For this week’s Last Chance Design Lab challenge sponsored by CND, Kristen Hartley and Silvia Gago López are battling it out one-on-one to see who has a chance of staying in the competition.

CND’s Jan Arnold will select her favorite look.

All Last Chance challenges are done on a single nail tip. Contestants are also asked to describe their looks. There are no other elements to this battle.

This Last Chance challenge asks the two competitors to illustrate their Personal Style.

Their instructions were: “On a single nail tip, depict your fashion or nail style with hand painting only.”


For this week in the Last Chance Lab we were asked to create our personal style, whether it be our clothing or our nail style. I have chosen my nail style which is freehand design. Within what I most like to do which are characters, I love realism and Catrinas.

The truth is that my nail style is closely linked to my personal, fashion and artistic style. Since I was a little girl I have been immersed in the world of art and without a doubt all the disciplines I like have marked my style when it comes to nail art. I love Catrinas, I have always had a special connection with them. Before dedicating myself to nails, for 1O years I made custom hand painted clothes. My Catrinas were always the most requested and also a personal stamp, so I have created more than a hundred pieces with these wonderful illustrations.

I love the realistic style and tattoos, in fact, I plan to learn how to tattoo soon. Also,  personally Catrinas have a much stronger emotional meaning for me, which is to value that we are still alive. In 2018 I had a massive bilateral pulmonary embolism that landed me in ICU for 3 days. That’s why I feel that the Catrinas are an ode to how fragile life is, that we should value all the moments lived and honor our family and loved ones. Catrinas represent that you have more or less richness, money, fame… It doesn’t matter, we are all equal.

To create this tip, I used only Shellac: Cream Puff, Blackpool, Wildfire, Jellied, Popsicle Picnic, Rooftop Hop, Blue Eyeshadow, Gala Girl, Fieldfox and Romantique. I like to create very detailed works, with saturated colors, like a painting on canvas.

I hope you like my work, for me it is very representative of my style, it even goes further because it represents important experiences in my life. Thank you for the opportunity to show what I like to do the most, which is to create art expressing my feelings.


For this last chance lab, NTNA wanted to get a sense of my personal style. On a single nail tip, depict my fashion or nail style with hand painting only.

My style has definitely evolved over the years.

I used to have a simple “preppy” style. Not really falling into any specific trendy category. I took inspiration from different pieces, and put them together, mostly using jewelry and accessories to express my style.

I grew up in a small town, where fashion wasn’t expressed or appreciated. Even though I’ve always had a simpler style, I was described as being more eccentric and wild compared to everyone around me.

Now, my style is more avant-garde, using fashion as an extension of my creativity. I like to make a dramatic statement. Typically, the foundation for my wardrobe is black.

I would call my style “Minimalist obsessed with ornament.” I can get dressed up if I want to, but I like my skull t-shirts and ripped jeans. Still on the simpler side, but still showing what I like. I still love my chunky jewelry, and statement pieces.

A lot of the time, my statement piece is my nail art. Depending on how I am feeling, I can be seen wearing a simple nude set, matte black, or a bedazzled set.

I do have two sides to my style. At home, I’m a minimalist who finds it calming to be around simple things that don’t require much thought. But when it comes to work and inspiration and fun, my eye will ALWAYS be drawn toward shine, colour, detail, texture and patterns. I just don’t want to live around those things all day. I like to admire them in small doses and talk about them and celebrate people who do enjoy incorporating that exuberant style into their daily life.

But at home I’ve grown into a style that feels more about function than form. It probably has a lot to do with being a mom. One side of my style isn’t any better than the other, they’re just different. And I love them both.

I recognize that the styles I’ve grown comfortable with at home and work may change over time, but I also know that there is a style that people have come to expect from me.

Personally, I don’t care if you dress head to toe in vintage everyday or if you dress in modern clothing entirely, as long as you are happy and comfortable and rock your own style!

I painted this nail to depict my usual skull t-shirts and ripped jeans style. You can’t go wrong with the basics, and you can always dress it up or dress it down. I added a K to make the nail really mine.

I hope that you like this nail as much as I do and that I can continue my  journey throughout this competition!

And the winner is…Silvia!

Here’s what Jan Arnold had to say about Silvia’s submission:

Silvia, you broke my heart with your touching story and true emotion.  I can see it in this gorgeous and very personal Catrina. Your words and wisdom, born out of your personal suffering, makes it all the more meaningful and memorable. From nails to tattoos…a perfect marriage and one I will never forget you by. You are a masterful artist and a treasured soul.  You win!!  Xoxo – Jan 🙏❤

This result means that Silvia will go head-to-head with the finalist eliminated in Challenge #9, to be determined tomorrow!