Melody Ehsani Drops All The Deets On New L.A. Salon Candy Paint (And NCLA Nail Wrap Collab!)

The Candy Paint salon in L.A.
Photo: Courtesy of Candy Paint

Y’all already know how much we love accessories designer/celeb favorite Melody Ehsani. You’ve probably peeped her pieces on Rihanna, Beyonce, or Nicki Minaj, just to name a few, but now, Melody is expanding her killer vision into a whole other arena—nails! She teamed up with blogger Aureta Thomollari and nail artist Yoko Sakakura to create Candy Paint: a nail wrap/art studio combined with a jewelry space. YASSS. Last year, Melody opened up to us about her longtime obsession with nail art and gave us ALL the deets on her uh-mazing NCLA nail wrap collab, but we caught up with her again to chat about the inspiration behind her new salon, the importance of nail art, and her second collection of NCLA wraps. Check out the interview after the jump!

MTV STYLE: Ahhh, you opened a salon! How exciting! Why did you decide to open a salon after all these years of creating killer accessories?

MELODY EHSANI: I’ve always dreamed of having a shop that encompassed different aspects of my lifestyle. I used to spend 3 hours getting my nails done, and after doing the collab with NCLA on the nail wraps, I felt like I figured out a way to still have intricate designs on my nails without having to spend that much time at the salon.

We need to know why you named it Candy Paint! What’s the inspiration behind your new salon?

I love old school cars, I have a 1972 Chevy Impala that I have been working on restoring for the last few years. The term “candy paint” refers to a special type of paint job that’s usually done on classic cars. Candy paint requires lot of labor and a skilled painter to get a consistent color. It’s more than a paint job—it’s like art—so I was inspired by the correlation between that and nails.

Inside the Candy Paint salon in L.A.
Photo: Courtesy of Candy Paint

Awesome. So, tell us what’s inside!

We have built out a nail bar that has a selection of imported Japanese candy you can buy. We offer a selection of complimentary teas and drinks, and we always have the latest nail design mags from Japan and fresh flowers.

What kind of music should we expect blasting in your salon?

The music ranges from Biggie to Florence + the Machine. It’s pretty eclectic. Questlove promised me an iPod, so I’m looking forward to his genius.

Love. That. Tell us about the other rad girls you chose to open the shop with!

I partnered with Yoko Sakakura, who is what I call a “nail gangster.” She’s been doing my nails for some time and is a true artist. She can do virtually any design you can imagine, whether it be 3D or painted. She’s an OG in the game and was a part of the small cult of nail artists that began in Japan some time ago.

My other partner is Aureta Thomillari. Aside from her amazing blog, she has a luxury consulting company for high end brands. The synergy between the three of us is effortless, and we each play a very specific role in the process, which helps us run a healthy and fun business.

Candy Paint nails!
Photo: Courtesy of Candy Paint

OK, let’s be real for a second. Why is nail art important to you?

In a world where women are held to such high standards of what they need to look like at all times, I feel like there are a couple key things that we need to look down at everyday when we don’t have a mirror in front of us that make us feel beautiful. Shoes, nails, jewelry… they all fall into this category for me.

You also came out with new NCLA nail wraps! What’s the inspiration behind those?

In short, I think the overall theme of everything I’m doing as of late is inspired fearlessness. This manifests in a bunch of different forms. Some of the designs are inspired by women or cultures that I look up to and admire. Subconsciously, I think I might be creating collections and emblems of what it would look like for me if fear was overcome and replaced with love, because fear is the opposite of love.

Melody Ehsani x NCLA nail wraps.
Photo: Courtesy of Melody Ehsani

How does this set differ from your last collection (which we LOVED)?

I didn’t feel like I had to be as safe this time around, I took more risks with the design and didn’t hold back on color and textile.

Finally, what’s next in the world of nail art?

In the world of nail art, something is brewing with Swarovski crystals, however in the meantime, I think the most important thing is that we are able to provide a unique, luxe service experience at the lowest possible price.

Candy Paint, located at 424 ½ N. Fairfax Ave in Los Angeles, is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-7 pm and Sunday 12-5 pm.

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