You may have been focused on the super chic scarlet Sergio Hudson jumpsuit Amal Clooney was wearing when she entered the Mark Hotel to celebrate Meghan Markle’s NYC baby shower on Wednesday, February 20, but George’s better half was also rocking a fierce oxblood mani by her longtime nail pro Gina Alcedo that was actually a shade from the manicurist’s new vegan polish collection, NVLA.
As an at-home celebrity manicurist tending to stars like Clooney, Ariana Huffington, Donatella Versace and the Carters (yes, those Carters) for some two decades, Alcedo tells Us she got the idea to start her own line a couple years ago and used her famous clients as her guinea pigs to get the polishes just right.
“Building upon years of product experience and knowledge, NVLA has been in development for just under two years,” she says. “I started testing on myself, my husband, friends and family, and once the formula met my standards, then I began offering to clients to try.”
The rich Rockingham Red shade, for example, became a “fast favorite” of the human rights attorney and others, and Huffington even ended up with a hue named in her honor. “For certain colors, like Ms Huffington Pink, I enlisted Arianna’s feedback throughout the process,” Alcedo says.
To differentiate her brand from all the others in the market, the manicurist made sure her formulas are vegan, cruelty-free and eight-free, in addition to infusing good-for-you ingredients like myrrh to protect nails and prevent breakage. The line’s Brentwood Collection dropped earlier this year with six shades (including Clooney and Huffington’s go-tos), and she also has a strengthening base coat, quick-dry top coat and two treatment products (a cuticle oil and cream) that can help resurrect even the most damaged digits.
“I recommend my Nailvana Cuticle Cream which helps nails recover from gels and acrylics,” she tells Us, noting she’s also a fan of “nail-strengthening base coats” like Nailtiques Formula 2 and even Vaseline or Neosporin to “help dry and cracked cuticles” in a pinch. Oh, and those drugstore staples are also good for cleaning up your nail beds before an at-home polish application.
For those of Us who are not #blessed with a celeb manicurist and instead rely on DIY manis to keep our nails in shape, Alcedo says a quick-dry top coat is your best friend and layering those speedy drying drops (she’s a fan of the OPI Drip Dry Lacquer Drying Drops) on top will give you the best chance at avoiding smudges.
If you’re looking to upgrade your signature neutral nail for spring, the manicurist believes its the season “when the bright colors come out” — even if her boss-lady clientele tends to opt for more classic options.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of green and yellow, which my clients, who tend to be pretty conservative, may wear once a year,” she shares. “Round nails are also trending right now.”
With over 20 years in the business, it’s no secret Alcedo has seen it all when it comes to celeb glam, and we couldn’t help but wonder what’s the most usual place she’s ever given a mani.
“I love this question! I’ve done nails in some pretty crazy places,” she quips. “The most unusual place I’ve ever done a manicure was in a school carpool line. My client’s nanny called in sick, so she had to pick up her kids from school. Not wanting to cancel our appointment, my client asked if I would meet her at the school and do the manicure in the car. So we did a waterless mani, and it was a success.”
Multi-tasking at its finest because, after all, stars are just like Us — kind of!
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