HAVING great-looking nails is increasingly becoming an integral part of good personal grooming.
Besides getting clean and well-trimmed nails, nail colour and design is also a fashion statement, just like make-up, hairdos, clothes, shoes and accessories.
And for the fashion-conscious, they will certainly find time for a manicure-and-pedicure session complete with nail colour application and design as part of their preparations to usher in the Year of the Goat.
Lee Lay Ying, who specialises in nail art, said there were many designs to choose from, and the most popular ones were those with auspicious Chinese characters, pictures and phrases.
Citing examples, she said the top ten designs are Chinese characters like fook (blessing), ji (auspicious), da ji da li (highly auspicious and abundance), choon (spring) and yang (sheep); while pictures include choi sun yeh (God of Prosperity), kam (mandarin orange), kam kat (golden lime), yang (sheep) and yat tong kam (a pail of gold).
Lee, who started her door-to-door nail art business eight years ago, set up her own shop — Lay Ying Nail House — along Persiaran Harmoni in Desa Lawan Kuda, Gopeng three months ago.
Describing nail art as fashion for all age groups, the 20-year-old Lee said she continued to keep up with the latest trends via books, magazines, the Internet and by attending courses.
Lee, who loves drawing cartoons, said caricatures were among the designs for nail art in her collection.
For instance, she said the choi sun yeh also came in the form of a caricature.
“It is important to have a big variety of designs and colours to cater to customers’ taste,” she added.
A manicure and pedicure session together with nail colour application and a simple design takes at least two hours. It takes longer for those with intricate designs.
While the process of drawing could be quite a strain on the eyes at times, Lee said she enjoyed her work and seeing her customers happy with the outcome would make her day.
Describing nail art as her passion, Lee said she loved to come up with unique nail art ideas and make her customers look beautiful.
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