In Partnership With

  • CND


Full Name: Silvia Gago López
Hometown: Ponferrada, Spain
Salon: Toxic Vanity
Preferred Nail Art Medium: Acrylic Paints, Gel Polish and Watercolors
Favorite Nail Trend: Cartoon

I always loved nail art, so in high school my nails were the sensation, with drawings of flowers made with toothpicks and regular nail polish. I’ve always had an artistic vocation.  I’m passionate about learning new things, that’s how I’ve spent more than 20 years immersed in different artistic disciplines,  all of them being very important for my personal and professional growth: graffiti, illustration, hyperrealism with ballpoint pens and hand painted custom clothing, like sneakers and caps, before dedicating myself to what I love the most: being a nail artist.

I have spent 10 years during which I have not stopped learning to be able to give the best of me—nail   art is my passion! I believe that nail art is not just a fashion, it’s a real way of life. I hope to be able to show my art for many weeks to come and surprise myself and you what I can be capable of, but always enjoying myself and with a smile. Let the fun begin!


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Week #8

Harajuku Punk

Harajuku Punk fashion is definitely a much more edgy and enlightened style; punk fashion uses much more than just dark colors, so as the set should be inspired by Jan Arnold, I wanted to give that touch of color to make it more fun and different, using some pastel shades might be a bit unexpected, just like the eclectic style of our dear Jan!

So I created a set with a juxtaposition of colors, which creates a fresh, fun and unexpected pop, just like Vivienne Westwood’s fashion.

On the left hand is the set in 3D, an exaggerated and edgy look. The thumb nail is inspired by the spiked shoulder pads of some leather jackets. It was certainly a challenge to create it from nails (that has been one of the unexpected objects).

On the index nail I made a patch with the phrase “Push Yourself’ and Jan always encourages us to give the best of ourselves and I think it is a phrase that represents her. I added chains, piercings and two safety pins (“Safety Pin” is also a shade used in this set).

Without a doubt I can’t imagine a punk set without a skull, and this one is very cool and glam, it has a fantastic crest created with wool! This is another of the unexpected objects to create the set. I would never have imagined putting “hair” on a nail and I love the result!

The ring nail is represented by a checkerboard pattern and has several 3D images applied on it. I was inspired by the pins that are usually worn on this type of jacket. Also, I have seen that Jan is a big fan of black and white patterned outfits. The pins are also inspired by her: one is a CND nail polish, another is a skeleton hand with painted nails and carrying a rose (Jan is undoubtedly a fundamental piece in the beauty industry and helps us to bloom, as roses do). Finally, on the little finger I made a wire fence design, a very popular icon in punk aesthetics.

On the right hand, I did short 2D nail designs using only Shellac and Vinylux, following the same pattern of shades as in the main 3D set. A skull, a gradient with animal print (also very used in punk fashion), a mouth, chains and a collage with the letters CND.

Hope you like it, I had so much fun doing these!

Watch her video!

Week #7

Chandelier Chic

This week we had to make a 3-D nail art all with CND clear products, inspired by a chandelier lamp. We could use crystals, jump hops, glitter but the nails should look transparent, like the crystal.

My inspiration was a classic chandelier. I have always loved this type of chandelier (in fact I have two) as I find them very ornamental, elegant and luxurious. So I thought about how a chandelier would look like on my nails, and created it. I wanted to do all the nail art emulating crystal, so it would look crystal clear, pure and shiny like a chandelier.

I chose a long stiletto structure with a needle (real) as the perfect base to apply all the ornaments that make up these wonderful chandeliers, created with Plexigel. I can’t imagine a chandelier without those bulbs that mimic candles, so I made some candles, imitating the texture of wax thanks to the Brisa Clear gel. The biggest challenge was to give them light without wires. And after many days of testing I succeeded!

I created some crystal ornaments with Plexigel that are placed under the nail that hold the candelabra, and I placed some garlands of crystals from an old lamp. In Spain, my country, these lamps are known as “lampara de arana” so I added some spiders made with crystals and metallic hops.

It has been a complex challenge that has taken me the whole week but I am happy with the result, because I feel that with this I have gone out of my comfort zone 100%. Taking the photo has been very complicated, since everything is transparent and also, the candles have lights, so if you want to see them in motion, don’t forget to watch the video.

Thanks again for the opportunity to give the best of me!

 See her video here.


Week #6

Fashion Fanatic

This week we were to be inspired by a runway 3D nail look created by CND and create our ready to wear version by creating our inspiration using only Vinylux. We also had to “built in length” the nails, as we were allowed to use tips, I used some press on tips to be able to remove them from my nails in a faster, easier and safer way.

Without a doubt, as soon as I saw the CND catalogs I knew that my inspiration would be the nails (and the whole look) of Joker, from The Blonds Fall/Winter 2014 collection. I really love this character (Batman is my favorite comic). These nails have a lot of 3D elements and I converted them to 2D using ONLY Vinylux, as this week’s challenge asked of us, so I didn’t include any elements other than Vinylux. I wanted to do something very visual and by focusing on the use of Vinylux, I chose some advanced decorations since with traditional polish not only simple decorations can be done. Vinylux dries fast and has very good pigmentation and is long lasting.

To build in length to the nails, I chose Brisa gel to make my tips longer and create ready to wear nails. Brisa Gel is very durable and easy to use, plus filing the structures is faster. (You can see the full list of materials used in the description of my video in YouTube).

For the thumb design, where I drew Joker’s mouth, I was inspired by the model’s dress, as well as the spiral nail, inspired by the coat. It is very interesting the Jelly effect that we can  get with any of the polishes.

The nails of the gun and the flag that says BANG! and Joker’s face, are inspired by the nails that the model wore, but created only with Vinylux in 2D.

Finally, the design with the comic style typography is inspired by the aesthetics of the catwalk and comics in general.

The comic designs have very vivid, saturated colors and a powerful line. The predominant tones     chosen for this design are, in addition to black and white, red and green, colors that  are complementary and create a great contrast and harmony between them.

See her technique video here.

And see her inspiration photo here!

If I could imagine a nail country, it would definitely be called NAILANDIA. My particular Nailandia has everything that makes us happy and that all nail artists can’t miss: the sun is always shining in a wonderful blue sky, the clouds are fluffy and full of glitter, a beautiful rainbow welcomes us and when we cross the doors of Nailandia, we can’t do anything else but smile.

In Nailandia there is no place for drama as says my T-shirt. All of us, the Nail Artists, grow as artists and share a lot of fun! There, color is our religion and doing nails is our cardio! I can’t imagine Nailandia without us and Jan and Beth, two great icons of the nail industry who help us to grow.

Jan rides a magic flying letter at the coolest event every year in Nailandia: the NAILS Next Top Nail Artist, and Beth has fun riding around in a Unicorn, because yes, unicorns do exist there.

I have created a magical world where only happiness, fellowship and love for nails reigns, which is what unites us. I have used different materials to create the 3D (Plexigel, L&P and Brisa Gel) and I have worked a lot on the details, painting each of the pieces so that these designs seem to be taken from an animated world but in real life. Undoubtedly it has been one of the designs that I have done throughout my career where I have had the most fun and I have given 300% to create something very different from what I have done before. I hope you like it!

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


For this fourth week we were challenged to create a wearable nail art inspired by a CND ad campaign. The truth is that from the first moment I knew that my inspiration would come from the ad campaign of the New Wave collection of 2017.  I love those bright colors and I think it fits great in an even more futuristic version of itself, so my idea has focused on how I would convert this collection to launch it again, I would call it “Back To The Future” (which is the name of this week’s challenge) and certainly the star besides the colors would be the unmistakable style of this collection: a wearable nail art with a futuristic retro New Wave style.

This futuristic and retro illustration style reminds us of the vision of the future of the 80s. There is no lack of acid colors, bionic shapes and, of course, big cities in the form of towering buildings. Neon colors are of great relevance in this style. I wanted to combine again warm colors with cold; it is always a success, that contrast created between them.

I used stiletto tips because I think they fit very well with this style. To create the image of the campaign, I rescued the brightest colors from my eyeshadow palettes, lots of highlights and a lot of hairspray! For the makeup I used shades inspired by the nail art I created (blue, purple, violet) and also the original image of the New Wave Collection campaign.

Once again, I modeled for myself;  the photo is actually a selfie and I almost had to be a contortionist to pose with one hand and take the photo with the other! I hope you like my interpretation this week. Thanks again for this amazing opportunity.

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

This third week we have been challenged to create a set with celestial art. Challenge 3 is called Solar Power, but not only did we have to do nail art, we had to create our 10 nails with Brisa Gel…. Quite a super challenge! Plus I had to be my own model!  

So I have been inspired by the Sun and the Moon but in a more mystical way. Representing our stars as two goddesses that keep us day and night and create a balance. This balance is also the one created between both hands, as I have played with the contrasts between cold and warm tones. I believe a lot in the energies of the stars and I loved doing this challenge! 

The goddess of the Sun is brunette, has a warm skin color and – how could it be otherwise – is crowned with a golden tiara. All the nails that are part of the Solar set, are with yellow and orange tones giving warmth to the set. 

On the contrary, the Moon Goddess has light lilac hair, her skin is paler and also colder, as if bathed by the moonlight. She also has a beautiful silver crown, with a crescent moon and stars. The rest of her nails are blue, like the night itself. 

I chose the stiletto shape in a more extreme length, as it seems to me that such a mystical and magical design was better suited to this length. As we were required to do nail art in the lunula area, I chose the moon and the sun to position them in this tiny area and complete the overall look of these mystical and celestial nails. 

It was definitely a challenge to create this set! Thank you so much for the opportunity to show my work and grow as an artist! 

Click here to watch her video diary.

Week #2

CND Couture

For this second challenge, it took me a bit to decide on the design since all the designers do a spectacular job, so I chose Elie Saab, one of my favorite designers, and I was inspired by this outfit from the Spring-Summer 2020 collection, one of the kings of haute couture.  

I also want to pay tribute to him since this year 2021 is not going to see a runway in the Paris Fashion Week 2021, due to the growing number of cases of Coronavirus.  

I love everything this haute couture designer does, and this collection is majestic, elegant, luxurious and with a baroque touch that transports me to the Palace of Versailles itself. It really is like a dream, as Elie himself tells us that the inspiration for this collection arose. 

As we had to capture embroidery, stitches or beading, I choose a design that had all the details in and of itself. I have created all the elements manually using the minimum possible material, all from CND except the glitter: Shellac enamels in shades of Cream Puff, Gala Girl, Romantique and Bellini; Shellac Top Coat Matte, Brisa Paint Liquid Gel for embroidery, Retention + Transparent acrylic powders and Perfect Color Pure White and gold glitter to make my creation more luxurious.  

My main idea was to take that dress and turn it into nails, as if we had cut out pieces of the dress and glued it to the ends, and this is the result. I have used medium stiletto tips since I find them very elegant, and you will find the perfect complement to wear this outfit since I did not want to lose the elegance that characterizes everything that the artist Elie does.  

I had so much fun creating this haute couture look on nails! 

Click here to watch her video diary.

Week #1

A to Z CND

My inspiration for this week has been a short and brief journey through my life (it’s quite difficult to choose just a few events as in 38 years I’ve lived so many things!) so I’ve focused on some of the happiest moments of my life. 

I have used both Shellac and Vinylux colours from CND, you can see the full list of the material used in the video description on YouTube. 

 The mural starts as a tribute to my childhood, where there are colors, clouds, a beautiful blue sky, butterflies, a sketchpad, some paints and the word “CHILD.” The butterflies fly and create a transition to another stage: my motherhood. I think that in everyone’s life one of the happiest moments is the birth of their children, as it was in mine when my son Jonathan was born in 2003 when I was only 20 years old. 

 In the central part of the mural there is a forest, alluding to the meaning of my name (Silvia in Latin), my love for nature and one of the most beautiful experiences I could live in 2014: the Camino de Santiago. In the lower part there are some shells and the typical arrow of the Camino, since I finished my Camino in Finisterre and the beach of Langosteira, there is also the word “CAMINO” written. 

I also drew a van, because I have always wanted to have one, so it is a dream to be fulfilled. 

The last sequence reflects a more current stage of meeting my husband, David, so on the mural I wrote his name surrounded by a heart. Years later, I fulfilled another of my dreams: to go to DisneyLand Paris (I’m a Disney lover) so I drew myself in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, remembering that beautiful moment. At the end of the mural, I wrote the word “NOW.” 

Click here to watch her video diary.


In Partnership With

  • CND