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1. Competitors will have 1 hour to complete a set of 5 (unless otherwise noted on daily schedule) nails using soak off gel to create nail art. 

*1A.  Nails may be extensions or natural.  The length must be no longer than a salon success style nail length of 1 to 2 ratio. 

2. Model’s nails should be prepared for soak off gel polish application before competition start time is called.

3. All nail art must be made from soak off gel polish only.

4. All work must be done on site.  Absolutely no pre-work allowed.

5. No enhancement products other than soak off gel polish may be present at the station. No regular gel, paint, gel paint, traditional polish or other enhancement may be used in any capacity.

6. Embellishments or adornments may be used, but must NOT exceed 25% of the overall design

7. Nail art may be flat or be a raised surface.

8. Raised surfaces may be soak off gel polish or embellishments but must not be taller than ¼” above the surface of the natural nail. The design must follow the theme.

9. The theme must be followed on all 5 nails.

10. Soak off gel top coat, and/or glitter soak off gel polish may be used.

11. Cleansing products (soaps, etc.) and moisturizing products (oils, creams, lotions, etc.) are NOT allowed.

12. Competitors may NOT use any copyrighted art, designs or logos.

13. All files and buffers must be new, no additives such as oil on them is allowed.

14. Soak off gel nail art will be judged in the following 12 categories: originality, visual interest, color, dimension, balance, design, and soak off gel base application, overall impression, complexity, workmanship, detail, and theme.

15. Any Soak Off Gel Nail Art design that wins, or has already won, first place at a NAILPRO competition cannot be reused by the winner or copied by other competitors in subsequent NAILPRO competitions. The NAILPRO competition staff reserves the right to disqualify any design it considers too similar to a winning design. Any discussion with the NAILPRO competition staff about designs will be held in strict confidence.

Judging criteria



Originality – 5 Points


  • The design is innovative (new and original)

  • The design is unique (different from other designs we have seen in the past)


Visual Interest – 10 Points


  • The design captures your attention

  • The design holds your attention


Color – 10 Points


  • The colors enhance the design

the colors complement each other

  • Soak Off Gel Polish Base 


Application – 5 Points


  • The soak off gel polish completely covers the entire nail (close to the cuticle and covers all edges)

  • The application is smooth, even and clean

  • The soak off gel polish is even in shape and spacing around cuticles

  • The hairline tip is covered with polish




Balance – 10 Points


  • Various elements of the design are well-balanced, neither too sparse or too busy

  • The sum of the design is in harmony with the parts of the whole design


Design – 5 Points


  • The design enhances the theme

  • The design is well thought out

  • The design is complete and needs no improvement


Dimension – 10 Points


  • The artwork is obvious and within the guidelines of soak-off gel nail art rules

  • The dimension enhances the theme and is balanced


Overall Impression – 10 Points


  • This design makes an excellent overall impression

  • This design is complete and needs no improvement

  • This entry is presented within the soak off gel nail art rules




Complexity – 10 Points


  • The design is challenging, demanding skill and effort

  • The design involves multiple techniques


Workmanship – 10 Points


  • The overall quality of the work demonstrates outstanding artistic skills

  • The workmanship is neat, clean and precise


Detail – 10 Points


  • The detail of design is clean and precise

  • The design has adequate detail


Theme – 5 Points


  • The theme is obvious and completely developed

  • The theme is continued on all 5 nails

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