Nails 101: A Student Blog

My First Few Weeks of Nail School

by NAILS Magazine | September 4, 2012

Besides the amazing street education I am receiving in the break room, I really am enjoying my nail program. My teachers are terrific and supportive, as are the other students. In some cases, too supportive, the way well-meaning students can be. So many students are experienced, which can definitely be intimidating. Our program is revolving, so new students are always coming in. I've already met and said good-bye to a few people. The biggest thrill was getting my textbooks and OPI kit. Receiving these items brought back all those feelings of being a kid on the first day of school. Everything was fresh and new. And the anticipation of a wonderful year — or in my case 10 weeks — and hopefully an amazing job in a full-service salon/spa.

We've already covered 4 chapters, Career Essentials, Business Basics, Client Care, and Chemistry. I've taken two tests so far, and aced them both (my adrenaline was really pumping though). Thankfully, our teacher makes the review fun by incorporating games like Jeopardy and Password. The coursework is both interesting and challenging, and I look forward to learning more in the upcoming weeks. The only thing that upsets me is that there are no Spanish texts. There are some wonderful, smart women in my program who work really hard to make high marks, but never succeed. They pass, but never get that satisfying pleasure of an A.

The practical work is fun too. I must admit I get butterflies in my stomach before working with a client, but once I get going, it feels great! I’m still working on my polishing. It's easy doing my own nails or my kids’ nails, but when I know someone will be paying, my perfectionist side comes out. I guess knowing that even though I have done a beautiful job, the polish is what speaks the loudest about my services. I do know that I am my own worst critic, and my idea of perfect and someone else's does vary.

When I told my mother I was going to become a nail technician, her first remark was "You want to work on people's feet?" I have always said feet are personal, although I enjoy a pedicure as much as the next gal/guy. I knew working with other people's feet would be a challenge for me. I've done 3 pedicures already and have truly impressed myself! Two were definitely eye openers to the world of foot care, and I definitely got a good first-hand education. Thankfully, we are required to wear gloves. My teachers were extremely helpful and answered my questions during and after the services were performed.

To date, I have completed 4 manicures (one spa), 3 pedicures (one spa), 1 set of tips with overlay, 2 pink and white practice sheets, and one set of acrylics on a form. I have also learned how to use Axxium Soak-Off Gel Lacquer.

I am having so much fun and can't wait to go back on Tuesday — I actually wish there was class on Labor Day!!

— Alissa

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