Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 2: First Full Set and a Fantasy Competition!

by NAILS Magazine | September 14, 2012

This was an exciting week, to say the least. My school held a school-wide competition, between ALL the departments. The theme was fantasy. It was up to each person to decide if they wanted to be a part of the competition and what their idea of fantasy is. Remember — this is only my second week of school. My teacher says, “Nikki, I think you should do it.” So, I agree and as my classmates pick a partner to work on — I grab my handy dandy practice hand. (Hehehe) I used my practice hand as my canvas. I started by putting on a full set of acrylic nails. I used clear tips and clear glitter acrylic. I worked on it at school and I took her home to finish filing her nails so I could decorate the nails the next day. My kids laughed and had no idea what I was working on. I told them to wait and see what happens.

The next day, I took my little hand with very long nails to school and started to work on her. My teacher gave me direction and I went with it — I was not sure how things would play out. My classmates were doing elaborate, detailed and absolutely beautiful work, which was amazing, yet intimidating at the same time. I went with a “garden fantasy” theme. We all entered the competitions and one of the groups in our class took 3rd. We competed against all the classes in the school, including the Cosmo program that did amazing work as well — but did a lot more work as they did hair, costumes, make-up and everything! I didn’t place (this time), but I felt good about my entry and I was pleased with all the compliments I received. I have included a picture of “my hand” as well as my classmates, because I am SO proud of their work as well.

After that experience, I was feeling pretty good. So, the next day my teacher walked in and announced I was going to be doing a full set on a cosmo student! Yikes! (I was thinking — I hope she has all day!) But I acted cool, calm and collected. I said, “No problem.” (With my tummy doing flip flops.) So I set the table up and she came in. We started with the small talk. “How are you? What would you like done?” Then I thought, “Oh, you want pink-and-whites? No problem.” (What am I going to do????) I told my new client, “I have never done pink-and-whites, as long as you understand I am a student, I am ready to begin.” So we started. Ok, it took me about three hours and I used my drill to file at the end because I prefer thicker nails, and she preferred thinner. It was not a problem and I wanted to make her happy. I even did the smile line free hand, even though a few of the girls in my class suggested I use the other tips to cut the lines straight. (You know what I mean, right?) I was pretty satisfied with my work. 

I am learning a lot about people. We talked during her service. And we went into a very deep, personal and what I thought was private conversation. This client confided in me. She even brought me to tears. Now remember I am performing a service on her and as such I am trying my very best to be professional. But what she said to me just pulled at my heart strings and I couldn’t help it. We both cried and bonded during that experience. That was something I was not expecting to happen. But when it was done she loved the job I did for her! She stood up to leave and she reached over and gave me a long tight hug. I know I will always remember her and I will always think of her kindly. I attached a picture so you could all see the final job. 

I am learning there are so many facets of this new career, that as I go along I am learning more and more. I am learning things that are not in my textbook but are so important. I love coming to school each day and learning more and more. It feels good not to question myself and wonder “if” I will like it or “if” I can do…. I KNOW I can!

— Nikki

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