OPI Pro Spotlight: @shelena2002
Nail artist Shelena (@shelena2002), our December Pro Spotlight pick, has a career many of us would consider #goals. She’s shared her talent on a grand scale, with a resume that includes features in beauty articles and lead fashion week designer. But she’s also committed to giving back: she’s worked in pro-education for over 25 years and joined OPI in 2021. Read our interview to learn about her whirlwind career, top Jewel Be Bold shades for holiday, advice to aspiring nail techs, and more.
OPI: How did you get started on your journey in the nail industry?
Shelena: I was in my third year of college working multiple jobs to put myself through school when my hair stylist suggested I go to school to get my nail license so I could have a job I could schedule around my school hours. I went to beauty school, received my nail license, and finished college. I fell in love with nails, and it was bye-bye accounting and hello beauty industry!
OPI: You've been working in pro-education for 25+ years and joined OPI in 2021. How has being a part of the OPI team impacted your career?
Shelena: OPI has supported my professional development while keeping me connected to nail pro culture and community and giving me the satisfaction of helping other nail pros grow and find their success.
OPI: What advice would you give to other nail techs looking to make their mark in the nail world as you have?
Shelena: Never stop exploring! Really take the time to learn about the products you use at the table-understanding how your nail products work ensures you can delight every client with a successful service customized to their needs. Product knowledge also lets you stretch the rules to create unique art techniques or salon service innovations that can speed up services at the nail table.
OPI: It's December, so we have to ask! What's your favorite current holiday nail art look and how do you achieve it?
Shelena: Multicolored metallics are one of my favorite holiday trends this year. Combining multiple metallic shades into one look is as easy as selecting 2-3 complementary metallic shades- you can keep it simple and apply a different color to each nail or you can create a gradient by applying a swipe of one color to one side of the nail and another to the other side slightly overlapping the colors where they meet to blend. Three of my current favorites are Go Big or Go Chrome, Sleigh Bells Bling, and Pop the Baubles, with or without jewelry, you’ll be decked for the holidays!
OPI: You've been recognized across so many platforms, and beauty articles, as a celebrity nail artist, lead fashion week designer, and more! What's been the most impactful experience you've had so far?
Shelena: The nail industry offers so much opportunity and excitement-collaboration has always been the most impactful experience for me. Whether that be with a designer, another nail pro, or a client at my nail table- collaboration is inspiring and takes things to the next level.
OPI: How has your career in nails unfolded, and were you always hoping for this trajectory? Or has it all been just an exciting yet unexpected whirlwind?
Shelena: My career in nails has unfolded through a combination of hard work and opportunity. I think back to when I first became a nail pro and realize I didn’t really see all the potential opportunities this industry can offer. I always just wanted to be good at what I do and thrill my clients at the nail table, that energy grew into inspiring and helping other nail pros find their success.
OPI: If there's one tip or technique you could share with other nail techs, what would it be?
Shelena: The tip I would share is to connect and stay connected to the nail pro community. Compete against yourself not others, we grow so much more when we stay connected.
Don't forget to follow Shelena aka @shelena2002 on Instagram for more inspiration.
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