Do you know what I absolutely love about this business? Speaking with a hairstylist, manicurist, et al and discovering that we grew up in the same town! Such is the case with manicurist Julie Kandalec -- we're both from Cleveland! And in fact, she did her cosmetology training at my high school! I love when small worlds collide. Julie is super-talented -- her work has been seen in InStyle, Blender and Scratch and she's worked with fashion designers the likes of Charlotte Ronson, Elise Overland and Tony Cohen. Read on to discover her favorite sheer nail polish, the one product she can't live without and so much more.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I am from Mentor, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. It's about 30 mins east of Cleveland.
I graduated from Mentor High School, and got my cosmetology training at Brush High School -- graduated top of the class. We were bused there every day my junior and senior years as part of the vocational program. I got my full cosmetology license at 17 and started at Jenniffer & Co. in Mentor right away.
How did you first become interested in nails and what led you to become a manicurist?
I have wanted to do nails for as long as I can remember. I've always liked miniatures ... I remember gluing confetti on my nails in 5th grade! When I was 12 I wrote an English paper about what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote that I wanted to be a manicurist.
What are your favorite nail polishes and why?
Wow that's a broad question! :)
My favorite sheer: China Glaze Inner Beauty
My favorite semi-opaque, clean: OPI Bubble Bath
My favorite red: OPI "Kennebunk-Port"
My favorite dark: Zoya Rihanna (image courtesy of Scrangie)
My favorite bright: China Glaze Shower Together
If you could only take one product or polish with you on a desert island, what would it be and why?
A 4-way buffer! Its all you need to keep a clean, natural nail with no mess, no dry time and anyone can do it.
What are your top 3 nail tips?
1) Don't match your nails to your toes or your clothes. No one really cares! :) Plus there are too many colors to limit yourself to just one.
2) The most flattering nail shape is round or oval. Think of it this way: it does to the hands what a high heel does for your legs. Round/oval lengthens and slims the fingers. Long square nails do what a flat does to the legs: makes them look shorter than they are.
3) You can wear any color lacquer if they are professionally done. There is a big difference in sloppily applied blue lacquer, and a perfect, professional mani in the same shade. And remove it as soon as it begins chipping!
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
It's all rewarding. But the friendships I've built with my clients can't be beat. If I were to get married tomorrow they'd all be there.
Being a manicurist must be fun -- but what do you do in your spare time?
I am obsessed with traveling. I love exotic places where I can shop for cool gifts! Right now I am planning a trip to Tokyo and Singapore. I also love going to ethnic restaurants. And I love to learn!
For more information about Julie, visit her website here. To follow her on Twitter, click here.