How the tenoverten trio of female founders came together to reinvent the
traditional nail salon experience.
Written By JAYME CYK
VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. Here, we talk to the tenoverten founder trio.
Each founder of tenoverten, the nontoxic salon and nail care collection, comes to the table with a distinct background and business acumen. Nadine Abramcyk ran a women’s boutique and is decisive and quick to move onto the next thing; Adair Ilyinsky worked in finance at Coach and is deliberate and super detail-oriented; and Jaclyn Ferber comes from fashion production and is creative and broad-thinking. “The common thread was that we loved having our nails done together and we felt the experience could be elevated in so many ways,” says Abramcyk. “We created tenoverten to fill the need for a neighborhood nail salon that delivered on all fronts.”
Tenoverten opened its doors in Tribeca in December 2010, and revealed a collection of nail essentials two years later. The founders were on a mission to create a safe and serene environment (think: minimalist decor, muted tones, and streamlined interiors) in which women can get their nails done with fewer toxic products, increased ventilation, and top-notch sanitization practices. “We are hyperfocused on being innovative in a field that is historically laden with exposure to chemicals that can be harmful to our bodies,” says Abramcyk. “Over the past eight years we’ve used our six salons as labs to create nontoxic products that perform on a professional level.”
With six locations on the east and west coasts and a range of 40 shades and six nail care products to boot, tenoverten is continually evolving. “We are launching six new nontoxic nail care products and eight new shades this year,” says Abramcyk. “We’ll continue to unveil innovative product that is a much better alternative to what’s already on the shelves. There’s no point in re-creating the wheel, so most of these products are the first of their kind. We’ll also be expanding our service business with more locations on both coasts.”
Naturally, as a trio of strong women at the helm, Abramcyk, Ilyinsky, and Ferber feel that being a female founder is uniquely empowering in any industry. They have noted, however, that in beauty there is no end to the support from fellow founders. “The women we’ve met through the industry find strength in rising together, and it’s an incredible time for us all,” says Abramcyk. “We believe in staying focused on what you are passionate about. Don’t be distracted by the trends. We are thankful every day that we never jumped on the gel mani train!”
What is the atmosphere of your bedroom?
N.A.: My bedroom is minimalist and serene. There isn’t too much color, and I have completely pure white bed linens and white blackout shades.
A.I.: My bedroom is layered with my favorite treasures—a portrait of my great-grandmother in the original gold embellished frame, a Josef Albers print my father gave me, art from the kids, and wedding pictures. I love color and print. I’m not a minimalist like Nadine! But I appreciate that look too.
J.F.: My bedroom is very peaceful. It’s mostly all white with a few neutrals for contrast. We have beautiful natural light in our bedroom, and the walls are French doors and glass. It really is my sanctuary.
N.A.: I am completely obsessed with my mattress. I bought a Duxiana mattress more than 10 years ago and it was a huge investment. My dad convinced me to splurge on that instead of a couch because we spend a third of our lives in bed. I also love my Kassatex bedding. I truly look forward to getting into bed each night.
A.I.: My bed frame is upholstered in my favorite color. It’s a bit silly, but it’s a hard color to describe so when making decor decisions, I refer to a Postalco notebook in light blue because it’s the perfect shade. My headboard is outlined in brass nail heads, and I have crisp Matouk sheets in one of their signature styles. I like a classic feel.
J.F.: We have a tall natural linen tufted bed with all-white bedding. My favorite thing is that it feels cozy and happy. We have lots of family movie hangs in our bed.
N.A.: 7 a.m.
A.I.: Unfortunately, our 5-year-old wakes us up pretty consistently at 5:40 a.m.
J.F.: Around 6:30 a.m.
How many hours of sleep do you require?
N.A.: Around seven to eight.
A.I.: Since I was a kid, I’ve required eight to ten, but I’m certainly not getting it!
J.F.: I’m a sleeper, for sure, so about seven to eight.
Any bedside beauty essentials?
A.I.: I keep a Lord Jones tincture in peppermint, along with the True Botanicals Moisture Lip Balm that I got in my last Sun & Moon box. I also keep Naturopathica Chill Aromatic Alchemy next to my bed.
J.F.: Tenoverten Rose Cuticle Oil and the new Restorative Hand Cream we’ve been developing. I also have water, Nucifera The Balm, and the Lord Jones CBD Lotion or their tincture to help with aches and pain or stress!
Do you drink coffee or tea, eat breakfast?
N.A.: Celery juice, coffee, and a green smoothie or grain-free granola—in that order.
A.I.: I drink only decaf lattes. I’m not a caffeine person, but I enjoy the ritual and soothing warmth. I know I shouldn’t, but I usually skip breakfast, although recently we’ve been making a lot of smoothies for my daughters, so I’ll have whatever’s left over. I also take Herbalore Catalyst Gold supplements in the a.m.
J.F.: I drink an almond milk latte in the morning, and at night I usually have a detox or calm tea to wind down. I’ve always been terrible about eating breakfast, so I try to at least get a shake in, which is usually a Clean program shake by Dr. Junger.
N.A.: Yes, otherwise I won’t do it. I aim for three to four times a week.
A.I.: I’m an oddball who enjoys working out in the late afternoon. I have too much on my mind in the morning to throw myself into a workout, so I prefer to meet my trainer or go to a class in the late afternoon when I (hopefully) feel like I’ve accomplished a lot for the day and can clear my mind a bit.
J.F.: Yes! Working out has always been a big part of my physical and mental routine. It serves me equally on both fronts. I’m a huge fan of LEKfit and hot yoga or SoulCycle.
What is your morning skincare regimen?
N.A.: I don’t wash my face in the morning. I simply splash water on my face and then apply Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum on damp skin. I let that rest as I go about my morning at home, and then apply Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Broad Spectrum SPF 30 before heading out for the day.
A.I.: I wash my face with One Love Beauty Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil, spray my face with the True Botanicals Nutrient Mist, and then apply their Pure Radiance Oil. Before I leave the house, I use Image PREVENTION+ Daily Ultimate Protection Moisturizer SPF 50 and Supergoop Eye Cream with Oat Peptides.
J.F.: I always drink a big glass of water before I do anything. Then I wash my face with a Susanne Kaufmann cleanser or one from Osea. Then I use the Biologique Recherche Eau Micellaire Biosensible and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum or Osea Cream applied with a two- to three-minute facial massage. And of course, Supergoop! sunscreen, always.
What makeup products do you use on a daily basis?
A.I.: I’m pretty minimal when it comes to makeup. I rotate between Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Blossoming and RMS Lip2Cheek in Demure. Then I’ll throw the Olio E Osso balm in my bag in No. 2 French Melon. I also use Beautycounter Volumizing Mascara and I can never part with my CHANEL Rouge Allure lipstick in Pirate.
N.A.: I put my hair in a bun in a silk Slip scrunchie overnight. It keeps my mane looking fresh and more voluminous; I just have to brush it out in the morning.
A.I.: I have blunt bangs, so basically I don’t have to deal with my hair. It’s a pain having to get them trimmed every two weeks, but I love Jessica Gillin at Serge Normant so I kind of view it as a social call to see her and a small price to pay for having a low-maintenance style. I use Rahua Shampoo and Classic Conditioner every other day.
J.F.: It’s a struggle. I lost a lot of hair after I had my son, and I’ve had a hard time recovering from it. I tend to wake up with frizzy hair. My girlfriend recently gave me some Slip scrunchies and I bought a Slip pillowcase, which has been a huge help!
What’s the first thing you read each morning?
N.A.: I look at the Weather Channel app first thing to know how the kids should dress. Then I will peruse the New York Times if I have an extra moment to myself between the three kids wanting all my attention first thing.
A.I.: I usually just look at my texts first thing in the morning to make sure nothing burned down while I was sleeping!
J.F.: My email.
N.A.: I skim all the emails that came in overnight and answer the most pressing ones from my phone.
A.I.: School dropoff is usually at 9 a.m., so I’ll scroll through my emails by then, but I try not to get too absorbed until I’ve said goodbye to the girls. I can walk to the office, so I’m usually there before 10 a.m. I can properly dive in then.
J.F.: I address any urgent emails or time-sensitive east coast calls because I’m three hours behind my New York–based partners. And I almost always touch base with our key manufacturers every morning to make sure we’re on track for the day.
N.A.: Typically 10 a.m., but every day is a little different.
A.I.: Usually before 10 a.m.
J.F.: My office is fairly mobile because our headquarters are in New York. I try to spend afternoons in our Culver City location at Platform, and mornings I’m in meetings or working from home. I usually get into full swing after school dropoff and working out around 10 a.m.