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In Their Own Words

by Gaëlle Lebrat Personnaz
February 12, 2024
Gaëlle Lebrat Personnaz

Gaëlle Lebrat Personnaz, the Paris-based founder and CEO of Manucurist, is revolutionizing how we care for our hands.

Here, she shares how her family business and her career in the fashion industry led her to launch a green beauty nail-care brand without compromising on results.

Manucurist is actually my mother’s story because she and my father opened a nail salon called Manucurist in Paris in 1996. She also distributed products to professionals in France. Since the beginning, I was there to help her, but for many years I was employed in the luxury industry. I used to work for Saint Laurent, Prada and Louis Vuitton. I took over the family business seven years ago, and I wanted to create a brand rooted in the professional world we came from, but for everyone.  

I saw women having allergies sometimes and having difficulty removing gel nails. It is very complicated. You have to go back to a nail salon, otherwise you can have a very bad experience if you remove it at home. I thought to myself, there must be something in between gel and nail polish—that dries instantly, with none of the bad ingredients that you can find in gel, and that you can remove very easily like regular nail polish, without any acetone. 

So I went to a French chemist with all these asks. And after many years, he came to me with a solution. It was the beginning of the Green Flash formula. He said, “It's not a monomer, it’s a polymer, so it's very safe. And you can remove it very easily without acetone. You can do it in one minute at home by yourself.” I didn’t believe him! After a few weeks, I said let’s try this formula. I instantly saw that I had something new and we launched it in 2019. It’s a good solution for everyone because it's so easy to do it by yourself at home. Everyone here in the company is very, very proud of this innovation. It’s a new way to put colour on your nails. 

My fashion background helps me put a lot of intention into the details of the project. Every woman wants something nice, with nice packaging. I wanted to be effective and to be green as well, which are obviously not the same; they are always fighting each other. We want every woman to recognize herself in the image, in the colour, in the packaging—in every detail. Because I am a feminist, I wanted to bring a clean product to every woman and because I am coming from the fashion world, I wanted to bring something very different to the market. 

This year we launched Active Glow, which is a classic nail polish that’s in between makeup and skincare, but for nails. It gives a very strong glow to your nails and a nice, clean look. You don't need a lamp—it dries very fast. And you don't need the base coat or a top coat. It’s very easy: It’s your nails but better. 


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