“What works for me is doing the polished hand first,” veteran competitor John Hauk says.
John Hauk, owner of Belle A’Rever in Centerville, Ohio, and NAILS’ 2002 top competitor, has seen even the most self- assured nail techs lose their cool when the pressure is on.
“They’ve practiced at home and do great because they are in a relaxed environment. Once they get into the competition arena — boom — they get nervous and stressed. When they pick up the brush, their hand is shaking,” says Hauk. “Next, they spend 90 minutes working on the unpolished hand, then only have 30 minutes left to finish the polished one.” Through experimenting, Hauk has solved this dilemma. “What works for me is doing the polished hand first,” he says. “This allows me to warm up and get any jitters out. Besides, the polished hand isn’t put under the microscope nearly as much as the unpolished one,” he adds.