Tamara Di Lullo
What country are you from and where do you live?
I was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec Canada to Italian and German parents.
Title of what you do and what company you work with?
Owner Candy Nail Bar, Education Ambassador CND, Editorial Nail Artist represented by FOLIO Montreal, Senior Educator Candy College.
Education background (Hair school, salons, self taught)?
I started out self-taught then got certified with several different nail brands over the years. CND grand master at the CND North American Bootcamp in San Diego in 2017. I took a variety of nail art classes with nail masters in Hong Kong when I lived there before opening my salon. I also have graduated from Lasalle college in Fashion design and studied Studio Arts at Concordia University.
What is your signature style/artistic expression to your work?
I am known for my crazy detailed and often very colorful nail art inspired by street-art.
Do you have a career turning point or big break that has helped your career?
I met Jan Arnold and was able to show her my work – she quickly exclaimed I wasn’t just a nail artist but a true artist! I was asked to submit nail art templates for fashion week shortly after. Jan’s belief in me really catapulted my career and allowed me to do the CND design lab at NYFW and have my work featured in CND global campaigns. I am especially proud of my graffiti nails for the Prismatic campaign because they were personally very MY STYLE.
What was your scariest and proudest moment in your career?
I almost passed out when I was told that I was requested to do Jan Arnolds nails a few years back! I was sooooo nervous but super stoked! We did super bright Keith Haring nails and had so much fun together. I’ll never forget that moment. I gotta say it was even more important to me than doing some of the super big celebs I have worked with because I respect her so much.
What is next for your career goals?
More education. The pandemic gave me the push I needed to finally launch an educational division of Candy Nail Bar called Candy College. My commitment is to offer quality pro education in the Montreal region that is cost effective and efficient. I see too many newly graduated techs coming in looking for employment that lack the practice and confidence to begin their careers and so after years of training my own staff (many of whom went on to become award-winning techs) I have decided to focus on training and mentoring passionate future nail techs. I am also making some completely digital ateliers open to all. My CND Cocktail Couture themed online class is called Cocktails with Tamara and launched in the last week of October for the holiday season. I wanted to highlight the fact that as a Canadian CND education Ambassador how proud I am to have created the feature nail art for this CND Holiday Campaign (yes, the sexy stiletto green ones).
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your business?
To make sure you get the fundamentals of nails out of the way before going cray! It’s so important to learn the basics because no matter how beautiful your art you need to has to be durable for your client. I was also self-taught for a long time (and this is way before YouTube) because I was trying to learn techniques which were not popular in North America yet. I pushed to load my toolbelt with technical skills to back up my artistry.
It’s important to be patient. Many new Nail Techs get very desperate in the beginning because it takes a long time to develop your skills and your clientele! When it becomes economically tough (low periods) many people give up. You have to be willing to put in lots of work on your skill and your interpersonal relationships to gain loyalty. Don’t give up. Use your down time to develop new skills that can wow your existing clients and attract new ones!