Sheila Amrhein places first in international nail art competition


A local Tea nail stylist has once again placed first in an international competition held in Oregon.


Sheila Amrhein placed first for her “In the Face of Covid” 3D nail art design (featured at right). The annual competition was held in Portland, Oregon. This year’s Expo had a record number for attendance with over 500 attendees.


“I’ve competed all over the country over the past five years at several events, in US and International venues.” Amrhein said. “I’ve placed in the top 10 internationally in my 3D artwork a few years ago in Las Vegas. I’ve received first place multiple times and always, usually place in the top three.”


Her award winning ways are made possible by hours of work. Amrhein said a typical 3D piece takes around 100+ hours to complete, and the intricate designs use only nail products.


Her entry this year, “In the Face of Covid 3D” was inspired by the recent pandemic and how it affected not only the US, but the world.


Each piece details replicas of Covid related items, practices, and people, including a nurse and Dr. Fauci, the Chief Medical Advisor to the President of United States.


“Also included (in the design) is the supposed bat that contracted and transferred the outbreak,” Amrhein said. “There’s also a thermometer with an actual temperature reading, hand sanitizer, gloves, the vaccine, and other recognizable items.”

“This is an absolute tribute to those that worked grueling hours on care, research, and safety measures,” she added.

Another entry, under the Influence (of the Sea) hand-painted watercolor is a testament to her love for learning is featured above at the right.


She received second in that category.


“I’ve made it a goal to extend my knowledge and expertise in watercolor techniques,” said Amrhein. “I always pick mediums and products to challenge me for competition. It’s all about the challenge, not the winning for me.”

In addition to participating in competitions, this nail artist also owns and operates her own business — Artistic Nails by Sheila in Sioux Falls.


Her watercolor entry was inspired by her daughter’s love of turtles, and her love for intricacies of the sea.

“(It’s) inspired by a looking into a slice of life at the sea, to portray the beauty of the environment under and over the sea, complete with coral, sea turtles, shells, star fish, palm trees, sunset over mountains, and in the distance, jumping dolphins and sailboat,” said Amrhein.


For her Wild West 3D design, Amrhein said the original theme was “Wild West”, until competition was canceled due to the Covid pandemic in 2020. She received third for this design (not pictured).


“I chose to go traditional with creating a very authentic western saloon scene,” she said. “Inspired by the vision of stepping into the past, and strolling down an old west street. It is complete with shuttered saloon doors, headless bar keep, bar wench, and cowboy with authentic woolly chaps, a leather cowboy hat and boot with spur, porch with poker cards and spittoon, a “WANTED” sign, and a horse hitching post.”


For her multi-media entry she created On the GLOW, which she he received third for (not pictured).

Amrhein said the challenge here was to create a piece with three different mediums and three different techniques.

“This piece is a fully glow in the dark scene of a city,” Amrhein said. “Inspired by the sense of walking through the city and all its neon signs lighting up the night!”