Would you really want to fox-trot with Fred Astaire, jam with Jimi Hendrix, or have Julia Child to dinner? You might find yourself just a little intimidated. So who are the brave nail technicians who handle the grooming needs of our industry’s greats? Here’s who does what to whom:

[Sunny Stinchcombe, VP, Gena Labs] Palma Hernandez, The Nail Makers Studio (Dallas, Texas): “Sunny likes to be in control. She usually files her nails after I finish filing them, or sometimes she’ll buff her own nails. The first few times she did this I was terribly intimidated. Now, I understand it’s just her way and has nothing to do with me.

“Sunny gels tips with fiberglass wraps using Design Classic fiberglass products. Then she usually gets a French manicure. She wears her nails fairly long compared to many of my other professional women clients, though that may change since she just had a baby.”

[Kym Lee, CEO, Galaxy Nail Products] Toni Muñoz, Hair-itage Salon (Placentia, Calif.): [Working on a nail champion] was a little bit scary at first, even though I’ve known Kym for years. The last time she was here, I did a full set of pink and white acrylics. Kym’s very sensitive and she’ll let you know if you’re hurting her, which is funny since she’s known to be a bit rough when she’s the one doing the nails. Actually, she’s a very good client. She’s very trusting and lets me do my thing.”

[Essie Weingarten, president, Essie Cosmetics] Maria del Monte, LP & Co. (Queens, N.Y.): “I’ve been doing Essie’s nails for 16 years, since long before she was “the Essie’s.” Her nails are very nice. At worst they might have a little break now and then. She likes a natural nail manicure with pale colors. She’s a great client and a friend.”

[Roberta Cuccio, VP, Star Nail Products] Leticha Hughes, Stefano’s Hair Etc. (Los Angeles, Calif.): “I’ve been doing Roberta’s nails for six years now. In the beginning, we tried different products to figure out which would work best. Now we always use Star Nails’ Ultimate Lyte. It works great on her. She has no lifting or problems of any kind. She wears a French pink and white with clear polish. They look very natural.”

[Nancy Waspi, director of sales, Pro Finish] Laura Wolfer, The Hair Zone (Scottsdale, Ariz.): “Nancy is a total perfectionist. When you do her nails you’re working with her, not on her. She instructs you while you do her nails. She teaches me new techniques and catches me up on industry news. It’s an educational experience. We use Pro Finish gels. Nancy has a flat nail plate and weak nails, so gels work really well for her. She normally wears tips with her gels.”

[Phyllis Sperling, wife of Alpha 9 founder Jack Sperling] D.J. Bosco, The Rudy J. Hair Co. (N. Hollywood, Calif.): “Even though Phyllis is in the business, she’s careful not to hamper my creativity. She speaks up if she’s not happy about something, but it’s never in a critical way. I’d call her an easygoing perfectionist. She’s a very nice lady who knows what it’s like to be in a service business.

Phyllis has always worn acrylics. Lately she’s been getting pink and whites — with Alpha 9, of course. If she does wear a color it’s usually fuchsia or another shade of pink.”

[Myriam Clifford, president, Orly] Gloria Christie (Woodland Hills, Calif.): “Myriam really likes natural nails and always gets a basic manicure. She almost always wears red polish; it’s rare for her to go with a French or a light color. She’s a busy lady and time is of the essence with her, so naturally the quick-drying products are her favorites. She’s not fussy and she really listens to and respects my professional opinion.”

Some Do Their Own. To stay in touch with what’s happening in the industry, some industry leaders do their own nails.

Jan Arnold, president, Creative Nail Design Systems: “I do my own nails so I can continually test products that come out of our labs. I think it’s positive because it makes me really sensitive to what nail technicians are experiencing. For instance, if we have a new liquid and powder system, or we get a question on the hotline, I will try that product. Also, I write all the educational material that goes out, so it’s not theory to me. I live and breathe it.”

Sissy McQuinn-Boulus, CEO/producer, N.A.S.A.: “When I got married last year, I moved from Atlanta to Augusta Ga. I was disappointed to find that the quality of technical education is lower here than in Atlanta, as are consumer expectations. I’m very picky about shape, consistency, and workmanship, so I do my own nails. I’m allergic to acrylic compounds and resins, so I wear only fiberglass nails, usually with bright, trendy colors.

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