Hey glamniacs! Today’s interviewee is celebrity manicurist Gina Eppolito. Guess who calls on her when they’re looking for the perfect manicure? Folks like Thalia, Tina Fey, Eva Mendez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa, Julia Roberts, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Drew Barrymore. And she’s given the guys shiny nails too, even the ones with the tough-guy images—Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Tommy Mottola, Paul McCartney, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill. But someone doesn’t just wake up one day and gets this stellar client roster…Gina has worked as hard as nails (cute simile, or no?) to get to where she is.
Besides the aforementioned, Gina gets calls from Edie Falco, Liv Tyler, Rihanna, Kristen Wiggs Margot Robbie, Kristen Wiig, Edie Falco, Susan Sarandon, and Jennifer Connelly. You wouldn’t find any of these celebs in a room together, but you could find them on an overbooked day at her celebrity manicure firm Gina’s Nails.
And you’ve probably heard that adage…be prepared at all times. Read on, and you’ll see how she applied it to get her first celebrity patrons.
Glamniac: Once upon a time, you were a newly licensed manicurist in the state of New York, and look at what you are now. How did you get there?
A combination of passion, ambition, dedication, loyalty, respect and appreciation.
Glamniac: And how did you get your first celebrity client?
Through an amazing make up artist named Kerrie Plant whom I still work with to date and is now a great friend! Her bothers best friends father was my fathers friend—say that 3 times fast. [Smiles] Long story kind-of-short, Kerrie called me one night at around 10 p.m. asking me to come to the set of “Sex and the City (6th season) the next morning at 6 a.m to give Sarah Jessica a manicure. I could have walked on water that evening!
Glamniac: And from there, how did you built a solid clientele?
Word of mouth. I was introduced to some of the most fabulous hair and make up artist in the industry, whom would call me when an opportunity for a manicurist came their way. Again my combination of passion, ambition, dedication, loyalty, respect and appreciation was my foundation that allowed me to build. “No” was not in my vocabulary. Never was a job too far away or too early, I would make it work.
Glamniac: Ginails is your very own manicure company. Can you walk us through a Monday in the life of Gina Eppolito, Head Manicurist-in-Charge?
Each day is rarely ever the same, which I love! Mondays are usually super-early because it is the start of the week. First stop 6 a.m. on set for the film Still Alice. Manicures for Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin and Kate Bosworth. Then a three-hour break, so it’s off to The Yoga Room for a 90-minute hot vinyassa class. Next stop, Jennifer Connelly to get her nails looking fabulous for an event that evening. Last and final nail stop, Thalia and Tommy Mottola. Days like these are typical hence the 20,000 I put on my car a year! I love the fast-paced life style, but do appreciate my downtown as well. Balance and living in the moment are key to me!
Glamniac: What do you usually do when you break a nail?
These days, I keep my nails fairly short and well manicured, so when I break a nail I simply file it down.
Glamniac: You do manicures for television stars, movie stars, models. Is there a different approach for each?
I basically start off each job the same, by setting up and being as discrete as possible. I am there for a service and would never intrude. Naturally as time goes on and a working relationship forms the comfort level changes, but I do always respect boundaries.
Glamniac: Is there a secret to making a manicure last?
Cleansing the nail pre-polish is crucial! Also, let each coat of polish dry in between for a few minutes. Finalizing with top coat applied to the nail as well as grazing the tip.
Glamniac: Would you say that there is such a thing as too many manicures?
You don’t want to overdo anything!