Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week Three: Settling In

by Tisha Allen | September 16, 2014

Slowly, I’m settling in and school is beginning to feel like home. Earlier in the week I was pleasantly surprised with a visit from my 4-year-old daughter, Demi. While doing her nails, I began to reach over for my cuticle cutters, then I remembered my instructor telling us that, by law, children 16 and under should only get their cuticles pushed back and not cut. This makes a lot of sense because accidentally cutting them leaves their little hands much more open to germs. Honestly, I have been constantly worried about my nail prep skills, especially that pesky cuticle area. My goal is to become a pro at cleaning the nail plate of all dead skin to ensure product adhesion. I think that’s a major key to keeping clients.

I wanted to really understand the cuticle and anatomy of the fingernail, so I spent nights flipping through my textbook and researching videos of nail prep before service, cuticle work, and cuticle anatomy and care, and I am came across chemist Doug Schoon’s video on cuticles on the NAILS Magazine website, as well as his article, Where’s the Cuticle? The article was so helpful! It really simplified the cuticle location and the difference between the eponychium, and more importantly, using the proper terminology for these two parts of the nail so they don’t get confused. After reading this article I am actually eager to do more manicure services just so I can practice my cuticle work and even care for my own cuticles better.

These are my own nails after service of multiple clients.

These are my own nails after service of multiple clients.

Another topic that has still been on my mind is getting a job in the nail industry after school. Where would I work? Should I be a mobile tech? Should I start in a salon to understand the industry and gain clientele? Yet, as much as I love art, doing nails, and making women feel beautiful, I also love marketing and public relations, and I wouldn't mind becoming an educator and possibly traveling with a brand to market and teach their product. I really feel that the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to a career in the nail industry, and right now, I should really begin putting some future goals in place.

With all of these concerns haunting me, I decided to do a little market research. A nearby salon owner, Ms. Cece Owens, stopped by our school and left an ad recruiting graduating nail students to work at her salon, Cece's Nail Couture, here in West Palm Beach, Fla., so I contacted Ms. Owens and asked if I could briefly speak with her, and she gladly accepted.

After formally introducing myself, I asked her to describe her ideal employee. She explained that she wanted someone with potential — someone willing to learn and grow with her business, as one of her future goals is to open up a franchise of nail salons in the Florida area. I asked her why she chose to open a salon, and she told me the story of her mom, which is much like the story of my own mother who was a cosmetologist for over 20 years and owned a beauty salon. Ms. Owens said she developed a love for nail art and wanted her own extension of the family business, so she opened her salon just five months ago. She left me with some tips and advice. She said that in order to build a clientele, I must be unique. I have to promote and push myself and my work by submitting it to magazines and newspapers, and really just get out there. The interview with Ms. Owens was very encouraging, and now I have added salon owner to my list as a long-term future goal. I'd like to pose a question to other salon owners: What advice would you give to a current student nail tech who is preparing for the professional world?

And finally, I attempted the butterfly sculpted nail that my instructor challenged me to do last week. How do you think I did on my first try?

Until next week,

— Tisha


Load More