Light Elegance Distributors for the UK & Ireland, Jojo Wickens and Leila Monroy take on the front cover of SCRATCH Magazine's January 2024 issue and this is their cover story.
"The creative chemistry between nail pros, Jojo Wickens & Leila Monroy, has sparked a stunning series of snaps - including this month's cover image.
When nail skills, determination and creativity come together, a magnificent reaction takes place -forming an exciting result that dazzles and delights. And that's what happened when Light Elegance UK distributors, Jojo Wickens and Leila Monroy, joined forces to produce a series of images to celebrate the brand and ignite passion amongst its users.
The talented nail professionals have been distributing the brand in the UK & Ireland since August 2023, and were keen to craft a visual embodiment of Light Elegance, emphasising its focus on chemistry. 'Every Light Elegance product is meticulously formulated and manufactured at the brand's headquarters in Oregon, USA, by Jim McConnell and his team of chemists,' shares Jojo. 'Owing to our experiences as salon technicians, we wanted to create nail styles reflective of those worn by salon clients.'
The duo acquired props including test tubes and a cylindrical flask, and selected a series of backdrops for the photos. Jojo travelled from Exeter to Edinburgh the day before the scheduled shoot, which took place In Leila's salon. The Gelly Bar: the headquarters for Light Elegance UK. 'This arrangement provided an ideal setup, offering ample space for the photo shoot area and the nail desk, and easy access to the products we required throughout the day,' Jojo continues.
'Since we handled the entire photo shoot ourselves, we focused on preparing the photo area in advance so that, once the nails were finished, we could seamlessly transition into the shooting process.'
Jojo first crafted almond-shaped enhancements with a French finish on Leila, who assumed the role of hand model. By midday, they began their first round of shooting. 'Leila found herself lying on the floor for many photos, which was necessary to achieve the desired hand placement from the bottom of the frame. Managing her hands and fingers added an amusing touch, as it can be difficult to get the pose and positioning Just right: a familiar challenge for anyone who has grappled with clients and their rebellious fingers!'
With a series of images captured. Jojo and Leila transitioned to the second nail look: a sparkling overlay of Pink Champagne ButterBling atop the existing enhancements. 'By the end of the day, we had amassed approximately 250 Images, providing a diverse pool for selection,' shares Jojo.
'The experience was a delightful departure from our usual day-to-day routine, and I relished the opportunity to push my photography skills beyond their ordinary boundaries.
'We wanted to keep the props and background minimal, so the nails could retain focus. Our intention with this series of images is to spotlight beautiful nails, ensuring they take centre stage without distraction.'
STEP-BY-STEP: Cover Nails
Prep the nails and remove shine. Cleanse using the LEpro Cleanser on a LEpro Cleansing Wipe before applying Airbond (primer), followed by Tack (bonder). Cure for 30 seconds in the LEDdot Lamp.
Apply a base slip layer of Lexy Line Building Gel in Ideal Pink to nails using the #4 Oval Bling Brush. Cure for 60 seconds.
Apply a layer of Lexy Line 1-Step Building Gel in Ideal Pink over the enhancements and bulld structure, with support over the apex and stress areas. Cure for 60 seconds and remove the inhibition layer using LEpro Cleanser on an LEpro Cleansing Wipe.
Finish file the nails using the 180-git side of the 100/180 Lexy File. Follow with the Foamie buffer to smooth the nall in preparation for colour application.
Use the Gel Polish Bling Brush to apply a thin coat of ButterBling
in Pink Champagne to the nails. Cure for 30 seconds.
Apply a second coat of Pink Champagne and cure for 30 seconds. Finish with an application of Super Shiny Top Coat and cure for 60 seconds. Allow the top coat to cool for 30-60 seconds after curing, then cleanse the inhibition layer using
the LEpro Cleanser on an LEpro Cleansing Wipe. Finish with LEpro Cuticle Oil.