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Nails 101: A Student Blog

Week 7: First Nail Art and First Client

by Gregory Fletcher | October 21, 2019
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Wow… what a week!

During week seven we began performing nail services on clients. Because our class is so large (30±) we are assigned certain days of the week that we have priority to service the walk-in clients. (My assigned day is Friday.) We can service clients on other days if there is overflow or we have a pre-arranged guest (typically friends or family).

In the meantime, on those days we do not have clients we continue to practice on each other or on our practice hands. During this week, classmate Yesenia was gracious enough to allow me to practice my manicure skills on her. At this point in my development I adhere to the adage “First, do no harm.” Therefore, while my basic manicuring skills are still developing, I tend to work slowly, hoping that my speed will increase with more practice. Plus, I frequently refer to the procedure outline to ensure I do not omit any steps and complete them in the correct order. I am grateful to Yesenia for her unflagging patience during my ministration.  I have included a picture of my finished work on Yesenia. The color is “Yoga-ta Get This Blue!” by OPI.

I must point out the artwork on Yesenia’s accent nails. Although I have dabbled some with stamping, to date I have not placed much emphasis on attempting nail art, especially freehand art. However, fellow classmate Lesliee is to be credited with pushing me out of my comfort zone and teaching me how to make the flower design on Yesenia’s nails. Lesliee demonstrated how to make the series of dots that turn into a flower on one of Yesenia’s nails and I did my best to replicate the look on the other nail. While far from perfect, I’m actually pretty pleased with the outcome for my first attempt. Thank you, Lesliee and Yesenia!

Friday finally rolled around and shortly after class started I learned I indeed had a client already. The client wanted both a manicure and a pedicure, so another student and I shared the client, with me taking the pedicure. Initially I was told my classmate, Karla, would complete the manicure and then I would take over to complete the pedicure. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am still in the process of getting my nail kit organized. So every procedure is an adventure in finding the tools and products I need for each service. Consequently I was relieved that I would have time to leisurely retrieve my pedicure materials and be all set when it was my turn to take over.

However… (Sound effect of needle scratching on vinyl record) … that was not to be. I soon learned the client was in a hurry and that the plan had changed; Karla and I would work on the client simultaneously. So I quickly scrambled and dove into my kit, frantically searching for the items I would need, which of course were randomly distributed throughout my four level train case. Eventually I assembled enough items to make a credible start. Fortunately I was aided by the day’s salon manager who had no doubt noticed my near-panic state and started thrusting products (lotion, soak, scrub, etc.) into my arms.

Finally settling down on the pedicure stool, I had my first look at the client’s feet. Now, this may make some of you veterans chuckle a bit, but it was at this point I realized that not all clients present like the illustrations in the Milady textbook. I will not go into the details of the challenges I observed during the initial examination, as I am certain many of you can fill in the blanks yourself. (I learned later it had been several months since her last pedicure.) To make things more challenging, although we practice using metal tools on our fellow classmates, we are not allowed to use metal tools on clients. So we are basically limited to the use of orangewood sticks for much of the preparation work. Soldiering on, I eventually completed the pedicure the best I could. Although I was not completely happy with the result, the feet that walked out were definitely an improvement compared to the feet that walked in. Plus I think I get some bonus points for degree of difficulty. A picture of the finished pedicure is included with this blog so you may be the judge of how well I did. By the way, I wish to acknowledge Karla’s assistance and support during our dual service. I did not make it easy for Karla, forcing her to literally work around me. 

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As a reminder, I will attend Nail Camp West later this week through the early part of next week. Therefore publishing of this student blog will be delayed by a week. However, I plan to report on the events and adventures of Nail Camp, so I am sure I will have lots to share!

Before I sign off, I offer this Halloween advice: Don’t attend any Halloween parties dressed as a piñata. It never turns out well.

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