Nailympia – Olympia Beauty
For those who thought watching Simone Biles at the Olympics was the
greatest feat of humankind they have ever witnessed, they clearly have never been to Nailympia.
Leah on the competition floor
I went along to meet up with Leah, who was invited to judge what is the ‘Nail Olympics’ of the industry. And it’s every bit as competitive and athletic as anything you’ve seen in Rio. Held in London, this event was a show of the steadiest hands, the sharpest eyes and the highest level creativity. Categories included everything from soak off gel manicure, to fantasy and runway nails and was a nail extravaganza with thirteen categories across three divisions.
The halls of the Olympia Beauty event, were packed to the brim of keen beauty aficionados, wanting to get a glimpse of the latest in beauty, and it was hard to hold onto the purse strings, with huge OPI, Artistic, and NYX stands. Not to mention the myriad of stands displaying permanent tattoos, non invasive cosmetic surgery and even shower head filters (London’s hard water wreaks havoc on the hair).
But it was upstairs that the party was really going on.
The pressure is on with the sculptured nails !
Nailympia, is a real international affair and tables and tables of nail techs were set up under banners of flags. You could taste the concentration in the air and the stakes were high. It weirdly reminded me of a gymnastics meet I took part in when I was in primary school – competitive.
And to win at Nailympia is a huge honour in the beauty world – a confirmation of the talent that is represented here in bounds.
Leah took me around the hall during the Runway Nails competition, where the entrants must follow a brief to create a look to show on the runway, that would compliment a fashion collection. The brief this year was American Prohibition, where entrants must show glamour with restraint, not an easy task!
Walking around the tables, the talent was evident – and they only had one hour to complete the challenge. One hour to get your look to come to life and hope nothing goes wrong…
Once the timer is up, each model has to approach the judging desk, where they have their hands examined behind a screen – Leah explained this is to prevent any bias coming from the judges, as they might recognise whose model is whose.
Fantasy Nail Art Winner 2016
Judging involves everything from assessing how well polish is applied, to the creativity of the look.
After having a peek backstage I can tell you I did not envy Leah’s job! The level of skill on display was crazy and would take only the best trained eyes in the industry to determine a winner – no wonder they asked Leah along!
Having a walk around the hall, we became transfixed on the fantasy nails – these were works of art, more than they were nail art. Imagine painting something like this on a normal size canvas, and then think about how small these nails are! Van Gogh eat your heart out.
This event is an amazing showcase of what this industry has to offer! A playground for all things beauty and somewhere where people can share tips, learn and chat with each other about the goings on in the beauty world – a place, that this event proves, is an extremely exciting place to be.