Nail tech Naja Rickette (www.najanailguru.com) is the new Guinness World Records title-holder for polishing the highest number of clients in an eight-hour period. Her world record will be featured in this season of “LA Hair,” WE tv’s reality show based in Los Angeles in which Rickette is a key cast member. (The episode is tentatively scheduled to air July 17.) She answers questions about her extraordinary feat:
What exactly is the new Guinness World Records title that you now hold?
Rickette: I now own the Guinness World Records achievement for the most nails filed and varnished by an individual in an eight-hour period — 69. Essentially, the record stands for the most polish changes in eight hours. I had to reach 50 people in order to set the record, which I achieved at the six-hour mark, so I continued on to the full eight hours to see how many more people I could do.
Was the eight-hour period an arbitrary choice? Who decided the parameters for this record?
Rickette: Guinness World Records set all the parameters. There was a set of rules and steps that needed to be completed on each client. If these steps were not performed or if one step was missed, then that client would not count toward my final number. Philip Robertson, the adjudicator, was there as the official counter of finished clients, to officiate the eight-hour time period, and to enforce that all steps were performed.
For female participants, I needed to complete the following steps: 1) Consult with participant; check for contra-indications. 2) Sanitize the hands. 3) Assess the hand and nail conditions. 4. Remove nail varnish, if necessary. 5) File the nails. 6) Apply base coat. 7) Apply two coats of varnish. 8) Apply top coat. If I was working with a male participant, then I completed the same steps except I would buff the nails to shine rather than polishing them.
Obviously the record measures how quickly you polished nails, but was there also a quality standard?
Rickette: Yes. I couldn’t just throw polish on and call it a day. In the rules it stated that the finished nails needed to be “salon standard quality.” Not only did I need to be extremely fast, but I also needed to do a great job. There was a qualified manicurist present to check and approve each completed client before they were counted.
Was there a team present to assist you, or were you strictly working alone?
Rickette: Philip from the Guinness World Records organization was present to monitor, and I had my assistant present to feed me, give me water, and massage my neck and legs all while working frantically throughout the eight-hour period. I could not stop! My assistant also kept me on track with regard to how many people I completed. And, as there was a crowd of people present, he also kept them apprised of my progress.
I had large groups of people scheduled to come in every two hours. While they were in the waiting area I had my assistant explain the rules to them and what was expected. Most important on my list was that the participants could not use their cell phones while I was working on them, or even set the phone on the table. I actually told a fib that if they had a cell phone present they would automatically be disqualified by GWR.
What was your strategy?
Rickette: My strategy was to have three clients sit in front of me. I would have them sanitize their hands while I assessed their nail condition. This was tricky because in most cases this is just something I silently do for my own notes while giving them a manicure. In this case in order for the Guinness World Records representative to know I completed the step, I had to give my valuation and condition of the nails out loud so all could hear.
What nail polishes did you choose for the event?
Rickette: I chose three Essie colors for the day: Mademoiselle, Come Here, and Twin Sweater Set. I also used my favorite bottom and top coats by Famous Names Products called Lumos. In addition, I used one of my new favorite products: The Valentino Beauty Pure machine.
What did you receive from the Guinness World Records organization for setting the record?
Rickette: I received an official framed Guinness World Records certificate, and my record will also be featured on their official website, www.guinnessworldrecords.com. The record may or may not be listed in the new edition of the GWR book the will be out in September 2014.
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