Carly has been a licensed nail technician for eight years. She resides just outside of Detroit and has been blessed with amazing mentors throughout the Midwest. Carly is completely obsessed with nails and her five cats. Last year, she was named first runner up for NAILS Next Top Nail Artist Season 6, and this year she is going for the OPI NTNA All Stars gold!
When googling the definition of avant-garde I found its meaning to be “new and unusual or experimental ideas, especially in the arts. I then looked up images of avant-garde art and found many paintings reminding me of Van Gogh or Picasso. Keeping this in mind with some of the trends I saw on OPI’s website, I wanted to create a blend of the two. I chose to make an abstract face like a Picasso with all different and disformed features, but also keeping the look minimal and using some color blocking trends from OPI’s nail art trend guide. I started with just a solid layer of CORAL-ing Your Spirit Animal in Powder Perfection and then added color blocking with the second coat with My Chihuahua Doesn’t Bite Anymore and Mural Mural On The Wall. I then went in with the Powder Perfection dipping systems step 1 base, using a nail art brush and painted fine detailed line work then dipped it in red to make the designs pop on the oranges, but not be too distracting so I could add even more nail art on top. All of this was just the base to my art.
The next step was painting the facial features. I used two different techniques creating a similar look by taking Black Onyx in GelColor to paint my facial features, then while it was wet, dip it into clear Powder Perfection to make a matted, textured feel. I took step 1 dipping base and dipped a piece of dental floss into the bottle, completely saturating it then immediately dipping into Black Onyx powder perfection to create eyelashes and a 3-D mouth matching the texture of the hand painted art. I tried to make my design really different and unique so when choosing my nail shape I contemplated, then came up with the idea of instead of making an interesting shape at the tip of the nail creating an entirely new look by changing the shape of the nail at the cuticle, I have never seen this done before with the actual enhancement itself not going all the way to the edges of the cuticle, so I was really excited to try it. I have never worked with dip powder at all before this and I really struggled at first. After playing with it for a few days I finally got more used to it and actually was able to create a design I really liked, so I hope the judges appreciate this set as much as I do.
OPI is huge on color. I wanted to take an unexpended spin on the challenge. My current OPI collection only includes 12 colors. Instead of using a massive amount of colors I am going to solely use the main five colors of the rainbow along with black and white and make a cohesive look that makes the most of these colors by mixing them to create new shades. I wanted to make my nails have ombre rainbow shifts representing all the diverse colors of people around the world and how when we can all come together we can truly create something beautiful. Instead of using different colors than the base for my designs I simply contrasted them creating an opposite rainbow that creates an optical illusion and really pops. This look used “!VIVA OPI!”, “MY CHIHUAHUA DOSEN’T BITE ANYMORE”, “CORAL-ING YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL”, “DON’T TELL A SOL”, “VERDE NICE TO MEET YOU”, “MI CASA ES BLUE CASA”, “MARIACHI MAKES MY DAY”, “Alpine Snow”, and “Black Onyx”.
I have recently stumbled upon a Netflix show called “Terrace House Tokyo” and have been binging it. It reminds me of a Japanese version of the Real World. It’s all in Japanese but I can’t stop watching it because I find myself just in awe of the cultural differences. I love learning about people all over the world and they’re history. So naturally I chose OPI’s 2019 collection “Tokyo”. Upon looking up must see attractions in Tokyo, the top always seemed to include Mount Fuji as well as the Buddhist temple Senso-Ji. I actually found that there are many views of both of them together, so I decided to make my nails be a landscape including both. Now, cherry blossom trees aren’t necessarily a landmark in Japan but they are everywhere and are absolutely beautiful as well as surrounding the Senso-Ji so I made them a big part of my design. I made almost my entire piece using OPI’s colored acrylics, aside for using some of OPI’s gel-polish as a base for some of the nails and glitter sequins. I found images of cherry blossom trees in fields that looked to be in the hundreds of thousands, so to try and capture the vast deep numbers of the trees, I built my forest in several layers starting with gel-polish to building with acrylic to off canvas sculptures. I chose to make my nails using smaller length tips. I did this intentionally because in watching many Japanese shows I have noticed it is most common to wear short nails there often with 3-D embellishments or elements.
For this weeks challenge I was to create a set of nails inspired by the OPI polish “I Am Not Really A Waitress.” The first thing that popped into my head when conceptualizing my design was to pick a different occupation that someone might mistake for being a waitress. When I thought about similarities between waitresses and other jobs, I saw many in nail technicians. We both wear apron’s, serve the public, and write down in ticket books. I thought it would be really cute to create a retro diner that when you look closer, realize it’s actually a nail salon. Fitting with the retro theme, I chose to make my waitress in Patrick Nagel-styled art. This is an artist who is iconic for making salon signage and art that was popular in the 1980s. I chose to make the most of my design strictly out of Gel Color due to the challenge revolving around a particular polish. I incorporated 3-D elements by dripping OPI’s top gel onto a stiff piece of plastic and pushing it flat with another piece of hard plastic. This left me with a laminate-like piece of material which I then used to hand paint all of my salon furniture. I filled the salon with its furniture in a pop-up book style to give my piece dimension. Using the color “I’m Not Really A Waitress,” I decorated the salon in a red vinyl diner booth as well as a nail bar. The diner/salon wouldn’t be complete without classic black and white checkerboard flooring. I have not had the opportunity to previously work with many OPI products and was pleased to get to learn about the brand and play!