The Massie Twins recently had a chance to sit down with Katie Cazorla, the star of the TV Guide Network’s new reality series and entrepreneur behind “The Painted Nail” salon – a celebrity hotspot in LA. To promote her show “Nail Files” (which comes from the team behind “Jersey Shore,” and premiered nationwide on June 21st, 2011 on the TV Guide Network to record-breaking ratings), Katie came to offer free manicures to Arizona residents from the “Nail Files” Mobile Spa – which brings the excitement of the Hollywood salon experience and the energy of the new series straight to the Valley!
Katie is a young blonde bombshell who owns Hollywood’s fastest growing celebrity-filled nail salon while juggling her relationship with Walter Afanasieff, a Grammy award-winning music legend who’s written and produced hits for Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, and Celine Dion – and is 20 years Katie’s senior. The series follows energetic and high-spirited Katie as she aspires to take The Painted Nail to the next level. Katie hosts gifting suites at the Sundance Film Festival and the Oscars, walks the red carpet at the Grammys Awards, launches her Spring line of polishes, and handles her celebrity clients – all while placating her trouble-making staff. Katie’s life may seem glamorous, but keeping everything in order while avoiding mental breakdowns is a daily challenge.
The Massie Twins: At what point did you know you were interested in having your own nail salon?
Katie Cazorla: I decided I wanted to do stuff with nails because nail salons in L.A. sucked. They were junky and reminded me of gas stations. Every one of them you go in, get what you need done and then leave. It’s like pumping gas. No big deal. I wanted to change the way people viewed getting their nails done – but not at a high-end price. So two years ago, I opened The Painted Nail.
MT: What makes The Painted Nail unique?
KC: Number one, we have a free bar. I built the salon around it. You can come in and get free cocktails, then get your service done. Plus, all of our nail techs are like therapists. They talk to you about your service as well as anything you want. The atmosphere is great – there’s no gross chairs, no weird florescent lighting. We do big chandeliers and white down chairs. It’s so cute.
MT: How do you feel about going to school for this kind of work? Would you recommend it to someone trying to follow in your footsteps?
KC: Absolutely. I did go to nail school, but my interest lies more in the business aspect of it. If I tried to do both, it would be too difficult to run the store. Anything that has to do with customer service makes it essential to go to school!
MT: Do you ever forget that the camera is there? Does it influence how you react to certain events?
KC: I forgot it for like a day at a time. I have to run my business. I can’t fake running the store! I have to be who I am no matter what, because I have to maintain a real life business. I can’t imagine if I tried to act like something other than myself. People would know I was faking. There’s no acting involved. It’s 100% me having mental breakdowns! It’s in part because I had to spend my own money on stuff. When things go wrong, it comes out of my pocket. It’s not made for TV – it’s the real deal. It sucks sometimes! Someone on the bus asked me why I don’t wear makeup on the show. When you see me without makeup, it’s because I just woke up and they’re already filming! That’s reality. I wake up and look like that. I don’t wear makeup to bed – I’m not a Kardashian! I don’t have a glam squad to follow me around and do my hair and makeup all the time. I think reality TV shows should be like that.
MT: Do you have any control over the editing? Is there anything too crazy to be shown?
KC: They show literally everything! One of the girls who did my banners for Sundance completely screwed them up. I had to pay her $2000 and I made a nasty comment about her in an interview that ended up ruining our friendship.
MT: So what’s the secret behind great nails?
KC: You have to take care of them. Please don’t bite them! That’s how most people get sick – because there is so much bacteria underneath them. Also, don’t pick your cuticles. Use olive oil! It’s why chefs have such amazing hands – the olive oil and butter they work with. And guys can use it too. The secret is olive oil.
MT: How often do you get a manicure/pedicure?
KC: Maybe once a month. But I maintain a lot. In the shower I use a buffer and always moisturize everything. I don’t want to look like a leather boot by the time I’m 35. People always put sunscreen on, but what they forget to do is put sunscreen on the tops of their hands. That’s the first way to tell someone’s age. By their hands. You can see a youthful face with a covered up neck, but their hands give it away. We do an alpha-hydroxy hand peel at the salon, which is really good for women to know about. It’s mostly mangos. You can literally cut one open and rub the fruit on your hand and let it sit there. Then take a hot or cool towel and rub grape seed oil extract for 10 minutes. It’s the anti-aging secret. Anyone can buy that. I’m a do-it-yourselfer to the core. I did all the painting in the salon myself, and I built all the furniture.
MT: Tell us about the eco-friendly colors.
KC: I developed the line because I found that every brand I liked had something in it I didn’t want. There were eco-friendly lines out there, but they were boring. Where is all the glitter? My colors are all made in the United States, they’re certified by PETA, and never tested on animals. They go through extensive testing and it’s really hard to achieve that certification. The oils are all organic, there are no soy or wheat proteins, no parabens, carcinogens, camphor, formaldehyde or lanolins, and the shimmer cream is my favorite – it has mica in it to give it the shine.
MT: Where can you buy these products if you can’t travel to LA?
KC: You can buy them at www.shop.thepaintednail.com. We are coming out with so much new stuff! We have a new spring line too!
MT: Which celebrities have you catered to?
KC: One of my favorites is Vanessa Hudgens. She’s adorable! Vanessa Williams is gorgeous. Candice Cameron comes in (who hasn’t seen Full House?), Debbie Gibson, and LeVar Burton (Reading Rainbow!). One of the best though is Paula Abdul! She looks amazing!