NEW YORK — Veteran nail technician Carolyn Cianciotto thinks she has the manicure business nailed — and she’s prepared to prove it this April when she launches her first product collection.

“I love this industry,” said Cianciotto, who is based here. Cianciotto said that while she works closely with salons, she did not want to open one of her own. She’d rather have salons use her line. “This is a way to have a piece of me everywhere.” With the rollout of her nail care collection, Carolyn New York, Cianciotto plans to make her 25 years of experience available to the masses.

The line attempts to solve problems that Cianciotto has faced during her career. Tired of struggling to open stubborn nail polish bottles, Cianciotto designed “easy grip” tops. Her nail polish brushes are flat, rather than rounded, like those found in most products. Cianciotto believes this small innovation will have a large impact, given that round brushes retain excess polish and can fan out too wide. “The flat brush gives more control and better application, and the polish won’t leak into the cuticle,” she said.

Cianciotto spent three years on the formula, but insists that the time was well spent creating a high-quality product. The formulas do not contain dibasic acid — a chemical commonly found in nail polish — which, according to Cianciotto, may cause birth defects.

While running around Manhattan to offer her on-location services to New York’s busiest women, Cianciotto noticed trends among her clients. “Women in the boroughs liked bright, vibrant colors, while Manhattan women used French manicure colors,” she said. The hues in Carolyn New York were developed with these preferences in mind. Shade names are inspired by New York City landmarks ­— Times Square, Lincoln Center and Fashion Avenue Pink. Cianciotto feels the colors embody the “spirit and flavor” of each neighborhood. Packaging will feature a consumer guide explaining color specifics, including a description of which skin tones each polish best complements, as well as a list of other colors with which the polish can be mixed. The polishes will retail for $12 each.

Carolyn New York will offer cuticle oils in three formulations: lavender, citrus and almond. The oils will retail for $14 and contain jojoba and apricot kernel oils and Vitamin E, all of which are said to moisturize and nourish the cuticle.

This story first appeared in the March 3, 2006 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

To get the word out about her new brand, the manicurist is taking a grass-roots approach. “I’ve literally been walking door to door. I’m doing manicures and explaining the products to people,” said Cianciotto. To increase the buzz around Carolyn New York, Cianciotto is planning a soiree for early April at Manhattan’s swank Hotel Gansevoort.

Cianciotto estimates that in its first year, Carolyn New York will generate roughly $1.4 million in sales. Her future plans include 20 additional colors, a hand cream and a body wash. The collection, will be available this spring at Manhattan Color Studio, New York spas and salons, and online at

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