So I got talked into competing in the gel polish competition at the last minute. The last time I competed was in 1996 at the Best Little Nail Show in Arkansas more than a few years back. The last one before that was in 1980 in New York. I love the thought of competing, but don’t really have the nerves for it. There is a whole subculture to these nail competitions, one that practices for hours on end and devotes tremendous time and money to their efforts. Needless to say this is not me... not yet anyway. Jim McConnel, owner/head chemist for Light Elegance was kind enough to give me a few items to use for the competition. I grabbed the bare minimums, literally, a few soft landing towels, the new P2 gel polish, Pink extreme gel and white smile line gel a few brushes , a UV lamp and a few alcohol swabs from the booth. I didn’t even think to grab a model so I used myself.
John Hauk went over the briefing and we began. Half an hour to do a color nail and pink and white. How hard could this be? I do it all day long in the salon right? I laid down a quick coat of the pink on both nails and cured. I painted the red color nail first and flash cured. Then the fun began with a smile line. I was using a brush, LE angle brush, I had not used in a long time. Got the white pretty clear and full cured. When I went back to give the white more depth the fun began. I put a second coat of the red, cured and started playing with the smile line.... for just about the rest of the time. I swiped and dabbed and swiped some more. 5 minutes left and I had to get to the gel top coat applied. This is the time that seperates the champs from the chumps. Even with my blood pressure rising I tried to remain calm. I had to undercure the last coat for time restraints and had a fear of everything smudging together at the final cleanse. I was literally wiping off the dispersion layer when he called time. How could that take 30 minutes?
Sorry so blurry...did not have my good camera
Well it was all over but the judging. I felt ok, not confident, I just didn’t want to place last, my pride could not take that. I waited in the judging line to go under the curtain for the final inspection. The first judge scrutinized for what seemed forever and tapped my hand to move on. The second judge scrutinized some more, nerve wracking to say the least. Another tap and I was free to go. Whew, it's out of my hands and up to the judges now. After the competition I found Jim at his booth, thanked him for the products and apologized if I embarrassed him too badly. He looked at my nails and said they were not as bad as I thought, he said he could tell that all I do is gel...all day long lol. So as nerve wracking as it was, and for thinking I’m just gonna throw this together, my competitive streak kicked in and I really wanted to place. And the results? Second place. Wow was I surprised! I had to put down my phone that I was recording and reporting from and go get my trophy. Too funny. I really have to hand it to the people that compete on a regular basis. It is really challenging. I’m so glad I did it! I challenged myself and I am now an award winning nail stylist. Oh and by the way, my gel prices just went up :)