BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3 - (Page 28)

SUPERSTAR GRADUATE BY BEAUTYLINK STAFF With Grit and Passion, Lavette Cephus Polishes the Competition BEFORE LAVETTE CEPHUS became a winner, she was a fighter. The 27-year-old, celebrated nail tech grew up in Philadelphia, the oldest of six kids. Her mother battled with addictions and when Cephus' grandfather died, her mom was determined not to let the devastating loss send her back down a dark path. So at age seven, the family packed up and joined Cephus' two aunts in Toledo, Ohio. "No matter where you come from, you do not have to be a product of your environment," said Cephus, mother to 10-year-old daughter, Serenity. "I am living proof of that." Although life was tough, she found her calling in beauty and worked hard to build a career and a name for herself. In fact, that name graced the April 2015 cover of NAILS magazine as the winner of its second "NAILS Next Top Nail Artist" competition. She learned about the competition through Instagram when she voted for Temeka Jackson in 2013 and observed the contest with curiosity. When the second season was announced, her "Instabuddy" Tara Fisher (nailgurlnyc) encouraged her to enter. Hundreds of nail artists from across the globe applied. Cephus, a Toledo Academy of Beauty Culture graduate, made it as one of the 24 semi-finalists and survived two pre-challenges until the field was narrowed down to the Top 12. Cephus endured 10 weeks of unique, themed challenges that pushed the finalists' artistic and technical abilities and communication skills. Although she was eliminated in Week 9, she fought her way back to win it all. In addition to her nail design on the NAILS cover and a feature in the magazine, Cephus received a gift basket from CND, $2,000, a spot on the A Lavette Cephus design that combines some of her favorite trends right now: negative space, rhinestones and the "Marilyn Monroe" nail shape. 28 | B E AU TYLINK | N A ILI NG IT! | 2015 NAILS blog roll, a spot as a judge in next year's competition and a trip to New York Fashion Week to work in CND's Design Lab. "The art aspect is what attracted me to do nails," Cephus said, explaining her love of nails. "Since I was a little girl I loved to draw and sketch. I realized early that I enjoy doing nails as a whole. The networking, learning, and exploring new avenues are just exciting!" Cephus describes herself as as "nail tech with grit who works hard." She graduated from TABC in 2007 for nails and earned her esthetics license there in 2012. She said her time at the school was "amazing," becoming friends with instructors and developing long-lasting friendships with fellow graduates. "One of the best moments was when my class gave me a surprise birthday party," she recalled. "This may not seem like a lot, but for someone who had never had a birthday party before, it meant a lot!!! They made me feel so special. I love TABC and I especially miss my Esthetic instructor Mrs. Linda." In 2013, she opened her nail and skin salon, Beautè Asylum, in Toledo and fulfilled her goal of becoming an entrepreneur. Len Rosenberg, TABC's owner, said Cephus was a standout student and it's rewarding to see her successes. "Her application was indicative of her love of the beauty industry, her passion to work with people and the goals she wanted to achieve, and ultimately did!" he said.   Since the NAILS win, she's worked with CND at New York Fashion Week (Johnson Hartig of Libertine, and David and Philippe of The Blonds). In March at the Beauty Changes Lives' Legacy Award honoring Leo Passage, CND selected three "NEXTGEN" nail artists to spotlight and featured their work in a presentation called "Trilogy of Beauty." Cephus was in this elite group. "It was such an honor to be chosen as a Next Generation Artist," said Cephus, who boasts nearly 6,000 followers on Instagram (beaute_asylum). "I have met and got to network with a lot of beauty industry's top professionals and icons...My life has been amazing."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3

Message From the Aacs President and CEA Chair
CEA Annual Convention & Expo Preview
Event Recap: 2015 Spring Executive Retreat & Financial Aid Workshop
AACS’ New State Relations Program Advisor
And Than There's Compliance
Producing Professionals
Fall’s Top Nail Trends
Superstar Graduate
Beauty Schools Aim to Bring New Life to Nail Tech Programs
Multicultural Corner
A Student's Perspective
Beauty Changes Lives
People & Places
New Products and Services
Associate Member Profiles: Nail Specialty Companies
New School Members
Upcoming 2015 Events
Index to Advertisers

BeautyLink - Volume 7, Issue 3