Before she moved from Maine to Los Angeles Elaine Watson owned her salon, Nail Envy, alongside her sister’s salon, Hair Envy. It didn’t take Elaine long before she began setting her sights past the nail table. In 1995, just a year after she got her nail license, Elaine became a Star Nail educator. She’s worked for several companies over the years and is now an independent contractor for Star, inm, and Too Much Fun. She made the move to Los Angeles to work more closely with inm when her mentor Lysa Comfort suggested she take the leap.

“After a trip to California for inm training in January, i got home and told my husband I wanted to move, “says Elaine. “He said, ‘OK, let’s do it’ It was the best thing I could have done. I’ve taken my career to an entirely different level, including doing magazine covers, packaging work, and educational videos.” She also travels the country - and the world - as an educator.

Elaine, who rents a booth at The Nail nook in Tarzan, Calif., feels that working in the salon helps her keep her skills up, as well as keeping her in touch with “real world” nail techs issues.

“Traveling as an educator, I meet so many so-called ‘average’ nail techs who think life stops at the nail table,” says Elaine. “They think only big-time techs can get opportunities like doing cover shoots I am, and always will be, that tech who got started doing nails in Maine. I just happened to strive for the brass ring and have been blessed with opportunities I never dreamed I would get.

“I want the ‘average’ tech to dream big and have the courage to take risk to take her career to the next level. There are so many more opportunities for us than simply serving clients in a salon For years i have been building a portfolio. For what, I wasn’t sure. Now with additions like this cover shoot, I feel confident that I can expand my artistic ability to my next level. Now that live so close to Hollywood, one of my new goals is to get an agent and so nails for movies, music videos, or any other opportunity on top of what I already do. Who knows what the future holds for me as a technician. I feel the best is yet to come and I have many years ahead of me to see where this industry is going to lead me.”

Prep the natural nails and apply a trip using a gel brush, scoop up a bead of gel. Dip the brush into the Acrygel Strengthening Powder.

Apply a thin coat of Acrygel with Strengthening Powder over the entire nail, form the cuticle to the free edge. Like polishing a nail push the product toward the cuticle and slowly glide it to the free edge. Cure the nail for three minutes.

Apply second layer of Acrygel with Strengthening Powder to create an arch and reinforce the stress area. Cure with the palm facing up. Apply and cure a third coat, if desired.

Use Finishing Wipe to cleanse the nail as necessary, apply Gel Seal and cure for three minutes. Wipe with Finishing Wipe to finish.

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