Melisa Salazar - OPI Next Top Nail Artist - NAILS MagazineOPI Next Top Nail Artist – NAILS Magazine

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Full Name: Melisa Salazar
Hometown: Boca Raton, Fla.
Salon: Artisan Nail Studio
Preferred Nail Art Medium: mixed-media
Favorite Nail Trend: 3-D nail art

Together with her clients, Melisa Salazar creates happiness, big smiles, and excitement with nails and ideas. Tiny nail art comes with huge emotions! Her background includes architectural design, publicity, advertising, and broadcasting. She has worked with huge brands, small brands, and everything in between. She loves experimenting with different media and unique materials to get client’s attention and build excitement for their nail designs. She’s also a business owner, successfully running Artisan Nail Studio in Boca Raton, Fla. for over three years. Melisa loves teaching, working, and sharing her experience and knowledge with other aspiring nail artists. Her advice: Life is an amazing journey, color it with as many nail polishes as you can!

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Final Challenge

Mexico City Mural

For our final challenge, we had to create a mural on five nail tips, taking inspiration from OPI’s newest Mexico City Spring Collection. I created my mural using only the 12 OPI GelColors from this collection. This was such a difficult challenge! I would need at least 1,000 nail tips to capture the essence and beauty of Mexico City.
Mexico City is magical. There is simply no other way to describe it. This gorgeous city brings together everything, the thriving metropolitan vibe of the 21st century, the charm of its colonial past and glimpses of the Aztec empire. In the middle of one of the largest cities in the world, there are thousands of amazing stories, corners, and secrets to be found. Full of wonderful surprises, CDMX (Ciudad de Mexico) is vibrant, has something for everyone, and gave me an experience of a lifetime. Mural art is an essential form of storytelling in Mexico. They can be found in almost all neighborhoods of Mexico City. My mural is a showcase of Mexico City, the people, culture, and their traditions:
Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s greatest Artist
Emiliano Zapata, Mexico’s revolutionary
Emperor Montezuma of the Aztec Empire
Iconic buildings both historic and contemporary
Dia de Muertos, important holiday celebrating life and death
Alebrijes, brightly colored folk art sculptures of fantastical creatures
During my many visits, I found Mexico City so easy to enjoy, in large part because of the people. I was fortunate to be there partly for work, so I met people born and raised in Mexico City who told me everything about the neighborhoods they lived in. Everyone was welcoming and friendly, no matter where I went. From the bus driver, to my coworkers and all the people I met along the way, I always felt the people were genuinely warm and friendly. Mexico City has both beautiful neighborhoods AND a many things to do. There are countless parks, shows, museums, and other activities to enjoy. Mexico loves museums. I’ve never visited so many museums in my whole life, let alone in one city. I visited the Frida Kahlo museum and explored the Teotihuacán Pyramids. Like many other cities, Mexico City offers up so much to do that I don’t think anyone could ever get bored. I certainly never was during my time in Mexico City. I cannot wait until the day I return to Mexico City. Muchas gracias, Ciudad de Mexico.

Challenge 4

Powder Play

For me, avant garde is about sculpting art out of everything.  Triangles are powerful shapes. They look dramatic. Triangles can be blended into various combinations, creating an avant-garde style that looks like huge modern artworks on your nails. For this challenge, I referenced Love Triangle from the OPI Nail Art Guide.

People have always been attracted to triangles and triangular patterns. That’s why when you search for images of “success,” you will see hundreds of photos of people on top of hills or mountains.  Triangles are present in almost everything we see – it’s just a matter of emphasizing them and knowing what to do with these unique shapes. The best thing about using triangles are their ability to make a design feel stable or unstable. Whenever possible, I will try to use “the golden triangle” in my designs by arranging different elements in a triangle to create harmonious and symmetrical images

The beauty of this versatile shape fascinates everyone. I use triangles to draw attention to my design’s main point of interest. People are so used to seeing it as a symbol for direction that they instinctively follow where ever it’s pointing. It’s no coincidence that we often see triangles on signs, buttons and computer screens. Not only are triangles the strongest shape, they also imply power and energy when the shape rests on a solid base. But when the base is upside down or appears unstable, the results are often feelings of conflict, tension and nervousness.

It’s amazing how triangles can transform any nail designs to look remarkably unique. Triangles will always be a cutting edge trend. Designs that feature triangular elements will have a great impact on our hands and accessories. Triangular structures and decorative accents will change the way you look and feel, adding powerful energy with style. I love breaking the rules, combining different styles to give my nails the avant-garde appeal!

Click here to watch her video diary. 


Challenge 3

Color is the Answer

For this challenge, we were asked to use as many OPI colors as possible to create wearable nail art across 10 nails. I used a total of 62 OPI gel colors!

Everything around us is an array of color, from the ground we walk on, to the sky above. The world we see is anything but black and white. The choice of color reflects our personality and thoughts. In fact, colors influence our emotions and actions. Life would be dull and meaningless without the colors of our choice. For me, bright colors symbolize happiness and confidence.

My nail set depicts my childhood experience of walking in the rain. I loved to kick at the puddles along the way. There’s something wonderfully liberating about just letting the rain drench you, it’s a beautiful and refreshing feeling. I love the rain drops falling on my shoulders, it relaxed me while washing all my worries away as a child. The rain always brought the usual crowds of people in their dark clothes with their black umbrellas. Instead of the dark shadows in my memory, I choose to remember those childhood experiences with bright, wonderful colors. Hopefully you can see how my choice of colors jumps to life through my nail art.

“Color is the Answer” to the way we feel and the decisions we make in our life. Every one of us is on an amazing personal journey. Color it with as many nail polishes as you can!

Click here to watch her video diary. 

Challenge 2

Where in the World?

I chose California Dreaming (2017 Summer Collection) because every year I visit my relatives in this beautiful state. I created these nail sets because they are California iconic in every way. And also because I am fortunate enough to have personally visited these amazing landmarks during my trips to California.

My California Dreaming road trip starts from the picture perfect City of San Francisco. We’ll stop for a glass of wine in one of the trendsetting wineries of Napa Valley, then drive all the way down to the glamour of Hollywood. We continue south toward San Diego’s famous zoo and their golden sandy beaches. And our amazing California Dreaming road trip finally ends as we exit through Death Valley with all the stunning landscapes this national park has to offer. Thank you California Dreaming for all the beautiful memories  and wonderful experiences!

Click here to watch her video diary. 

Challenge 1

Name of the Game

When I read this challenge, I immediately had to pick Funny Bunny – an OPI classic from the Soft Shades Garden Party Collection. This soft milky white nail polish has an irresistible sheer coverage, perfect for layering over other colors or wearing alone. Funny Bunny is so simple, yet chic you can get away with wearing this color in any type of setting, from super casual to any fancy event. And it looks great on everyone! My inspiration for this challenge comes from my favorite story, Alice in Wonderland. In my OPI Wonderland our Funny Bunny, the White Rabbit, is sparked by a curiosity that starts our fantastic journey. It’s the Funny Bunny who leads us down the rabbit hole. It’s the Funny Bunny that we chase after and search endlessly for adventure in color. Be transported into OPI’s surreal Wonderland of color and images. Are you dreaming or is this real?

Watch her video diary here. 

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