#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!


  1. I enjoyed reading your post because I am thinking to do a nail tech school too. I am a graphic designer and I have a job, so it will be hard to do both...but this is a dream of mine and I want to make it come true!

    1. I was working during nail school as well. I attended night and weekend classes while working a 9-5. It was a busy 8 months but it's done, and I loved doing it, so it wasn't hard. Go for it! Plus graphic design can be forgiving, and I'm guessing you can work from home as well

  2. It's so nice to see hard work being rewarded and someone enjoying their job!


  3. Wow, how exciting!! Conrgats on the promotion, that's awesome! :)

  4. So, so thrilled for you. If I were in the right part of the country that is exactly the type of spa I would love to visit. Congratulations on your happy success!

  5. I'm sooo happy for you. If you do what you love you'll never work a day in our life. My goal is to be like you one day. I just went to the site that you provided and I'm on the line with Marinelo now. Wish me luck.

  6. I'm sooo happy for you. If you are doing what you love then you'll never work a day in your life. I went to the site that you provided and I'm on the phone with them now! Wish me luck, and congrats again

  7. Congratulations on lead nail tech! It's fantastic that you have a job you truly love and are passionate about.

  8. The spa looks amazing! So awesome to hear what happened after your training!


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