Fantasy Nail Art! What About the Costume?


Fantasy Nail Art is one of our most popular and loved competitions. The competitor, the judge and the spectator thoroughly enjoy it and it’s truly a feast for the eyes if you are a nail aficionado. There’s no way anyone can see this type of artistry and not appreciate the hard work and planning that goes into this competition. Each nail--when done correctly--is a 


masterpiece in and of itself and though the work that goes into the nails is a big part, remember that the costume, hair and makeup are just as important.

The costume is worth 10 huge points; piecing it together well and making it complete from head to toe is vital to winning. It’s important to keep in mind that in any competition, there will be some crossover with many of the categories. With this category, when the costume is left to the last minute or not well-thought-out, point deductions can occur in other categories like Overall Impression, Presentation and Workmanship. For example, sometimes the costume will be stunning with every detail given attention to and the makeup is nothing short of fabulous, but when you get to the shoes, it seems the competitor has dropped the ball at the ankles. The toenails are long with old polish and the shoes are tattered.

The judging criterion for this category reads like this:

Costume - 10 Points

·       the costume complements the theme and artwork

·       the costume is complete and needs no improvement

·       the costume is neat, clean and well-constructed


When a judge gets to the part that reads, “complete and needs no improvement” they start 


looking for what could be improved. When you are planning your design and costume think like a judge. Ask yourself, “how could I improve on this, is it complete?”


Sometimes a costume comes directly from a costume shop, out of the package and onto the model. While it’s a good idea to use a brand new costume, it still needs to be checked for hanging strings and fit. Besides, where is the creativity in buying a costume and pulling it out of a bag? If you buy a costume from a Halloween shop think about ways to enhance the costume, bring some creativity to it. Add some body art, a cool hairstyle or jewelry. Bring life to the costume so it complements your nail art.


And speaking of the nail art, remember judges love variety. Don’t put the same thing on every nail. As with all nail art, if a judge can look at something once and see everything there is to see, why do they want to look again? You want us to look again because drawing us in will impress us. Dimension and textures used creatively are eye candy to us judges. Another thing to focus on when preparing for this competition is what will the base look like and how are you going to attach it to the model’s fingernail. You want to be sure that the base tip or enhancement is correctly done and neat. The way you attach it needs to be clean and orderly, too. Don’t put a huge piece of double-sided tape under the tip where the judges can see it. In fact, don’t use anything that can be seen. Ask for advice from a seasoned Fantasy competitor. Most will happily share this information with you. If not, don’t be discouraged and just ask another one for advice.


When judging Fantasy nail art, we wait in anticipation, almost salivating at what the competitors have prepared for us. It is the only competition where the judges are allowed on the competition floor and though we do not see the competitor, we are looking at and studying the model.

Fantasy Nail Art can be difficult to judge because everyone including the competitors can watch. We must diligently keep a tight reign on our scoresheet so no one can see what we’re writing and try not to stay too


 long with one entry. There are times when you can hardly tear yourself away because you are in awe of what the competitor has accomplished—we just want to keep looking and looking …