Behind the Scenes: Monica Leiper

Who: Monica Leiper, San Diego-based Team Creative member

What: NAILS photo shoot, photographed by Caesar Lima

Where: Caesar Photo Studio, Calabasas, Calif.

When: Friday, August 23, 2002

Why: To shoot the November cover of NAILS

This Tech Is Truly “Behind the Scenes”

When planning this month’s cover story on how nail technicians can elevate their image in the industry, we couldn’t help but think about. Team Creative member Monica Leiper. During the last three Fashion Weeks, Monica has been an integral part of creating the nails for the up-and-coming designers who are chosen to be a part of GenArt’s Seventh on Sixth fashion shows. She also has worked diligently on nails for designer Betsey Johnson’s shows, including the most recent Spring 2003 show at Johnson’s Hamptons home. “Leaving the salon life, taking everything that I learned, and using it as a stepping stone for what I am doing now has been amazing.” She says. “We get to use all of our sense and it is so creative.” And it is no easy task. Monica literally has had to prepare thousands of tips before the shows for quick-and-easy backstage application. (You can read about her first fashion show experience in NAILS’ March 2002 issue, “Monica Leiper’s Fashion Diaries.”)

The Velvet Rope: For this month’s cover, we asked Monica to come up with a cutting-edge design just for us. She came up with these pointy tips, polished with Cedar, with a “velvet,” off-center stripe. She created this look by first adhering the tips and cutting them down to the desired length. With tiny scissors, she marks a center point and them snips form the center down each side to create the point. Next, she blends the tips, and applies product as normal. After buffing the nails down, she polishes them with Cedar form Creative’s 2002 fall/winter collection. Allow polis ample drying time before proceeding to the next step. To decorate the nail with the “velvet” stripe, Monica uses thin strips of tape to cover the area she wants to leave the copper color. Next, she paints one stripe in Voodoo over the tape and while it is still wet, she shakes Perfect Clear Powder over the black line. She follows this with one final coat of black polish. Once she allows this ample time to dry, she pulls the tape off to expose the shiny copper-colored nail with the matte black “velvet” stripe.


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