I am rubbish at nails!!!!!


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Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2007
Reaction score
bradford, west yorkshire
Hi everyone
Just a quick grumble really, was wondering if this happened to any of you when training.

I am at that point where I'm practising and more practising to try and get my skills to a point where I can inflict myself on the paying public. I was doing very well indeed, and was getting "pretend client" feedback that they would be happy to pay for the enhancements I did.

Anyway, I did a nail trainer hand yesterday and it was awful!!!!!! I didnt worry too much, this happens when you're training I suppose, but my friend came to see me last night. Me being me, I take any opportunity to practise at the moment, so I got her to agree to me doing her some enhancements while we talked. To cut a long story short they took me nearly 4 hours and they were worse than the nail trainer I did earlier that day. My smile lines are, well, "random" to put it nicely, the acrylic is too thick, etc etc. The skill that I had built up just seems to have disappeared overnight:irked:.

My friend gawd knows how, was really happy with them, either that or she's too nice to say they were crap, however she has spoken to another friend of ours, who has rung today to say she would like to be a victim and is coming over this afternoon for me to do some enhancements on her. I've agreed because clearly I need all the practice I can get at the moment, but why have I lost what I've learned overnight? Has anyone else experienced this?

Just to give you an idea of where I am, I've still got the last day of my l&p foundation course to do (which theres no way I'll pass with enhancements like those!), and I've asked to book some skill building to follow the
foundation course.

Any encouragement or advice (no matter how critical, I can take it!) that you can give me will be extremely welcomed!!!!

Why don't you only do 1 hand for her? It will takes you half the time (obviously!) and you can concentrate on just those 5 nails and making them the best you can. Go back to basics, read your Foundation manual and go through the steps in your head.

Take you time on each step of the process and try to relax. Stop the chatter if it helps, and don't 'poke' the product around (I know I used to......).

Finally, take a look at this thread of mine and take heart from it..... http://www.salongeek.com/nail-geek/51418-those-newbies-who-lack-confidence-their-nails.html


p.s. You're not rubbish, you're learning!
Hello chelle!

Try not to be to hard on yourself. Im sure in time you'll get there. It took me a while after qualifying to feel confident with nails, and still now im learning something new everyday. We are our own worst critics. What we sometimes think doesnt look up to scratch others will see no fault in. Give it a bit of time with nails and if its still not for you, maybe you can re consider your options? There are heaps of threads on here with little hints and tips to help you tweak your techniques. Have a good search around, they've helped me no end :) xx
Hi Michelle, aww Hun, we have all been there. Sometimes, i think it is worth taking a step back and having a little break. I myself did this when i was training, where i would start to get better, then all of a sudden i would go back to the way i was before training.

I think there is a point where you can be trying SO hard, that we end up making our nails worse! Then, because you feel like you are going backwards, you try even harder and then get frustrated which again has an even more negative effect.

You need to step back, breathe, have a break and tell yourself, you know you can do it, you just need a bit of time out to clear your head and start fresh.

I've been doing nails for 3 and 1/2 years and still have the odd off day, which depends on how i'm feeling, if i'm tired or if i've had a rough night.:rolleyes:

It does eventually fall into place, but you are still very new to nails, so don't be so hard on yourself. It takes the best of us about 100 fullsets of nails to really start becoming an excellent tech. You will get there, just be patient. Plus remember, anyone who isn't a tech doesn't really know what they are looking for in a set of nails, they just want longer nails that are better than their own. You've only got to look at some celebs nails to see that.:lol:

Keep at it girl, you'll get there.
Oh, we all have our bad days, hun! Just take a big breath and relax. There is no way you can lose your skills overnight (unless you've been under brain surgery!). Practice, practice, and then practice some more, and I am sure you'll do great!
I think it might have something to do with your perception...

When you first start doing nails, let's face it, they're usually all pretty bad. But now you're improving and you *know* what looks good. Perhaps you're just being hypercritical of your nails now. After all... you *know* what makes a good nail and you're possibly just being hard on yourself.

I know I'm guilty of that...!!! :green: My only cure for this is to go back and look at the "coasters" I made when I first started doing nails!
I'm not bursting bubbles, but maybe you are just crap at it (not everyone can do it), give it some time ..... if it doesn't workout or get better.... give up and move onto something you are good at. There is no shame in not being able to do something, anyone who thinks otherwise should have a go at nuclear science or some other trade where they are out of their depth.


Accepting your flaws is as important as acknowledging your successes.
Thankyou all for your advice, it's been particulary helpful. In particular, thanks Vetty for your advice about "poking" the acrylic about. When I considered this and viewed my method critically I realised that I have fallen into this habit. I did my friends nails today, and reverted back to the method of pushing and guiding the bead as I was taught, and it made a huge difference. Also, thanks Amethyst angel for your advice, I think you are right to some extent. When I look back on my earlier nails, they were much worse, but I thought they were fine at the time, I suppose I'm becoming more tuned in to what looks right maybe??
Anyway, I did my friends nails today, taking into account all of your advice, and they were a vast improvement on yesterdays; good smile lines, nice parallel side walls etc, quite acceptable for someone at my stage even if I do say so myself. Perhaps I was having an off-day, but I'm also sure that your advice has helped a great deal.

Obviously, the reason I started this thread was to see if any other techs experienced a decline in their skills mid-training, and to see if anyone could offer advice as to how they addressed this issue. this site has been particularly valuable to me for this purpose while my local Creative Academy has been closed, and so to those who have been good enough to share the benefit of their experience with a trainee I am extremely grateful.

I am going to be dismissive towards the suggestion that I should consider if I am just "crap" at nails, as I think this defeatist attitude is unhelpful to the extreme, and frankly this sort of attitude that, if you are no good at something straight away, you should consider giving up, is the sort of attitude I tell my eleven year old off for having. Show me a person who was fully proficient at applying enhancements after 3 months of training and I will show you a liar. If I had been doing enhancements for a couple of years, and had received guidance, further training, plentiful experience and lots of one to one training, and I was still no good I might review my goals then, but fortunately I'm naturally determined enough not to let a bad day get to me in such a way. I KNOW I can be good at enhancements, I'm under no illusions, I know I need so much more training and guidance, but certainly I have the determination of character to keep ploughing through good days and bad.

Aaanyway, now that I've addressed that issue, I am going to spend a day or so reviewing my theory books, because on my learning curve, I've begun to appreciate just how vital the theoretical side of this is. Next time I do some nails, I will take pics and post them for you to look at and comment. I welcome worthwhile and constructive criticism, I'm a big girl and I can take it, although if you are inclined to leave harsh remarks in order to demoralise new techs in order to massage your own ego, please dont bother!!!!!!!

Many thanks for reading my ramblings! :lol:
Michelle Ignore those that try to put you down, you seem really determined and with that attitude you are sure to succeed. Good luck hun and keep practicing.

Ignore the defeatist attitude. What a b***h!:irked: I have been doing nails for 2 years, & somedays they are abysmal! lol Well, not brilliant anyway. :lol: It does depend if you are tired, or distracted, or maybe you just don't feel like doing nails that day!

Relax, at least you have friends who will let you practice on them. None of mine would, so my poor husband was the 'victim' :lol:
If I may offer some advice that I think will actually help you instead of just encourage you (or discourage you as the case may be ...) it would be this:

Many new technicians get into 'trouble' because they are using too much product on their brush .. IOW ... you are making your beads too large! You make the bead too large and then you just use it instead of only using some of it or rejecting it and starting again and making a smaller bead. Sometimes when sitting with a client you are embarrassed to reject a bead in fornt of them and to start again. Don't be.

The result is unweildy enhancements that are too thick or lumpy and bumpy and ungainly, LOTS of buffing to get them to look good again (hence the amount of time you are taking to complete the set,) and you becoming discouraged and disheartend.

Use smaller beads and if necessary, more of them instead of large ones. Less liquid in your brush = smaller beads.

Your results will be more pleasing and acheived with much less work with your abrasives/files.

Good luck and don't give up just yet until you have tried it. xx
I think its good that you are questioning yourself at this stage...it shows that you know your faults and that you need to improve...its those who cant see there faults and think they are great that worry me.

Have you got a copy of Gigi's book Nailclass....? it would really help you.

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