Part 2 of Katie Cazorla’s interview is here! This time, we talked favorite celebrity clients, nail trends and how to make it as a high-profile nail tech in Hollywood.
Missed Part 1? Catch up here!
When you were designing The Painted Nail, what were things you were diligent about? How did you want to set yourself apart from the bad rap nail salons have?
One of the things I absolutely hated was the vibe. It was a place where it was more like a chore. Like, “Oh, I have to go get my nails done.” It wasn’t like, “Ooo, I can’t wait to go get my nails done.” It was never like that because most of the places were super gross so there was never any, “Oh, I’m so excited. I can’t wait to get my nails done.” That never existed. I wanted to have more of a comfy, cozy vibe that was chic and the lighting was good. There’s no fluorescent lighting. Your nail tech could actually communicate with you and ask you what you like, what you don’t like, do you have an event this weekend, what color’s going to go with your outfit, and I just thought more intimate and I think a lot of people don’t care. And for me, I love nails so much that I cared. I wanted a better way of doing nails and a prettier atmosphere. My first salon actually had my home furniture in it. I really, really loved Rachel Ashwell’s shabby chic furniture and I had taken 3 of the big, they’re called the squishy chairs. It’s like a $3,000 – 4,000 chair and I put 3 of those in my salon with footsie baths where you could take the liner out and fill it. It was very sanitary. And you could just sink into this big, white shabby chic chair with a glass of wine and it was so nice. That was like the whole vibe for that.
So, when I was designing the new Painted Nail for the W I was like, “What will still be kind of cozy, but chic?” And that’s how those princess chairs came about. Because I thought they were not in your face like hot pink or gold, which is just tacky. I wanted more refined, but comfy. It’s like you have your own little pod when you sit in the pedicure chair.
How did you think of the purple color as the base of everything?
I picked out materials, I picked out fabrics, the vinyl on the base of those chairs looks like antique tin. It’s so beautiful. And I liked the champagne colors and the silver, the white, I thought it was so chic and pretty.
Because it’s so little I wanted it to have a little bit of a jewelry box vibe. When you were a little girl and you would open up your jewelry box and it had that little ballerina. I saw that it looked like a little jewelry box so I wanted to incorporate lush little fabrics and be sparkly and shiny, and that’s where the inspiration for the dripping crystals on the chandeliers, it’s very dreamy to me.
Who are some of your favorite celebrity clients that have come in?
Daisy, we love Daisy Fuentes. She drives from Malibu to come in which is insane. She’s so sweet and she just married Richard Marx. Isn’t that crazy? Connie Britton is one of our clients from the show Nashville. Abby Lee Miller from Dance Moms has come in.
At my old salon we had an insane amount of people. Anyone from Vanessa Hudgen to Ashley Tisdale. Um, Kaley Cuoco, Lisa Rinna, Teri Hatcher, Hayley Williams from Paramore, Adam Lambert, I mean it was crazy.
Cheryl Burke, Jenny Garth… In the Valley you get more celebrities because they all live there and Hollywood is a little tough but we get more young bloggers and stuff like that.
Do you think you’d move your salon back to the Valley?
I definitely thought about doing that but then I was like, you know, I was in the Valley for 4 years and then decided to go to Hollywood, go glam, make it really fun. I do miss the Valley. There’s times when I drive by little vacant places and I think this would be such an incredible place for a salon and then I’m like, “Fuck it.” I’m so sorry to say that, but really, I get so inspired and creative and think I’m going to do it and then I think about what it takes to run it day to day, you know, staffing it and the issues and like, I just don’t want to do it. I’m happy with my one location and I’m happy with Hi SocieTEA that’s opening up next door and I feel like that is enough.
What would you say is the hardest part about opening a nail salon? Or having your own business in general?
Everyone always thinks, “God, I’d love to own my own store or my own salon.” I don’t think people realize how much work it really is. People always say that you’re your own boss. You can make your own hours. There is no rest. That’s the one thing I’ve found out about running your own business. There’s always issues. We’re either out of this or you know, call the plumber, or there’s always an issue. So and so didn’t show up. So and so hates this person. It becomes such an issue that I’m like, you know, I don’t know. It’s really frustrating to me. I would love to change that.
As far as nail trends go, do you think there’s a certain nail trend to look out for in the coming months?
You know, I only know what’s on trend now and it’s like jewel tones and mattes. A lot of matte polishes, topcoats and matte is back. I hate matte, but people like it. I have the salon so I have to think about what people are asking for now, but I’m really hoping that something fun in the metallic world comes out again.
Do you ever have people come in and say, “Oh, I want nails like so and so.”
Oh, yeah. And I deny, deny, deny. Mainly people say that they want Kylie Jenner’s nails and I always ask if they have a boyfriend or a husband. If they say yes, I go, “No, we’re not doing those.” Men think those nails are hideous. If you’re single and you want to attract a guy, they’re not going to… guys are scared of nails like that. That’s what women need to know. Just because something is trending in the nail world doesn’t mean you need to do it.
When you’re researching anything nails, what are your favorite blogs to go to?
I like to whore out on Pinterest so anything Pinterest-wise I’m in. But mainly, I like Chalkboard Nails, that’s one of my favorites. I also like WorkPlayPolish. WorkPlayPolish is one of my favorites. And, I would have to say my favorite nail artist right now is Lexi Martone. She’s insane. You have to go to her Instagram. She’s probably one of the most talented people I’ve ever, in my life, seen do nails.
Do people ever ask you for crazy nail art for parties or Halloween or something?
I don’t think we’re really that type of place so we don’t get that. We’re more, you know, on the toned down side mainly because we’re not known for acrylic. We’re mainly known for gel manicures and pedicures.
Do you think acrylic is going out of style?
You know, I don’t know. I feel like nails had their phase of craziness and now people are kinda going back to the toned down thing. But, you know, I say always stick with what you’re good at. If that’s the type of shit that you’re known for, go for it. Go big or go home. But if you’re wanting to aspire to be that, I think working on your basic skills first before you try to dive into crazy things like that.
Okay, so we’ve got a few more questions, but what is the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received was from a guy I met on Whidbey Island at this place called Mukilteo Coffee. He’s such a sweet guy and he’s super successful and he gave me the best business advice that I’ve ever received. It was when you are a boss and you are the person who is in charge of everything, ultimately, if things don’t work it’s because of you. So, if you are meeting with your employees and you’re not getting the results you want, then it’s up to you to get rid of them. He always said you need to tell them, “I need to see results and I don’t need reasons.” So, when you’re not getting things done the way you want them, you need to change it. And that resonated with me and I think about it every time I have to make a hard decision. It’s ultimately up to me. I need to see results, I don’t need reasons.
And what advice would you give to aspiring nail techs?
You have to have a passion for what you do. And I really, really feel that when nail techs come in they automatically have this ego where I don’t do pedicures or I’m not going to do this, or I can only work this… If you don’t have that passion and drive then I don’t have the time to be around someone like that. And I’m finding that more Millenial-based nail techs are very difficult to work with. I wish they had a little bit more of a humble attitude and a little more passion for what they do. Instead of this, like you know, I’m going to nail school and opening my own salon and making a billion dollars. Because that’s not how it works. Humble yourself, get the experience.
I’m sure it’s harder in LA too because a lot of people think they’re going to work with celebrities.
Yeah, that’s basically what it’s like. These people think they’re just gonna, you know, do nails and then they’re gonna be working on set and it takes experience. You’ve got to work your way to get there. I just feel like, you know, humble yourself. If you could get yourself out there in the work force and not just think that you’re going to instantly have this nail fame. That would be awesome. I would love to mentor, help, whatever. But if you’re going to come into it thinking you know everything because you went to nail school, you don’t even know. I think in life it’s good to just humble yourself and know that you can always learn.
A Day In The Life… gets you in touch with those who have made it in the beauty and fashion industry. If there’s someone you’d like us to interview, let us know in the Comments section below!