Profiles

Careful, That Gun Is Loaded

After eight years as a member of the Detroit Police Department, Pamela Sawyer traded in her weapon for a different sort of gun—an airbrush. Facing an early retirement from the force, Sawyer began to explore other career options. After talking with her niece, a salon owner, she was stunned. “You earn how much?” she asked. “Without having to dodge bullets?” So she did some investigating of the beauty business and discovered that with 450 hours of education, a nail license could be hers. She approached other technicians for tips to supplement her schooling, but found that they were reluctant to part with their secrets. So she learned to sculpt acrylics by watching a Tammy Taylor video over and over. She also learned to airbrush by practicing on her own, often all night long. “When I felt frustrated about things that were happening at the department, I’d get out my airbrush and practice blending my colors. It was a great outlet,” she says. Sawyer began her career as a professional nail technician in 1993, and soon after began working at her niece’s shop, Salon Essence, in Oak Park, III. Two years later, Sawyer was so proficient with her airbrush that she became a teacher herself, producing three how-to videos on airbrushing techniques. She also demonstrates her methods at nail shows. “It’s so exciting,” she says, “People even come up to me and ask for my autograph.”

 

Keywords:   My Other Life     Tammy Taylor Nails  

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