You’ve heard the stats about how few people stick to their new year’s resolutions, but we spoke to Sandy Borges, the Global Ambassador and Director of Education for Artistic Nail Design, to get a list of resolutions that you’ll want to keep.  Based in Nampa, Idaho, Borges has been licensed since 1999, and she has worked with a variety of nail brands in the industry. 

This list includes resolutions she is going to adopt, herself, plus tips she shares with nail technicians to empower them and to build their careers.  Borges has suggestions for artists new to the industry plus those who are more established. Set yourself up for a successful 2022!


Sandy Borges, the Global Ambassador and Director of Education for Artistic Nail Design 

Sandy Borges, the Global Ambassador and Director of Education for Artistic Nail Design

When it Comes to Nail Art

“I have to tell people all the time, even if you only charge a dollar or two, you have to charge for your nail art,” Borges says.

For new nail techs:  “If you’re trying to learn a design, only charge a dollar or so and practice it all week then that can be your nail art special of the week.  You have to make sure you charge for the art, which will also get your clients in the habit of paying for it.   You can give them special surprises, like treating them with something free on their birthday, but that should be the exception not the rule.”  

For seasoned nail techs:  “More established nail techs might believe, hey, I need to practice this new design, anyway, so I won’t charge.  But you are still taking your time and using your materials. There is still a cost involved.”

When it Comes to Career Growth

“Because I’m new in the position, I’m going to try to cement my place to grow Artistic Nail Design as a brand—that’s one of my resolutions,” Borges says.

For new nail techs: “You really have to know your numbers and you need to know how much you’ll need to charge per hour to have a sustainable career.  You have to look at everything you’re putting out—rent, lights, internet, water bills—everything--and not just supplies—and then figure out how much you want to work.  How many hours?  And then figure out how much you need to make per hour to make what you want…and then set your prices accordingly. This gives you a good base line.”

In addition, Borges says newer artists need to uncover their strengths. “Know which services you’re really good at and capitalize on those in the beginning to make up for those services that you’re not quite as good at, yet.” 

For the experienced nail tech:  “Have you raised your prices?  It’s time to re-evaluate; the cost of living goes up every year, so you need to give yourself a raise.  You should think about raising your most-offered services at least a dollar or two.   That’s usually reasonable and clients see the need without freaking out.”

Borges herself is planning to raise her prices. “Everything has gone up because of Covid and supply chain issues. And I’m also going to spend a bit more time looking at what I’m investing for retirement and just increasing that a little bit.”

When it Comes to Services

“Sanitation-wise, I have always been a stickler.  Make sure you are following your State Board rules and if possible, go above and beyond them.  Adopting that standard and making it part of your everyday and every single service will be healthier for everyone.”

When it Comes to Education

“For myself, I definitely want to learn more about social and digital marketing.  I started in the industry when social media wasn’t a thing; word of mouth has built my clientele but I’d like to learn more about filming and editing on my own to do more online education.”

For new nail techs:  “Take structure classes.  Everyone loves taking art, but you need to make sure your application is completely dialed in.  Art will come as your skills get better with application of the products.”

For established nail techs: “Take a look at what services are being requested that you aren’t as confident in and do some education on those particular services and look at potentially adding them.”

When it Comes to Soft Gel Tips

“I think the trend will continue for soft gel tips.  Every one can create a traditional set of nails with them. For new techs, it gives them confidence while they practice those other technologies and for the more experienced it allows them to offer something that is a little less time consuming and still give them the look they want –they can get more people in each day and make more money.” Artistic Nail Design's soft gel tips are called Gel On Xtensions.

When it Comes to New Technology

“I always strive to perfect my skills,” Borges says. “I take several classes a year for different techniques.  I’ve signed up with Elena Maltseva who does online Mixed Media classes and I’m also looking into a Structure Class, which will cover different types of nail shapes with different materials.   Liquid and powder, hard gel, putty, etc. Part of the reason I take classes is not just to learn the new structure but also to see how other people teach it and see if I can find alternate ways to explain and approach it.”

For Gel Painting she is taking an online class with Pisut Masanong and she has also taken his hands-on hand painting class.  “You want to watch multiple times because you’ll pick up nuances to the technique as you watch again.  They have so much information packed into their classes.”

When it Comes to Health

Borges says she is going to commit to finding a better work/life balance.  “One of the things I’m researching is adding meditation to my daily routine.”

For new nail techs:  “Be sure to schedule yourself a lunch break and do not let anyone move that.   That is sacrosanct.  Too often, we book ourselves back to back or we inhale our food in five minutes.  You don’t make great food choices, either, because you haven’t given yourself the time for it.”

Borges says that meal prepping works for her. “You’ll make healthier choices.  So even if you just have fifteen minutes to eat something you brought from home that is better than the three minute inhale of a fast food taco.”

For both new and established nail techs, Borges wants to see them setting healthy boundaries.  “Make sure that you state your policies and don’t let people run over them.  Unfortunately, with new or newer techs, they get a lot of flack from people trying to price match or bargain with them.   Your prices are your prices.”

And she says that healthy boundaries might help prevent the dreaded burnout.  “You get into this industry because you want to make people happy and create pretty nail but bending over backwards does not lead to a long term career.”

When it Comes to Social Media

For both new and established nail techs: “Some of the newer nail techs are really great at social media but they might want to reign it in a bit and take time to evaluate what posts are getting engagement and focus on posts that will attract their ideal client.  If you hate doing pink and whites, don’t post pink and whites.”



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