top of page



1. Competitors will have 1 ½ hours to complete a set of salon-style nail extensions using cover or clear pink on nail plate and white as the free edge. You must use either flat, paper or metal forms or tips. It is forbidden to strengthen the forms with additional metal plates. 1b. Salon Style— the standard of perfection for the Salon Success competition; a set of nail enhancements that have:

•A more durable, wearable look

•A shape that ranges from extreme square to extreme oval (stiletto)

•A 2 to 1 ratio of nail bed (pink) to free edge (white) visually, measured from the center of the smile line;

•Product thinly applied near the cuticle area, reinforced at the stress area, and tapered through the free edge so it is approximately equal to the thinness of a credit card.

2. White tips are NOT allowed (clear or natural tips only).

3. Competitors must use professional products in one technology. Enhancement products containing glitter are NOT allowed.

4. Embellishment(s) may NOT be used.

5. The model’s natural nails may be prepared for product application before the competition starts, but product may NOT be applied until the competition starts. No colored or clear products of any type may be applied to tips prior to attaching them to the natural nail.

6. Only unaltered clear adhesives (gel-type, brush-on, tubes, etc.) may be used to attach tips to the nail. No plastic-type molds of any kind may be used to form the sculptured nail.

7. All enhancement products must be applied after tips and or forms are applied to natural nails.

8. No products, such as inverted tips or any “cookie-cutter” products may be used to form or assist in making a smile line. White gel paint or white gel polish is not allowed.

9. Electric files may be used.

10. Cleansing products (soaps, etc.) and moisturizing products (oils, creams, lotions, etc.) are allowed. Excessive use of oil is not permitted. It will be at the judge’s discretion to deduct points for excess oil.

11. The nail enhancements on one hand (competitor’s choice) must be polished with RED cream polish or if using gel, a gel polish may be used. Gel contestants may use RED polish. Base coat, ridge filler and topcoat are allowed.

12. The nail enhancements on the unpolished hand must be Salon-Style (Pink and White ONLY), finished to a high shine for acrylic technology. A gel sealant may be used for gel technology.

13. The underside of both hands must look the same.

14. Salon Success will be judged in the following categories: smile lines, “C” curves, cuticle area, shape, product control, surface structure, presentation, lateral structure, length, polish or color application, finish work, and overall impression.

Judging criteria



Smile Lines – 10 Points


  • The smile lines are crisp (definition between PINK and WHITE)

  • The smile lines are symmetrical and consistent (even points and equal curvature)

  • The smile lines have no shadows


“C” curves – 10 Points


  • The curvature of the nail enhancements is symmetrical and consistent

  • The depth of curvature is a range between 33.33 and 40%

  • The percent of curvature enhances the models nails

  • If nail enhancements are oval in shape, consideration will be given for the apparent lack of curvature at the distal edge


Cuticle Area – 5 Points


  • The product is flush to the natural nails and close to the cuticles

  • The model’s skin at the cuticle area is in excellent condition (free from abrasions)

  • The cuticle area is as shiny as the rest of the nail


Shape – 10 Points


  • The shape is symmetrical and consistent individually

  • The shape is symmetrical and consistent together as a set

  • The shape works on the models hands




Product Control – 10 Points


  • The product is completely free of air bubbles and pits

  • The color of the product is consistent

  • The skin is free from all enhancement products


Surface Structure – 10 Points


  • The top surfaces of the nail enhancements are smooth and perfectly contoured

  • The bottom surfaces of the nail enhancements are smooth and perfectly contoured


Presentation – 5 Points


  • This entry was presented neat and clean

  • The underside of both hands are free from all product debris

  • The nails are thoroughly clean (absence of dust)


Lateral Structure – 10 Points


  • The nail enhancements align perfectly with the sides of the natural nails if nail enhancements are oval in shape

  • The point at which the oval begins is consistent

  • The arch of the nail enhancements is consistently located




Length – 10 Points


  • The length, measured from cuticle to the end of the extension, is consistent between matching nails (pinkie to pinkie, etc.) and in proportion to each other

  • The length is suitable for salon style nail enhancements – a suggested range 2 to 1 ratio of nail bed to free edge is ideal – provided

  • The length looks balanced on models hand the length looks balanced to the models hand and nail beds


Polish or Color Application – 5 Points – One Hand


  • The polish completely covers the nails (close to the cuticle and covers all edges)

  • The application is smooth, even and clean


Finish Work – 5 Points – One Hand


  • The entire surface of the nail enhancement is smooth and very shiny (absent of scratches)

  • The edges of the nails are smooth and finished the nails are thoroughly clean absence of dust


Overall Impression – 10 Points


  • The nails complement the model’s hands

  • The thinness is suitable for salon-style nail enhancements

bottom of page