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Nailympics 2010, the self-styled ‘Olympic Games of fake nails’ was 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 battled it out for medals in grueling 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.
Some 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, but some cute Beatrix Potter characters also put in an appearance this year.
It’s gaining in popularity all the time, and this year was part of the Olympia Beauty Show at London’s Earls Court, which attracted 30,000 visitors.