Every year, teams from various countries around the world gather in Britain to compete in the Nailympics – the ultimate fake nail showdown. For the last six years, the world’s top manicutists have been coming to Britain to show their skill in the art of fake nail making. Everyone knows everyone, but because of the accumulated tension before every event, they don’t even talk to each other. After all, their personal egos and national pride are at stakes so there’s no place for courtesy, just focus and the desire to prove they’re number one. Most people think of fake nails as the basic acrylic pieces glued as extensions to natural nails, but the competitors in the annual Nailympics create regular masterpieces, using methods like airbrushing and the embedding of jewels and other trinkets. An explosion of creative madness, the fake nails entered in the “fantasy nail art” event range from fairies, pagodas and complete forest landscapes to flashing lights and revolving designs powered by small batteries strapped to the wrist. Few people outside the nail industry has heard about the Nailympics, but it’s popularity is definitely on the rise, as the 30,000 visitors, this year, clearly show. With the manicure business still as flourishing as ever, despite the recession, the interest in over-the-top nail style is comparable to the impractical clothes showcased in fashion-shows around the world. Some of the designs featured in the Nailympics may look ridiculous, and they may not be the perfect for doing the dishes, but to the people in the industry they “display the mastery of the nail technician’s craft.”
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