Monica Ropiha, a renowned celebrity manicurist leading the way for freelance nail artistry. Professional Beauty chats to Monica about the ups and downs of freelancing – and what to expect.

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Why have you decided to become a freelance nail artist?

It was always a dream of mine to be a Celebrity Manicurist. I was always that little girl with big dreams and getting creative was a hobby of mine. I love how I can express my creativeness though nail art and make a client so happy just by having an amazing manicure.

Marian Newman is my inspiration and after working with her in Europe I decided that I will focus on my dream and become a freelance nail artist. Ever since coming back from Europe I have worked with over 30 Australian Designers and worked on magazine shoots / television shows and celebrities. It just goes to show that if you dream big you will get there.

What are some challenges you have faced?

Working with celebrities and at fashion shows are the biggest challenges I face every week but at the same time I enjoy these challenges. Some of the challenges I face are making sure every model has their nails done before the runway. Sometimes the models go missing! I don’t know how but they do. Another challenge is trying to do nails while your client is eating or typing on their mobiles. Sometimes you don’t even get light and you have to work in a dark environment or under tables!

So even though you have the glamour side of this industry there always will be challenges you come across and need to be well prepared for. Never say it’s impossible. You can always make the impossible, possible.

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What have been some highlights?

Working backstage for Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen. These 2 fashion shows are the highlights of my life. I loved working with the world’s top hairdressers, makeup artists and of course my inspiration – Marian Newman.

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Top 5 tips for freelance nail artistry.

  1. Think outside the box. Experiment with nails because the sky’s the limit with what you’re capable of. I use anything and everything to create a nail look. From sand to jewels, everything around you can be an inspiration. I get a lot of my inspiration from nature and fashion designers.
  2. Always listen to what your client says. Take a closer look at their style and recommend your client nail looks that would suit them. My clients always let me pick their colours and nail looks because they know I understand what they like and they trust me. Build a trusting relationship with your client. If you want to match the nails to the client’s eye shadow all I do is mix the pigment of my eye shadow with my top coat to get the exact same colour. I apply base coat then apply the colour I mixed followed up with top coat.
  3. Spending a little longer to get perfect manicures/nail extensions is ok. Because they will look at their nails for the next 2 weeks and you don’t want imperfections, otherwise they will go elsewhere.
  4. Always recommend cuticle oil. Especially during dry seasons. Nails will love you when you give them a little love.
  5. Exfoliate your client’s hands before you apply their moisturiser to finish their treatment for an unforgettable manicure. My favourite hand exfoliator would be raw sugar mixed with raw honey. It’s so beautiful on hands and it gets rid of the rough dry skin. You can also recommend your clients to make this at home and leave it next to the window seal in their kitchen and exfoliate their hands straight after they wash up. Your clients will love you for it.

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Nail trend predictions for Spring Summer?

I would have to say bright colours and textured nails. When it’s summer you show off your nails and making a statement with them is perfectly fine. Toe nails love bright colours like yellow, pink, watermelon red and purple. I would also say that the mix up of bright colours on nails will be amazing during summer. Also recommend your clients to use nail wraps!

For more information on Monica Ropiha click here.