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The nail fairy of Goa

Irina Krutik has been a pioneer in the field of nail art and extensions in Goa, with the setting up of Infinity Nails and Beauty Studio in 2011. She has now diversified, offering a wide range of beauty procedures while still nurturing her forte – nail art and design
Danuska Da Gama I NT BUZZ

With over twenty years experience in the beauty industry, Irina Krutik who hails from St Petersburg, Russia didn’t know that she would be bringing her art and talent to India. Seven years ago she set up the Infinity Nail Studio in Baga.
Back then, nail art, extensions and acrylic nails were just terms people would hear, but Irina brought it to common people. Seven years later, not only has her clientele and experience widened, but Irina has grown into the Infinity Nails and Beauty Studio. While she says that initially she thought people in India would like bright colours and shimmer, she was surprised when they would all opt for French manicure, which was a craze then, and still finds favour among a lot of Indians.
“In the beginning I taught three Goan girls and just advertised once. But, word of mouth is what has worked for me since the very beginning and therefore I have been able to bring the latest trends from the nail industry and beauty to Goa,” she says. She says that when nail extensions and nail art were new trends, every other girl who could afford it would want to sport it.
Now she specialises in not just manicure and pedicure, nail extensions and designs but does eyelash extension and curling, modelling of eyebrows and micro-blading. Besides, she also specialises in permanent make-up using the latest technology for eyebrows, eyelids and lips.
The rates vary depending on whom the customer is serviced by – master Olga Reingard; trainee Digna Da Costa who is learning under Irina; the top master. While manicure with gel nail polish costs about Rs 1300, eyelash extension Rs 2500, nail designing using acrylic and gel technologies starting at Rs 1900, designs using paint and sliders start at Rs 100.
While she finds working on manicures and pedicures to be extremely therapeutic, she says that off late eyelash extensions and lamination, and permanent make-up is what she does a lot more, due to the demand.
“Everybody needs to feel beautiful and thus, it’s not just people of my nationality, or foreigners that come to me, but also a lot of Indian tourists and locals. Besides regular clientele, she says that each year the number of people coming to her studio is on a rise,” she says.
While there are many nail art experts in Goa, Irina says that each expert, who has learnt under their master, follows different methods to achieve the same results. However, at Infinity Nails and Studio, she says the methods are more scientific and are also medicinal.
“When you like your job, even if it involves a lot of hard work, you enjoy it. It’s not easy to have concentration and patience, especially when you do microscopic work,” Irina says, before adding that she respects punctuality, but it is not common among people here. This often leads to delays in procedures that involve the use of electric and electronic equipment and high hygiene standards.
With five appointments a day, Irina says, she is generally busy and while there are clients who trust her work and let her do as she pleases, there are those who can be difficult. “When it comes to nail art, customers get confused when they see so many colours and designs and can’t make up their mind. For sure I advise, but I rely on their decision to go ahead,” she says.
When she’s not immersed in her nail art and beauty therapies, Irina loves heading to South Goa for some relaxation or can be found in her kitchen preparing sushi. She concludes saying that while attitude for work is important, it is the trust she values more.

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