Simple little stuff

I had the opportunity this past week to help my niece perfect and fine tune the
art of doing nails. She recently graduated from Nail school and like most, didn’t learn a freaking thing.
It’s so sad to know what our potential Nail Technicians don’t learn in school. I knew this early on in my 30 year career, as I’ve taught many who graduated and didn’t even know how to hold a file.
I realize there are only so many hours to learn, however I also realize or at least believe, those writing our curriculum for Nail Technicians should seek out information from all over the globe. I know people who have contributed greatly to many subjects of nail care and they are spot on. However, there is still so much missing. Not to mention….who’s teaching?
Anyhow (before I get on my rant)…as I’m working with my niece I say to her….
“It’s the stupid stuff” 
the simple little stuff which ultimately perfect the art

Last week I spoke about making a pedicure your own. I received so many emails, text, comments at how what I wrote about, made Technicians think.

I’m humbled by all the comments and came to the realization at that time, how brainwashed we are by schools, by Mfg’s, Distributors and even our own piers.

We forget, we are in the service industry. We service our clients in whatever manner which makes them happy and that service brings us a good income. Service to me includes personality and satisfaction.

However, we can’t get by on our good looks alone right? Meaning, we can’t get by just because our service is top notch.

We have to have a mix of good service and good technique. We must “Fine tune and enhance our nail training, our pedicure training skills”

We have to pay attention to the simple little stuff.

Many of you may not be aware, my Salon for 14 years during the late eighties and early nineties, was the sole salon to the Home Shopping network.

We managed the nails and feet of 105 employees of the network…monthly. These employees had direct contact with on line television. They were either hand coordinators (models), fashion models or show host.

Talk about perfecting your skills. Anything on the nails or feet that we missed, could be seen all over the world.

It might have been a bit intimidating IF I didn’t have the staff that I did. They were all trained by me and they all knew what was acceptable and what wasn’t. If they had not perfected the art, they had by the time I was through with them.

They were amazing and very very good at what they did. We reaped the rewards of our affiliation with the Home Shopping Network in more ways than one. We benefited financially and personally as many of us made life long friendships.

The simple little stuff in nail application included things like;

  • If you aren’t reducing the line of demarcation, change the angle of the file
  • Condition and push back the cuticle prior to filing the line of demarcation from your acrylic or gel
  • Don’t use your thumb or finger as a brush over natural nails

The list goes on and on. It was the fine tuning and enhancing our nail training skills which is why we were chosen as the premium Salon for the home shopping network.

What about when it comes to Pedicures? Are there fine tuning skills you can practice to perfect the “service” you offer?

I say Absolutely!

As I said to my niece….I realize how petty some of these may sound. What you have to remember though, it isn’t that one thing makes a difference, it’s all of them which really make a BIG difference.

  • Are you left or right handed? whichever you are, your working products need to be on that side
    • So often I see Technicians reaching over themselves to get what they need. 1/2 second you can save to have your items on the proper side, adds up in the end.
  • Everything you use in your service should be RTU (ready to use)
    • Don’t wait until you use something to open it. Check all your products prior to use. If you don’t display the products on a pallet, at least make sure they can be easily dispensed from their container.
    • This includes making sure your towels and your tools are prepared.
  • Toenail clipping should be done wet, not dry
    • Softer toenails are not only easier to cut which takes less time, it’s also safer. Cutting toenails dry can cause torquing which can cause separation from the skin. Portal of entry.
  • Cuticles should be moistened and softened when manicuring
    • If we don’t soften the cuticle prior to manicuring, it not only takes longer to manicure, it also leaves an opportunity for damage.
  • Know your timing
    • Do you know what your breakdown is? 5 minute soak, 15 min cuticle work, 10minute callus work etc. etc.? Knowing your timing is a big deal when keeping on a schedule. If you find it took you 5 minutes longer on manicuring, this needs to be made up somewhere or you will run behind.
  • Make sure your equipment works
    • More often the not, we discover our efile isn’t plugged in, or our steamer doesn’t have water….just a couple of examples. Short story is “be prepared”

As I mentioned earlier, we are manipulated by so much. Social media has become the ‘ALL THAT” of product selection.

You can have the best product in the world (whatever that may be) yet, if you don’t perfect the skill…the product means nothing.

  • Do you have a greeting protocol?
  • Do you have a signal to switch between feet? So your client can relax?
  • Do you dedicate 100% of your time to your client? Not your phone, or your fellow piers?

There is so much to be discussed here. I don’t have the time nor the space to go through it all. However, what I can tell you is perfecting the simple stuff from the second your client walks in the door WILL make a difference in your service.

It not only makes everything flow better, it gives your client a sense of calm. A sense of confidence.

I really get excited when I think of myself back in the Salon. I get excited for you!

I get excited because we have so much we can offer in our service. I get excited because I speak with so many Technicians who are finally taking the time to slow down. Whether this was a result of Covid or not, slowing down is a GREAT thing.

  • Slow down and evaluate your service time.
    • Are you trying to get more clients serviced in one day? or, working smarter not harder.
  • Slow down and take the time needed for proper cleaning & disinfection.
    • Covid brought a lot of attention to cleaning & disinfection. Don’t STOP!
  • Slow down and YOU enjoy the experience as much as your client.
    • I always enjoyed giving a service to my client. Especially when it came to the pampering. I could sometimes close my eyes and imagine the service being done on me. It can be very relaxing.
  • Slow down and re-evaluate your worth. Work smarter, not harder.
    • Yes, products have a whole ton to do with this. However, I know without a doubt, fine tuning your service from soups to nuts, is the key to success.

CJ Murray, President

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8 thoughts on “Simple little stuff”

  1. I agree totally. I wish the beauty school nail technician instructors would actually be nail technicians working in the field to teach newbies. Not hair stylists teaching the art of nails.

    1. Laura, you are so correct. I know several Technicians who actively work and teach school. They are in the field, been there and doing it. They have the talent and the experience to teach. Unfortunately too many schools combine their Nail portion with full Cosmetology and the teachers have no idea. I blame the schools, not the instructors. I’m just not sure how we get this point across. It’s an uphill battle.

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