'Sculpting' wins world competition PASADENA


April 30, 1993|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff Writer

Barbara Griggs' customers know her as the "girl who does m nails." But to an international jury in Dusseldorf, Germany, last week, she was a nail-sculpting champion.

The owner of a Pasadena nail salon bested 43 other manicurists -- or nail technicians, as they prefer to be known -- from 10 countries at the Beauty '93 International Trade Fair of Cosmetics.

Ms. Griggs, 45, said yesterday she was surprised when the judges thrust the title trophy into her hands, "because I couldn't understand what they were saying."

Although this was her first international victory, she is no stranger to the spotlight -- at least within the United States' growing ranks of nail technicians. Licensed technicians numbered 175,000 last year, a 23-percent increase over 1991.

Ms. Griggs, who lives in Pasadena with her husband, Bob, and two children, opened Nail Visions near Jumpers Hole Road two years ago. She has a reputation as one of the best nail-sculptors around, said Cyndy Drummey, editor of "Nails," one of the industry's two trade publications. Nail sculpting is an industry term for applying, shaping and polishing false nails.

A design consultant to a California-based manufacturer of false nails, Ms. Griggs' name frequently pops up in cosmetology textbooks and trade publications. In the latest issue of "Nailpro" magazine, she makes it clear she doesn't like to be called a "nail girl, nail technician or manicurist."

"I prefer to be called a nail artist because it takes a certain artistic talent," said Ms. Griggs, who graduated from Arundel High School and received her Maryland manicurist license in 1965.

Her talents are apparently in demand. She will be demonstrating her techniques at trade shows in Boston, New York, Pennsylvania and North Carolina during the next four weeks.

Her ambition is to return to Europe next year for Beauty '94 in Greece. Could that include a possible title defense?

"I don't compete all that much because most of the time . . . I'm a judge," she said.

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