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I started to experiment with what I was comfortable in or realizing I didn’t need to do a bunch of makeup to feel like myself. I started to feel more natural to myself and finally started coming out of my cocoon.  

 Decided: Definite; without question or doubt; free from hesitation.  

 Now almost 30 years old, I have this confidence that I never knew I could have. I chose the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to a butterfly to show my personal journey in loving who I truly am. I’m still bright and bold and different and beautiful just like a butterfly.   

 My whole idea of camouflaging the words within the different elements was the symbolism of you never know someone’s journey by looking at them, you have to sometimes search a little to find the truth. 

Click here to watch her video diary.



In Partnership With

  • CND