This weeks challenge was inspired by KUPA’s newest creation, EnrichRX. We were asked to create nail art that takes us from work or every day to play. One hand should be sculptured using EnrichRX with nail art that is suitable for work or everyday wear PLUS nail art components/accessories that can be added onto the look to take it to the next level. Night to day, Work to play.
On top of my sculpted nails, I have created a bright but simple look inspired by KUPA’s logo. But here’s the fun part, under this simple look is a secret. I have encapsulated small magnets under the gel so that my accessories can be added and removed. The accessories are matte, abstract shapes with a gradient of bright colours and covered in textured spots. This look takes inspiration from the works of Dan Lam, which I feel really capture the nature of playfulness.
When starting this design, I was thinking a lot about the way CNDs Future-Forms were the first aluminum nail sculpting forms which provided the perfect C curve under any natural nail. This combination of creative technology and design led me to look at Iris Van Herpen’s Work. Iris uses technology and innovation to push the boundaries of fashion, which is very similar to what CND was doing all that time ago! Iris creates futuristic, alien-like, nature inspired haute couture pieces, consisting of layered materials and flowing shapes.
This technique of layering is similar to what we do as nail techs when creating Nail extensions and Nail art. This inspired me to create a look with many layers of organic, morphing shapes. I wanted to make something that looks futuristic and alien-like as well as something that looked like it was just growing from the natural nail. In this look I use CND’s Future-forms, Over the top effects, Plexigel, Non-wipe top coat and Retention+ sculpting Liquid and powder.
I decided to go with the themes of prince and princess but with a twist! I have a background in fashion and thought that referencing clothing could be a great way to incorporate texture, depth and pattern into this 2D look. I picked the Prince and Princess of fashion, Prince Rogers Nelson and Princess Diana. Two fashion icons that I knew would offer enough visual material to work with. Both Princess Diana and Prince have drastically changed the way we think about fashion. Vogue describes Princess Diana as “one of the world’s most enduring style icons” and Frank ocean says that Prince made him feel comfortable with how he identifies sexually “simply by his display of freedom from and irreverence for the archaic idea of gender conformity.” Splitting each nail tip in half helps each set to be interchangeable and cohesive. This also means that I was able to fit 10 fashion looks on each set. I used lots of chrome and metallic foils to create dimension and also to tie both looks together but also to integrate as much colour as possible.
One of my creative strengths, especially with nail art, is creating small details. I have always loved making small things and so I knew right away what I wanted to create for this first challenge. I really enjoy seeing nature take back industrialized spaces. Moss covering bricks and mortar, grass sprouting in the cracks of tarmac and flowers blooming in surprising corners and crevices. As it’s coming up to spring, I see more and more nature pushing reclaiming space in unexpected environments. This reminded me of what one of my personal strengths is, RESILIENCE! I feel similar to those weeds and mosses I keep spotting. Against all odds they are still surviving and even thriving. The last few years (or decades even) have been tough on me as I have navigated difficulties with my mental and physical health. I have been experiencing anxiety and depression since a teenager and so being creative for me is cathartic and soothing. I have also recently been hospitalised for chronic illness which led to me being bed bound for several months. Despite the setbacks, the trauma and limitations that I have faced, I am blossoming just like these robust plants. As a person with much experience In creating sculptures, I have loved creating many textures and forms within this challenge. I have been able to experiment with and push the limitations of nail art materials to form a set of nails that look like a sidewalk that is brimming with the resilience of nature.