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Renowned nail artist, Mentor native Julie Kandalec establishes global enterprise | Business

It’s been 10 years since Julie Kandalec worked her manicure magic as a nail artist at Jenniffer & Co. in Mentor.

And it was about then that the 1999 Mentor High School graduate decided to make a move to New York City in hopes of taking on high-profile assignments with celebrities, magazines and at prominent events such as Fashion Week and awards shows like the Oscars.

She’s accomplished all of that.

Now the renowned beauty expert is taking her next, carefully calculated step by initiating Masterclass Nail Academy, a new global nail academy open to all nail professionals and students, with a branch especially curated for nail professionals working in hotels and resorts around the world.

Julie Kandalec, formerly of Mentor, moved to New York City some years ago to advance her nail artistry career. Since that time the talented gal has been steadily climbing the beauty business ladder. Recently she left her duties as creative director of Paintbox, a nationally acclaimed nail studio, to begin Masterclass Nail Academy, a worldwide educational enterprise focusing on nails.


Loyal to her roots, she’s bringing the class to the Cleveland area this summer. It’s set to take place at the Residence Inn, 5660 Emerald Court in Mentor.

On July 21 “Level 1” will be offered. “The day of education is geared to go back to basics for the new, existing or soon-to-be nail professional,or the person who has always been nail-obsessed, but is wondering if a career in nails (and nail school) is right for them,” according to information from the Masterclass website.

“Level 2” will take place on July 22 and is for the licensed professional or current student who wants to learn more than just another nail art look, although some will also be covered in the lesson. Kandalec will go over some new services that are popular in New York City as well as the global market and discuss how to successfully use social media as a beauty professional. 

The work of renowned nail artist Julie Kandalec has appeared in magazines from all over the world. Here her stunning artistry is shown on the cover of Marie Claire. (

Marie Claire

In addition to Cleveland she’ll be spending 10 days in Jamaica this summer with the not-for-profit organization Tradeworks, where she and 10 other beauty experts will share their beauty knowledge with 60 under-resourced youths.

Her next teaching destination will be in conjunction with Around the World Beauty at a destination yet to be announced.

Her idea for Masterclass originated while on a trip to the Maldives in South Asia after learning of the need for higher nail education in remote hotels spas and resorts. Many nail technicians there weren’t fully trained causing the resorts to receive service complaints and lose income. 

However, salons and resorts not having issues with their nail departments can still reap benefits from Masterclass through education on current trends, products, techniques and more.

Over the past decade Kandalec has had plenty of practice teaching her art at various salons, spas and cosmetology schools.

An inherent passion for teaching that she attributes to the many educators in her family along with an exceptional set of skills makes the new endeavor a perfect fit.

Despite a tight work schedule Kandalec finds time to author a blog titled “Julie Off Duty.”

Noting that social media has changed the beauty industry very rapidly she maintains that “it’s no surprise that it has brought people together personally and that’s how some big celebs have even found me.”

She also added that social media has “created a way to reach a large audience very quickly, get feedback on a particular beauty product or brand, and not to mention, how beauty trends are created.

“On the flip side, it’s also made everyone obsessed with being insta-perfect and has made us expect instant gratification. However, we are now seeing people challenge perfection on the platform,…

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