Julie Kandalec (@julieknailsnyc) is the nail professional that editors and celebrities call to make their dream nails come to life. Mariah Carey, Camila Cabello, Emma Roberts, Hailee Steinfeld are just some of the celebrities that count on Kandalec for a fresh nail look, and brands like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Chanel, Tiffany & Co. and others have featured her work in print. She also now shares her years of experience with salons, schools, spas, and hotels around the world as the founder of Masterclass Nail Academy.
ASKED AND ANSWERED:
I am known for: My hair!
Favorite item in my wardrobe: My Alexander Wang LBD. It is so versatile that I’ve worn it everywhere from to a cocktail party to out dancing until 4am in Vegas.
Favorite accessory: My pearl stud earrings. They are sentimental, plus they instantly elevate any outfit.
If I hadn’t become a nail artist: I would have become a flight attendant.
Most people would be surprised that: I am crazy about Garth Brooks.
My guilty pleasure: Vegan chocolate chip cookie dough.
My mentor: My best friend.
My style icon: Audrey Hepburn.
My best vacation: Was in 2017 - Maldives for a week with my best friend, then we spent a night at the iconic Burj al Arab in Dubai - my dream for 20 years.
Every beauty professional should: Specialize - do not try to do all services.
To relax: I go to the spa - I love sitting in the sauna, followed by a long facial and hopefully a foot and leg massage.
Shout out to someone who helped me along the way: My dad! He was always supportive of my career in beauty and never tried to convince me into another more “traditional” career path.
My goal as a professional is to: Inspire other beauty professionals to step outside their comfort zones and create new things, learn, and grow.
The coolest look I ever created: Anything I’ve ever done with Jamie Nelson! Also, I led the nail team on Thom Browne for seven seasons before he started showing in Paris. Those looks were always my favorite to create with him.
I am most proud of: Moving away from home and to NYC. I’ve been here for 10 years now.
For fun: I re-organize my nail art and polish collection! I have a separate beauty room with a floor-to-ceiling closet and every time I organize, I find a treasure I forgot about.
Favorite place on earth: I can’t choose just one! I’d probably say the Italian Riviera or Maui though. Or Maldives!
My favorite styling tip: Wear eyelash extensions!
The one product I use most often: Skincare from Chanel and self-tan by Tan-Luxe. I love their “The Butter” bronzer.
The talent I would most like to have: Is waking up early considered a talent? I think it is!
My motto: Luck is when preparation and opportunity meet.
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