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Cover Tech Contest 2017: A Gem of a Design

Nail tech Celine Cumming was the creative force behind two of the 10 remarkable images that made it to our final round of voting. When readers’ online votes were tallied, Cumming had nabbed both the winning and first-runner-up spots. The delicate beauty of Lemy Nguyen’s water-color-look nails earned her second-runner-up status, while Konstantina Tsihlas’ colorful, kid-friendly design landed her in the third-runner-up spot. Our congratulations go out to all the finalists and a giant thank you goes to everyone who entered this year’s competition.

Meet the Winner

Celine Cumming combined her two great passions to perfection when crafting this month’s cover. The 22-year-old is a geology student in her senior year at the University of Delaware as well as a nail tech at Angel Nails in Middletown, Del.  A lifelong lover of nail art,  Cumming received her nail license in August 2016 after completing an apprenticeship. Looking for inspiration for her entry, she reached out to the curator of the Mineralogical Museum at the university in hopes of using some minerals from its collection as props for her photo shoot. “After emailing back and forth with the curator, we met up in person and walked through the museum together,” she says. “She briefed me on which minerals would and wouldn’t be realistic to use based on their fragility. After careful consideration, I decided to use an amethyst specimen as one of my props. I needed a mineral that was both beautiful to look at and also relatively easy to identify for people who aren’t necessarily geology majors!”
To achieve the look, Cumming created a nail shape that mimicked the amethyst’s pointed tips, then painted a light purple base color onto the nails. “After that dried, I used a mix of acrylic paints and regular nail polishes to paint layer upon layer of fine lines onto the nails,” she says. “I then added shadows and highlights and some strategically placed imperfections. It took about three hours until I was completely happy with the nails.”

You can see more of Cumming’s amazing artwork on Instagram and Twitter @nailedbyceline.

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