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Nail Competitions - your tips and advice

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Kathryn

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Hi all

As some of you may be aware, there is a National Nail Competition running alongside the Professional Nails exhibition in September.

I am currently writing a competition preview page in the July/Aug issue of Professional Nails and thought I'd appeal to the Geeks for some help.

Other than the obvious practise, practise, practise, what are your top tips for competing in a nail competition? What would be on your checklist of things to do and take?

Any comments greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Kathryn
Features writer
Professional Nails magazine
 

Sparklepink

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hi,
a site you might find some use is
http://www.vickipeters.com/
i haven't entered a nail comp before and am going to enter at excel,
i have booked a comp class with Antony Buckley so i am getting prepared :D

Jess
;)
 

louise

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Hi,

I found a lot of useful information from other peoples web sites esp www.ginawallace.com

Lou xxx :D
 

nikki-la-la

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Kathryn, my post was too long... :? lol, so I have PM'd you.

xx
 

groovynails

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nikki-la-la would like to have seen your top tips ,i dont mind long posts especially when they are so helpful,not that im entering any comps at the mo but could do with some top tips for when i do :D
 

antnbuckley

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like jess say's i'd def try vickie peters site, there is a link to download a competition book, it give you alot of advice and tips for competing. i found it really usefull


antony
 

nikki-la-la

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ok, here goes.

(just got my ear bitten of by samuel for taking to long perfecting my post... lol)

theres loads more but when i think of it then I'll post more...

I might be able to help. I have entered quite a few competitions & won a few too. I have won 'Best Nail Technician' for the Professional Beauty Awards twice in 2000 & again in 2001, I won the very first 'Virgins' competition in September 2000, I won the fibreglass category for British Nail Technician of the Year competition at Health & Beauty Salon - Brighton in 2001, and our salon (nails by celia) has been finalist for 'Best Nail Salon' for the Professional Beauty Awards twice in 2001 & 2002. Using none other than Designer Nails Fibreglass and Retention + with Perfect Colour Powders.

When entering a competition, I would not only find the PERFECT model with the PERFECT nails, but also someone who makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. Your model should be guiding you with time by telling you how much time you have left, and not how much time has lapsed.

Presentation is important, as you will usually be given marks for presentation, tidiness, methods of working, & hygiene.
Have flowers on your table, clean fluffy towels that match (preferably a dark colour, avoid white, so as not to strain your eyes), a metal pedal bin (with a liner in it), barbicide with your tools immersed, a tabletop disinfectant like chlor-i-spray, eye protection, and all your products should be clearly marked.
Dress professional like how you would usually dress for work in a salon.

Prepare yourself... Ensure you have all the products you need in advance of the competition so you have time to order your products and be organised. Have a checklist of all the things you need to take and keep copies of your list so they can be used for the next comp.

What are the judges looking for? A beautiful set of nails that will make them 'WOW' on the first glance.
Your competition nails are different to salon nails, a competition set will guarantee you 5 broken nails in 24 hours. They need to be paper-thin & consistent, no use having 3 nails 0.25mm thick and 7 nails 0.5mm thick.
Apex placement should be the same on all 10 nails for your upper arch, and precise tip/form placement for your lower arch. Some techs apply all their whites first to ensure their smile lines are all the same & then apply their pink.

Use white 240 abrasives to eliminate the possibility of black grits in your finished nail enhancement when blending tips and finishing your product & a new 3-4 way buffer for each nail for that glass like shine.

When varnishing, no base coats, ridge fillers, or top coats, just 2 coats of creme red enamel. Varnish once you have finished that hand before you move on to the next hand whilst you are still calm.
To prevent bubbling, apply 1 coat and allow to dry for 2 mins before applying the second coat, and keep hand up out of dusts reach.

Put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel under your models hands and your liquid and powder for the perfect mix ratio. Some products take longer to cure when they are cold.

Ensure you pace yourselves, some competitions you only get 2 hours others you get 2½ hours. It sounds like heaps of time but believe me its not.

Ask the judges about your scores when you get your sheet, they are only there to help. They may see something you were not aware of, and the next time you will do that something differently.

Hope this helps :D :D :D

I might come up with some more stuff, if I do then I'll let you know.

xxx
 

nikki-la-la

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just remembered something else.....

a) some competitors also have 3 dappen dishes with monomer in them.

dish 1 - for white L+P

dish 2 - for pink L+P

dish 3 - for cleaning your brush in between your pink & white application (so as not to make your pinks cloudy)

b) not all competitors do white tips on the painted hand (saves time).

c) never use a brand new brush that you've not yet got used to on the day of the competition.

d) have a bowl of warm soapy water for the model to soak the finished hand in to remove dust, you can't always use oil in some competitions.

xx
 

Lexuspilot

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nikki-la-la said:
just remembered something else.....


b) not all competitors do white tips on the painted hand (saves time).
Fabulous tips, Nikki. I do have to comment on the one above...

You do want the judges to see white on the underside of the all the nails if the other hand is white. What you can do is do the entire nail with white acrylic or just do a less-than-perfect smile line on the hand you're going to polish.

Or......if you're feeling brave with time, use the first hand to "warm up" with applying your whites.
 

nikki-la-la

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I must admit, I always do whites on both hands otherwise my apex's go all skew-wiff, but some choose not to.

xx
 

Debs

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nikki-la-la said:
Use white 240 abrasives to eliminate the possibility of black grits in your finished nail enhancement when blending tips and finishing your product & a new 3-4 way buffer for each nail for that glass like shine.




Where do we find a white 240 abrasive?
 

The Geek

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You do want the judges to see white on the underside of the all the nails if the other hand is white
Whist I couldnt agree more... It so completely depends on:
  • The judges
  • The score sheet
  • The judges
  • The judges
  • The competition style
  • The judges
    [/list:o]

    I have had the pleasure of judging literally countless competitions. The single most important aspect to a competition is not "who is competing" but "who is judging".

    I have seen great competitors lose to (IMO) worse nails because of inexperienced judges confusing silly things like the C-Curve with the apex placement.
    I have also witnessed Great nails lose beacuse they were great... but not as much so in the fields that were being marked on the score sheet.

    Take for instance the 'too white or not to white' above remark (which I totally agree with)... The only place to mark for/against something like that in most competitions is the 'overall' category... well... thats pants.
    So either A- you dont count it or B- You give them a lower 'Overall score' which may only marginally affect the complete score.

    When I do Masters Qualification Day's, or mark against Ambassadors (or potential Ambassadors) I use a weighted score sheet.

    The single most important factor of a competition is to know what the Judges are looking for and what they can/not score against. A good indication is to look at their nails (if you can)... That will tell you what they think is nice :?
 

Lexuspilot

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The Nail Geek said:
You do want the judges to see white on the underside of the all the nails if the other hand is white
Whist I couldnt agree more... It so completely depends on:
  • The judges
  • The score sheet
  • The judges
  • The judges
  • The competition style
  • The judges
    [/list:o]


  • Yeah, that is diffently true. I guess I'm used to competing at comps with directors who all follow the same basic guidelines and they are alot of the same judges, too. There's been a Balance & Harmony category in a majority of the comps I've been in and the white tips factor would fall into this category, wouldn't they?
 

nikki-la-la

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I only do free-form sculpting now in competitions so I do whites on both hands. However, in some competitions like 'Professional Nails' national competitions, you get marked on your enamel application and surface finish (bubbles, scratches etc.).
So I don't know where white tips fall in to this category on the polished hand.

I think the max points you can get on 'overall look' is 10 on some score sheets.

And in other areas the maximum point for i.e. the smile line on a pinkie is 2.

Some judges have different ideas as to what is perfect and what is not...

One judge I may get mostly 1's & 2's and another judge I may get mostly 0's. That's why it's important to see the judges once you get your score sheet so you can see why you may have got a lower score on a particular section of the sheet.
But its your total score that makes the difference in placements.



In regards to white 240 grit abraisives, a white block buffer is a 240 grit, designer nails do a surf board abraisive which is white but is a 100/180 grit - if you use the 100 side for pretailoring your tips then rub the 180 grit side against another 180 grit side surf board to create a 240 grit on both boards.
You can also use a Yankee board (designer nails) which is red one side and white on the other. The white side is a 1200 grit and when used ONLY across the smile line briefly makes it very easy for your white product to glide across the smile line and needs hardly any back-bobbing.
Creative also do a tuxedo board which is white one side and black on the other side, I'm not too sure on the grits but I think the white is a 240 grit.


xx
 
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