Many of our favorite things hail from across the pond—the Spice Girls, gelato, H&M—and we’re adding one more to the list: Gala Gonzalez. If you live stateside, you may not have heard of her (yet), but she’s fashion royalty in her native Spain. The niece of designer Adolfo Dominguez (who is regularly referred to as the Spanish Michael Kors), she became a bona fide “It” girl when she launched her style blog Amlul.com back in 2007. The online superstar now calls London home, and her projects run the gamut from modeling to styling to most recently…drumroll please…designing a collection of nail polishes exclusively for Birchbox! The limited-edition Gala’s Gems set includes four on-trend shades inspired by spring and her heritage. Find out more about her long-lasting polish trick, what she means by “grandma cool,” and the one product she won’t travel without:
What was the inspiration for Gala’s Gems?
These are spring polishes and when I think about spring, I always think about color, candies, and pastels. I wanted to express that kind of happiness through these colors. I chose a pearl finish, which reminds me of my grandmother. She would wear that sort of polish in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when it was popular. I wanted to create an updated version that’s really rich and opaque—to make grandma cool in a way.
Why did you choose to create these four colors?
Green is my favorite color so that had to be included for sure. I tend to go for darker shades, but when I think about spring and summer, I think of emeralds. So I wanted to create an emerald pearl. I named it Breakfast At… because, we noticed that it was similar to the iconic packaging of Tiffany’s.
It’s quite difficult to find a gold that isn’t very tacky, so I wanted to do one that’s very chic and subtler. The pearl finish on Gold Struck softens it and makes it look retro.
Heirloom Pearls is definitely the key color of the whole collection. It’s such a rich texture because I was so picky about the formula. The coverage is amazing, you just need one layer. To create a white that’s not clean, but still looks expensive and rich is a very difficult thing.
Aquamarine-Azulino is the most different. It’s actually quite difficult to pull off blue nails, but I think with this pearly finish, it makes it a lot of fun. This polish has a bit of a sparkle, which softens the color and makes it more sophisticated.
What’s your best beauty trick?
It’s funny, I actually store all my nail polish in my fridge. When my guy friends come over and they open the fridge to get a can of beer, they say, “What the heck is this?” I tell them it’s my nail polish station. Storing them in the cold helps the polish last longer. When you take them out to use, you have to warm them up for a minute first.
Benefit’s They’re Real. It really enhances your lashes. Yesterday my friend, who never notices anything, asked me if I was wearing fake lashes when I had it on. It’s affordable, it works, and it doesn’t dry out as quickly as my other mascaras.
If you weren’t in fashion, what would you be doing?
I wanted to be a hairdresser when I was a kid. I gave that dream up, but I still like to do other people’s hair. Of course I wanted to be a singer at one point, but I sing so badly that I’ve sort of given up on that idea. I could also never do a live gig.
Who are your style icons?
I have quite a lot of them. My ultimate one is Anita Pallenberg. I think she has inspired so many generations and she was the first “It” girl of her time before that concept was even created.
What’s your travel must-have?
I’m obsessed with taking my own conditioner because the ones in hotels are terrible. I always travel with John Frieda or Toni&Guy. And I love surf spray. You can put it on your roots and it gives you that sort of messy-cool hair and extra volume.