what you really need to become a successful nail technician


To become a successful nail technician, it’s not enough to study trendy glossy magazines and selflessly experiment on your own nails. It takes an in-depth study of the subject, techniques and specifics of manicure design. But there’s something else that will set you apart from other manicure specialists. Incorporate these techniques into your work routine, and get a flood of orders for your nails.

Maintain the ideal coating thickness

Despite the fact that gel lacquers and acrylic bases are quite sturdy, there are still girls who ask for a thicker coating. They seriously believe that the thicker the coating, the more reliable. This position is fundamentally wrong. Thick coverage grows unkempt and creates additional stress on the free edge of the nail. The ideal thickness of the base should not exceed one millimetre. The exceptions are cases where complex modelling is required.

Create a perfect nail shape

Not everyone is blessed by nature with beautifully shaped nails; some live for years with short, ‘baby’ toes. On these nails, any nail coating will look unkempt. Fortunately, savvy craftsmen can remedy the situation by lengthening the nail bed. This is one type of nail modelling, which allows you to reshape the nail, preserving its natural appearance.

Nails that grow downwards can and should be smoothed. Nails that are poking out look unaesthetic, and as the material grows back, excessive stress is placed on the free edge, which will lead to cracks and damage.

Don’t ignore the rules of colouring

Surely you’ve read on forums customer feedback in the style of: “This master is bad, she gave me nail polish, which caused visible wrinkles on the hands, drew pictures that highlighted all the irregularities on the nail”. So, it’s not always the master’s fault, but more often it’s the client’s, who started dictating what suits her and what doesn’t. Fortunately, there are notions of aesthetics and coloristics that a competent nail stylist knows. Advise the client which tones rejuvenate the hands and which do not, which pictures should not be applied to not highlight roughness on the nails and skin imperfections.

Work quickly and accurately

For jewellery craftsmanship, use gadgets that make it easier for the manicurist to work:

  • A magnifying lamp is a professional device that makes your work quality and convenience. The multiple magnification and backlighting will help you finely trace the smallest details, evenly fix elements and give a clean manicure. The lamp-light will also be your first assistant in the initial inspection of the client’s hands and for better photos and videos to add to your portfolio.
  • The wax pencil will allow you to work with rhinestones and sparkles of all diameters. It’s easy to get hold of even the smallest element and doesn’t require any special dexterity. The rhinestone is attached to the pencil stick and transferred to the nail, leaving no trace. Designs with rhinestones with such a tool are much quicker and without unnecessary movements.
  • The nail polish and design display keeps your workspace neat and tidy and lets you display your entire collection of shades and materials. This handy clear shelf and case will save you space at home. Plus, you’ll be able to find the right bottle or design material in seconds.

Increase productivity

Boosting your manicure speed is the most efficient way to boost your income – and your clients will be glad to get a quality manicure without wasting half a day on it.

  • Use a camouflaging base

Using a milk base as a base will make your nails smoother and give a richer colour so fewer layers are required, saving valuable time.

  • Encourage a quick selection

Encourage the client to begin deciding on the design while you’re busy working on their cuticles and nails. Better yet, have the client come prepared with a selection of ideas they like, saving them with screenshots on their phone.

  • Clean up your desk

It’s best to be a pedant when organising your desk environment. Put away everything unnecessary, and keep work materials and consumables in one place so you can grab them with your eyes closed, or rather, without taking your eyes off your work.

  • Take less material

If you’re working with material that models the shape, try to teach yourself to only apply the amount you need. Excess material can always be sawn off, but it’s a waste of precious time.

Use original express designs

Yes, a professional in the business has the right to raise the price of his services, but it’s better to add new designs to your price list and raise your average check at the expense of them. Work off as many express designs as possible that look spectacular but are not labour-intensive: cobweb, broken glass, unicorn tear. Sliders are a lifesaver here – they are applied in seconds, there are a lot of variants to make an original author’s design with their help, and it is impossible to complain about the quality of their performance if you followed the instructions.

You are a pleasure to remember

Use a client handout that includes nail care tips, how often you should have your nails done and other tips. Think about what information is important for the client, not only for everyday life, but also for increasing the frequency of visits to the salon.

Specify how often you should visit the salon for nail strengthening treatments – this is the “minimum” program. The “maximum” programme – print a calendar for the next six months and mark with a heart the approximate dates when the client is recommended to repeat the treatment, naming them the days that they should not forget to “devote exclusively to themselves, their beloved!”.

Invest in developing your brand

“Word of mouth” works best, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to run your Instagram – it needs to be filled with interesting photos of your work. It’s only important that they are interesting!

Challenging work will attract new clients. And be sure to register on a nail forum, where you can communicate, exchange ideas. You should have like-minded people and mentors.

Upgrade your qualifications

Also, make it a rule to look at 10 perfect jobs on the internet every day and every three months to upgrade your qualification, more often if possible, less often if possible! This is essential: it is the only way you will grow as a craftsman in your profession.

Successful masters are graduates of such online nail technician courses where:

  • do not teach in one week;
  • they don’t focus on the “beauty” of the certificate;
  • a lot of hours are devoted to practical exercises;
  • a variety of techniques are presented not only for manicure, but also for pedicure and nail design;
  • thematic training projects for professional growth are offered.

Of course, such courses may be more expensive than others, but the result will give a good start for business and confidence in your own abilities.

Agan Jarick
the authorAgan Jarick