As I get back into the swing of things and present more “in house” classes, I’m reminded of myself many many years ago.

Sponging off anyone with knowledge that I can (I still do), trying to duplicate their speaking intelligence and wondering if I will ever come across as knowledgeable and professional.

Fast forward 30+ years later and here I am watching the faces of our younger generation filled with excitement yet possible a little bit of confusion……as I did oh so many years back.

I will forever remember the day I met Katherine Von gavel and Murray Smith of Footlogix. The day I spent 8 hours listening to them and their team talk about the ingredients and benefit of their brand.

I literally remembering listening and looking like one person had 10 heads. I was so dizzy.

Katharin and her entire team were so knowledgeable, so professional. I wanted that so badly.

Yet, there was one big obstacle keeping me from getting there. Understanding!

I think…..actually I know, a light bulb went off in my head that day. I knew, if I were going to be an Educator, I had to not just know the products, I had to know the terminology.

We talked a lot about “disinfection” not “disinfectants”…..just as an example.

I remember also, when speaking of their brand, they used the word “urea” a lot. Oh my, did it sound good. And, it sounded all so complicated. Katharin with all the educations and degrees she has from Germany and Canada and many of her team members, spoke more like they were Dr’s than they did a silly ole Nail Technician like me.

I literally had to go home and google the word, dumb it down to my understanding in an effort to be able to share this new brand I was just introduced to, with my clients.

So, as I do get back into the live classrooms, I’m reminded of how so many of our Technicians truly don’t know how to communicate properly or simply use the wrong terms.

I’m not just talking about our newbies…..I’ve heard things come out of the mouths of seasoned Technicians that just make my head wobble.


Before I very politely share some Do’s and Don’ts, let me get one thing clear.

I have my own venue of terminology. Terminology is different than using the correct verbiage.

Terminology are words we acquire in our years of research and/or education which, allow us to properly explain. Doesn’t matter if we are explaining why a product works, or explaining what you do for a living. Using the correct terminology is so important.

It is also important we understand the terminology we are using. The better we understand, the better we are at sharing our information.

As an example; The word “indicative”.  Say it all you want, do you understand it?

It means – an indication of.  Whatever you are looking at, or hearing can be an indication of something.

Her toenail looks indicative of a fungus.

His tone is indicative of anger.



  • NOT – I paint her nails
  • YES – I polished her nails
    • You paint a house, polish nails
  • NOT – Foot paddle
  • YES – Foot file
    • You paddle a boat, you file the skin on the feet
  • NOT – fake nails
  • YES – Artificial enhancements

Please share any you have heard of!


    • BACTERIA – Pathogenic or non-pathogenic microscopic organisms (Pathogenic – causing or non-causing)
    • CALLUS – A thickening, sometimes hard area of the skin
    • CUTICLE – Dead skin at the base of a fingernail or toenail
    • CVI – Chronic venous insufficiency
    • DERMIS – Layer of the skin “under” the epidermis layers
    • DERMATITIS – Skin inflammation
    • DERMATOPHYTE – A parasite, usually fungal which grows in or on the epidermis layer of the skin and/or nail
    • DISINFECT – The process of using a liquid chemical in order to destroy bacteria
    • EPIDERMIS – The outer layer of the skin also called the Stratum Cornea layer.
    • GAIT – the manner in which we walk
    • HIDROSIS – Sweating excessively
    • HYGROSCOPIC – Having the ability to absorb moisture
    • INVOLUTED – A nail that has excessive curvature
    • PALPATE – To consult or examine by touch or feel
    • PHALANGES – Bones of the fingers or toes
    • PROXIMAL NAIL FOLD – Not the cuticle. the layer of epidermis and dermis covering the nail matrix, from the proximal edge of the nail plate to the first joint of the finger.
    • SANITIZE –  Processes of cleaning
    • STERILIZE –  Making something free from bacteria or other living organisms
    • UREA – Natural end product made of protein metabolism. Lab based.

As I always say, find your comfort zone. Understand what you need to know in an effort to effectively, clearly and concisely communicated with your clients.

The better you understand what you actually speak, the more confident and comfortable you are with sharing with your clients.

There are all sorts of words and terms which are used in our Industry. Doesn’t mean what you hear from me or anyone else will be the best for you. Like something you hear? Make sure you study and understand its meaning before you pass it forward.

Let’s not forget this is a day of remembrance, a day of thanks.


CJ Murray, President

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4 thoughts on “Terminology”

  1. Bernadette Gantt

    Grand Rising ☀️ Cheers to the Holiday. I just would like to say “thank You” for this explanation on terminology.
    I often suffer while explaining product or problem to my clients. They feel as though I know what I am talking about. Hence, I don’t understand myself at times. lol 😂 . I am much like how you were. I remember the word “Urea”🤦🏽‍♀️. I need to understand how to explain what is is tho. But thanks again, this write up was very necessary.

    1. Good morning and you are so welcome. Research is the best form of educating on terminology. Typically there are 100’s of explanations for one thing….I usually can find one explanation which makes sense to me. Appreciate your comments and growth is eminent as long as you want it. 🙂

  2. Terminology is so handy. For sure, I feel confused every time I learn something, so I do take my time to digest information.

    1. Digesting is a good thing. It’s so important to understand what you are attempting to share with your clients.

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