What is the best advice you can give to a nail technician?

One of the most important practices all manicurists should adhere to is cleanliness.

clients appreciate a clean workspace with sterilized tools and clean equipment. Adding a warm and welcoming vibe can be a vital first step in gaining a clients trust that you as a professional take an interest in the presentation of your work.

Also, taking full advantage of the nail industry’s innovation and the constant development of new products. This innovation can be transferred into tailoring nail care services to the needs and lifestyle of a client.

Should I cut my client’s cuticles?

Ah, cuticles the never-ending debate. To cut, or not to cut.

I say heal with hydration. Consistent care for problematic or dry cuticles would include avoiding excessive cutting and applying hydration. Hydration combats dryness. Using jojoba oil directly on and around the nails is a simple solution.

What do I do with a client who has problem nails?

Sometimes damage on finger and toenails can come from the misuse of products and tools. I’ve seen some pretty bad “at home” manicures and pedicures that would make a surgeon cry.

I recommend nail strengtheners with care. I like to start by using gentle nail files and smooth buffers. Baby your nails a bit. Some clients do well with certain “brands” of nail colors and some of the problems can improve over time. You have to be willing to be inventive and open to the possibilities when using products geared toward specific problems, while keeping your expectations realistic.

I live by the less-is-more approach when dealing with unhealthy nails. Trying to identify and pinpoint the problems can turn you into an instant investigator. So asking general questions about a client’s habits and at home care are important.

Nails that look dry, or have tiny pitting, peeling at the edges, or even white spots of discoloration are many times attributed to things like misuse of artificial enhancements, strengtheners, picking nail polish off instead of using remover, or leaving nail color on for extended periods of time.

Start with a clean slate can clear up some of these problems, which would be a good basic manicure or pedicure with the removal of any nail enhancements.

Time is also a key factor in dealing with nail damage. The great thing about nails is they grow. Depending on the rate of growth the waiting game for a new healthy nail can be a few weeks to a few months. Some nail problems and conditions need diagnosis and treatment by a professional dermatologist or podiatrist.

Knowing your limits as a nail care professional will ultimately earn the respect of a client when you suggest the proper care.

There are so many manufacturers out there. Which brand is best?

Buying your favorite nail color has taken a new height in today’s nail industry. Consumers are becoming savvier about product ingredients, but they still need direction.

Sending a client out the door with the appropriate product can be a significant factor in the health of their overall nail care. The gaps in needed products are finally being filled.

A special crème for dry areas such as feet, an effective cuticle oil for softer skin, coupled with consistency can be the perfect pairing. Sparitual carries a whole line of great products. I’m a big fan of their body oil line, made with certified organic sesame seed, safflower and jojoba oils. This oil can be used on hands and feet.

One of my other favorite products is the Sanitas callus treatment for feet, or even elbows. It’s one of the gentlest products I’ve used and it’s packed with hydrating ingredients including my personal favorite…jojoba oil! Let’s get to more good stuff.

Polish, wow has that taken on a life of it’s own. I have waited for a product like Vinylux for 22 years. It’s a longer wearing polish that dries less than ten minutes and wears seven days. It’s made by Creative Nail Design, and it comes in a perfect range of colors.

A very consistent gap in the nail industry has been not enough variation of nude colors for all skin tones. RGB has filled that gap. It’s a fabulous nail care line doing innovative things. They have created a 5-free nail polish line that includes a simple array of “nude” colors. It’s also raising the bar with a modern edge to the rest of color selection.

The butter LONDON nail polish line also has a matte finish top coat that can take you from matte and flat instantly. They make colors geared toward your creative side named with catchy English phrases and a website that gives you butter LONDON dictionary to translate.

Any other advice?

A natural nail care service is by far the oldest and most original method ever used to create a groomed nail. Going back to basics has come full circle as have the demands and needs of the modern woman.

Women have always loved beauty products and the trends of the industry. They also love convenience. So on day one it’s been my goal to use the best products and always think outside the box. I became obsessed with finding a way to get nail polish to last and keep a manicure looking as fresh as possible.

So 5 years into being a manicurist during the late 80’s and into the early 90’s I watched the spa industry influence the nail industry. There were scrubs and foot soaks being added to pedicures and improved formulations of lotions. I looked at it as a chance to steer my clients who wore artificial enhancements to another side of things: A manicure. Plain and simple.

I educated them on the healthiness of the approach, the at home maintenance. Of course I also had to convince them I had figured out how to make a manicure last that also kept a healthy nail. So here I am all these years later with great products at my disposal and an even greater pool of woman who have come to realize a natural nail is a good thing.

Doing natural nail services is still and always will be a growing industry. It has to be done right. Our Nail Care Department is just that. We care about every aspect from start to finish. I love eyeballing a clients nails and envisioning the end product. It still gives me satisfaction knowing they will always look better. As the industry grows with products and innovation so will we.

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