I'm happy to report nail tech-to-be Lisa Jones declared my feet "in excellent shape."

I'm happy to report nail tech-to-be Lisa Jones declared my feet "in excellent shape."

When Lisa Jones and De Curtis-Glakas graduate from nail school in a few weeks, it’s the short-sighted salon owner who doesn’t snap these two “newbies” up. One of just a handful of schools in the metro Atlanta area, The International School of Nail and Skincare has been educating nail technicians and estheticians for more than 14 years. After picking up the school’s brochure and service menu at last October’s N.A.S.A. show, I decided to visit for the a manicure and marine masque pedicure combination.

During my visit, the two nail technicians (and admissions director Judy Shinall, nail instructor Shirley Mays, education director Renee Poignard, and operation manager Alan Shinall) demonstrated what’s right in some schools, from the warm greeting and personalized attention to the trendiest spa services and retail product selection. First the Marine Masque Pedicure was performed by Jones, who was understandably a little nervous. As she settled into the routine of explaining the different products and steps of the service, she relaxed and we began chatting.

New to the area, Jones is working as a receptionist in the evenings while she completes nail school. She hasn’t been able to decide whether she wants to work in a day spa or salon yet, and we discussed the pros and cons of each. In the meantime, she scrubbed and rubbed and massaged my feet back into shape. Her professional demeanor and innate people skills – as well as her developing technical skills – make her a top choice for any salon, in my opinion. It took some cajoling on her part, but I finally agreed to nail art on both of my big toes. (I felt quite risqué!)

Then Curtis-Glakas spirited me away for a manicure, which included a paraffin dip, my personal favorite add-on. As she worked, she talked about home maintenance and a retail product that she noted would condition my nails and lengthen the polish life.

Curtis-Glakas already has a job and a clientele waiting for her in a hair salon after she takes the state board exam, but since she’ll have a one-to three-month wait between graduation and the test, she plans to come back and work on her instructor’s license.

At the school, students begin working on paying clients after completing 80 hours of theory. During their three months, they also spend time working the front desk, taking inventory, honing their retail skills, and practicing all those service and technical skills that will make them successful in their new careers. If you’re ever in Atlanta, make sure you visit the school and enjoy a spa pedicure, a full set or fill, or even a facial from one of these up-and-coming students. They are the future of the industry, and from all appearances it will be a bright one.

I’m happy to report nail tech-to-be Lisa Jones declared my feet “in excellent shape.”

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