Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Stop Faking

by Maggie Franklin | October 8, 2010

Recently I found myself talking with another nail tech who I know has specialized in natural nail manicures for a while now. I didn't realize, however, that when she tells me that she "only does manicures" what she really means is that she does the occasional manicure for the occasional client — her primary business is skin care. But when we run into each other around town, she always wants to talk shop with me. But throughout our most recent conversation, it occurred to me that this woman doesn't really know what the current scoop is on the nail industry.

Here's a lady who continuously mentions to me that she used to be a representative for a major manufacturer back in the day. She stopped doing acrylic years ago because ... why exactly?

And that's where I have to bite my tongue and start the nodding and smiling, because it’s the same line of "reasons" that I hear so often: The dust bothered her and she couldn't breathe. "The monomers were so different then" and they bothered her. (Except this company has always used EMA monomer. Yeah technology has improved, but monomers from 20 years ago shouldn't have caused more problems than today. Whatever.) The Asian salon industry was "booming" and she couldn't compete with $10 sets ... yeah, yeah, yeah, I've heard it all before.

I'm not saying that there aren't a thousand legitimate excuses for getting out of the biz, and I'm not even saying that some of these very reasons aren't legitimate. I'm saying it's the same thing I hear over and over and over again, and you can only hear the same "reasons" so many times from so many people before they start sounding more like excuses.

I don't really care what her reasons were for turning away from nails. I don't really care what anyone's reasons are. In fact, I don't really understand why people who "used" to do nails feel so compelled to justify themselves to me at all, come to think of it. But I'm tired of hearing people tell me they "used" to do nails, only to then try to talk shop with me.

Look! If you haven't done nails on a regular basis since the 1900s, chances are really slim that you're up to date on the subject. So when you want to convince me that you do nails — even part time — but you don't know what I'm talking about when I mention products or services, don't wave your hand in the air and tell me that I'm "obviously" an artist and you "only do manicures" or "only do pink-and-whites" or "only do gels" or "only do" anything that you think gets you off the hook for not knowing which tradeshows haven't existed since 1992 or what gel polish is, or what the "in" products are and who the current top competitors are, or any number of other things a currently practicing, educated professional should be aware of.

It's OK to not do nails anymore. But stop trying to fake it with people who still do.

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