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One Week of Winter Fanciness with the Founders of Tenoverten

Welcome to Beauty Diary: Seven days of getting glam with an industry insider. From publicists to professional makeup artists, this is a week in the life of someone who lives and breathes beauty.

Nadine (left) and Adair.
Nadine (left) and Adair.

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One of the city's go-to nail salons for capital-c Cool Girls, Tenoverten, didn't just get that way by accident: It was created with every tiny detail in mind, from the general vibe (it's the apartment you wish you lived in), to the types of products used (no formaldehyde here), and the level of customer service (there's an iPad at every station) by Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky, two Tribecans frustrated with the standard one-experience-fits-all approach to manicures and pedicures. After opening up the Tenoverten flagship in their neighborhood in 2011, they've  since added salons at Le Parker Meridian Hotel and a third location in Soho.

Naturally, women this entrenched in the world of beauty have a few secrets to share, whether in product recs (Adair swears by Rahua haircare), their favorite healthy West Village cafés, or the unassuming dry cleaner that's worth the subway ride. For one week in February, we followed Adair and Nadine as they test out their favorite new Tenoverten colors, brave the frightening world of natural deodorant, have a winter weekend in the Hamptons, and how they (somehow!) manage to get a table at the Polo Bar.


Adair: I live in a building with a Whole Foods (I know, so spoiled) and they just added a juice bar, which has made our proximity even more of a luxury. They will custom blend any juice for you from a long list of ingredients and no one has to know I have my pajamas on under my coat!

Nadine: Another day, another pedicure in my latest favorite Tenoverten color called Mulberry. It is the perfect winter color and complements most skin tones. Kate Hudson even wore this shade to the Michael Kors show this NYFW!

Adair: Since I'm pregnant, I have been going to a pre-natal yoga class at Kula Yoga Project in Tribeca. It's more of a 'restorative' practice (aka not even close to breaking a sweat), so I leave feeling so much calmer and more grounded. I also manage to shop even there as they have a lot of great yoga gear, including some amazing essential oils by Hope Gillerman.

Nadine: I made an afternoon pit stop to pick up a few gifts at The Apartment in Soho which is led by Vanessa Traina and set up as someone's home so you literally could purchase anything that is in the store. I want everything in their bathroom, it's SO good.

Adair: I'm not sure what I would do if I hadn't met Jeff. He did my hair for my wedding three and a half years ago and I have seen him religiously for cuts since. In fact, he cuts the hair of all of the women in my family now. He just collaborated on a new haircare line with Birchbox called Parlor. Congrats Jeff!


Nadine: Laurie Cole's class on Tuesdays at 9:30AM at Soul Cycle in Tribeca will leave you enlightened and dripping. She's incredible and worth seeking out if you are an SC fan like I am. Here's my view from the bike.

Adair: My husband is pretty low frills when it comes to beauty and grooming, but he swears by this Calendula extract toner by Kiehl's (it's alcohol free). He buys the big 17 ounce bottle but still manages to go through it really quickly so we have it on auto-replenish from the Kiehl's website, a great e-commerce feature!

Nadine: The Shabui spa at the Greenwich Hotel must be the most relaxing hideaway in all of Manhattan. This is my view sitting poolside under the thatched Japanese hut after a massage with a delicious cup of hot green tea to recharge for a busy afternoon ahead. What an incredible way to celebrate my dear friend's birthday!

Adair: A family friend, Ali Cayne, founded this amazing culinary space. She restored a gorgeous townhouse in Chelsea and they have two floors for private dinners and events, and the bottom floor has a lovely coffee shop and retail area. I stop by when I'm in the neighborhood for a coffee and to grab a bag of their famous granola that they make in-house.

Nadine: Finishing off the day by toasting our wonderful friends Stephy and Kate of The Editorialist at Beautique for New York Fashion Week. Everyone was wearing sky high heels despite all of the snow on the ground, aside from me of course.

Adair: It's always interesting for us to see which of our polishes are selling best at Sephora. Right now the Foundation (our basecoat) and the Shield (our topcoat) are bestsellers, and neutrals like Jane, Houston and Mulberry are perennial favorites. Their splatter floors are fun... and I'm assuming very practical!


Nadine: On my way uptown to Hearst Towers for a meeting and applying some Lipstick Queen in the cab. I am always in a mad dash to get out of the door in the morning with two young kids at home so have to multitask. I'm loving this lip color with my Tenoverten manicure in Orchard. Winter reds are so rich looking!

Adair: Since I had my daughter Esme, I am much more conscious of what I put on my own skin and of course hers. While it's pricey, I really like the California Baby line as it's certified organic/FDA registered and I find myself pillaging her medicine cabinet when I need something for moi.

Nadine: Thrilled to be a part of the Redbook Mag MVP product judging team. There are so many incredible products out there to consider. Tough decisions ahead!

Adair: There is an adorable Nourish outpost in the West Village, but they are mostly known for their delicious and healthy catering. We have used them both at the salon and personally, and I've never gotten so much feedback about a caterer before. After a party, I always receive multiple emails from guests asking who did the food??!! They also stock a small offering of lesser known beauty products, so I like to discover new brands there.

Nadine: My first time eating at Ralph Lauren's new restaurant The Polo Bar. Classic American fare with incredible people watching. This seems like the place to be this Fashion Week.

Adair: Even though I moved to Tribeca from the West Village four years ago, I still take my dry cleaning to Jerri's Cleaners on 6th Avenue and W. 10th Street. My husband thinks I am a little crazy but they put so much care into how they handle clothes. What the Leather Spa is to handbags and shoes, Jerri's is to clothing.


Adair: I always forget what a good apothecary section ABC Carpet has. I'll go in to scout some furniture purchase and come out with a bag full of beauty finds. All of their lines have a natural bent and I'm particularly fond of the Kahina argon oil line.

Nadine: Another day, another tenoverten manicure. This time I am testing out the new Christian Louboutin shades. Check out the brush handle. I was impressed at my technician's finesse in handling the long stiletto.

Adair: There's a reason this hand cream is so popular. There's something about it that makes it extremely hydrating without being greasy. L'Occitane claims that one Shea Butter Hand Cream is sold every three second somewhere in the world. Could that be true??

Nadine: Mid day dash to Ikea for some items for the salons. Mixing high end Givenchy with Ikea straw poufs never looked so good.

Adair: Sole is one of our amazing eyebrow specialists and she works at both our Tribeca and Parker Meridien (only on Thursdays) locations. We prefer a natural brow at Tenoverten and I love how I feel clean and polished after being in Sole's hands, but not overly shaped.

Nadine: Enjoying a lovely dinner at Navy restaurant on Sullivan St in Soho. The food is so delicious and the ambiance perfect for a cold winter's night.


Nadine: Starting off the day right by sweating it out at the incredible Taryn Toomey's the class. This woman does wonders for my state of mind. I feel incredibly grateful to know her and have found her class to keep me clear in chaotic NYC.

Nadine: Midday PR meeting with our favorite ladies from Project MM where we are planning some exciting things for Tenoverten in 2015. And of course we started celebrating Valentine's Day one day early—there's always a good excuse to have a cupcake, isn't there?

Adair: I think Nadine originally turned me on to the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. They are moisturizing, especially in winter months, and have just the right amount of color. They keep introducing new tints, so I keep buying more.

Adair: I think Journelle has a great business model and mission. Similar to what we hoped to achieve with tenoverten, Journelle elevated a subpar customer service experience. I love how they have a robe in the changing rooms in case you have to swap out a different size or grab something else, and such a knowledgable sales staff.

Nadine: A peaceful night at home tonight with 2 of my favorites, a body brush that I use before showering to slough off the winter's dullness from my skin and the incredible T3 hairdryer. I have never met a dryer that is so fast, I am impressed each time I use it!

Adair: Mommy and me Mason Pearson brushes. I had the same pink version when I was a little girl and my mom first discovered the brand when her roommate had a coveted Mason Pearson brush in boarding school. My hair is so thick that I have to get the style with nylon bristles along with the natural boar. The company has been around since the 1800's so I guess they are doing something right.


Adair: Rahua is one of my favorite natural haircare lines. I find both the shampoo and conditioner to be very light and they don't weigh my hair down. I'm intrigued by their brand story of how Amazonian women have been using Rahua oil in their hair for centuries for it's restorative properties.

Nadine: Packing a light slew of my favorite winter beauty products. Here's a peek into my not so neat cosmetic bag. Never leave home without your eyelash curler ladies.

Nadine: Driving out to Southampton for the weekend and of course have my driving beauty essentials on the road with me. A mini pack of Kleenex BeautyCounter Lip Conditioner. I pull this out to apply at least a dozen times a day, but am pretty much obsessed with everything in their line.

Adair: Fortunately there is a Stumptown near the Soho salon and I love to stop in for a decaf skim latte, but also to be inspired by the design and vibe of the space.

Adair: There is a lovely florist called Spina on Macdougal Street.  Not only are their arrangements gorgeous, but they have a nice selection of hostess gifts like topiaries and succulents.

Nadine: My valentine surprises me at the door with my favorite, white roses. I love my husband!


Nadine: The overnight snow storm left it's mark and we cannot wait until the sun comes out so we can bundle up and go play in it. My kids love making snowmen and being pulled around on the sled so thankfully the snow provides for hours of entertainment.

Nadine: A little mid day sweat at the Tracy Anderson studio. The snow didn't stop anyone from turning out and they shoveled a path right up to the door. Whoa, I was definitely sore after this one.

Adair: Soapwalla is the first natural deodorant I found that really works. We can barely keep it in stock at the salons and I've converted my whole family. Rachel, the Soapwalla Kitchen founder, came to Tenoverten to train our staff on her line and she explained that after being diagnosed with lupus, she went on a mission to make products—including an effective deodorant—that didn't irritate her sensitive skin. I admire that she took her health into her own hands and as she says, "necessity is the mother of invention."

Nadine: Keeping it cozy by the fire tonight. I cannot get enough of the warmth and smell coming from a fire. But of course we have our sea shells on top of the mantle to just remind us that summer is always nearby.