Katie Barnes
Katie Barnes

Katie Barnes reveals her competition journey

By Katie Barnes | 23 January 2018 | Blog, Business, Expert Advice, Feature

Salon owner, educator, former Scratch columnist and award-winning nail stylist, Katie Barnes, reveals more about her journey in Nails magazine’s Next Top Nail Artist competition to inspire, excite and help you on your own competition journeys…

Last week, season five of the Next Top Nail Artist (NTNA) competition, hosted by US trade publication, Nails magazine, kicked off, and the final 12 contestants were tasked with their first challenge.

I am honoured to be one of those final 12 so I wanted to use this blog to give you an insight into the competition, show you what I have been up to this week and hopefully in many more weeks to come while giving techs the inspiration to enter nail competitions.

Twenty-four semi-finalists were announced in November and were given two pre-challenges which narrowed these contestants down to 18 and then 12 finalists. These two pre-challenges were sponsored by Swarovski.

Every Friday, the NTNA contestants will receive a challenge set by that week’s sponsors (meaning there will be 2 challenges running at any one time). Some challenges will require a video diary or step-by-step and will range from wearable nail designs to be displayed on nails to 3D work on nail tips.I was named as a semi-finalist in season four but didn’t make it past the pre-challenge cuts. I learnt so much from entering and used this to push and challenge myself to improve this year. This is exactly the reason every nail tech should look at entering a competition at least once, to push and challenge their skills and working technique to constantly progress and advanced themselves. It makes you look at your work and techniques from a different perspective and can gain you invaluable feedback from judges.

This week’s challenge was set by CND, and we had to create a flat wearable nail design using SHELLAC and VINYLUX inspired by CND’s Libertine catwalk look. The design was to be created on 10 pre-made nail tips, then applied to a model, in my case, myself! We had to also include an element of design on the fingers or hands to compliment but not overshadow from the nail design itself, which could be anything from jewellery to temporary tattoos.

The challenge was submitted yesterday with voting now open until Thursday. As the first UK finalist, I’d love for you to vote and support Team UK.

To check out all the nail styles and vote for your favourite, click here.

As well as developing your practical skills, entering competitions is a great way to make lots of nail friends. These fellow competitors are the only ones who understand your challenges and experiences and these friends are a fantastic support network.

There will always be ups and downs, tears and tantrums and the joy of when your piece finally comes together but that’s what pushes you outside of our comfort zone and challenges us as nail techs.

I would recommend that every tech enters a competition at least once in their career, not necessarily to compete against others, to compete against themselves and challenge themselves whether its a global competition, such as NTNA, or the UK-centric Scratch Star Awards which is open for entry at www.scratchstarsawards.co.uk from 1-28 February 2018.

Love Katie B x   www.simplynailsandbeauty.com