Bailey Clarke, from Bee Utiful Nails, is a self-taught Whitecourt nail artist who placed in two categories at the third annual Nail Masters of Canada (NMC) competition in Saskatoon, Sask. in October 2018.
The NMC had a number of categories including salon success, artsy extreme, glamour and fantasy. Clarke placed second in Novice 3D Art and third in Novice Hand Painted.
“They have a lot of (these competitions) in the UK and in the States but they don’t really have anything here,” she said. “It was a total fluke that I found it, but I just had to do it.”
“I’ve always wanted to do something like that, it’s something I’m very passionate about,” she added.
The 3D nail art category had the theme Drumroll. In the six-hour time limit, Clarke created comic book style nails. For the hand-painted category, a theme of Roll Out the Red Carpet was given and Clarke took gel paints to create a set of glamourous nails in four hours.
Kirsty Meakin is a nail artist on Youtube who creates wild and unusual nails and someone Clarke had drawn inspiration from for years. She was excited to learn that Meakin was going to be a guest judge at the NMC competition.
“The day we got there, I had to hand in my art so we went, I handed it in and as we’re coming back down the hall, there she is,” Clarke said. “She came over to me and we’re hugging and I’m crying like a baby. It was awesome.”
Clarke got into nail after her gastric bypass surgery and needed to find a hobby to keep her busy and fill her time.
She had no previous experience in painting or drawing but Clarke had always excelled in the arts during her school years. She creates hard gel nail masterpieces through her nail art and has always tried to design unusual and one-of-a-kind nails.
“I’m very out-the-box, I don’t like the normal (nails) that everyone has,” she said.
She works from home in order to be with her son and has been a licensed nail technician since May 2017.
Clarke also took courses for medical pedicures and knows the proper treatment for infection and fungal control.
“It’s two and two,” she explained. “I like helping people feel better, and having that education and making them feel better properly, with the proper knowledge is just … I’m a people pleaser.”
Clarke will continue to work from home, preferring the atmosphere it provides her clients.
“I like to keep (it) very calm and zen,” she explained. “If they want to come in, messy bun and in pyjamas they can. I don’t like, tense atmosphere. Which is funny considering the competition I just did.”
Clarke is looking forward to entering the NMC competition next year and will continue to craft wild and creative nails for the community of Whitecourt.