Competition Rules

  1. Total time allowed is 1 ½ hours (90 minutes).
  2. This competition is done on natural nails only.
  3. The required elements for the competition are as followed.
  4. The model is to come with nails ready to be manicured.
  5. The nails are to be manicured during the competition, soaking is optional. Lotion and massage is not necessary.
  6. All models nails will be checked to make sure manicures and filing of the nail were not done prior to the competition.
  7. Nails must appear to be at least 1 week without any type of manicuring.
  8. If it is determined that the models nails have been manicured prior to the competition a 5 point deduction can be enforced on the competitor.
  9. The nails must be enhanced and covered with any type of soak off gel or Gel polish.
  10. The nails should have Salon style nail art with the latest trends.
  11. Any color is allowed. There is no limited to the amount of colors used.
  12. Rhinestones, studs, bullion, foil, tape and glitter are allowed.
  13. No preassemble artwork allowed.
  14. All free edge shapes are allowed.
  15. All work on nails must be done during the competition.
  16. No traditional nail polish.
  17. Top sealer must be applied.
  18. Glue is allowed.
  19. Rules of sanitation must be adhered too.
  20. All soak off gel must be clearly labeled.
  21. All products used for manicuring are allowed.
  22. All products and tools must be on the table prior to the start of the competition.
  23. You are not allowed to get products out of your case or have product brought in from outside of the competition arena once the hands on portion of the competition.
  24. All General rules apply.
  25. Total possible points earned 100.

Judges Instructions Maintenance and Application

  • 10 point total on all categories.
  • 1 point a nail.
  • Each nail is judged on its own merit.
  • The nail must meet all of the criteria for the category being judged to earn its point.

Nail Shape

  • The shape of the nails looks consistent and uniform.
  • The top of the free edge must not be uneven.
  • The free edge is straight from the nail plate.
  • All free edge shapes are acceptable, but they must have symmetry.

Cuticle Maintenance

  • No cuts or irritation around the nail folds.
  • The cuticle area was well manicured.
  • The cuticle area and eponychium is pushed back and appears properly cleaned.
  • There is not excessive removal or cutting of the eponychium.


  • No visible dust or debris is allowed.
  • No excessive gel products of any kind.
  • Oil is allowed to be used, but if the oil is excessive a deduction is mandatory in this criteria.

Surface Smoothness

  • No file lines of demarcations should appear on the surface of the nail.
  • The nail should feel smooth like glass with no bumps or pits on the surface.
  • No excessive product build up near the natural nails sidewalls.

High Shine

  • The top sealer must be shiny on the entire surface of the nail.
  • There should not be any dull spots on it.
  • All gel residue (inhibition layer) must be well removed.
  • The surface should not feel tacky at all.

Color Application

  • The Application of the product should completely cover the surface of the entire nail.
  • Product must be applied evenly with no streaks.
  • The colors should look extremely solid with no transparencies.
  • The product should appear evenly spaced around the cuticle with no more than ½ mm between the skin and product.
  • The tip of the free edge must be covered completely.
  • No gel products of any kind should appear on the cuticles or surrounding skin.

Judges Instructions for Artistic Criteria

  • Criteria is scored as a total scored.
  • All criteria points awarded are from 1-10.
  • Scores are determined by the judges educated opinion based on the specifics of each criteria.

Level of Difficulty

  • The complexity of the design is evaluated on its degree of expertise on each nail.
  • The art should be executed in a manner that appears to be difficult on each nail.
  • The score is based on the degree of expertise put into the making of the design on each nail.

Use of Color

  • The colors chosen should complement the design.
  • The colors should represent the design and theme appropriately.
  • The colors should flow throughout or graduate through all 10 nails.
  • The colors should complement and contrast at the same time.


  • The design should be something you have not seen before.
  • If the design is something commonly seen, it should be done in a manner that is in a new creative and unusual use of art media.


  • Creative use with products use.
  • There should be a creative collaboration of art and style that is brought together.
  • If embellishments are used, there should be a creative manner in which they are used to create the design.