Learning Made Beautiful

Chris Mans is no stranger to the nail industry. He has done the competition circuit, been an educator, and has even created one mysterious Entity ad. His newest venture fuses his love of quality nail design and teaching others. In November, Mans opened Jeweled Nails, a salon and academy in Lake Forest, Calif. This past week I had the privilege of spending a day at this jewel of a salon/school to see how this single space is changing the nail industry.

If Mans weren’t doing nails he confesses he would like to be an interior designer. He came up with the look of Jeweled Nails’ interior down to the smallest of details. His goal was to make the salon a relaxing place, similar to a spa. “I want people to not dread getting their nails done. Every other spa service is such a soothing experience, but people don’t often think of nails that way,” he explains. Mans achieved this tranquility by building a fountain to separate the pedicure stations. Both application rooms in his salon have doors that close so as to drown out all the noise from the rest of the interior. He even took special care to build a soundproof compartment for his Erica’s ATA Nail Vacuum in his manicure table drawers, so there is no noise or dust when e-filing client’s nails. See the nail vacuum in action here.

Other personal touches to the salon include the tables that he handmade himself using raw cuts of wood. His pedicure chairs sit atop wooden platforms that he and his dad built so techs don’t have to bend down to tend to toenails. All of the drawers underneath the pedicure station pull out for clean and easy organization. The chairs are also built extra wide to accommodate a mani service during a pedicure. Living up to the name Jeweled Nails, Mans adorned his salon with crystal chandeliers and created frames to house the crystals, charms, and bedazzled nail art displays sitting at each station conveying just how much each set costs. Some of Mans’ most famed nail sets are also framed and decorate the front of the salon, with a wall-size blow up of one of them hanging against a wall. An impressive life-sized floral arrangement stands between the two application rooms that he also built himself.

The layout of the space is unique too in that the first two manicure stations are strictly for removals and basic manicures. These stations are located behind the waiting area that has a table as long as almost the entire salon covered with Japanese nail art magazines. The application rooms is where all the nail art happens.

Since the salon is so nail art focused, it makes sense that the back of the salon is home to a nail academy. A doorway separates the serene salon from the small classroom filled with supplies, nail stations, and a white board. While I was there Mami Griffin led a Crystal Culture class where she taught students how to place and price Swarovski crystals. Classes are capped at six students so that everyone gets quality time with their instructor. You can sign up for workshops teaching specific topics or even buy one-on-one instruction with Chris.

Learning in this luxurious space from one of the best in the industry is an opportunity to not be missed. If you’re in the Southern California area and want to expand your nail art skill set or improve upon a certain technique, check out www.jewelednails.com or e-mail [email protected] to inquire about classes.

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