Call them ongles or uñas, nägel or negle, they’re still nails and they deserve the attention of a skilled professional — no matter where you live. These international techs share what life is like in the nail industry in their slice of the world.
The Green Room NailARTelier
Landsberg OT Zöberitz, Germany
Native Language: German
Time in Profession: 8 years
Is licensing required? To be honest, the German nail industry is not particularly exemplary. Anyone can be a nail tech. There is no education and you do not need to attend a course to open a nail studio. If you want to be trained, you can obtain a certificate in one day. Anyone can describe themselves as an educator. Nevertheless, we do have some great technicians in our country.
What was your training? I was trained in 2003 for five days by Saremco Cosmetics. From 2009 I wanted to learn almost everything and had training with Elena Veretenko, Frank Schäberle, and many more. In 2011, 10 training days with European Masters are planned. In between I am an educator as well.
Nail technicians are called... nageldesigner or nagel stylist.
“Nails” are... nägel.
Most salons are... There are a lot of nail salons (nagelstudios), but more and more hair and skin care salons offer nail services too.
The most popular nail style is... Currently, we love the shape of edge nails and stilettos. Favorite colors are nudes, gray, turquoise, pink, and lilac. The most popular style is One Stroke (folk art).
The most popular services are... In Germany, gel design is still the most popular service. Acrylics have fallen due to negative press. But nail technicians see the possibilities you have with acrylics and customers even ask for them.
What are your specialties? I love stilettos, colorful nails, 3-D designs, and One Stroke nail art.
What are your clients like? Almost everyone gets their nails done. There are so many salons in Germany. Unfortunately, most of them do not impress with their performance, but with price undercutting. Women from 16 to 80 wear “nägel.”
Appointments or walk-ins? Except for so called “Asia Studios” (they call themselves “nails American style”), you have to make an appointment. The consequence of price competition is that a lot of nail techs have a home studio to save money.
Well-known brands? LCN, Wilde Cosmetics, ABC Nailstore, and Nfu.Oh
Are there any major trade shows in your country? The Beauty International in Düsseldorf is the biggest trade fair in Germany; it is not a show. I have to drive 500 km to get there. But we have smaller trade fairs in Hannover, Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Wiesbaden, and Stuttgart. Almost every trade fair has a championship competition. Nail classes are in every town, but I drove up to the Netherlands to be educated by the best.
What are your best educational resources? The most education I got was from ABC Nailstore in Dresden.
Paaws ‘N’ Claaws, The Nail Spa
Native Language: Hindi
Time in Profession: 12 years
Is licensing required? Unfortunately, no. Personally, I went to nail school in the U.S. (Phoenix), but in India, the business of nails is relatively new. Hence, there are no guidelines, no authentic institutions for learning, no process per say for becoming a nail tech. The truth is that some bigger salons hire local native-speaking undereducated and undertrained people and try to teach them the art of doing nails in two weeks. Then, they put them to work immediately in their salons, thus leading to horrible nail disasters and mishaps.
What was your training? I was actually on vacation in Phoenix in 1999. I was 17 years old and had finished my A-levels in India. While I was on this trip with my family, my mom saw an ad in the newspaper for studying nails. She asked me if I wanted to do it and I jumped at it immediately. I always bit my nails as a child and the idea of long beautiful nails was like a dream come true and very exciting for me at 17.
Nail technicians are called... manicurists.
“Nails” are... naaa-khooon (pronunciation).
Most salons are... full service. There are very few nails-only salons — maybe one or two in the entire country.
The most popular nail style is... anything to do with crystals and gold is what Indian women are drawn to any time of the year. But honestly, they try to follow fashion trends in international magazines such as Vogue and Elle.
The most popular services are... natural manicures first, because as I mentioned, there aren’t many nails-only nail salons and the ones that exist offer only limited services due to limited resources (human and educational). On the other hand, with more and more Bollywood celebrities wearing gel French extensions, many women come in asking for those.
What are your specialties? Everything actually, but mainly gels, nail art, and spa treatments. My specialty is an amazing spa manicure I created myself, called the Moisture Manicure. It’s a pampering process, where I immerse my client’s hands in a warm mixture of heavy moisturizing, top-quality imported creams and lotions along with a dash of an indulgent popular perfumed cream instead of regular water. This is followed by a regular manicure and ends with a wrap up to the elbows of the same cream mixture.
What are your clients like? Ages 15-85, the average of my clients being 72. In India, a lot of older middle-aged upper-class businessmen have been brought up with the routine of getting manicures/pedicures to keep clean. Besides them, of course the society ladies, fashion and entertainment industry professionals, models, etc. — mainly well-off and upper middle class. It’s not priced for everyone, due to the lack of product availability here and having to import all the products needed.
Appointments or walk-ins? Appointments are preferred but we do accept walk-ins.
Well-known brands? Right now only OPI and that is only to a segment of society. The general public is aware of a brand we have locally called Lakme.
Are there any major trade shows in your country? Yes, over the past few years a wider segment is being exposed to the nail industry but it’s still mainly trade/beauty shows for hair, makeup, and facial beauty. I’ve been to a couple in my city, but they’re mostly just companies selling cheap nail art kits or manicure implements.
What are your best educational resources? The Internet, foreign friends, and while traveling abroad. Also NAILS Magazine and the OPI website.
Next page: Puerto Rico and France