Becoming a nail technician?

#1
Hi, I have been doing nails for friends and myself for about 15 years now and have always really enjoyed it, so I’ve decided to become a nail technician working from home to start with. I’m almost 28 so I aren’t really sure what to do to get qualified etc?

So far I have inquired at my local college about their nail technology courses which start in September and they offer a level 2 and level 3 course, but only the level 3 course is covered by an advanced learner loan, so I’ve applied for that and received a conditional offer depending what the tutor decides. The requirements of the level 3 course are either to have completed the level 2 course or to have relevant experience/qualifications.

Since I have no paper evidence of my experience I have been looking locally and there’s no short practical courses at the moment that aren’t super expensive, so I’ve had to look at online courses and decided to go with the centre of excellence’s two nail courses (nail technician and nail art) awarded by ABC awards who are regulated by Ofqual so they are genuine recognised qualifications, unlike loads of others I saw - absolutely shocking companies do this but that’s a rant for another day!

I’ve completed the nail technician course already and got a distinction - result was 99% !! I’ve also bought 3 brand new essential nail courses - spa manicure and pedicure, acrylic nails and nail art. They were really cheap and despite essential nails stopping the courses they will still transfer the name as the original enrolment has already taken place, so I was going to do those and have also been thinking of attending a local 2 day practical training session on acrylics or gels with Salon Services/Sally’s with the intention of completing all before September if possible.

Will all that be enough to get on the level 3 course? Or will I even need to go to college since I could get insurance and start working on paying clients now? I would like keep learning and improving as much as possible by doing the college course as it’s a year work experience in the college salon and maybe set up doing nails from home while doing the college course? I don’t know...

Does anyone have any help or advice please?

Another thing I noticed is that there are loads of nail salons where I live but only 1 mobile technician. How can I stand out from these salons? I was thinking of just slashing my prices, sending some flyers out and using social media. I really want to do this as my career so that there’s loads of other salons hasn’t put me off per se. Just means it’s going to be a little harder to be successful :)

Also having recently bought 25 various colours of CND shellac gel polishes, I really don’t understand why they are the market leading brand. They were mostly all thick, gloopy and showed every brush stroke instead of blending together even after 3 coats I still wasn’t happy with the application. I know it wasn’t anything to do with my application technique so is this just how the polish is or did I possibly get a bad batch? I have 20 blue sky gels and 50 odd of lagunamoon (my absolute favourite polish brand btw!) and I just have this issue with CND.

Sorry for the long post! Any replies will be much appreciated

Thank you,
Charlotte x
 
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#2
Who said CND are the best. They do a lot of marketing hence the price.
 

ciderella71

Well-Known Member
#3
L&P requires a huge amount of practice. I know you’ve been doing it for 15 years however without education you may have picked up bad habits or your work could be amazing!
Others will disagree with me but I can’t see how an online course can teach proper application. It’s about bead ratio and I couldn’t have mastered that without lots of practice and my tutor on hand to help me.
I learned at college and the course was outdated but I had lots of time to practice and ask for help.

Re prices I would not recommending slashing your prices to get business. You will attract clients looking for a deal who won’t return when you increase your prices. You need loyal clients. If your work is of a high standard they’ll return.

Re shellac...I’m not the right person to answer that but if you bought them from Sweet Squared or Ellisons they will be the genuine product as they are authorised distributors. Hopefully someone else can advise better. Lots of debate over using Bluesky on here.....
 

#4
Who said CND are the best. They do a lot of marketing hence the price.
The way others on here have raved about CND like it’s the holy grail of gel polish. I definitely don’t agree x
 

#5
L&P requires a huge amount of practice. I know you’ve been doing it for 15 years however without education you may have picked up bad habits or your work could be amazing!
Others will disagree with me but I can’t see how an online course can teach proper application. It’s about bead ratio and I couldn’t have mastered that without lots of practice and my tutor on hand to help me.
I learned at college and the course was outdated but I had lots of time to practice and ask for help.

Re prices I would not recommending slashing your prices to get business. You will attract clients looking for a deal who won’t return when you increase your prices. You need loyal clients. If your work is of a high standard they’ll return.

Re shellac...I’m not the right person to answer that but if you bought them from Sweet Squared or Ellisons they will be the genuine product as they are authorised distributors. Hopefully someone else can advise better. Lots of debate over using Bluesky on here.....
So you agree I should take the college course? I really want to, but my question was would the abc awards and the essential nail diploma’s be enough to get me on the level 3 course since I can’t do the level 2. I suppose I could just ask the tutor to let me do a practical and she assess from that if I’m knowledgeable enough?

If I don’t do some sort of introductory offer how do I get clients then? I was thinking an instagram page full of examples of my work, Facebook page, Facebook marketplace and maybe create a website and use google ads, but there’s quite a lot near me so I’d really need to stand out.

I don’t understand the issues surrounding blue sky. The company made a mistake re marketing and the brand but they’ve since rebranded and the actual product works great. Only time it’s come off is when I’ve removed it. Gone over 3 weeks with no lifting, chipping or anything. Lagunamoon is my favourite though anyway. Never had any polish apply so flawlessly and that again lasts 3 weeks. The CND was that thick and gloopy it was lifting after 8 days when I tried it. Like I say though it was just a few out of the 25 colours I bought that were thick and gloopy and those were the ones I wanted to try. Maybe the other ones would last longer, I don’t know... They were all genuine products too bought from sweet squared x
 

#6
You could do an offer for a limited time to build up a portfolio for marketing.

I’m not getting into the bluesky debate as thankfully I don’t see it mentioned often on here now but if you use the search function you’ll find loads of info on it. By using bluesky you won’t stand out from others and your clients can buy it themselves.

Sweet Squared customer service is great so if you give them a call I’m sure they’ll be able to help re the shellac
 

Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
#7
It’s up to the individual colleges to set their entry requirements.
They might be willing to offer you entry to their level 3 but you need to speak to the admissions tutor directly.

They were all genuine products too bought from sweet squared x
It’s supposed to be sold to qualified professionals only so I’m wondering how you were able to buy from Sweet Squared if you’re not yet qualified?
CND shellac isn’t usually thick and gloopy so I assumed from your initial post it must be a fake product that you’re using. Very odd.

A lot of techs won’t use Bluesky because the company don’t put any serious resources into supporting nail techs with ongoing training and development unlike CND and they sell to anyone. I’d liken it to a hairdressing salon selling Tesco own brand shampoo. I don’t do nails anymore so I’m not aligned to CND but as a professional, I only want to support brands that support the industry in return.
 

#8
It’s up to the individual colleges to set their entry requirements.
They might be willing to offer you entry to their level 3 but you need to speak to the admissions tutor directly.



It’s supposed to be sold to qualified professionals only so I’m wondering how you were able to buy from Sweet Squared if you’re not yet qualified?
CND shellac isn’t usually thick and gloopy so I assumed from your initial post it must be a fake product that you’re using. Very odd.

A lot of techs won’t use Bluesky because the company don’t put any serious resources into supporting nail techs with ongoing training and development unlike CND and they sell to anyone. I’d liken it to a hairdressing salon selling Tesco own brand shampoo. I don’t do nails anymore so I’m not aligned to CND but as a professional, I only want to support brands that support the industry in return.
On the website when I created my account I chose the option of like student or currently learning I think it was and then I just placed the order. CND is readily available on amazon and eBay to anyone new and used, even salons sell them off in bulk due to brand change etc, although I understand what you mean about the companies supporting the industry. In my experience of doing nails for friends and family they want them done for the experience (rather than doing them themselves) as well as a long lasting good result regardless of brand name - they literally just pick a colour from my colour cards and swatches. It’s all the same price anyway (I charge £3 just to cover products etc). With the hairdressers likeness, I’d trust the professional knowing what she was doing and if it was a good enough product to use in a salon but if it was Tesco value shampoo/conditioner I wouldn’t want to pay too much for the overall service lol everyone looks down on store home brands. Blue sky isn’t my go-to brand anyway, I just bought the ones I have for the huge range of pinks and glitters, but i can’t deny it is a good gel polish from my experience with it.

When I do set up properly/professionally I will be choosing one main brand to use for each service or multiple services depending on which is the best for everything but also affordable while setting up. Apart from CND do you have any recommendations for gel polish? Preferably not too expensive per bottle since I just paid all that for CND to be let down :/ shame Lagunamoon is so cheap or I’d love to use that but the Tesco value thing comes to mind ! Xx
 

ciderella71

Well-Known Member
#9
Have a look at The Gel
Bottle although you’ll need to be qualified to order.
If you ordered from sweet Squared you won’t be let down. Have you contacted them??
 

#10
Have a look at The Gel
Bottle although you’ll need to be qualified to order.
If you ordered from sweet Squared you won’t be let down. Have you contacted them??
Not yet. I’m not sure if I will. After reading more threads on here I’m beginning to think it was an error I was able to order to them online plus I hate making a fuss so just going to play about with them some more over the next week or so and see how I get on. I’ll have a look at TGB though thank you x
 

#11
I know they seem expensive but CND or NSI etc are the best training and once you’ve trained you can order their products. Once you have your qualification you can try other brands but I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest money in training and products as the client won’t come back if her manicure isn’t any good. I would suggest maybe working for someone for a bit, just to gain experience with different products, dealing with clients and problems.. as the manager will sort it and it’s not all on you. I worked for a few years as an employee and gained all my experience from my managers who had been doing it for years and now I’m self employed. It’s scary working for yourself and being all alone, however it’s the best way to make money! Maybe enquire with cnd and see how much a mani pedi course is then do the shellac course, or another training brand. Sorry I trained at college to get my qualification but have only done courses with CND and NSI so can’t think off the top of my head any others. I use shellac and I like it because it soaks off really easily. CND put a lot of time and money into advertising so all you have to do is mention you use it and clients will flock to you. Never drop your prices!!! I would be suspicious of a cheap nail technician and it’s always really hard to put the prices back up. Maybe do an introductory offer where you buy the first shellac and get the second half price but they have to buy both on the first appointment, so they have paid for the second so they will be coming back! Practise is key when starting out, you already have all those years practising and if you’re good then great. I would try Facebook, Instagram and treatwell (they take a small percentage but they do all the work for you and it’s worth it when starting up). I use shellac and I do find some colours can be “tricky” but it all takes time and practise, if you stick with it you will find it getting easier with time. Also it takes time to get clients, if you are good at your job people will refer you to their friends. It’s a great career and very rewarding but getting the right training and experience is important. Good luck
 
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