Behind the Scenes: Catherine DePoole

A nail technician at She’s Got Nails in Westland, Mich., Catherine did sculptured acrylic nails on this month’s cover model.

<p>"I didn't realize all the lighting, the hand positioning and how many different backdrops it takes until you find the right look," said Catherine DePoole about her first NAILS cover shoot.&nbsp;</p>A nail technician at She’s Got Nails in Westland, Mich., Catherine did sculptured acrylic nails on this month’s cover model.

Polish: Develop 10 Party Pewter and Orly International Silver Bells.

Photography by Caesar Lima; stylist: Shawna Clark, Visage; model: Kristina Brady.

To make her dream of becoming a hairstylist come true, Catherine De- Poole enrolled in cosmetology school. Little did she know that her dream would take a bit of a turn. During the nail portion of the curriculum, DePoole discovered that nails were her passion, so she switched to a nails-only program. “I like taking something raw and making something out of it,” says DePoole, who works as a nail technician and manager at She’s Got Nails in West- land, Mich. “I love the pleased look on my clients’ faces when I’m done,” she adds.

DePoole also loves competing. She got hit by the competition bug early — as a nail student—and won first place in her first-ever competition. Says DePoole, “I’m a very competitive person, and I thrive on stressful situations.” Her competi­tive streak has landed her a comfortable spot on NAILS’ 1996 Top 25 Competitors Ranking, which was her goal for 1996.

Another outstanding achievement for DePoole took place last June at the NAILS Industry Awards where she was named runner-up for Nail Technician of the Year. And her six-year nail rdsum6 doesn’t end there. DePoole is also an educator for Galaxy Nail Products. She got involved in educating so she could instruct nail technicians on how chemicals work and how products work. “Nail technicians need to know a lot more than just how to apply the product,” says DePoole. “If they’re using the product incorrectly, it can lead to a potentially dangerous situation. Learning as much as you can about nail products also brings a higher level of professionalism.”

But DePoole is not about to rest on her laurels. One of her goals for 1997 was to do a NAILS cover, which she actually achieved in November of last year (the result of which is this month’s cover). The most unexpected part of the photo shoot, says DePoole, was when managing editor Erika Kotite came over with a magnifying glass to look at the model’s nails. “My eyes nearly fell out. It’s very different than having a competition judge behind a drape looking at your nails. Next time I compete, I’m taking a magnifying glass with me,” she says.

What’s next for this go- getting goal-setter? To open her own nails-only salon, but first DePoole and her husband would like to start a family. She would also like to become a nail instructor at a beauty school, but as it stands, the state of Michigan requires a cosmetology li­cense for that. Maybe DePoole’s next goal will be to try to change the law.

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