True Confessions: Client Tell Us What Bugs Them About YOU

byNAILS staff | December 1, 1995

Laurie Petersen

Hospital vice president

“The main reason I’ve changed salons over the years is because the technician would make her life an open book.”

I think it's important to treat your­self to something special so I get a weekly manicure and a pedicure every other week. I keep my nails very short because I'm physically ac­tive and I want them to look nice. My boyfriend loves my feet and says I have the best feet he's ever seen. I like my toenails to look perfect. Pedi­cures offer that last finishing touch.

I've been going to the same tech­nician, Michelle, for about three years. She was recommended by a friend of my mom's. Michelle does wonderful work and she really pays attention to detail. She shapes my nails nicely to a length that I like. She also does a perfect polish job.

The technician I went to before Michelle had too many hang-ups — drug use, prostitution, family problems. It was novel for a while because she was such a trip, but then it got old and depressing. What surprised me was that she was working in such a nice salon. The main reason I've changed salons over the years is be­cause the technician would make her life an open book. I have a very hectic and fast-paced job so when I go to a salon I want to sit like a bump on a log and not have to deal with anything. I don't want to sit there and hear about the sordid life of the technician. I like the fact that Michelle and I don't talk much. She is in tune enough to know that I don't want to sit and make small talk. She understands that it's my hour to unwind and relax.

I like going to the salon because it's clean, bright, and cheery, and the staff is friendly. There hasn't been any turnover since I've been going there. It's a nails-only salon and since there are so many technicians, if Michelle is out of town, I know I can get an ap­pointment with someone who does good work. I also think it's important to go to a salon that is close to where you live or work—the location should be convenient. Once it becomes a hassle getting there, the experience loses the luxury.


Gina Watson


“I think you get very spoiled when you get your nails done by someone who works in the same salon as you do.”

As a hairstylist, my hands are al­ways in water. With natural nails, polish has a tendency to come-off after repeated exposure to water so I wear artificial nails. But I'm at the point where I am getting fed up with acrylics, partly because my thumbnails have been lifting a lot lately and partly because I'm in tran­sition between nail technicians. Also, short nails are "in" right now. So I'm going to remove my acrylic nails and see how well they do naturally. But if I have a problem with polish not stay­ing on, I will go back to acrylics.

I used to get my nails done by a technician who worked at my salon. This worked out great because we 'would swap services. But I would pay about 50% of the time because I got my nails done more often than she would get her haircut. I think you get very spoiled when you get your nails done by someone who works in the same salon as you do. It’s very conve­nient. About a year ago, she started working out of her home. She did nails right in her living room and I didn't feel comfortable at all because the atmosphere was too personal. Her husband and kids would be there, too.

I like going to a salon to get my nails done because you see new things, new products, and what people are doing. For me, going into a salon is like going to the airport — I love to "people watch." Recently, a client referred me to a technician who, though she does nails in her home, has her own private studio, separate from her home life. I liked the atmosphere, but her work wasn't as good as my previ­ous technicians. I was caught in a catch-22 — great nails and an un­comfortable atmosphere or a com­fortable atmosphere and not-so-great nails. So now I'm looking for a technician for natural nail care.


Christine McDermott

Manager of a marketing communications firm

“Since I travel a lot for business, I have been getting my nails done at the hotel salon because it’s convenient.”

When I first moved here, I went to a nearby salon and after only one visit, the nail techni­cian ruined my natural nails. She used acrylic implements, like big heavy files, during the manicure and she brushed on a fine layer of acrylic over my nails, which turned them yellow. Then I started going to a technician who worked in the hair salon I used to go to. We had a com­fortable friendship, and she was very accommodating, which is im­portant to me because I'm extreme­ly busy and sometimes I can only give an hour's notice before coming in. Unfortunately, alter about nine months, she moved lo California.

Next, I went to the woman who replaced her, who 1 also liked, but soon she moved out of state, too. I've tried various salons since, but 1 haven't found anyone who gives a good manicure. Most nail clients in my area wear artificial nails so I've found that many technicians do a horrible job when it comes to natur­al nail care. I've found a temporary solution, though. Since I travel a lot for business, I have been getting my nails done at the hotel salon because it's convenient. So now I have to go out of town to get a good manicure!


Tania Carrell

Pharmaceutical sales rep

“A big pet peeve of mine at previous salon was that I wouldn’t get the technician’s undivided attention.”

I've been getting my nails done for about 17 years. 1 was an air­line stewardess for 10 years and it was mandatory to have nicely man­icured nails. I had sculptured nails for a while but the upkeep was too time-consuming. Many technicians would tell me how nice my nail beds are and that I should wear my nails naturally, so now 1 do.

I've been going to Missy Hub­bard, who works at Studio Hair in Louisville, Ky., for about 3 1/2 years. I was new to the area and had no­ticed a woman's nails in the bank and asked where she got them done. I think the best way to find a quality technician is to ask some­one whose nails you admire.

Missy is very open to suggestions and her work is very consistent. When I first started going to her, she told me that most of her clients requested acrylic nails but that she would do a manicure and I should tell her what 1 liked. She does have extensive training, though, in nat­ural nails. I like the fact that Missy tries new things and continues her education. She doesn't get stuck in a rut. She may make suggestions to me such as trying a different pol­ish color, but she'll let me make the ultimate decision. If I have a spe­cial occasion and I need to get in right away, she will try to help me out. Missy also is very attentive.

A big pet peeve of mine at previ­ous salons was that I wouldn't gel the technician's undivided attention. She would get a phone call and start chatting away.


Dayle Paulson

Personnel administrator

“Up until a few months ago, I would alternate salons depending on who could get me in first.”

My nails are very thin and break easily, so I have acrylic nails for added strength. I also have them done For aesthetic rea­sons. It's just one more tiling I don't have to worry about. Besides, polishing my nails with my left hand is impossible. I first got my nails done three years ago for my son's wedding, and 1 have been hooked ever since.

Up until four months ago, I would alternate salons depending on who could get me in first or where I was at the time. I soon realized that those discount salons have some people who don't know what they are doing, but 1 like the freedom of being able to walk in without an appointment. Also, these salons are less expensive. Recently, I have found two tech­nicians, Peter and Marilyn, who work at the same salon and they both do a great job. I prefer going to Peter, though, because he's very fast and he's a joy to talk to.



Rhonda Sanderson

Owner of a public relations firm

“I left my previous salon because one of the technicians there was not at all accommodating.”

I think getting my nails done is the smallest, shortest process of tak­ing care of myself. For years I had sculptured nails, but for the past 10 months I've been getting a natural nail French manicure. My techni­cian, Marta, talked me out of acrylics because I have paper-thin nails, and she said she'd rather have me as a long-term customer. Malta's wonderful and very accommodat­ing. For me, that's what it takes to make the relationship work. She also lets me make my own decisions and has a very gentle touch.

I left my previous salon because one of the technicians there was not at all accommodating. 1 was giving a huge dinner party at a convention in Washington, D.C. The day be­fore I left for my trip, one of my sculptured nails broke. I ran over to the salon and my technician wasn't there so when I asked the other technician if she could repair my nail, she said she was booked and couldn't do it. 1 told her: "You can't do this to me!" She said she could do whatever she wanted. Needless to say, I never went back. I have this tremendous fear of dependency on beauty professionals so that's why natural nails appeal to me. If you break one, oh well. I think you can become a slave to acrylic nails.


Joanna Knehr

legal secretary

“Since the nature of life in Los Angeles is so fast-paced, getting in and out in a hurry is what’s important to me.”

I'm an executive secretary and I work in a pretty posh law office so a nice appearance is important to me.

I've been going to my current salon for three years, and I usually see a different technician every time, it’s a non-English-speaking salon, and the fact that they have so many technicians pretty much guarantees that I can call at the last minute and get an appointment that day. Loca­tion and availability are everything to me. Basically I think there are two types of salons: the ones where you go to pamper yourself and when the environment and social interaction count then there are the "fast-food" salons, where the immediacy of the service is more important. Since the nature of life in Los Angeles is so fast-paced, getting in and out in a hurry is what's important to me. The quality of the service may vary from technician to technician but for me availability is more important than the minor variations in quality.


Jenny Alexander


“I always try to find a technician close to my age so we can have things in common to talk about.”

I get my nails done because it is the only luxury I afford myself. I’m the mom of a 2-year-old girl who keeps me very busy. We just moved to Cleveland in May and I needed to find a new nail technicians. I belong to a volunteer organization and I noticed that one of the members had a pretty acrylic French manicure so she referred me to her technician. She’s wonderful, courteous, and considerate. I always try to find a technician close to my age so we can have things in common to talk about. I’m very happy with the quality of her work. She even books a little extra time for fills because she would rather take the extra time for each client and not be hurried.

The salon is a very personal place where everyone greets you by name. The staff is very friendly and someone always offers me a refreshment as soon as I walk in the door. At my previous salon, although my technician did a great job, the salon was so large and everything was so automated that it felt more like a factory. It was very impersonal.  



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