The chat area for nail technicians on America Online (AOL, 8:00 p.m. EST every Sunday) has been a busy place. In the past few weeks we have had some new nail technicians and numerous veteran nail technicians stop by to visit. John Caspole (, national sales manager at Creative Nail Design Systems, stopped in one night to take an informal survey on the topic of tips vs. sculpting—why nail technicians choose one method over another and if they charge more for sculpting than for tips with overlays. Janice Lonardo (, director of education for Star Nail Products, has become a frequent participant on the Sunday night chats. Bryan Stein (, assistant to the president at OPI Products, stops in quite frequently to field questions. Many of NAILS’ editors have joined us. Doug Schoon, director of R&D for Creative Nail Design Systems (Vista, Calif.), says, “I participate because the list gives me the chance to provide truthful information to lots of great nail technicians who are willing and eager to learn. Also, I get an education myself. By reading the concerns, complaints, and comments of working nail technicians, I am better able to understand their needs and frustrations.”

Topics discussed include the best ways to build your business, discount salons, critiques of particular advertisements, clients who pick at their nails or polish, the fall polish collections, what is required to get a salon license in Michigan, and airbrushing tips and tricks.

Promotions were a heavy topic one week. Mary Ballering (, of Nails To Envy in Mukwonago, Wis., had some of the most unique ideas we have heard for a long time: a discount off a full set to clients who removed their nails for the summer, so they will come back to her salon and a gift certificate promoted as a “One-size-fits-all gift for everyone.” Deborah Tuggle ( of the Nail Academy nail school in Jamaica, N.Y., has a promotion called Midnight Madness, where clients get nail services all night at half price. “Even in bad weather, people will come out at midnight for a nail sale,” she says.

The Internet Relay Chat (IRC, 10:00 p.m. EST every Sunday) has not been quite as active as the AOL chat. Most weeks there are only two or three nail technicians, but we still chat. Paula Lee, owner of Paula’s Nail Artistry in Manchester, N.H., and I spent many hours choosing a name for her new salon and working on the design for her logo.

There are many advantages of IRC chat over the AOL chat, mainly that it is not limited to just AOL subscribers; anyone can participate. There are no limits to how many people can be in the room, or “channel,” as it is called on the IRC. AOL is limited to 23 people per room.

The Nailtech Mailing List

An e-mail mailing list is an e-mail version of a roundtable discussion. The Nailtech subscribers and the chat room chatters have found this new method of communication to be the most useful way to get answers to questions they have always wondered about. Georgette Garber-Torell (, owner of Hottest Touch Nail Salon in Satellite Beach, Fla., asks, “Is it only me, or does the fact that we here on this list can communicate and exchange ideas, learn from, or help nail technicians from Australia to Rome, and from Hawaii to New York, just blow all of you away?”

Suellen Racicot (sracicot@custom of Nail Artistry in Anchorage, Alaska, remarked, “I think the Nailtech Mailing List makes a great positive difference in the industry.” Mindy Borrego (, owner of Mindy- fingers in Granby, Conn., says, “I wish this chat group was here when I first started doing nails.” The mailing list was interrupted by technical difficulties for several days last month and no mail was coming through. By the time it was repaired, subscribers had more than 100 e-mail posts to read.

It appears the entire staff of Creative Nail Design Systems is participating on the Nailtech Mailing List these days. Pamela Evans (, administrative assistant of marketing, is the designated message-poster and monitor of the list; she forwards many posts for Jan Arnold, president of Creative, and Jim Nordstrom, CEO, to read. Schoon (dschoon@ix.netcom. com), is heartily welcomed by members of the list; they find his advice on chemistry and safety invaluable. Topics discussed include troubleshooting problems with lifting, which nail treatments work and which don’t work, time allotted for fills and full sets, how to reduce your service time, Halloween nail art (this one is a bit tricky, being that descriptions are typed and there are no pictures to refer to, but the point does get across), how some of us have reduced aching wrists and the risks of carpal tunnel syndrome, and the ultimate challenge of getting any product to stick on a hairdresser’s nails.

Website Reviews

A new site spotted this month is Nail Art Craft. Located at, you can surf around and fetch the entire catalogue of nail art items the company has to offer. President and creative designer Barrie Allen won first place honours at the 1996 IBS Fantasy Nail Art competition, so you know you will find some interesting items for sale here. Follow the easy instructions to order your nail art supplies online.

Do you own a salon? Then The Salon Association (TSA) is a must-see website ( or (800) 211- 4TSA). TSA offers the salon an association of its own, with a vision: “To expand awareness of business, management, and leadership.” This website is well-designed and easy to navigate. Graphics are kept to a minimum, but the site is teeming with information. Read all about the many benefits TSA offers salon owners. And do not forget to wax up your board to surf the sites that TSA has links to, as all of them are beauty industry-related.

Definitions of the Month Web browser:

A browser is a software program that allows a user to navigate (also called “surf”) the information on the Internet. America Online’s browser is built into the service (enter keyword WEB). For example, a browser allows you to view web pages, and to go back and forth between pages you’ve already seen and new pages. Other online services use stand-alone browsers, such as Netscape, Mosaic, or Microsoft Internet Explorer.

URL (uniform resource locator): This is the funny-looking address you see in this article. It’s the code you see on television and in magazines when they tell you to “visit our website at:” Every document on the Internet has its own URL. Think of it as a telephone number, house number, and street name. The “http://” part designates that the document is encoded in what is called hypertext. Entering the address in your computer tells the network computers “where” you want to go, and that you wish to view it on your computer using hypertext transport protocol. Hypertext transport protocol is how the World Wide Web moves data from one place to another. For example, when you enter the address, you will go to the BeautyTech website’s homepage. If you enter links.htm, you will go to an area within the BeautyTech website where you can click on highlighted words and instantly go to other interesting sites related to beauty. It’s called a link.

When you type the URL into your web browser, type it exactly as it appears, or you won’t go where you want to go. Computers are very fussy; one missing period, and the page you requested won’t be available. For instance, if you type (omitting the “s” in links), you will get a message that the page requested is not available; check your typing and try again. If your typing was correct, try again anyway; the page might have been busy, just like a telephone.

Internet: In 1973, the United States government developed a way for computers in different locations to communicate with each other using telephone lines. This project was eventually called the “Internet.” Then, the US National Science Foundation advanced this project in the mid- 1980s by creating a system for this information to be passed from one computer to another.

Now millions of computers around the world are connected to one another by this system. It has connected computers at elementary schools, high schools, libraries, private organizations, and businesses.

Every computer on the Internet has its own unique identifying address called an IP (for example,, which may also be assigned a “name” (for example, Originally, the Internet connected scientists’ and military establishments’ computers so their users could communicate no matter where they were located. Businesses and private groups started connecting in the late 1980s.

The Internet communicates much like the telephone system. There are main hubs and sub-stations that process the “phone calls.” Most Internet computers are linked directly to a sub­station, and the sub-station is in turn connected to a main hub.

No one person or company actually owns the Internet, but each hub and sub-station are owned and maintained by a major corporation or university.

E-mail addresses: My e-mail address is Pronounce it “webmaster two at beautytech dot com.” This means that I (webmasted) “reside” at the domain known as

Another one of my e-mail addresses is This address shows us the importance of precise typing: if you try to send an e-mail to without the period between wicked and which, the message will be “bounced back,” or returned, to you. Check your typing and try again.

For information on how to join in the Nailtech Mailing List or either chat group, send an e-mail to

Hope to see you all online really soon!

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