Welcome to Nailympics 2010, the self-styled ‘Olympic Games of fake nails’.It all started in the USA ten years ago by three nail brands who wanted to create an impartial, non-profit making nail competition.
This year it took place at the London Olympia on 19th- 20th september where the world’s top manicurists battle it out for medals in gruelling events such as ‘fibreglass tip and overlay’, ‘gel sculpture’ and ‘fantasy nail art’.The Nailympics have been held in Britain for the last six years and competition was fierce this time unlike the last competitions.
354 competitors from 24 different countries, record numbers, were there to attend the festival and they’ve been in training for years to claw their way up the rankings.
‘This is one of the most important competitions in the world. You come to demonstrate your skill and show what your country can offer,’ says Carmelina Gandolfo, 32, from the Italian team, summing up the sense of occasion.
Nail art involves glueing artificial acrylic pieces onto natural nails and then painting them. More exotic methods of decoration include airbrushing the acrylic nails and embedding them with tiny gems or trinkets.This is what the ‘fantasy nail art’ category is all about at the Nailympics
Fairies, forests and angels are favourite designs of most of the people but somehow others also design dragons and such like thing.
‘It may look ridiculous,’ one judge explained, ‘but no more so than some of the clothes you would see at a high fashion show in Paris. It displays a mastery of the nail technician’s craft.’
The competitors sit beside their desks, building and painting perfect, long nails.Also there is a miniature flag of one's country onthe desk so that people know about one's identity.Then they work, in a limited time period, with an array of liquids, powders and paints which fill the air with pungent chemical aromas.Majority competitors prefer to wear paper masks to avoid the pungent smell. The occasion is gaining popularity with the passage of time and this time it was successful in attracting 30,000 visitors.