Modern Muses - Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky2022-01-13
The beauty industry is all about aesthetics—and two sets of sharp eyes are certainly better than one. It's only one of the reasons friends-turned-business-partners Nadine Abramcyk, left, and Adair Ilyinsky have created such a success with Tenoverten, a sleek New York City salon and namesake brand known for well-manicured perfection (its tagline? "Less is more.").
From the high-gloss veneer of the polish jobs they're known for to the product itself—a line of vegan, cruelty-free polishes made without the industry's most noxious ingredients—there's no ignoring the fact that a great manicure is about so much more than your nails. It's punctuation for well-honed personal style.
"Great style is something that comes from within," Nadine explains. "It's a feeling and sometimes an impulse, but it has to be authentic or else it falls flat. We've been drawn to create this specific aesthetic and style around Tenoverten because it embodies our inspiration for places we want to go ourselves or products we would like to have for ourselves."
Like any business-owners, the past few years have brought challenges, lessons, and silver linings—especially as pioneers in the luxury beauty business.
"There's been a much greater demand for luxury beauty products, [even] while we've all moved to more comfortable, casual clothing," Adair shared. "We've all elevated our self-care routines, and a beautiful beauty product gives us that little bit of high style that we crave, especially in challenging times."
"Now more than ever the phrase 'less is more' feels like the most comfortable lane to be driving in," Nadine added. Our attention has been pulled to other things, and I think we've all pared back our style in many areas of our lives."
When asked about the biggest business lesson they've learned recently, both offered up the same immediate thought: Resilience.
"Just as in life, there are always ups and downs in business. This big picture view has helped us not only celebrate the highs but avoid getting too down when there's a low. I believe that a big part of being successful is resilience; just getting back up time and again after being knocked down," said Adair.
"It's highly unpredictable," added Nadine. "While it's nice to set goals for yourself, leaning into flexibility will help you explore further than you might have imagined."
Now, a look at the duo's current favorites.
Shoe for day:
The Penny in Chocolate Suede—NA
"The Pointe in Saddle Nappa, but I'm really admiring Nadine's Penny, so I think I have to order those for myself as a post-holiday treat..."—AI
Shoe for night:
The Mule in Rust Velvet—NA
"I'm really tall, so I rarely wear heels, even for evening. I love The Mary Jane in Black Velvet for evening or day-into-night."—AI
"Elin Kling is my latest style muse. I am enamored with her brand Totême and what she has created."—AI
Bedside table must:
"A good book. I'm currently reading Klara and The Sun."—NA
"Our heavy hand and foot cream, The Cocoon. I forget to use it unless I keep it on my bedside table, and during these winter months with our drying heat on blast, I really need to use it daily."—AI
"MD Paper for legal-size blocks I leave on my desk and write all my call notes down on; and then these amazing Project Planner books from Poketo. I just love the colors they come in—clay is my favorite."—NA
"Can't beat the simple elegance of Crane & Co. personalized stationery."—NA
"My monogrammed stationery is from The Printery, a small shop that is a century old and family-owned. It is a splurge, but they have a post-holiday sale on custom designs. For non-monogrammed, the bordered correspondence cards from Smythson are very useful and simple."—AI
Organization to support:
"ROAR in support of NYC restaurant workers who have faced incredible hardship in the face of the pandemic. My husband is a restaurant owner so their mission is near to my heart. I'm in awe of their advocacy work."—NA
"I volunteer my time for a wonderful organization called the Go Project. Go levels the playing field for under-resourced students in New York City who are performing below grade level at the earliest stages of development by offering year-round, out-of-school student and family support programs. The organization manages to serve 700 public school students in grades K-8 from more than 40 public schools in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn."—AI
Place to travel to:
"It's not super original, but my husband is a Francophile and speaks French, so Paris is our favorite destination. We've had plans to take our girls for their first trip to Paris that have sadly been rescheduled now twice. More locally, we spend a lot of time in Great Barrington, MA, where we ski at Catamount Mountain and enjoy all of the funky local eateries and shops."—AI
Way to unplug:
"A hot bath filled with epsom salts and a good book; for a splurge, treating myself to a lymphatic drainage massage."—NA
"I wish I were a bath person, but I'm just not. My routine to decompress is to take a nice hot shower, get into my cozy Weezie robe and read a book in bed. I like to put a few drops of Dram Sweetgrass Adaptogenic CBD Drops into a cup of hot tea."—AI
"Spring Cafe Aspen is my all time favorite lunch spot. It's all plant-based and beyond delicious. It's like eating my dream meal each time I go."—NA
"I spend a lot of time at our FiDi salon on Fulton Street. It's a gorgeous space that Nadine designed and doubles as our office. Meetings or cocktails over manicures is sort of our way of life!"—AI
"Mezcal on the rocks with a slice of orange. Never stray from that."—NA
"I always drink Champagne cocktails, and my husband's family makes my favorite, which they call a de Guigné. It's champagne on ice with a twist of orange peel."—AI
"The obvious of more sleep and more water at all times, but I also top that off that inner hydration by hydrating from the outside in as well. I moisturize constantly and don't believe good skincare stops at your face. I am obsessed with The Cocoon which is our Tenoverten intensive cream that I slather all over my hands, arms, feet, and legs."—NA
"My secret to youthful hands is pairing our The Age-Defying Hand Serum, which is a restorative hand treatment, with The Heroine, our brightening daily hand lotion with hyaluronic acid. I've seen such a difference in the look and feel of my hands since religiously using both products—even my sunspots have faded a ton!"—AI
"I am a master salad maker. It sounds silly, but it really is my favorite dish and I love to experiment with new salad groupings. Maybe I will start a salad bar in my next life, ha! But seriously, I love nothing more than converting a non-salad eater into a lover of salads. There is nothing more nourishing to your body than starting each meal with a bowl of delightful leafy greens of course dressed up in a personalized manner."—NA
"The cheesecake recipe passed down from my mother. The secret is that the recipe calls for beating the batter for a full 20 minutes at high speed, which is like a mini workout and gives the cheesecake an incredibly light texture. I always volunteer to bring dessert to a dinner party!"—AI
"Currently 'The Lost Daughter'; an oldie is 'Amadeus.'"—NA
"One of the best movies I've seen somewhat recently was 'Promising Young Woman'. I also just rewatched the original 'The Parent Trap' starring Hayley Mills with my daughters and it was as good as I remembered!"—IA
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