How long until I stop making mistakes?


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Well-Known Member
Feb 13, 2007
Reaction score
East Midlands
Hi everyone.
Im really sorry if this thread sounds like I am feeling sorry for myself, but I just feel like I'm getting nowhere fast!
I keep plodding on doing bits of mobile work here and there, as much as I can fit in, and I feel as though it just isn't enough to get good at doing nails. Like most of you I'm sure, I don't have anyone to show me where I'm going wrong, and people keep phoning me with chipped, broken nails or lifting nails. I'm either being taken the michael out of or I really am rubbish. I don't know what to do... I am doing as much training as I can afford to do with Creative.

I think what would be the perfect solution to my problem would be to get a job in a nail salon as a junior, where I could do nails all day long. Trouble is, everywhere wants Beauty Therapists that can do the works, and the nail bars want full-time techs that can work flexible hours.

Its a flaming nightmare, and I just feel like along with my confidence, my reputation as a good nail tech is slowly dimishing. I mean, you can't falter me on things like prep and sanitation, its the application I'm having problems with. I guess its comments like, "Well the nails at the chinese shop stayed on loads longer without any problems, and they were stronger and faster!"

Did any of you guys ever have times when you felt like this at the start?
If so, what did you do to boost your confidence? I don't want to give up, I love it, but to be honest, I'm dreading the phone ringing at the moment in case its someone phoning to complain. I've been mobile for 2 and a half months, and before that I did one evening a week for a year at college, followed by 4 courses with Creative and another one BioSculpture. I only work mornings and the occasional evening and weekend, so I am only doing 2-4 full sets a week, and 1 maintenance a week along with manis, and pedis etc. I guess its probably a case of wanting to run before I can walk isn't it?
sit down with cuppa luv and take 5.... we have all had this...thinking if we CAN do nails,why are my nails lifting,etc....... well we DID pass so we CAN do nails.....lifting could be clients picking at them not just mix ratio or prep sanatize....chips and breaks clients are not always truthfull about how they done own sis-in-law tells me her nails SLID OFF HER FINGERS and she picked the rest...and thats family hun...think of the clients that DONT call you and come back for rebalance/ want to make this work and we all have faith in you so chin up hun and do what your best at xxxxx:hug:
Keep your chin up chick, you have some good education beind you and you are obviously committed to more so you will get there:hug:
Sounds like me a few weeks ago, and Gigi picked me and dusted me down and sent me back out there, don't give up I am sure everyone has felt like this, and still do.
I know what you mean about working in a salon p/t, no one seems to want you, but don't let that put you off!!
May be a fellow geek could spare some time to help, you never know, I am a great be believer you don't ask you don't get, you will get there believe in yourself:hug:
Yes good idea, I will post a thread now, you never know do you?
I just think no matter how much training you do, nothing can beat experience, and its frustrating me so much.
People are so cruel as well.. you spend loads of time making sure everythings perfect from prep to apex and all they can say is, "You're not as fast as blah blah blah" I just feel like saying, "Go there if you want your nails wrecked, but don't come back! I'm trying to enhance your natural nails, not wreck em", I'm trying to educate my clients, sometimes I ask, why do I bother?
You can't win them all, if you educate 1 out of 5 clients you have succeed!! and are good at your job, as for the blah blahs switch off to them, you do not need to justive yourself to anyone, you know you are doing the best for the clients nails and thats all that matters, I am with you on you can't beat experience catch 22, all we can do is keep our chins up, smile and laugh and keep going, all good things come to those that wait:hug:xx
Full of wisdom tonight!! I'm on a roll:lol::lol::lol::lol:
I have felt like this too, the trouble is as people have already said you just don't know how well the client is maintaining their nails the minute that you walk out of the door. It was a real eye opener for me working in a nail bar. Myself and the other technicians were receiving the exact same complaints as I was getting from mobile clients, (my nails have popped off, I have chipped my nails etc etc). The thing that made me really think was that most of the clients came in had no problems whatsoever. They came in for their maintenance appointments and their nails were absolutely fine! I worked on Satudays only due to work other work commitments and my mobile clients. It was the busiest day of the week and I am really glad that I did it because I learnt to work under immense pressure. As others have said you have a good education behind you and you will soon build up your client base. You know you are doing everything properly thorough prep etc, so don't let the odd problems make you feel inadequate. As I say the same complaints are made to all of us, so persevere, keep educating your clients and know that sometimes they will completely ignore your advise and come back time and time again with the exact same problem which most often than not is the fact that they are not looking after their nails.
dont know whether you have time to do this but what about asking a local salon if you could go in voluntary to watch and help out generally. I used to have a hair salon and i had a girl come in after she had finished her college course. She found it helped her so much with her confidence and problem solving etc. She then ended up working with me. Might help get your foot in the door somewhere. You would then have someone on hand to contact if you get a problem. My friend was mobile and she had my number and would contact me if she needed help anytime..
Have you thought about buying a nail trainer? There good because you can keep practicing to your hearts content as much as you like...whenever you like. :)
I would definately recommend you try to get experience in a reputable nail salon. I still do mobile work but work in a salon 1 day a week. I have learned so much more and feel so much more confident. I think this would be so good for you. :) as you obviously care about your career.

Mobile can be lonely in as much as you cannot turn to anyone for immediate support or advice (this site an exception of course). And boy is it hard to build up and maintain clients. Educate your clients in how to look after their enhancements when you are doing their nails and that way they will know that you are professional and that you will not be taken for a ride by those who want freebies. But also take any negatives from your mistakes and learn from it.

One tip I was given and I do think it helps enormously is to get the client to use cuticle oil religiously infills are so much easier and my clients nails look better for longer. Also buy the nail class book by GiGi it is really helpful.

All the best:hug:
It took me at least 19 months after my VTCT (extra tuition included) before I got over my teething problems......don't give're in the right place here to learn and go
Hun we all feel like this from time to time and it is nearly always the clients that make us feel this way, which shows how much you care about your work.
As for the ones that say their nails last longer and are stronger from the certain nss,
i used to give them a leaflet i printed off, i got it from nailzoo`s website, it is all about MMA, when i gave them this they viewed it differently and stopped comparing (thanks Carl).
I also always insist that they use solar oil, the ones that are too tight to buy it at the first appointment would come back with some lifting and i would point it out to them and say this is why i advised using solar oil as it helps to prevent this, bingo they buy one and provided they use it, loads less lifting and work to do on the next appointment.
You have had some really good training so you are right that it is the experience that you need, the only way to get this is to pester every salon you can get to and volunteer your time even if its only one day a week you will pick up loads of tips and will get to see and hear how other technicians deal with complaints and problems from our darling clients.
You will be fine hun, you just have to have a fighting spirit and not let it get you down.
I thought i would never master a smile line and i am no where near perfect yet, but i sat and did a set this afternoon on a client and looked at them and thought to myself how easy was that after all them months of panicking about them,
you will be ok, i promise :hug:
Hi there

Keep your chin up - I think it's the same for all of us when we start out. I am rapidly losing my confidence in nails as I can't get clients to take that chance with me. I need practice and the nail trainer (imo) doesn't give you a true account of how your nails stand up!

Anyone out there in Derby area willing to let me practice on them and they can practice on me in return, pm me please? I am thinking a few hours once a fortnight?
Thanks everybody..
Its definately true that I have a passion for nails, and you're definately right that I need to persevere. The main thing that set me off into thinking I was rubbish was that a few days ago a got a call from one of my new clients.

Now, I had gone round her house a week ago at short notice and I did her nails and her auntie's one after the other, I was there from 7:30pm till 11pm because they wanted nail art for their weekend on the town.
So I got this call a few days ago and its this girl and she said that her nails were lifting and her auntie's were also lifting and chipped and had white bits where you could see her real nail. She said comments like, "I've never had this before, only when my friend did it and she was at college" and "I've paid you £30, I don't expect this to happen after a week." I asked her if she had been using cuticle oil (she was too tight to buy solaroil last time!) and she said that her and her auntie had used it religiously. So I told her I'd go round and sort both their nails out on Tuesday, and that was when I came on here and had a moan.

Anyway, my bitch buddy (husband) told me I needed to stand up for myself and to have confidence in what I am doing otherwise people are just going to walk all over me. So the next day, I did a couple of surprise visits individually to just have a look at their nails. The auntie's nails had grown and were lifting a bit round the cuticles, and so I said, "I can tell you've had your hands in the sink and you've not been using cuticle oil, that's why you have this problem, (she admitted to it!) and the white you can see is your natural nail" (a tiny bit on one finger). There was one chip which wasn't even noticeable so I said, "Well, I'm happy with these nails, and as far as I'm concerned on Tuesday this will be a straight forward rebalance." I told her how much it would be and she was fine with it. But as for the niece... urgh if I'm not boring you I'll go on...

I went round to see her and she was horrible to me... when I told her she had oily nails, she said "well when I was at college doing NVQ2 they never mentioned I had oily nails then!" so when she compared me to the NSS for the second time I just lost it, I said "If thats what you want luv, then go there, but I'm not doing this for free because thats what you want me to do isn't it. I'm a business not a charity." Anyway, I am doing her nails on Tuesday, but one more word from her and I'm definately going to drop her. Some people want blood don't they?
Hope you're all awake, sorry!
PMSL i take it from you saying you will drop her you mean you would like to punch her lights out lol
i have been tempted many many times, only last week there was one but i bit my lip and got on with it, sooner we have finished them nails sooner the client with a bad attitude is out of our face lol
if she really really gets on your nerves and continues to wind you up on purpose on your next visit i would just explain to her that you are been paid to do her nails and not take her insults and rudeness, then give her the choice to either act like an adult with manners or carry on and be left with unfinished nails,
i put money on it that she soon changes her tune and acts like an adult,
yes you may lose a client but do you really want one that is as rude as she is :hug:
Now, I had gone round her house a week ago at short notice and I did her nails and her auntie's one after the other, I was there from 7:30pm till 11pm because they wanted nail art for their weekend on the town.

Hun you did really well to do two sets AND nail art in 3 and a half hours I would never have been able to do that when I was doing mobile possibly not even now if they were talkers! Rude customers used to really get me down and i think everyone has thought of packing it all in at some point because it is hard to make a good living and build a client base from scratch but I am so glad I didn't now-I am opening my second business on Friday and it is really worth it when you look back after a hard couple of years. Hope your feeling better about everything now anyway :hug:
ruby-nails;653342 I just lost it said:
You Go Girl!!! This bit made me smile when I read it. I've been through what you're describing, well similar anyway, in the early days(about 4 years ago). I wish I'd said that. :hug: No, I just took all the insults, came home, cried, and bit by bit ironed out all the little things that were going wrong with the nails I was doing, which tbh sometimes were only little things but boy, do some people like to have a good moan. I like to think it's cos they don't get out much. :smack:

I think what you said was perfectly in order. And if she really really gets you down, yep, dump her. She's not worth it.

Earlier this year I "sacked " a client, none too politely either as she caught me on a highly stressed day when my little girl was going in to hospital the next day for an op so nails were the least of my concerns at the time. She was whinging about having to pay for a few repairs when she wasn't taking my advice anyway, wouldn't have an apex built in, "my last tech didn't charge bla bla" Well GO THERE THEN! (Felt heaps better not having to see the old whinger again!)

Whatever the outcome with these two hun, I wish you lots of luck and hope they stay nice and polite:hug::hug:
Dont sounds to me you are on the right track...and you care about your clients...thats why you bother:hug:

I sacked a client myself earlier this year,not for nails but for facials,as like yours i had enough of the constant rubbish and lack of well no home care you are not alone!!

If its any consolation im undertaking training my self,in nails,and i know ill be hopeless,but the thing is it takes patience,a thick skin,and some wont go wrong:)
Good for you! You really have to educate the clients. I felt exactly the same when I started - I'd literally be shaking and really nervous when someone called.
I agree with the printing out of the MMA stuff and Solar oil application.
Please don't give up - you sound exactly like me!! and I'm still going for it!

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