This month’s cover tech Gina Silvestro has been doing nails for 24 years, the last 10 of which have been spent educating other nail techs for Akzéntz. Her role as International Certified Educator for the Canadian-based company includes developing education programs and training the other Akzéntz educators.
About two years ago, she added another title to her business card — Create Your Style with Swarovski Elements Ambassador. Swarovski’s North American headquarters are less than a mile from Gina’s salon, Gel Essentialz in Cranston, R.I., so it was kind of a no-brainer for her to work with the Austrian crystal company.
And most recently, Gina started Crystal Culture with Australian nail tech Viv Simmons. “I was invited by Viv to do a class in Australia for Swarovski Design Nails,” says Gina. “Afterwards we realized what a great educational opportunity it was to have non-product specific classes available where nail techs could learn innovative designs and techniques using Swarovski crystals as well as learning marketing/business skills. So we decided to join forces and create a worldwide team and educational program to help raise the industry standards.”
“I’ve somehow managed to land all of these different positions and there is absolutely no conflict of interest between any of them!” says Gina.
With all of these additional titles, you might wonder how she finds time to see clients. About a year ago, she retired from servicing clients in the salon. Luckily, her daughter Miranda followed in her footsteps and took over managing the salon. Gina travels a few times each month teaching classes, working trade shows, or going to networking events, and in between works from home developing classes, coming up with new designs, and mentoring other nail techs.
She says the best part of her job is inspiring people and helping them become more successful. “Getting an e-mail or a post on social media from someone thanking me for helping turn their career around gives me such a great feeling, it makes it all worth it,” she says.
Here’s how you can get this month’s cover look:
Editor’s note: We wanted to show you the art portion of this design, so first you’ll want to sculpt a gel extension. Here’s how Gina did that: sculpt the nail using Akzéntz Pro-Formance Gel. Start with a clean dry nail. Push back the cuticle and gently buff the surface shine from the nail. Remove all dust, cleanse with Prep & Wipe to dehydrate the nail, and apply a form. Apply a very thin layer of Adhere gel and cure. Apply Balance Coverage Cool Pink on the nail bed and cure. Apply a thin layer of Enhance gel to the tip, keeping it very thin. Cure. Remove the inhibition layer with Prep & Wipe and Finish file.
1. Apply a thin layer of Akzéntz Glitter Shifters Blue to the tip of the nail.
2. Remove the form, and using Balance Clear gel, place strings of gel at the edges of the tip and immediately flash cure to freeze it, creating a dripping effect.
3. Mix some Balance Clear with a small drop of Gel Paint Blue.
4. Drag the mixture across the tip, creating a ripple effect. Cure.
5. Add a touch of Formation White in the center of the nail using a small detail brush. Cure.
6. Apply Shine On over the entire nail, and place crystals at the smile line. Cure.
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