Competition Insider

The Importance Of Practice

by NAILS Magazine | July 22, 2011 | Bookmark +

Well this year I was not able to attend as many nail competitions as I would like to have, but that dosen’t mean I stopped practicing.

Any top nail competitor will tell you the same. The only way to get better is to practice. Repetition becomes your best friend. The more you do it and work out all the kinks of something, the better the final results will be.

For example in French sculpture acrylic nails, the first time you try to make a salon style French it’s never exactly how you want it, so you keep working on it until it’s perfect.

When we push ourselves in competitions to take French nails to the next level, we take all aspects of a classic French and exaggerate them. These are ultra-thin and deep dramatic smile lines and C-curves, and at 1-to-1 length. This proves to be quite a challenge.

Some people when they try something new or something that challenges what they’re accustomed to become very frustrated. But you have to think outside the box.

The more you look at things differently, the easier it will be.

For me the best way to practice is to work on my model, or whoever’s finger I can get my hands on. And working in the salon from sunrise to sunset doesn’t really count as competition practice because it’s working more to get clients out the door. I can sacrifice around 30% of my quality like this. It’s fine for the salon, but competitions are a different story.

A French set in a salon takes about 45 minutes to an hour, in a competition it takes two hours and 30 minutes.

So when my salon schedule might be a little flexible I like to set aside some time to work on what I will be competing in. So for instance if it’s French sculpt, I set a timer for the amount of time I would have in competition and set my table up as if I were going to compete. Then I practice. This sets you up of the real thing and makes all the motions smoother and your model will know what she has to do because she has already practiced out her part as well.

Afterwards I take pictures of my work and analyze them to see what mistakes I need to fix.

Try this for yourself, and see if you can get up to practicing once a week.

— Max

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