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Exclusive Interview with Russian Nail Tech Tanya Grach

Carlos: Who are some of your discerning clients and are any of them A-list Celebrities?

Tanya Grach: I have worked with a number of well known Russian Fashion Models including Valeria Avdeyeva who has been in Vogue, Victoria Secrets and La Perla campaigns.

Carlos: Why did you decide to transition from Manhattan to London, leaving all of your elite clientele?

Tanya Grach: For love, I got married and made the move.

Carlos: Would you ever consider opening your own private nail salon?

Tanya Grach: As we say in Russia ‘a good soldier always dreams of becoming a general’ so yes I would like to have my own salon. I would position it as modern nail art that is both fascinating and innovative.

Carlos: Is there history behind the art of nails and where, when, and why this beauty craze started?

Tanya Grach: The History of Nails Art began 5000 years ago in India, where henna was used for manicure. It is also reported that Japanese first started to add colours to their nails around 3000 BC. Ancient Egyptians used nail colour to signify social order. Queen Nefertiti and Cleopatra used deep red colour. There are many different theories concerning nail art origins. It is a process of development.

Carlos: What are some tips you can do at home to properly care for your nails while in between touchups?

Tanya Grach: Wear rubber gloves when performing tasks, apply Lanolin or Jojoba oil lotions to the nails, use supplements, vitamins and minerals.

Carlos: Is splitting of the nails a deficiency of vitamins or is nail harder a quick fix for this problem?

Tanya Grach: Split nails can be caused by a number of things – age, nutrition, stress, lifestyle etc. You can easily balance out your diet by eating food rich with vitamin E, olive oil, nuts, and gelatin. Stick to the companies that are well known and trusted – Revlon, OPI, Mavala, Sally Hansen, Dermelect anti-aging nail polish.

Carlos: I have heard that fiber glass is better for your nails suppose to acrylic, is there any truth to this or just a beauty myth?

Tanya Grach: It varies from client to client. Fiberglas nails are good for people with weak, soft, brittle nails. They are also requested by people who are allergic to acrylic nails.

Carlos: With all the controversy surrounding Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), and Toluene found in nail polish, what’s your opinion on it and do you manicure nails without toxic chemicals?

Tanya Grach: It has not been proven that the level of these chemicals in nail polishes is harmful and the nail industry is trying to eliminate them. Try to use well established names such as Revlon, Mavala, OPI, and Sally Hansen.

Carlos: Does drugstore nail polish versus salon nail polish have any effect on the quality and life of the color?

Tanya Grach: Try to always buy from a reputable brand such as OPI, Sally Hansen, and Mavala

Carlos: What are the essentials needed to create a DIY perfect French manicure?

Tanya Grach: A steady hand and Practice, practice, practice! There are also some great all-in-one kits out there to make for easy application – Mavala has a great one.

Carlos: What’s the must have items you need for ultra smooth and calluses free feet?

Tanya Grach: I would recommend regular pedicures as its best to leave tough skin and calluses to the professionals. You can use a foot file and callus oil at home but that is all I would recommend. As a professional nail technician I use a selection of tools including pedicure blades, files and removers.

Carlos: Do we need our cuticles or is it safe to say “remove them right away”?

Tanya Grach: It is a personal preference, some keep them and some don’t.

Carlos: What are the top 10 nail colors for this spring?

Tanya Grach: Bright colours are good for spring and summer, including the lighter shades of blue. There is also a new trend for mushroom beige. I try to work with my clients’ skin tone, finding a shade that will suit them.

For more information on Tanya Grach services visit

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  • Comment by Olya — November 18, 2010 @ 5:54 AM

    I recently had a manicure with Tanya in body & soul, a salon in St John’s Wood and I cannot stop admiring my hands. I’ve spent about 3 years searching for a good manicurist in London and when I was about to give up and try to YouTube-teach myself I found Tanya. My cuticle no longer resemble chipped wood bark and the nail polish actually stays for longer than 3 days. What can I say, when you start getting nail compliments on the tube during rush hour you know that your manicurist did a good job.

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