Advise needed


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New Member
Nov 17, 2003
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Ashford, Middlesex
I am currently studying a VTCT Advanced Nails course which is due to finish at the end of May. I am very pleased with both my Acrylic and Fibre Glass nails, however for our final exam we need to be able to do a full set in an hour and a half. At the moment a full set is taking me near on two hours. I know with practise this will be reduced, however I am running out of hands.

All my friends and family have nails, but I need to do more full sets. Does anyone think it would be a good idea for me to advertise and say I am looking for hand models to practise on, and should I charge a small amount for this?

Any advise is much appreciated, looking forward to hearing from you...

Sarah xx

I know of some fully qualified nail techs that still take 2 solid hours to do a good set of nails, time should only be an issue if you are booking clients, don't sacrifice the quality because of the amount of time you have.

Advertising for hands is a good idea but, you need to be careful, i presume you don't have any insurance and if you are going to start charging, and putting nails on people you don't know you really should have professional insurance !!

Have you thought of buying a nailtrainer (artificial hand for training on !).

Hope you sort it all out, practice makes perfect.... well usually it does !

Hi Sarah

I have been doing nails for a year now and I still can't get my time below
2 hours for a full set. Maybe a bit slow compared to a lot of seasoned techs on this site but I am determined to do a good job and if I rush it I don't!!

A nail trainer hand is a good investment - it never complains no matter how many sets u do and doesn't mind how long they take. I just hope that the more I keep practising then the speed will come in time.

I think it's very unfair of your tutor to put that kind of pressure on you. To get the job done in that space of time at this stage you might end up compromising on the quality of the nails. I can do a full set in that amount of time but I,ve been doing nails alot longer. Some clients take a bit longer sometimes.
If you have insurance by all means advertise for hands but yes, do charge for it, after all your products will cost you money. If this isn't possible don't sweat. I doubt they will fail you for not getting a full set done within the time allowed.
Getting your timing better comes naturally. It's more important to do a good job than a rushed one.
Do you provide the model for your assesment? The reason I ask is that if you are careful to pick the right model this could get your time down to 1 1/2 hrs. Look for a model who's natural nails are going to offer you no problems, and do as much of the prep as possible before the assesment. OK maybe it is cheating, but this is what most people do in competitions. You could not win with a model with awful natural nails. In the real world of nails there are plenty of techs earning good money doing sets in 2 hrs or more so the quality of result should be your main aim. Some nails are more difficult to do than others - so make it easy for yourself.
I was one of the lucky ones I guess when doing my VTCT, I had partnered a girl who had never even held a nail file before and needed a lot of help. I had been doing nails for a while (after bad training I have to add) so I always let her do her practicing and then when it was my turn I was always against the clock.
When doing the VTCT you have to get it done in that time because the caretakers have to lock up the college.
If yours is anything like mine was you have more than 1 and half hours in your lesson, take your own model and get in, set up and get that model sat down asap. As long as you finish about 15 mins before lesson finishes you should be ok, but check it out with your tutor. She may be a stickler for the course or she may be lenient, don`t stress about it though, plenty of practice and you will get there. But take Ella`s advice and get yourself a model with lovely nail beds and cuticle area, it cuts down on your time. Good luck
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