Illustration/Chris Murphy

Illustration/Chris Murphy

When we’re not with clients, I practice different techniques on the other nail techs in the salon. We also ask our supplies for samples of new products so we can test them and see what we like.

Laura Strauss, Top 10 Nail Salon, Laurel Springs, N.J.

I practice on old tips or sculpture forms. Sometimes I practice on my own nails. I’ll use acrylic worksheets to practice product control.

John Bouchard, Nails Unique, Glatstonbury, Conn.

I practice on friends, relatives, and myself! Not only do I improve my techniques, I generate more clients from people seeing my work on friends and family., Carole St. Laurent, Esthethique Femina, Campbellton, New Brunswick, Canada

Since I have two jobs, I always have a chipped or broken nail. So when I don’t have any clients, I practice on myself. It helps me with my technique and fill time.

Betsy Wright, Cinderella’s Nail Design, Rochester, N.Y.

I practice on family, friends, co-workers, whomever I can get to sit in my chair. If I still can’t get enough practice to perfect my techniques, I use a dowel stick the size of a finger. The forms fit right on the end, and tips can be glued to them as well. The best and worst thing about dowels is that they can’t feel pain. You still need real people to work on so you can make sure you are not causing discomfort with your file.

Cathy Williams, Structures , Medford, Ore

I have a 15-year-old daughter who I do all types of enhancements on. So if I don’t have clients who need regular fills, she is my stand-in. This gives me the practice I need to keep up with the newest enhancements and fill techniques.

Teresa Brinkman , The Nail Co., Green Lake, Wis.

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