For Desiree Todd Hartslief, a Gerdview resident, her love and passion for nails and nail art started like so many others’, with a simple home nail kit.
“My passion for doing nails started as a teenager with home nail kits and my mom, Jenny Buchler, nurturing my talent,” explained Desiree.
“My mom sent me on my first nail course and has been my biggest fan and strongest supporter ever since.
“She taught me that education is vital and you can never have enough knowledge in your field, so I kept studying different courses and expanded my service field.
“Since then nail art has always been my guilty pleasure, as I believe it is an expression of your personality.
“There are so many art mediums in the nail industry now that the sky is the limit, it has become my favourite playground.”
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Desiree’s passion for nails was rewarded, nine years in a row, when she won the Fantasy 3D Nail Division of the Professional Beauty Nail File Photographic Nail Art Competition.
However, after these nine years Desiree took a break from competitions.
“I took a break to concentrate on building Orange Tag Hair Nail and Beauty Emporium and more importantly, to build my family unit after a number of deaths in our family,” she explained.
But this year, 10 years after her last competition, Desiree decided to enter the competition world once again.
“I entered again to see if I still have what it takes to compete,” she explained.
“Competition puts your brain in overdrive and challenges you.
“It’s very easy to get into a rut and the industry trends change daily, so it’s good to keep up to date with what today’s trends are and the techniques needed to apply them.
“In competing, I also found that a passion doesn’t die after lying dormant.
“It’s like riding a bike, a bit wobbly at first but in no time you get back into it and come back stronger than before.
“Ten years really was enough of a break.”
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Desiree placed second in the Mardi Gras Nail File Photographic Nail Design Competition, which she entered by photographic submission.
“This year’s competition was all about showcasing a use of colour, a degree of difficulty and creativity, all while interpreting the theme with flowing designs that incorporates a number of different mediums and techniques,” she explained.
“I was so nervous to enter, I won’t lie.
“A lot has changed in 10 years and the competition has become tough.
“Naturally there is an amount of self-doubt, but once I started my designs it just flowed and I was fuelled by excitement and a competitive spirit.”
When asked how she felt when she found out she placed second, Desiree explained.
“Just placing was a win in my eyes after being out of the game for so long,” she said.
“This year I had no idea what I was up against.
“Not winning has kept me hungry for next year.”
When asked for some tips for people when it comes to having nail art and maintaining the health of their natural nails, Desiree responded.
“Rubber base, rubber base and more rubber base,” she said.
“It is liquid gold and creates a barrier between the natural nail and the enhancement, thereby protecting the natural nail as it grows.
“This makes natural long healthy nails an achievable goal for anyone.”
Desiree also shared some tips for inspiring nail artists who want to compete.
“Practice, practice and practice some more,” she said.
“Push yourself beyond what you think you can achieve because so many of us don’t give ourselves enough credit.
“Remember to breathe in deeply and stay hungry to reach your goals.
“Don’t be discouraged and try take all criticism as constructive, as it will make a better nail artist out of you.
“Most importantly, remember art can be what you want it to be, from bright and dramatic to smart and elegant.”
For more on Desiree and her designs search Orange Tag Hair Nail and Beauty Emporium on Facebook or send an email to [email protected].
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