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Page last updated at 17:34 GMT, Monday, 27 September 2010 18:34 UK
Nail-art beautician Kirsty Meakin wins in Nailympics
Kirsty Meakin
Nail artist Kirsty Meakin performed strongly in all the categories

A Stoke-on-Trent beautician does fingernail art like nobody else.

Kirsty Meakin from Packmoor has been competing against other nail technicians from across the world in the 'Olympic Games of fake nails'.

Known as the Nailympics, they have taken place in London for the last six years and now form part of the Olympia Beauty Show at London's Earls Court.

At this year's event, Kirsty performed strongly in every category and won the prize for the overall points winner.

The mother-of-two is the only nail technician from the UK to have global recognition after winning competitions in many other international events.

Lack of British artists

But she says that although the main event has been held in the UK for the last few years, British entrants are thin on the ground.

Kirsty, speaking to BBC Radio Stoke, said: "There was only six competitors from England this year because they find it quite terrifying that there's so many international competitors there."

Competition comes in the form of nail artists from Mexico and the USA, and the Far East with China, Korea and Japan, is particularly strong.

There are seven different categories with Kirsty coming second in 'embellished nail art' and third in 'mixed media'.

Highest score

But her consistency across the whole competition resulted in her scooping the title of highest scoring individual for the whole contest.

One of Kirsty's strongest areas of competition is the 'mixed media' event where a painted set of ten nails depicts a continuous scene.

The nails are painted ahead of the event and displayed in a box rather than on a model (see photo below).

Nail art
An example of Kirsty's nails that were entered in the 'mixed media' category

YTS training

Kirsty first got into nails seriously when she started a Youth Training Scheme, aged 17.

And while she admits she's not particularly academic, Kirsty says she's always been creative.

"I was very good at art when I was a child and at school. My Grandad's an amazing artist and it sort of runs in the family.

"It's the only thing I'm really any good at to be honest so I sort of put my heart and soul into it," she added.

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