Mann Sokleang, 27, is a nail artist at L-nail shop. Over the past three years he has created many trends popular among young people. Practising in a small shop, Mr Sokleang works and studies at the same time.
“I have been doing this for three years in a small shop. Initially, I wanted to study hairdressing but I could not progress while studying; I decided to focus on nail-painting and I have built up a lot of experience,” Mr Sokleang said.
When he’s practising and learning, Mr Sokleang said, he always tries to create something modern and unique. He makes designs for people of all ages, not just young people.
“Some of my customers are as young as 16. Most of my customers are brides, or people who have a party or wedding to go to, but some people just want to look good during the day. I do their nails too.”
Of all his designs, there are four or five that are most popular, with flowers being the favourite. It takes Mr Sokleang about one-and-a-half hours to do one design.
Some people buy his special patterns painted on false nails, which he shows to customers when they come in. But sometimes people come with a certain style in mind, often something they’ve seen in a magazine, and ask him to reproduce it.
“I make certain patterns and designs for my clients to choose from, but sometimes they have a particular design they want and they request for it. I get ideas from YouTube and magazines, and I try and create designs that are based in my own style, so they are unique,” Mr Sokleang said.
In some countries, sharp-looking nails are in style right now, but in Asia, the style is for a more rounded look. Most of Mr Sokleang’s customers come to have their nails painted, but some come to have their nails made healthier and treated with vitamins.
Mr Sokleang suggests that people treat their nails with vitamins at least once a week. At least once every three days your nails should be treated or painted, he said, to keep the nails grow healthily.
The services Mr Sokleang offers are treating and caring for nails, painting, cutting the nails and trimming the surrounding skin, linking the nails, and drawing on the nails. These can all be seen his Facebook page, muyleang heng.
Eventually, if he can build up a bigger client base, he plans to employ someone who can do some of the work for him. If this is not possible, he said, he would consider opening a small shop someday.