In a mortuary. My client’s mom passed away and she asked me to do her mom’s nails for the funeral. This was many years ago before press-on or full-coverage nails were available so I put a set of acrylic nails on her, polished them red, and painted the names of her nine children on her nails and her and husband’s names on one thumb. Two of her daughters were there doing her makeup and hair. They told me about their mom and we laughed and cried and made her beautiful. It was the most rewarding experience of my career and I would gladly do it again.
Hair-Z-End, Yuma, Ariz.
We train race horses. I’m always having people at the race track ask me if I can do their nails, so during the summer I set up a table outside our tack room at the barn and the clients start coming over. It was odd but quite nice to be outside.
Get Nailed, Los Luna’s, N.M.
One of my clients was going to a wedding that was taking place on an island. Because of her very busy schedule she didn’t have time to have her nails done in advance, so she paid for my tickets and I did her nails on the ferry on the way to the wedding. We had to go out on the deck for the pedicure so that we didn’t bother anybody. I got booked by two girls who were working on the ferry to do their nails on my way back!
In the Swedish royal family castle called Drottningholm.
Best of Nails Sweden, Stockholm
This past summer I painted nails at a soccer field for opening day festivities of a local soccer club. Sure I mostly painted little girls’ (and boys’!) nails, but it was fun and I got to be outdoors.
Body, Skin & Nails by Karyn, Roseville, Calif.
At a night club during a concert. Not in a dressing room but at a table out with all the party people. It was awesome and interesting.
Manicurist -n- Motion, Houston
When I was fairly new I had a client pass away and her husband asked me to go to the funeral home to make sure her nails were presentable as she would be mortified if not. I did not actually use my gel but I did buff and put color on her nails. I tip my hat to those who do this every day. By the way, I will never do that again — it was too weird.
Nails Hands Feet and Toes, Winnemucca, Nev.
I had a client who had ALS and was bed-bound. I would go over to her house and give her manicures, pedicures, and even color and cuts from her hospital bed. Yes, it was difficult, but it’s so rewarding to make someone feel good. One thing she always felt good about was getting compliments on her nails.
The Studio for Hair, Farmington Hills, Mich.
In a car dealership. The sales lady was complaining about working such long hours that she never had a chance to get refills. I had all my supplies in my car so we set up a table in the service department after hours and did a beautiful set of Christmas nails.
Shears Salon, Brookhaven, Miss.
In an RV. My husband’s ham radio club was having an all-night contest on their radios, so I set up in the RV and did manis and pedis for all the wives. It was a great time of bonding for all the ladies.
Laurie Dale Mills
Laurie’s Place, Livingston, Texas
The Walmart parking lot. My client was scheduled for an unexpected surgery the next morning, and the shop I worked in at the time was already closed for the night. We met in the parking lot at midnight under a street lamp to remove her acrylics.
Castle Nails, Ruston, La., New Image Salon, Arcadia, La.
Sitting on a pillow on a concrete patio floor of a hotel room at The W Hotel. I completed a few runway models’ nails and toes before the Hair Wars show using a TV tray as a table to do nails and a pillow to sit on the concrete patio to do polish and foil art on toes.
Joy Of Nails, Glendale, Ariz.