Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week One and Two: A Major Adjustment

by Sigourney Nuñez | June 17, 2015

I knew tackling nail school as a full-time editor would not be easy, and to be honest, I underestimated the commitment. Oddly enough, the hardest part hasn’t been staying on top of my assignments for NAILS or learning new techniques at school. It’s the commute and long hours that have been hard to adjust to. But life is about the climb and the view is great, right?

Advance Beauty College is 40, yes 40, miles away from my apartment. When I’m stuck on the 405 freeway for about an hour and a half after an eight-hour work day, I wonder why I choose this school in the first place. By the time I get there, I realize why.

Advance Beauty College puts a lot of emphasis on practicing the basics. Tuesdays are dedicated to manicures; Wednesdays are Mock Board days; Thursdays are for pedicures; Fridays are for nail tips, silk wraps, and acrylics; and Saturdays are free game to catch up. As a nail school newbie attending class on a weird schedule, my first day was overwhelming, to say the least. Let me set the scene: About 30-plus nail tech students all at different levels are practicing for the state board exam.  After checking in with the teacher, I realized there wasn’t much I could do that day except observe during those practice hours. Once that was over, the teacher started to lecture about pedicures. The lecture, however, was mostly in Vietnamese. Luckily that was literally the exact same week I was researching pedicures for an upcoming feature, so I was able to understand the topic and read off the PowerPoint. It didn’t take long to realize that the predominately Vietnamese school was going to challenge me and I needed to make friends, stat!

By week two, I was finding my groove and the real fun began. I partnered up with Kelly, who is about half way through the program. She was generous enough to walk me through a basic manicure procedure and even let me practice on her.

Did my first practice #manicure and polish change at #nailschool today! Thank you @mzz_kay1 for your patience!💜#nailschoolchronicles #nailtechintraining #nailpolish #opi

A photo posted by Sigourney B. Nuñez (@nailartbysig) on

Along with learning about manicures, I was taught how to properly glue a tip to a nail and blend it. The first ten nails I executed took about four hours to complete. No joke. I turned them in to get graded and got feedback on areas of improvement-- like realizing you should actually roll the tip instead of just sticking it on.

Officially broke in the practice fingers today! Learned how to apply an extension tip and blend it. Thanks @nailthoughts and @rockdiamondnails for all your help today! #nailschoolchronicles #nailtips #artificialnails #practicefingers #nailschool

A photo posted by Sigourney B. Nuñez (@nailartbysig) on


Since Advance Beauty College requires students to earn practical points in order to make our logged hours count, I learned quickly that my practice fingers are going to become my new best friend.

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