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Trips alongside her mom to the salon are what sparked Liz Holten’s desire to become a nail technician. “The manicurists got to gab and talk and play all day like little girls and got paid,” she says. At 18, Liz got the opportunity to pursue the career she dreamed of as a child. A stint in a London salon allowed her to hone her trade in one of the world’s trendiest cities, but, intrigued by the increasing popularity of the celebrity manicurist, she made her way back to California.
Through e-mail exchanges with Charlize Theron’s personal manicurist, Liz further developed her skill set with firsthand tips on celebrity-grade services, but her clients were not always receptive. “I got a reputation for bringing people back to natural nails because they asked for the celebrity look,” she says. “I would tell them to open a magazine and show me one celebrity with pink and whites and I would give them their next three sets for free.” Liz Holten was the only person to win the bet.
Nail companies mirror her preferences and have recognized Liz for her work with vibrant polish colors instead of long, fake nails. She earned the title of grand master from Creative Nails and continues to refresh her skillset, which now includes her favorite products, Shellac and gel polish. These fresh trends, she says, are what keep her passionate about her career. As trends change, though, Liz does keep one thing constant: her meticulousness when working with clients in her private treatment room at Visage Salon. “You leave when I’m happy,” she says. “If it’s up to the client, they’ll leave even if it’s not perfect, but it’s my work on their fingers, and I want it to be right.”