The high drama world of high fashion nail artistry comes to a head on Oxygen’s new competition series, Nail’d It. The series pits 18 of the best up and coming nail artists against one another as they claw their way to the top to claim a life changing grand prize of $100,000. And this show is more than determining who can max-out a manicure, this show is all about elevating the humble fingernail to a magnificent work of art!
Judging the competition are some of the top talents in the nail industry including Terrance Terry, an outspoken Atlanta salon owner whose work has graced the digits of divas like Jennifer Hudson, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Garner, Mariah Carey and in The Hunger Games movies. His outspoken personality has earned him the nickname the ”Nail Villain.” Elaine T. Watson is the VP of Marketing and Sales and Global Education for nail product company Cuccio International. She stared as a competitive nail artist and has judged some of the world’s largest nail competitions. Stephanie Lavery is the Editor In Chief of Nail It! Magazine, the top magazine in the nail industry, and legendary nail artist Jan Arnold, whose designs have walked down the runway for designers like Cynthia Rowley, Nicole Miller and Oscar de la Renta.
Hosting Nail’d It is singer (3LW and The Cheetah Girls) and talk show host (the Real) Adrienne Bailon. Bailon has been interested in her nails since she was 5 years old and begged her mother for red nails like her idol, singer Selena. “If somebody came up and spoke to me, the first thing I would notice was their nails and I felt like it told me so much and about them,” Bailon told a conference call of journalists and nail aficionados. “And then, when I opened up to the possibilities of nail art and everything that could be done on nails, it became an obsession!” Today Bailon’s obsession has also branched out into Fingertip Fetish, her own line of vegan, luxury nail polishes that are formaldehyde and DVP-free.
Each episode of Nail’d It is broken up into two challenges. Bailon explains, “The first challenge is called ‘The Quick Dry,’ which is more of a salon style nail — something that you wear every day. [The nail artists ] are working with real clients that actually would wear the nails.
“The second challenge is the elimination challenge. We get to see these over-the-top fantasy style nails; which I think is just insane and crazy to watch someone create a masterpiece out of acrylic nails. It is definitely jaw dropping at times, and you’re like, ‘My god, I can’t believe this is actually possible!’”
The show’s mix of functional and fantasy nails may open the world of nail art to the average nail polish wearer, “There are huge competitions that go on around the world where people win thousands and thousands of dollars for their artistry. So, I think it’s definitely getting more recognized, “ says Bailon of nail art. “And I think it’s no longer going to be something that we just see on Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj and Rhianna. I think it’s now going to be the every woman’s way to express herself.” And when you see the wide variety of colors, materials and techniques these artists have up their sleeves, you’re going to feel like a kid in a c-handy store!
With money on the line, I asked Bailon is the competitions get heated, especially since these are some of the world’s most talented artists, rivals not only at competitions, but in their businesses. She said that the artists, “Definitely knew of each other. And I think that actually was great…it definitely made it more entertaining to see how competitive they were. And to see that they knew each others’ work. And to see that they were well aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”
Bailon said that one of her favorite parts of hosting Nail’d It was getting her nails done with wild designs for each show. But one sexy design she donned for the show one definitely proved that fashion is pain. “We did spikes on my nails!” she revealed. “They were like legit spikes that could cut. I had to be careful when I slept because if I moved, I could accidentally cut myself. But it looked super hot. It was a really hot look.”
I have never had nail art done on my hands (well, maybe once at a birthday party when I was 13,) when alady painted a palm tree on my pinkie, but I love any reality competition where artists show their creativity in a unique way. I watch Top Chef, Project Runway, (and their accessories and dessert spin offs) Face Off, Work of Art, RuPaul’s Drag Race, Shear Genius, and was a BIG fan of Oxygen’s Hair Battle Spectacular. So if it’s unusual, maybe a little bitchy and there’s a competition, I’m in!
You can catch Adrienne Bailon on Nail’d It Tuesdays on Oxygen, starting Oct. 7 at 9pmET/PT.
images © Lindsey Byrnes/Oxygen