Nail Art

Dedicated to the infinite joys of nail art and design: handpaint, airbrush, colored acrylics and gels.


Mini Masterpiece Contest 2015: A Victory Celebration

Meet the Winner

“I think most any artist, nails and otherwise, would agree that we are our own worst critics,” says Amber Dunson, a nail tech at Destiny Day Spa & Salon in Bossier City, La. “I had several entries and I almost didn’t enter this one because I didn’t think it was good enough. So you can imagine how winning for this one makes me feel — it’s such an incredible honor.”

Dunson selected the iconic Life magazine photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt of an American sailor kissing a woman in Times Square on V-J (Victory over Japan) Day in 1945. “I love that it’s black and white. It’s such a great piece of history and the story behind it is awesome,” she says. She spent an hour and a half on the nail tip and says the facial features were the hardest part. “Faces have always been my downfall in any art I’ve done, but working on such a small scale, it’s even more of a task. The tiniest detail can make or break the whole thing.”

She started with a base of white gel-polish. The art was done using acrylic paints and topped with a gel top coat. “I used a small detail brush and black and white paints only, mixing the different shades as I worked,” she says. “It’s important when working with acrylic paints to make sure they are thinned down with water. You get much better detail and it’s easier to work with.”

To see photo galleries featuring past Mini Masterpiece Contest winners, go to

Photography by Kelly Bracken and Kimberly Pham

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