At the Nailpro Nail Show on Aug. 20-21, 2023, the winners of the Nailpro Master Challenge were announced live at the show for all four competitions.
All the competitors brought amazing creativity and skill, and the judges and attendees were all wowed with the techniques that they saw live.
The Nailpro Master Challenge 2023 was sponsored by Nailpro Nail Show platinum sponsor The GelBottle, as well as Master Challenge sponsors Ella + Mila and Madam Glam. The GelBottle provided all the products as the exclusive sponsor for the Fancy French competition, Ella + Mila provided the products as the exclusive sponsor for the Handpainted Nail Art competition and Madam Glam provided all the products as the exclusive sponsor for the Nature-Inspired Gel competition.
Handpainted Nail Art
The Handpainted Nail Art competition pushed competitors to ignite their creativity by painting a unique design using lacquer on a set of five tips. The competitors were given 30 minutes to complete this task, and they were given a number of shades in their kit provided by exclusive sponsor Ella + Mila.
Taking home third place for the Handpainted Nail Art competition was Lucille Becker. Becker is a licensed nail technician at Creative Nails by Lucille in Hartford, Wisconsin. Becker created a Halloween-inspired look, featuring spiderwebs, jack o' lanterns and more on a red base.
Second place was awarded to Reina Santos (@reireishnailart). Santos is a nail artist based our of Fairfield, California. She is also an educator for Kokoist. She created abstract nail art featuring waves, flowers, dots and hearts.
First place went to Yu Zhang, nail artist and owner of Pop Nail Club (@popnailclub) in Cupertino, California. Yu Zhang created abstract nail art featuring flames, a smiling flower, hearts and an eye that stares right into your soul.
The Fancy French competition made competitors think outside of the box when it comes to the French manicure, to complete five tips that involve the French manicure design somehow but put their innovation to the max. The competitors were given 45 minutes to complete this task, and they were given a number of shades in their kit, as well as painting gels and tools provided by exclusive sponsor The GelBottle.
Bringing home the third prize for Fancy French was Fei Yuan. Yuan is a nail artist and owner of F-Nail Studio in Plumas Lake, California. Yuan’s pink ombre reverse French took judges by surprise.
Second place was awarded to Melissa McCasland. McCasland is a nail artist at Styles by Melissa in Keilua Kona, Hawaii. McCasland created multitonal French manicures with hints of animal print.
First place in the Fancy French competition went to Kelli Davis. Davis is a manicurist for Eurotan in Bakersfield, California. Davis used white, black and gold to create give unique French manicures with varying shapes and designs.
Tip and Overlay
Tip and Overlay as a competition that tested the competitors skill and technique with both tip shaping and blending as well as acrylic application and shaping. Competitors were give 45 minutes to expertly size and apply tips to one hand of a live model, shape/blend them, apply acrylic over them and finish the nail.
Bringing home third for the Tip and Overlay competition was Itza Martin-Benitez. Martin-Benitez is a manicurist at Itza Girl Thing Nails in Sacramento, California.
Second place was awarded to Alexandra Molnar (@alexandramolnarnaildesign). Molnar is a licensed nail technician in Berkeley, California.
First place in the Tip and Overlay competition was Sandra Mata-Hernandez. Mata-Hernandez is the owner of Lian's Nails in Paradise, California.
Nature-inspired Gel Design
The Nature-inspired Gel Design competition asked competitors to tap into the event's nature them and create a unique, nature inspired design on one hand of a live model. Competitors were given 30 minutes to complete this task, and they were given a number of shades, as well as a gel paint kit and three tools by exclusive sponsor Madam Glam.
Third place in the Nature-inspired Gel Design competition went to Scarlett Wooldrik. Wooldrik is a nail technician at Deep Passion Salon & Day Spa in Omaha, Nebraska. Wooldrik leaned into the greens and blues, hand-painting animals and leaves on scenic nature backgrounds.
Second place was awarded to Sandra Mata-Hernandez. This was the second win of the day for Mata-Hernandez from Paradise, California. Mata-Hernandez explored the beauty of the sunsets, with red and yellow scenes but also captured the plant world.
Taking home first place for Nature-inspired Gel Design was Itza Martin Benitez. Martin Benitez was also the third place finisher for the Tip and Overlay competition. Martin Benitez stunned judges with the amazing detail of her scenes for the Nature-inspired gel challenge. She created sunsets, ocean scenes and so much more.
Winners of the competition took home a trophy and $500 for first, plaque and $300 for second place and plaque and $100 for first place.
Our judges had a tough time picking the winners this year, with so many amazing competitors. The judges were: Sarah Thompson (@sarahthompsonnails77), U.S. and Canada educator for the GelBottle; Narineh Bedrossian (@narinehbedrossian), founder of Ella + Mila; Sasha Podgorny, founder of Oh My Nails (@omn_studio); and Robin Yancey, founder of Nail Art Snow (@nail.art.snob).
We can't wait for the Nailpro Master Challenge in 2024 to see even more creativity and innovation!