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Credits: Photographer: Adam Ghijben Designer: 3.8 Designs, Efgee Designs, Betsey Johnson and Staysi Lee MUA: Lisa Strawther Hair: Alexi Taryn Models: Eden Whitlock, Anna Zesiger

Jackpot! Viva Las Vegas baby, the only way is up. A glowing monument to rolling high, take a walk through on the retro side of history. Old meets new in the sands of the Nevada desert. The hot winds blow, Vegas reinvents herself and moves ever forward. But the memories of the past stay like a cigarette burn on the carpet of a casino floor. Gone but not forgotten, memories fade into the dust.

Jackpot began when photographer Adam Ghijben was browsing the internet and stumbled across a wedding album shot in the unlikeliest of places. As he explored, he uncovered more and more albums of happy couples posing and kissing, all under the watchful gaze of a giant genie lamp, a jolly ten-foot tall king and jumbles of bright oversized letters. He discovered a gem hidden in downtown Las Vegas – The Neon Museum. Established in 1996, the two acres of dusty desert house more than 120 gloriously kitsch light bulb-bedecked signs enjoying their retirement in the sun.

We decided we had to shoot there. The direction for makeup began with the retro glamour of the 40s and 50s. Inspiration was drawn from the music video for the song ‘Don’t Speak’ released in 1996 by the band No Doubt. Singer Gwen Stefani sported platinum blonde ringlets, dark red lips, vintage Hollywood noir eyes and thin cigarette brows. This was given a modern Vegas spin with a warmer gold colour pallet and a smokier eye with luscious fake lashes. We wanted the models to resemble cashed up femme fatales swanning about the casino floor, a mix of the old glamour with new fast cash.

Lisa Strawther of Making Up Las Vegas created a sultry golden glow with contoured bronzed cheekbones and softened brows. Scarlet red lips were matched with golden red hair, and a nude lip complemented high blonde curls. Hair stylist Alexi Taryn created soft yet structured tousled curls and waves, each model with a contrasting look. Longer hair was pinned underneath the curled upper layers to create volume and body.

Styling was all about gowns. Two LA designers, Ernesto Flores of 3.8 Designs and Frank Garcia of Efgee Designs, teamed up with Las Vegas local Staysi Lee to provide an array of colours for contrast. Cascading and layered cuts, luxurious trains and embellished draped necklines provided the glamour. Statement gold sequins on a structured mini and the eternal little black dress by Betsey Johnson gave a modern twist. Colours popped against the stormy sky and vividly painted signs.

As we wrapped the shoot and bid farewell to the cheerful neon neighbourhood, the heavens opened on us and the sky crackled with pick and orange flickers. It seemed that even the sky had put on her best neon dress for us.

The Neon Museum is located at 770 Las Vegas Boulevard, North Las Vegas, Nevada USA.

Tours run throughout the day 7 days a week until sunset.

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