OPI Pro Spotlight: @taylorlebeauty
OPI Pro Taylor Le started doing nails in college to pay her tuition. Realizing it was her passion, she invested in becoming a nail tech after graduation. Today, she is an Atlanta-based nail artist who showcases her work—including stunning hand-painted nail art—on her Instagram, @taylorlebeauty. Below, Taylor talks to us about her nail tech beginnings, business advice, and OPI faves.
OPI: Can you tell us a bit more about your journey to becoming a nail tech, what led you to decide to go down that path?
TL: I have always enjoyed looking at things and creating projects that are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. I started doing nails while I was in college as a source of income for college tuition and soon realized it was an outlet to letting my creativity grow. Being able to visualize an idea and seeing it come to life is so gratifying. After graduation, I decided to invest in my passion and made it my career. I have to admit that I am very lucky to be able to recognize my passion so early on in my career path and now being able to do what brings me joy every day.
OPI: Your manicures have such beautiful hand painted nail art! How have you been working to perfect this art?
TL: Thank you for your compliment! Nail art has become considerably more recognized over the past couple of years, especially with help from social media platforms. I love that people are starting to see this industry as a form of art and have an appreciation for it. I would say a calm mind, using the right products, and continuing to practice will help with perfecting nail art. I get a lot of inspiration from things I see around me every day. With patience and practice, anything is possible.
OPI: What Spring trends are you most excited for these upcoming months? Are there any designs clients have been asking for?
TL: I am very fortunate to have clients who trust me and let me have the freedom to be creative. This makes my job so exhilarating because not only do I get to know my clients better by talking to them and getting to know what they like, they have confidence in me and give me control over what I create for them to fit their style. Some of the designs that have been popular more recently are ombre, french-very classy, and marble. Abstract pastel color blocks and textured/watercolor arts also come to mind. And of course, gold in everything! I am excited and looking forward to letting my creativity grow with the Xbox collection with all the pastel colors for Easter and Spring sets.
OPI: Your social media presence has such a beautiful aesthetic! Where do you draw your inspiration from?
TL: Thank you! Most of my inspiration comes from what I see around me from day to day. Whatever catches my eye, whether it be a random piece of wall art, nature, or a fashion piece with a pretty pattern. I draw inspiration from it and want to transform it into nail art. The nail artist world on social media is so uplifting and supportive as well. I love that we can learn from each other and share our talents so that we can all grow.
OPI: Which OPI shade is your all-time favorite and why?
TL: I have too many that I love but if I have to pick one then my absolute favorite is Put It In Neutral. It is the perfect shade that will work for all skin tones and a perfect color base for any design. My other favorites are Love is in the Bare, Do You Take Lei Away?, Don’t Bossa Nova Me Around, and Bubble Bath.
OPI: What advice would you give to other nail techs who are looking to grow their business or client base? What impact has Instagram and social media played in this role for you?
TL: Honestly, it’s still very early in my career path as a nail artist, and I still have so much to learn myself. But what has gotten me to where I am currently is the passion I put into my work. The mantra I live by is to “Do everything with intention and be your best when you do it.” If you decide this is your career path, then invest in yourself and invest your time and energy at being the best at your craft. Don’t be afraid of change and never stop learning. This industry is constantly changing and you have to change with the evolving technology and trends. High quality and consistency is key to growing your client base. Instagram has been instrumental to my professional growth. Aside from word of mouth, the Insta platform is how I am able to reach my audience and is responsible for more than half of my client base. Social media allows me to showcase my work and share my designs with clients and others in the industry. It allows me to keep in touch with my current clients and opens doors to new ones.
OPI: What's your favorite nail art technique?
TL: My favorite is a mix of layering and detailed painting. I love a good watercolor set and layering different color blocks with a little bit of detailed characters or a hidden message.
OPI: We know how important sharing and expressing culture can be. In your work, what inspiration do you draw from your culture?
TL: A very common trait in my culture is having a good work ethic. It is ingrained in us from childhood to always work hard and do our best especially when it comes to work. I was led by example. As a child, I always admired my parents for how hard they worked and how diligent they were in their career. They taught me that it always pays off, so pour your heart into everything, and be proud of what you do. Even the smallest detail in a design that other people may not recognize, I do it with intention and to the best of my ability. When they look at the whole picture, they will find the beauty in the details because it came through passion, creativity, and hard work. This is the core value that I will carry throughout my career and apply to everything I do. OPI is such an iconic brand in the nail industry. It is recognized everywhere and is a leader in the beauty industry. Being recognized by OPI and being in the “spotlight” is such an honor and a big milestone for me. I know this will make my parents so proud.