Q&A with OPI Educator Heather McLauren

Heather McLauren talks nail mishaps and her go-to looks from OPI's New Orleans Collection.

<p>Heather McLauren's instagram highlights her playful use of color and design including her Big Easy look for OPI (center image).</p>

As an OPI Educator for the last four years, Heather McLauren has been preaching the word of proper nail care for OPI. McLauren created several of OPI’s latest nail art looks to accompany the 2016 New Orleans Collection. We picked her brain on what it’s like working with one of the biggest names in the nail game and her thoughts on OPI's latest color collection.

In her view

<p>Heather McLauren</p>

NA: Describe a day in the life of an OPI educator. 
HM: A day as an OPI educator can go many different ways. You may have to travel to work at an industry show, or you might have to teach a class, be in a sales meeting, create and design a new look for an OPI collection, or spend the day in the salon providing client services. You never really know how your day is going to go. As an OPI educator, I wear many hats.

NA: What are common nail mishaps you teach people how to correct?
HM: Most problems come from improperly prepping the nails before applying product, such as polish, GelColor, acrylic, or hard gel. The number one issue that I get asked about, across the board, is products not lasting on nails. Nine times out of 10 the prep method was done incorrectly and that can make or break the results of your work.

NA: What trends do you foresee for 2016?
HM: I foresee the continuation of nude shades for sure. I absolutely love nudes and most of my clients request them for their nails. Embellishments are still very big, but they will be toned down a tad this year from 2015. They will be added as an accent and won't be as elaborate as they have been in the past. Because nudes are so popular, I think pastels will also be in demand, especially for the spring and summer seasons. They are soft like a nude but they are still a statement color. Enhancements will continue to be as big for sure — I'm in love with them! Hard gels will become a little bit more popular this year and going into next year as well.

All about New Orleans

NA: Does the OPI New Orleans collection follow any of these trends?
HM: What I love about the New Orleans collection is that it gives you a little bit of everything. It’s bright for the springtime, it gives you a few darker jewel-like tones, and then it gives you, of course, the nudes. There is a shade for everyone in this collection!

NA: What comes to mind when you think of New Orleans?
I love New Orleans! Besides food and beignets, I think of a celebration. I think of a French-influenced culture with vibrant colors that represent the colorful city, as well as great music and amazing people from all over the world. The colors of OPI's New Orleans Collection remind you of Mardi Gras, the Antebellum architecture. The color Take a Right on Bourbon, which is a shimmery pewter, reminds me of musical instruments.

NA: Which shade and DesignScape is your favorite out of the New Orleans collection?
HM: Since I am still in love with nudes, I would have to say it is a tie between Take a Right on Bourbon and Humidi-Tea. Humidi-Tea is a very pretty nude shimmer, and both colors look amazing on all skin tones. They can be worn alone or they also make great accent colors in nail art. Out of all of the OPI New Orleans GelColor DesignScapes, I would definitely have to say Big Easy is my favorite – because I designed that look myself!

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