A 20-year industry veteran, Viktoriia Klopotova has made her mark on nails in more ways than one. The Ukraine native, who now resides in Poland, is the owner and founder of an eponymous professional nail academy where she imparts sculpting and art techniques as well as nail anatomy and product chemistry to burgeoning technicians. She is a certified educator for a number of nail brands and a competition world champion. But perhaps most notably, Klopotova invented and holds the patent for the “Pipe” nail shape. She revealed the design—which features an extreme C-curve extension edge—to fellow competitor Tom Holcomb years ago at a nail competition in Poland. He immediately remarked on the unique shape that was both strong and quite elegant. He convinced Klopotova to patent her design, which she termed the Pipe for its resemblance to the length of a pipe cut in half.

Naturally, we tasked Klopotova with recreating her famous shape on this month’s cover—which she built with glasslike clear gel for an even lighter effect. The key to crafting this shape lies not only in the C-curve pinch, but also in form application. The end result: a beautifully sophisticated nail made modern with precision line art.

[Nails: Viktoriia Klopotova; Photography: Cory Sorensen; Makeup: Anthony Merante, Tomlinson Management Group; Model: Hannah Novak, Elite Models; Digital Imaging: Art Vasquez, RP Digital]

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