Melanie Lazik
The Green Room NailARTelier
Landsberg OT Zöberitz, Germany

Native Language: German
Time in Profession: 8 years
Is licensing required? To be honest, the German nail industry is not particularly exemplary. Anyone can be a nail tech. There is no education and you do not need to attend a course to open a nail studio. If you want to be trained, you can obtain a certificate in one day. Anyone can describe themselves as an educator. Nevertheless, we do have some great technicians in our country.
What was your training? I was trained in 2003 for five days by Saremco Cosmetics. From 2009 I wanted to learn almost everything and had training with Elena Veretenko, Frank Schäberle, and many more. In 2011, 10 training days with European Masters are planned. In between I am an educator as well.
Nail technicians are called...  nageldesigner or nagel stylist.
“Nails” are... nägel.


Most salons are...  There are a lot of nail salons (nagelstudios), but more and more hair and skin care salons offer nail services too.
The most popular nail style is... Currently, we love the shape of edge nails and stilettos. Favorite colors are nudes, gray, turquoise, pink, and lilac. The most popular style is One Stroke (folk art).
The most popular services are... In Germany, gel design is still the most popular service. Acrylics have fallen due to negative press. But nail technicians see the possibilities you have with acrylics and customers even ask for them.
What are your specialties? I love stilettos, colorful nails, 3-D designs, and One Stroke nail art.
What are your clients like? Almost everyone gets their nails done. There are so many salons in Germany. Unfortunately, most of them do not impress with their performance, but with price undercutting. Women from 16 to 80 wear “nägel.”
Appointments or walk-ins? Except for so called “Asia Studios” (they call themselves “nails American style”), you have to make an appointment. The consequence of price competition is that a lot of nail techs have a home studio to save money.
Well-known brands? LCN, Wilde Cosmetics, ABC Nailstore, and Nfu.Oh
Are there any major trade shows in your country? The Beauty International in Düsseldorf is the biggest trade fair in Germany; it is not a show. I have to drive 500 km to get there. But we have smaller trade fairs in Hannover, Berlin, Leipzig, Munich, Wiesbaden, and Stuttgart. Almost every trade fair has a championship competition. Nail classes are in every town, but I drove up to the Netherlands to be educated by the best.
What are your best educational resources? The most education I got was from ABC Nailstore in Dresden.


Scherezaad Panthaki
Paaws ‘N’ Claaws, The Nail Spa
Mumbai, India

Native Language: Hindi
Time in Profession: 12 years
Is licensing required? Unfortunately, no. Personally, I went to nail school in the U.S. (Phoenix), but in India, the business of nails is relatively new. Hence, there are no guidelines, no authentic institutions for learning, no process per say for becoming a nail tech. The truth is that some bigger salons hire local native-speaking undereducated and undertrained people and try to teach them the art of doing nails in two weeks. Then, they put them to work immediately in their salons, thus leading to horrible nail disasters and mishaps.

What was your training? I was actually on vacation in Phoenix in 1999. I was 17 years old and had finished my A-levels in India. While I was on this trip with my family, my mom saw an ad in the newspaper for studying nails. She asked me if I wanted to do it and I jumped at it immediately. I always bit my nails as a child and the idea of long beautiful nails was like a dream come true and very exciting for me at 17.
Nail technicians are called...
“Nails” are...
naaa-khooon (pronunciation).
Most salons are...
full service. There are very few nails-only salons — maybe one or two in the entire country.
The most popular nail style is... anything to do with crystals and gold is what Indian women are drawn to any time of the year. But honestly, they try to follow fashion trends in international magazines such as Vogue and Elle.
The most popular services are... natural manicures first, because as I mentioned, there aren’t many nails-only nail salons and the ones that exist offer only limited services due to limited resources (human and educational). On the other hand, with more and more Bollywood celebrities wearing gel French extensions, many women come in asking for those.
What are your specialties? Everything actually, but mainly gels, nail art, and spa treatments. My specialty is an amazing spa manicure I created myself, called the Moisture Manicure. It’s a pampering process, where I immerse my client’s hands in a warm mixture of heavy moisturizing, top-quality imported creams and lotions along with a dash of an indulgent popular perfumed cream instead of regular water. This is followed by a regular manicure and ends with a wrap up to the elbows of the same cream mixture.
What are your clients like? Ages 15-85, the average of my clients being 72. In India, a lot of older middle-aged upper-class businessmen have been brought up with the routine of getting manicures/pedicures to keep clean. Besides them, of course the society ladies, fashion and entertainment industry professionals, models, etc. — mainly well-off and upper middle class. It’s not priced for everyone, due to the lack of product availability here and having to import all the products needed.
Appointments or walk-ins? Appointments are preferred but we do accept walk-ins.
Well-known brands? Right now only OPI and that is only to a segment of society. The general public is aware of a brand we have locally called Lakme.
Are there any major trade shows in your country? Yes, over the past few years a wider segment is being exposed to the nail industry but it’s still mainly trade/beauty shows for hair, makeup, and facial beauty. I’ve been to a couple in my city, but they’re mostly just companies selling cheap nail art kits or manicure implements.
What are your best educational resources? The Internet, foreign friends, and while traveling abroad. Also NAILS Magazine and the OPI website.

Next page: Puerto Rico and France




Ettennae Perez-Vargas
Star Nails
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Native Language: Spanish
Time in Profession: 2 years
Is licensing required? Only a nail school diploma is required.
What was your training? At the Instituto de Banca y Comercio. I took classes on manicures, pedicures, application, design, anatomy, and microbiology. The learning process is eight months, of which the last two months are in-class practice.
Nail technicians are called... técnicas or técnicas de uñas.
“Nails” are... uñas.


Most salons are... Most salons are full-service but the nail industry is growing so fast that we almost have an equal number of nails-only salons in Puerto Rico.
The most popular nail style is... long, square pink-and-white nails, or really short nails with one color of nail polish. There is always a group of women who love the very elaborate nails but usually it’s one or two per week in our business.
The most popular services are... acrylics and pedicures. Shellac is also now entering the nails industry here.
What are your specialties? My favorite type of nail style is pink-and-white nails with a design composed of lines and dots. Also, 3-D flowers and pink-and-glitter nails.
What are your clients like? The nail industry in Puerto Rico is very broad. I could be doing nails for a teenager from the school across the street and my next client could be a lawyer or an English-speaking woman on vacation.
Appointments or walk-ins? We mostly work with appointments but are always open for walk-ins.
Well-known brands? Shellac, OPI, Attraction, All Season, essie, and our own Puerto Rican nail polish brand, Bettina.
Are there any major trade shows in your country? The San Juan Beauty Show and the Barbers and Beauty Show.
What are your best educational resources?  Mostly from the Internet where more experienced nail techs post their work and tutorials. Also from the seminars that more experienced nail techs offer at a fee.

Claire Coulon
Miami Nails
Igny, France

Native Language: French
Time in Profession: 4 years
Is licensing required? Licensing isn’t required in France. Nail technician is not considered a “real” job here, but things are changing. Some professionals are trying to create a kind of license to regulate the business and to avoid safety and health issues.
What was your training? I went to the Beauty School of America in Miami because I did not trust the nail schools in France and I wanted a real license.
Nail technicians are called... prothesistes ongulaires or stylistes ongulaires.
“Nails” are... ongles.


Most salons are... Some are only dedicated to nails but it’s a new trend. Most are also doing skin care, massages, and hair removal.
The most popular nail style is... People are very classic in France. They like French manicures or regular polish, but some are more adventurous and like designs. But not a lot, unfortunately.
The most popular services are... French manicures with acrylics or gels and natural manicures, though Shellac and other gel polishes are starting to pick up.
What are your specialties? I like to do designs with colored acrylics, glitters, or paint.
What are your clients like? I have all types, ranging from students to retired people and from all social backgrounds. But since products are more expensive in France due to high taxes, getting your nails done is not something everybody does. It has its cost.
Appointments or walk-ins? It’s mostly appointments but some accept walk-ins. I would say those that take walk-ins are non-standard salons with lower prices. That’s how they fill the books.
Well-known brands? OPI, Peggy Sage, CND, and Essie.
Are there any major trade shows in your country? The beauty trade shows here are not great on nails but are becoming a bit more interesting. I haven’t been able to visit any big international shows.
What are your best educational resources?  Professional magazines and the Internet.   

Next page: Slovenia, Portugal, and Australia



Nina Ilovar [owner]
Ljubljana, Slovenia

Native Language: Slovenian
Time in Profession: 5 years
Is licensing required? To become a nail tech and start your own business, you need to attend either a cosmetics school or a school for hairdressers. If you want to work in cosmetic salon, then a nail course will do.
What was your training? I visited a school and took a few nail courses.
Nail technicians are called...  Maniker
“Nails” are... Nohti.


Most salons are...   Most salons are full-service.
The most popular nail style is... Square shape, natural, French.
The most popular services are... Gel nails. Acrylics are not very popular in Slovenia — they have a bad reputation.
What are your specialties? My specialties are art nails. I’m very fond of doing colored and artistic nails. I don’t like French nails because they’re always the same.
What are your clients like? Women from ages 20 to 45 years old, working class.
Appointments or walk-ins?They have to make appointments in my salon, but in other salons, they accept walk-ins.
Well-known brands? The most popular is Magnetic, but others are popular as well: LCN, Nillandia, SNC, NailSpa, Medeor.
Are there any major trade shows in your country? We only have one trade show in a year but it’s very small, so we visit Italian shows.
What are your best educational resources?  Nail courses, trade shows, the Internet, and magazines.


Teresa Mendes [owner]
4Good Cosmetics
Barreiro, Portugal
Native Language: Portuguese
Time in Profession: 2 years

Is licensing required?  This practice is very recent in Portugal. To become a nail stylish you need to take lessons. There aren’t a number of hours defined yet. But in my salon, the learning process is 42 hours and is divided in practice and theory lessons. We award a nail technician certificate.
What was your training? I’m a Belgium Gel (Miyoshi) representative for Portugal and I went there to take lessons. In Portugal, I did the same.
Nail technicians are called... Estilistas de Unhas or Técnicas de Unhas.
“Nails” are... Unhas.



Most salons are...  Both
The most popular nail style is...  The square French nail is the most popular, but nail art is growing and most of our clients are asking us to do nail art. The red and the white colors are the most popular ones.
The most popular services are...
Gels nails are the most popular now.
What are your specialties?
  Gel Nails are my specialty. I love to make a nice French white with a nice, soft nail art design on one or two nails.
What are your clients like?
Because our salon has a nice image, we have women from all classes. But I would say the industry has middle and upper class clients in general.
Appointments or walk-ins?
It depends, but most salons work with appointments.
Well-known brands? Miyoshi and Nails21 are the most popular.
Are there any major trade shows in your country?
Yes, we have two beauty trade shows by year. One is in the north and the other is in the south of the country. The beauty trade show is about beauty and hair.
Educational Resources:
Most of the info and education comes from the Internet and from the Miyoshi Gel factory. We don’t have a Portuguese magazine about nails and I want to make one!



Michel Smith [owner]
Mei Nails & Beauty
Brisbane, Australia
Native Language: English
Time in Profession: 2 years

Is licensing required? I attended Bellevue Beauty in Brisbane. To receive a certificate in nail technology, you must perform a minimum number of treatments on clients to prove your competency. As your skills progress, they also shorten the timeframe in which you are required to complete them. You must also have an excellent understanding of sanitation and hygiene, skin and nail disorders, safe working practices, etc.
Unfortunately in Australia, we do not have strict and/or monitored licensing requirements and legislations.
What was your training? I worked full time as a legal secretary and was studying three nights a week at college and practicing on family and friends on weekends.
Nail technicians are called...  nail technician
“Nails” are... nails

Most salons are... nails only. A few hair salons have a nail technician who rents a space. Very few day spas or beauty salons offer artificial nails or enhancements and only go as far as doing gel pedicures.
The most popular nail style is... The most popular is still the square shape, but some middle-aged women are going for the shorter rounded shape. Professionals or office workers stick with the standard French look while hairdressers or people who work in retail go for something a little edgier with glitter and/or color. Gel toes are also quite popular among everyone as is gel polish on natural nails.
The most popular services are... Acrylic nails done in reverse application, with either a standard French look or color or glitter. Gel toes with glitter or gel polish is another favorite. And nail art, whether it’s stamping, handpainted, embedding or something as simple as a decal finished with a gel top coat.
What are your specialties? I love acrylics. Reverse application with a cover pink color is my favorite. It gives you the illusion of a long nail plate, which is feminine and sexy. You can create a defined smile line and the cover pink really makes the color on the free edge pop, regardless of whether it’s a natural or French look or something bright and colorful. Embedding nail art is another favorite — anything from mylar to fimo to glitter and sparkles.
What are your clients like? Clients’ ages range from 17 to 60. They are mainly working class with a few professionals and quite a number of brides and bridal parties. My dad is also a sucker for a good mani and pedi but I think it’s more for the massage.
Appointments or walk-ins? Most places will require a booking but there are a lot of nail bars that have a production line setup and will take walk‑ins.
Well-known brands? Creative, NSI, OPI, and BioSculpture are the most well-known brands in Australia and have been used for many years. Young Nails is also really starting to take off.
Are there any major trade shows in your country? Once a year, we have the International Spa and Beauty Expo, which is held in Sydney around August or September. There are also many suppliers and wholesalers who hold training courses on specific products or simple refreshers to keep you updated on the latest industry trends and techniques.
What are your best educational resources? NAILS Magazine, the Internet, tutorials on the Young Nails and OPI websites, attending classes, tutorials on YouTube, and practicing and experimenting.

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