Behind the Scenes: Create a Softer French Look

Akzéntz's educator Gina Silvestro created this soft gel French look for our May cover. Find out how you can do these nails.

<p>Realizing how difficult it can be for nail professionals to find local classes, Gina Silvestro has created a variety of short video tutorials that are available on her website at She handles a wide array of mediums with Akzéntz gel as the main focus.</p>

When 20-year veteran nail technician Gina Silvestro told us she was going to be in town with Viv Simmonds and Catherine Wong for their Los Angeles class, we couldn’t pass up the chance to have her do a cover. The Cranston, R.I.-based salon owner, nail tech, and Akzéntz educator is known for designer gel nails — the more bling the better. (And her art is often on extreme shapes, like stiletto or edge nails, too.) But we asked her to tone it down for a softer look for this month’s ballerina cover.

<p>In addition to a softer look for this month’s cover, Gina also recently created this soft, ethereal look for Lady Gaga’s M.A.C. Viva Glam campaign.</p>

Funnily enough, she also recently did Lady Gaga’s nails for her new M.A.C. Viva Glam campaign and ended up with a very similar look. Says Gina, “The trends of styles and shapes have changed over the years. For Lady Gaga’s nails, I used Akzéntz Options Creamy Nude in a trendy, pointy oval shape. It’s a very ethereal look. The natural, soft look is not at all what people expect to see when they think of me doing Lady Gaga’s nails! But the key to success in any industry is to remain versatile.”

In addition to Lady Gaga, working with the N.Y.-based agency Artists by Timothy Priano has allowed Gina the opportunity to work with celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez and Kristen Davis, as well as the Victoria Secret models.

But even though she works on celebrities and showcases her amazing design talent for nail techs through her worldwide education, Gina says that in the salon the majority of her clients prefer a soft, square nail. “I was very excited to do such a soft, natural look for this cover,” says Gina. “After doing nails for over 20 years the most requested look is still a French manicure. With wedding season right around the corner, these nails are perfect for brides that want a beautiful, soft, natural-looking French manicure that will last through the wedding and honeymoon, yet still soak off when returning home.”


Here’s how you can do these nails:


1. Prep the nails and apply Akzéntz Pro Tab forms.

2. Extend the nail using Akzéntz Builder French White gel. Cure for two minutes.

3. Apply one to two layers of Options Clear. Cure for two minutes. File and shape the nail if necessary.

4. For the nail bed color, apply Akzéntz Options Teacup Rose. Cure for two minutes.

5. Apply Akzéntz Options Cloud White on the free edge and swipe the smile line. Cure for two minutes.

6. Add another layer of Options Clear. Cure for two minutes. Remove dispersion layer and file to perfect the shape.

(Click here to see the April 2010 cover that Gina Silvestro did.)

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