December 29, 2020: Celebrity manicurist Lisa Kon started doing nails around eight years ago while studying at Tver State University in Russia. Now, within a decade, she caters to the likes of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Hailey Bieber, and most frequently, Kendall Jenner. The 25-year-old supermodel frequently takes to Instagram to credit the nail artist for her freshly painted, abstract nail art—brought to life thanks to Kon’s Russian manicure technique.
Russian native Kon and her husband moved to Los Angeles just four years ago. Upon arrival, the beauty expert wasted no time, opening her home to clients almost immediately. “Very quickly, there were more people who wanted to book services than I could accept,” Kon tells GRAZIA. On July 1, 2019, she opened Lisa Kon Lab, her first private studio on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood, California.
But after moving to the States, Kon realized that she was going to have to innovate to meet her product and technique standards. “The materials and the technique of the work of local nail artists are very different from the quality in Russia.” She and her husband discussed the idea of creating her own product line, and six months later—in the summer of 2018—Kon unveiled her first collection of LK Gel Polish. Now, her line includes everything a nail professional could need, from prep and polish to drill bits and aftercare.
Kon tells GRAZIA that the Russian manicure is especially notable for its “cleanliness and accuracy.” It also takes more time—not 30 to 40 minutes, like in a traditional American place, but one to two hours.” The process consists of “deep cuticle work, alignment of the nail bed, and perfect color application under the cuticle.”
To promote her private studio’s expertise, the expert has #russianmanicurelosangeles in her Instagram bio, as well as a note that reads, “Probably the best nails in California.” She’s confident about her work, and rightfully so; a brief scroll through her feed will help you understand why. “I take macro photos to show how perfect it is,” she adds, adding that her team agonizes over achieving the “perfect shape, ideal reflection, and clean lines.” She compares her salon’s finished product to that of jewelry.
All things considered, it’s no major surprise that Kendall came across Kon’s work on social media and ended up in her salon chair. “One of my clients is a very talented and famous photographer Sasha Samsonova, who works with the Kardashian family,” Kon explains. “About a year ago, I did a manicure design for Sasha. Kendall and Kylie saw that design on the set of Sasha and asked her for my contacts. A few days later, Kendall’s agent contacted me and asked for a house call.”
As for what’s next for Kon, we can only wait and see, but we expect her follower count to grow exponentially. Hit “play” on the video below to get a feel for the Russian manicure.