New to Nails in the UK...advice please? =)


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Dec 30, 2003
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Hi there :D

I used to be a childcare worker and left my job last week, and am looking for a new start...something new and different and i thought about nails. Its only lately ive started to take care of my own and i quiet fancy become a nail technician. :)

However, i dont know alot about the nail business! - Having tip top nails when your changing nappies and doing finger paints all day has never really been too important!

Im from skye, in scotland and there are NO colleges near me and from what ive read there doesnt seem to be any pacific qualifications needed at present to be a nail technician, although i have seen some SVQ courses. I wondered if anyone knows if this is right? :?:

I would love to hear from other nail technisions/manacurists etc, to see what training you did/had to do. :?:

I have been looking at an open learning college, a private nail college that sounds GREAT and very helpful..was amazed and what great results and feed back they have as i didnt know it was something u could learn open learning.

They guide u through it at your own pace, with email/phone/support, and a very long video to help training, lots of books, posters, and a practise hand, (there's about 60 sets of nails to do for course 1) so the hand sounds great as i dont think i know 60 people lol - there is a lot of practical work to do for it as well as written work.

Ifound them in a magazine, they seem to advertise every month ''learn nails'' so im sure someone else has seen them. I think i first saw them in june/july.

The courses look good, quite hard though if ur new to nails, unlike some courses i have seen open learning that sound a complete waste of money.

They also help you to get insurance etc once you do complete the course (if your successful)

Would love it if anyone else could give me more info about the nail business, how to get started, what to expect and so on :)

Thanks very much =)
Hi, I think the home learn course you have seen is probably essential nails
home learn. :D
I think these can be good courses so that you are home based and can learn in your own time and at a speed you determine 8)
How ever i would say that i think that it is good to do other courses so that you can be shown by a teacher where you may be going wrong :?
So in my opinion go for the home learn if that suits you. But then once you have done that carry on and do some extra courses with a tutor.
Hope this helps in some way, and welcome to the site :D I know that you will gain a lot from the people who use these boards, and that they will give you all the help you may need.
Hi lesley

Nice ot meet you, thanks very much for your advice :D
Yes it is essential nails, a lot of people seem to know of them but ive not spoken to anyone who has studied with them, i wonder if anyone on this site has? :?

My only worry was that i wouldnt learn enough with no having a tutor there with me to correct me as i go along, but what you have suggested sounds like i good idea :)

Thank you again for your help and if you do know of anybody who has studied with these people id be really greatful if you could let me know :D

Fiona x
Hi Fiona,

Welcome to the board.

I have done the Home Learn UV Gel & Airbrushing courses with Essential Nails and got distinction in both! Before starting the gel course I had never really had any interest in nails :oops: but losing 2 stone at a slimming club gave me the incentive to 'do something' with my life.

I found the courses very good for an absolute novice. You get everything you need and you can keep rewinding the video if you are not sure of a particular procedure.

Send me a private message if you want anymore information.

hi and welcome , i also have a toddler,and have done training with creative and the essential nails airbrush course,but would say i think you would maybe find it sinks in a bit better when you are with a teacher,(you can ask loads of questions),but i did like my essential nails course,only thing is it is hard to make time for it ,and when you go to college you dont have a choice as such coz you just go, hope this helps ,love dee
Hi there Fiona,
I studied with Nail Systems international, they do condensed courses, in gels, acrylics and electric file use.
There is another team that do condensed training that I did a one day with called Distinctive nails, but again it involved travelling to England.
I would suggest it would be wise to get hold of a couple of recent nail mags, study them for what appeals to you the most as there are several different extension systems, then go to the annual beauty shows, I enjoyed the last Ingliston one in March, you get real inspiration, I also visited the Manchester one last October which was massive. I can give you a free ticket if you want one. I think Scottish Beauty will be on again in Glasgow too but that's September- ages away.
Another avenue is contacting into Salon Services in Inverness they have occasional Star Nail courses in house.
My last course in Acrylics involved a trip to Thurso college every Thursday for a college year aargh. Worth it now though.
I only work part-time in a salon in Dingwall, but really love offering nails services, it's not like work to me at all. Good luck[/url]
Training to be a Nail Tech................
If your time allows you to travel then go for the face to face training course..............
A home based course is great as a starting point or add on, but in my opinion not as good and as in depth as a tutor one...............
Yes you can rewind a video , but it wont answer your questions or correct improper techniques, only a tutor can.............

I trained over a decade ago with Britannia Nailcare Acadamy in London a 5 day course in depth with a written exam at the end................
Then various small update courses..during the last 10 years............

But this year did the creative 4 day course, I just had to learn L&P and this was by far the most superior course I have done.....................
So my advice would be, go with an award winning training company........go creative..............the best training, the best back up and the best after training support and you can move on and forward with more indepth courses leading to you Master Technician...........
but hey this is just my opinion
Hello there
I am also new to the world of nails- i am currently finishing doing the Essential Nails Acrylic Overlay course. I think the course is good for learning the basics (filing techniques etc) but i would not recommend it as your only form of training as i do not think it is in depth enough- i certainly dont feel confident enough to charge people for my service yet. Also some points to bear in mind before purchasing the course are:
1) The support- To be fair i have only called them once for advice, but the girl i spoke to did not seem to know her ass from her elbow!
2) It states that the course contains everything you need - this is not the case- the course recommends thats you do 60 sets, my liquid ran out after ten sets, the glue needs replacing (i think the charge £15 per bottle but dont quote me on that!) and i have has to purchase more fingertips at £15 per pack of 100. I have also purchased white acrylic powder as this is not provided....3) it only teaches you how to apply the pink powder, nothing about the application of white, smile lines etc.. i have had to "Teach" myself that but 4) they teach you very little about what is actually in the products you are using, which i thought was silly as they are chemicals after all! In summary i think the course is good for the basics and for practice on the hand but i think, in hindsight, that i should have done a course with a real life tutor .. which i am now looking into... bloody costly business this nail business!! Hope this helps!! Good luck!
Hi, i also am studying with essential nails. but i have started doing a four day course with star nails (united beauty) (sorry creative, i hadn't heard of you then! :o )
I had to do this other course because i didnt feel confident enough without having any input from a teacher, but i do agree with everyone that it is a very good back up course.
I'm also studying at college one evening a week doing manicure and pedicure certificate and have just completed a nail art course, also with united beauty.

I will be doing my airbrushing course with essential nails, because they seem to be the cheapest, but i dont know how much creative charge, if they do this course, perhaps someone could let me know. :lol:

But it's nice that we can speak to people who are at all the different levels of being a nail tech. this site is a great idea. Natalie. :)
A home based course is great as a starting point or add on, but in my opinion not as good and as in depth as a tutor one...............
Yes you can rewind a video , but it wont answer your questions or correct improper techniques, only a tutor can.............

Absolutely well said! Its worth the trip to get some hands on! tuturing ;) totally agree. Pick your company very carefully.
Creative have an excellant reputation for acrylic.
My advice would be to go to a show and have a look at all the nail systems and go with what impresses you the most! :cool:
Welcome!!! I spent 2 weeks when I was 15 in Glenelg (opposite Skye) beautiful. Ok a couple of things - CND is available all over Scotland and possibly Aberdeen is the closest but our main distributor is Future Nail based in Glasgow! (sorry don't know number off the top of my head)!! We used to have an Ambassador in Inverness but alas no more! PM me and I will give you the number or call the Creative Academy Sales Dept - 0113 275 0433 and they can help! EN course has helped many to become nail techs and many are happy with the results but I do think that a live professional Educator showing you step-by-step is going to give you the ultimate help! Creative took Education of the Year 2003 at the Pro Bty Awards which we were thrilled about and hopefully that should instil some confidence in that we do know what we are doing!

BTW there will be NO Scotland Bty Show in September - for reasons unknown to us, the show has been cancelled however I assume the show in Edinburgh will still take place! :)
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