Meet Mel Shengaris, a session and celebrity manicurist who was born in North London but is now living in Los Angeles and is carving her name in the American nail scene.
Scratch caught up with the cool and talented tech as she tends to some of the most in-demand celebrities in LA…
To be honest, I never envisioned myself in the beauty industry. I used to be tomboy with bitten nails and a bit of a grunge girl, but I always loved painting nails and I was pretty good at it. I worked as a dental nurse on leaving school, but it wasn’t for me. I even had patients asking me if I was OK during surgical extractions! I decided to turn my nail hobby into a career choice.
How have you built your reputation?
Once I qualified at the age of 17, I worked in a salon and realised straight away just how much I loved it. I went on to work in Harrods and at London salon, Shoreditch Nails, and gained amazing experience. Plus, it helped that my bestie, Thalia Erodotou of Thalia Distribution and Training Academy, is a nail queen, as I learned so much from her! I have never really promoted myself much; I’m a strong believer in letting my work speak for itself. It’s only within the last couple of years that I’ve ventured into the session and celebrity realms and I love them so much.
Describe an average day in your life…
My days can range from an early start at 7am in a house on the beachfront in Malibu for a magazine shoot or a day in the studio shooting a music video. Some days have seen me give my loving and loyal friends some crazy nail art designs, and one day I pended to a private client in the Hollywood Hills who offered me a glass of Aperol Spritz while I did her mani/pedi. Another booking saw me prep 30 freehand honeycomb nail art press-on nails all through the night until 4.30am ready for a shoot. My workload really is different all the time, but whatever the day has in store, I love it and give it my all.
What sparked your move from London to LA?
I was born and bred in North London but I’ve always had a South California calling. I’ve always known that I would have to live there one day, as it’s where I feel at home and most like myself. My husband and I moved with our two kids last summer and we haven’t looked back. It’s where my nail career has really taken off and propelled at a speed I could have only wished for. I love the LA vibe and the nail industry is buzzing. I feel like LA is a city that’s always trying to be ahead in the industry. In fact, a lot of the major products in the industry are made in California. The state is ahead of the game and I love it.
Read the rest of Scratch‘s chat with Mel Shengaris in the March 2018 issue of the magazine – head here to get your hands on a copy!
Take a look at more of Mel’s work and follow her on social media here.