Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 7: Gels and Fiberglass

by NAILS Magazine | February 18, 2011

The home stretch is coming. I am in week 7 and now starting to prepare for my state board exam. I have a lot more to learn as we have not studied the basics of the textbook. I finally got done with the Creative Touch chapter, which is the easiest and I made a 100% on that test. This week has flown by because I was given three chapters to work on, starting with gels (no-light and UV curing) and fiberglass. I spent the beginning of the week doing the bookwork. It was interesting because I had never heard of no-light gels. I do not think that they are really used in salons anymore. The same with the fiberglass. It was pretty cool, and I liked doing them. I spent most of my week either reading about the gels or the skin chapter. I am trying to get a jump on this so I can really prepare and be ready for my state board exam, which I’ve scheduled for March 19. Especially with Valentine’s Day on Monday, it was a fast week. Having a personal life, a family life, and a school life is really hard. Everything in my life right now is on hold because I want to finish school. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it makes it so frustrating because I want to be done and I want to start on my new career. I always wondered “why” and what made people change their career to work in the beauty industry. But now I know why I am doing it.

I am excited and nervous because I have to be ready for the state board exam. I just want to pass the test and focus on my procedures. I started looking into salons this week to decide which one I want to be a team player for. There are so many different types of salons, but I think that I have found one that has made me want to strive to be the best and work as a team member for them. I will keep you posted on how the job search is going!

I spent one day working on my quotas, I have to do 25 manicures, 25 pedicures, 10 sets of acrylics, three sculpts, and a few gels. I have done a total of 19 manicures, 14 pedicures, five sets of acrylics, three sculpts, and one gel. I have much more to do! I ended up doing six services in one day, and I can tell you I was tired by the end of that day.

It’s getting juggling the bookwork, trying to remember anything and everything, studying and doing the hands-on work. I love doing the hands-on though. I loved doing the pedicures, but I am starting to love the sculpts even more. We were given different colors of acrylic powder and shown different ways to work art into the actual acrylic. I loved it!  

Aside from working on nails or studying nails. I took advantage of being in a beauty school and let one of the girls do my hair. I now have blonde highlights, which I never thought possible because of how dark my hair is. Also, I had my hair cut. I decided to cut it because my hair was always falling into my face during services and swooshing right into my client’s newly polished nails. My haircut turned out great, and when I look into a mirror I feel like a different person. I have a new hairdo with my new career that I am about to start. Everyone who has seen my haircut has loved it, which makes me feel great. When I first started the Nail Program, I was, well, self-conscious. I always wondered why I could not look as good as some other girls, why my hair was this way, and why my skin never had that dewy glow. As each week passes, I learn these tricks and, being around all these girls at school, my confidence is slowly building. An example, I never wore my glasses outside of my house, I was always embarrassed, but now I wear them out on occasion and I feel great about it. I never thought that image could change from within. These girls that I have meet as school have actually made me feel like I am beautiful and that image can be from within and projected out.

I also learned, and I am sure that many of you know what I mean, when you think of nails you simply, think of polish. Well, I love talking about the nail plate, the care, the reason for dry skin, and ways to help take care of your skin. Cuticle oil is a gift — it is the greatest thing that was invented for the help of dry cuticles. When people ask me a simply question or ask me what gel is, I catch myself giving a long drawn out speech (“It is a oligomer and not like powder…"). I know they have no idea what I am talking about but I love the fact that I am learning and loving this stuff. If you love what you do, then you will be great at what you do.

I do have a question for many of you who read this and some advice would be great. Applying nail polish: How do you do it? I used to just polish the nails and then use an orangewood stick to fix my mistakes, but I recently started using a flat brush with acetone to clean up around the edges so that the complete nail plate is covered. But when I’m using a polish like a red or a blue, it stains the skin and makes a bit of a mess. What can I do to make it look awesome? I know that how we polish is important and can make a world of difference. I mean, when a client walks out of a salon they will look at their nails and see the cuticles and nail polish color. I was working on a client in the salon part of the school and she picked the famous staining red. I made some errors and when I tried to clean up around the edge. It made an awful mess, and I tried to clean it up with the brush, which helps a great deal. I am wondering though if there is anything that would help improve, perhaps another type of brush besides the flat?

Well, next week will be a short week as we hit President's Day and our school is closed. That means I will be out shopping! Have a great week, and I can't wait till write again.




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