#NailTechNailedIt - Life After Nail School - Where I'm Working

Happy New Year everyone! Apologies for the lack of posts here on the blog. Hopefully you were entertained through one of my other channels, like Instagram!

Posts have been few and far between due to some big changes in my life, so I thought a wrap-up of my #NailTechNailedIt posts would be perfect to explain the absence. After all, it's all because of last year's decision to become licensed as a nail tech that I am where I am.

Where I Work

After graduating nail school in March 2014, I entered the nail industry right away. I quit my job at a software company, gave it a weekend, and jumped right into my new job and career as a nail tech. Now, you can find me 5 days a week at Boulder's 4-star hotel, St. Julien Hotel & Spa.

Courtesy of St. Julien Spa

It's as beautiful a place to work as it is to stay, with big bright windows looking out on the colorful characters of Boulder strolling by. The facilities are fantastic as well, with full access to the spa amenities provided to every guest I provide services to. That includes access to the pool, fitness room, hot tub, steam room, showers, and sauna. It's a place where people come to relax, and then pop into the salon where I work for awesome pedicures that are accompanied by cocktails and great service. I really love working there, and the benefits are fantastic! And no, I was not paid or coerced into saying any of that! ;)

I began working there in April, and since then, things have only gotten better!

Dreams Do Come True

After working hard to improve my own skills and client experiences for 9 months, I was promoted to lead nail tech at the spa! Part of it was luck, as the previous lead left to go be a full-time mom to her son and soon-to-be daughter, but most of it was pure hard work. The management staff saw my passion. I was interviewed by the Daily Camera (the local Boulder newspaper) about my blog and the Marie Claire "Favorite Nail Blog" award, and both management and potential clients took notice! Several clients have come by seeking out the nail art I've become known for in the salon. Others are converting their classic red manicures into something with a little more pizazz, even if it's just a sparkly tip.

Never in my wildest dreams when I started my foray into nails did I ever think I'd become a nail tech, and never did I think I'd be a lead nail tech at an award-winning spa after less than a year of being there. But, my wildest dreams have become a reality right in front of my eyes, and I leave work happy every day, thrilled I made the switch.


So if you're considering becoming a nail tech like I know some of you are, then do it! Hard work, passion, and drive seriously pays off, especially in this industry!

"But Katy...it's so expensive!" Seek out scholarships if you can't afford it. Sarah, the nail artist at Chalkboard Nails, just started nail school on a full ride from the Tippi Hedren scholarship (read more about that here). OPI offers scholarships as well.

Not sure what kind of school is in your area? Check out Beauty Schools Directory, which compiles a pretty comprehensive list of schools near you that offer both full cosmetology and nail tech-only licenses. That's how I found my school, and, well, the rest is history!

So thanks to those of you who stuck around patiently as almost a month went by before any posts were put up. It's all for great things, and though posts weren't as frequent, plenty is in the works. Here's what's coming down the pipeline in the near future on Nailed It:
  • The China Glaze Twinkle collection and nail art
  • Some fun nail decal designs from Nail Doodles
  • So...many...Zoyas!
  • Tutorial updates
  • ...and more!

Easy, Striking Last-Minute New Year's Eve Nails for Divine Caroline

So you've waited this long to start thinking about what nails you want to rock New Year's Eve, and you're kind of panicking. Wrapping up your outfit, styling your hair, and getting to the party all come before your plans to even start a manicure for yourself.

Well don't worry...your procrastination may be the best thing for you this time. I've got a super easy look for you to recreate tomorrow that looks like the ball dropped and shattered all over your nails.

Check out this silver foil nail art tutorial!

 Perfect right?!

To get the full details of this look, head over to Divine Caroline here and try it out yourself.

Don't have nail foil or foil glue? The Foil Em' kit I used in the tutorial was picked up at Sally's, so stop by there today so you're fully prepped!

Zoya Ignite Swatches & Review

I'm really excited to share this week's nails with you. These are the complements to the Zoya Entice collection post from October. And although they're shimmers which generally aren't my favorites, I was able to pull one of my new favorite nail art designs out of it. Check it out!

I saw this sweatshirt and knew it'd be a great way to use Teigen (one of the Ignite polishes) for nail art. The lips and checkerboard patterns were both freehand, and I fished the glitter for the index finger out of an OPI polish, I Snow You Love Me.

Each of the colors applied wonderfully in two coats. You'll definitely need to let each layer dry between coats because the microshimmer can cause a little grit that tends to pull with the brush if you layer on top of wet polish.

Now let's look at the swatches of Ignite! First up...Teigen.

Teigen (2 coats) is a dark pink foil with gold microshimmer engrained within.

Autumn (2 coats) is copper foil with gold microshimmer. (Heads up...there's lots of gold!)

Color Club Made in NY Swatches & Review

Did you know that Color Club polishes were born in New York City? It's completely appropriate then that their latest line of colors represent the city that never sleeps. Today, we're checking out Made in NY from Color Club (available here).

The collection includes 7 polishes - 4 microglitters and 3 non-sheer finishes (though I wouldn't call them all cremes necessarily). The microglitter shimmers each have their own finish, that when placed over black, shine and twinkle like diamonds. This inspired my nail art for the collection...New York diamonds!

Nail Art

See the subtle glint of each diamond? I wish I'd gotten you all a video of the sparkle in each action. I had a great time creating these, because each diamond is quite small, but my fine line practice paid off...in diamonds!


First, let's take a look at the swatches of the non-sheer polishes.

Apple of My Eye (2 coats) is a great winter color. This is a classy, sophisticated magenta-burgundy with a little bit of shimmer to accent its shine on the nail.

Holly Jolly Mistletoe Mani Tutorial for Divine Caroline

After you try today's holiday tutorial, see if your creations can score you some holiday kisses if you hold your hand above your boyfriends head. I tried it on mine...it totally works!

I came up with a fool proof way to get perfect mistletoe leaves every time. It's easier than you'd think!

This is another Divine Caroline collaboration, so head over to that post here for all the details on this fun Christmas nail tutorial!

Cosmoprof North America 2014: INM (International Nail Manufacturers)

A new month, another new installment of Cosmoprof North America 2014 and what the industry attendants had to show off this past summer. The rest of those posts, if you're looking for them, can be found with the CPNA 2014 tag.

Today - INM is featured, which stands for "International Nail Manufacturers", but is more commonly known for its abbreviation. Still not ringing a bell? They're the producers of everyone's favorite microglitter top coat, Northern Lights! Now you're definitely interested!

INM at Cosmoprof 2014

At CPNA 2014, I happened upon the INM booth, and was met by a lot of products I didn't know about. Like many of you, it didn't jump out to me as an obvious nail product line, but I'm glad I stumbled by. The ladies of INM filled me in on some pretty exciting things about the company.

Firstly, I was introduced to the INM polish line, which recently underwent a nice makeover from their previous bottle design, which was a tad more chubby looking. Shockingly, there were a lot of great colors, and I grabbed a few to take home and try (which you'll catch at the end of this post along with some sunny nail art you won't want to miss). At the show, they were launching their new fall line.

Tutorial for Divine Caroline: Mad-About-Plaid Christmas Nails

Perfect plaid nails are easier than you think, with today's Divine Caroline tutorial! We call this, "Mad About Plaid", and they're perfect for ripping open wrapping paper and stuffing tasty holiday delights down your throat!

The full tutorial is available over at Divine Caroline here, so pop over for more plaid!