How would you dress a jungle goddess?
For a start, how about crowning her with nesting parrots?
After that, you could drape her with a dress stitched together with flowers and vines, then top it off with nail extensions that look like palm leaves.
It may sound bizarre, but this elaborate outfit was a multiple prize winner at the International Nail Art Competition at NailsAsia 2015.
Its designer, manucurist Gao Lei, 32, flew from Guangzhou, China, just to take part in the competition, which was held as part of BeautyAsia 2015, a beauty trade show that ended yesterday at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.
She was one of 90 contestants in the competition, which is into its ninth year.
This year's nail competition has four categories and had a floral theme titled Blooming Nails.
"I was going for a jungle-goddess look, so I incorporated a lot of tropical elements in my design," said Ms Gao, who was second in two categories, Mixed Media Nail Art Design and Mixed Media Hairdo and Makeup Design.
She said she spent about $3,000 on the material for the costume and nail decor for her model and it took her about three months to design and complete it.
Ms Gao, who won two trophies and $600 in cash, said she often travels to different parts of Asia to compete in nail art competitions.
"I get a sense of satisfaction coming up with the designs from scratch and competing overseas is another way of challenging myself," she said.
The $500 top prize in the Mixed Media Nail Art Design category went to Ms Eve Khor, a manicure instructor from Penang who spent 15 days painstakingly sculpting various details with acrylic powder for her entry, which was inspired by Chinese period dramas. Her intricate design included flowers, a table with plates of peaches and mandarin oranges, and a dowager resting on the model's left hand.
Ms Khor, 20, said in Mandarin: "I like the flower motifs on the robes that the women in that era wore, as I think it is very elegant. I came hoping to take back a prize, so I'm happy that I won."
The top prize in the Mixed Media Hairdo and Makeup Design category, also $500 , went to Singaporean admin assistant Moon Ng, 35.
She said she spent days searching for inspiration online before deciding on her concept.
"I wanted a greener and fresher look, instead of using too many flowers to suit the theme," she said.
Ms Ng used a clown wig as the base for her hair piece and sewed flowers on it.
She said she was satisfied with the final look, adding: "This competition is a good platform to showcase your talents and also a place where you can learn from others. I'm just happy everything turned out perfect.
This article was first published on Jan 30, 2015.
Get The New Paper for more stories.