Last Saturday wasn't much to write about. Because I'd only had one week of instruction, I wasn't yet qualified to give manicures to real clients, so I spent the day keeping up with laundry needs of the salon and studying my notes.
It paid off this week on Tuesday and Wednesday though. Tuesday was a test day, and I took three chapters' tests. I passed them all (one took two tries because of tricky wording) and then Rachel practiced manicuring on me. I feel bad, because I try to eliminate cuticles and ugly nail shapes myself for this blog, so I didn't leave her much to practice with. Wait'll we get to toes...she'll have plenty to work with.
Wednesday was our first practical test, where we practiced what we'd learned on paper and each other, on real people. My model was my lovely friend Clare. She came in and sat, just as a real client would, and I went from start to finish for a basic mani. Start being greeting her at the desk, and finish being handing her off at the front desk again and thanking her for everything. Of course, there was a full mani in between (shaping, removing cuticles, massage, polish). She was a wonderful model, and Concha signed me off as ready to do manis on actual clients. Here's her final result:
|The color is Decoded from ORLY|
So this Saturday was much more lively! I was officially on the books and tested out of a basic manicure, a paraffin manicure, a hot oil manicure, and shellac (which is actually gel at our school).
This week, I learned (and probably should have known beforehand), that gel and Shellac are used interchangeably now. Shellac is a CND-only name. Sort of like how everyone calls bandages "Band-aids". I think the formula is slightly different between that and gel, but the principle is the same. The gel needs to be cured under UV light to dry. It dries quickly under the light, and is supposed to last longer than regular lacquer. In my school, though the service is advertised as "Shellac", it's not technically Shellac because we use the Gelish brand, which, as you may have guessed, is a gel. I performed a gel manicure on one 'client', but more on that later.
As a courtesy to the clients I do not personally know, I will not be using anyone's name that I don't personally know. My first client was a new-to-me older woman who came in for a basic manicure with no color. It was nice to start the whole experience off with a stranger, so I could seriously practice my interpersonal skills. It's obviously much less easy to talk to someone when all you have is small talk to jump off with.
By the end of her manicure, we were both very comfortable with each other and had exchanged stories and laughs. She also asked that I give her my name and number so she could book future appointments specifically with me, which really touched me. I took time to educate her on what I was using, and how she could help deal with her main concern, which was dry cuticles. In Colorado, that's always an uphill battle, so I gave her tips and some products to work with to keep them in good shape post-service. She was lovely.
My second client was my dear friend Chloe, who received a paraffin treatment. (She's been on Nailed It before here and here.) We had a grand ole time, and the paraffin wax was a nice touch for her since she's been using her hands regularly lately for some intramural rowing. Here's the picture of her final look (which I didn't snap a picture of in proper lighting):
I finished up the day by practicing gels on our school's receptionist, Sarah. She had some trouble with the removal of her old gel polish, so I focused on getting her nails in good shape for the new treatment. She's always in the salon, and interfaces with everyone that comes through, so it was nice to chat privately and get to know each other better. I didn't snap a picture of her final look.
So that's the second week, which flew by now that I have more than laundry to do! Besides the distinction between gel and shellac, I picked up some valuable lessons. First, I need to manage and keep an eye on the time much more closely. I'll be adding a small desk clock to my kit to place in plain sight during procedures. It's not necessary, but it's something I know will keep me focused on that pitfall in my skills.
Second, paraffin treatments do not need a lot of wax to be effective. In fact, too much can be harmful to the final result. Chloe's right hand was overly-buttered, so I had to do some extra working in to get them mixed in.
I'm also going to look into those creepy finger condoms that you can roll over one finger. Why? During my first service, I had a bandaid over my thumb, which was red and sore from a hangnail removal. It was not pleasant to look at, so I decided to cover it for the service. This wound up being too difficult to manage, especially during the massage, as the lotion simply slid the bandaid off. I consulted with my client, to see if she was comfortable with me removing the bandage, and she was. If I'd had a finger condom on, I could've simply covered it.
Now my questions for you:
- Have you had any experience with gel vs. Shellac? Do you have a favorite?
- What's your favorite part of a hand and forearm massage?
- What does your manicurist do for you that you find special among other manicurists?