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Mastering techniques is just one step in coming out on top in our new Soak-Off Gel Nail Art comp, which is debuting at ISSE Long Beach at the end of January. The other component? Deciding what design to wow the judges with.
Nail artist Melanie Visser of Bio Sculpture Gel says she uses fashion lines to inspire her copy-worthy patterns.
"The best way to learn color combos is by going online and looking at color templates and fashion photos. Any color combination that is in fashion is a hit," she says. "The last design I played with was Missoni, because it was very fashionable and everyone wanted it."
Color plays a role in the designs nail artist Christian Mans of Bio Sculpture Gel creates, and if he was competing in the comp, he says a multitude of hues would be there with him.
"I would create a color-utopia," he explains. "I would combine several colors into a single nail, which would complement the other nail colors to all blend together as one single piece of art."
A strong foundation of color theory also could be a factor in your victory.
Amanda Lenher, a nail artist at Posare Salon in Las Vegas, recommends you know your color wheel and what combos will work together.
But most of all, seek design inspiration all around you.
"Go through some fashion magazines and look at fabric patters, or if you want to live on the wild side, look at tattoos," says Visser. "There is a lot of fine detailing that goes into tattoos, and studying them will teach you what to look for and give you some new ideas."