Friday, December 25, 2015

Checking In...

Not a whole lot of "new" going on in my studio, but I wanted to take a minute to wish all of you a Happy Whatever-You-Happen-To-Celebrate this season (contrary to popular belief, Christmas is NOT the only "reason the for season"). My immediate family is atheist, so years ago, we changed the term "Merry Christmas" to "Merry Santamas". But, for whatever you believe or don't, I hope everyone has a great day today, a good weekend, and a good start to the new year. OH, and before I forget (in case you haven't been reading very long), I don't do "Resolutions", but I do set goals; usually work-related. This was last year's list, and it looks like I got all of those taken care of (a little easier since I moved into my much-larger room over the summer!). So, this coming year, my goals are as follows:
1. More clients -- my Thursdays and Fridays are pretty open right now... any takers?
2. Sell retail -- I have a cabinet with lotion, top & base coats, oil, files, and more, but haven't sold much. I'm really hoping to get more people to purchase these things from me (remember, when you buy "pro" products from a grocery or health/beauty store, they are not guaranteed by the company; they could be old, knock-off, or mixed. Don't take the chance!).
3. Get my husband to build the window stop for my new portable a/c unit.
4. Floor paint touch up -- there are a few spots that didn't take as well as I wanted when I painted before I moved in.
5. Get a nicely framed SERVICE MENU made and put up next to my mani table.
6. I need a new tech chair, too... :)

Monday, October 26, 2015

So, You "Forgot" Your Appointment?

It is a glorious Saturday afternoon. The sun is shining and I have finished early for the day. You might think this is a good thing except I did not get paid to go to work today.

The reason I did not get paid was because three clients did not arrive for their scheduled appointments. I don’t know about you but when I go to work, I need to get paid. It is, after all, the main reason any of us work at all.

I love my job. I truly believe I have the best job in the world. I am extremely lucky that my choice of career is one that means I look forward to going to work each and every day. However, at the end of the month there are these amounts of money that disappear from my bank account – bills.

Like anyone else, I have all sorts of life items that requires paying for and try though I might, I can’t put off paying for these things. These are the things that mean my husband, children, furbabies, and I have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and a standard of living that is somewhat comfortable.

Of course, being a business owner, it is not just my house and living expenses that need paying for, I also have all of the expenses of my business that all need paying before I even get a sniff of a wage to cover my own personal expenses.

Three clients not arriving for their appointments in a single day actually means that not only do I not get a personal wage for the day, there is actually a deficit which means that a part of the wage I might have earned yesterday has to go into today’s pot to cover today’s overheads. I went to work today and earned a loss.

I don’t know how anyone else would feel about having deductions from their wages but I’m sure it’s not too dissimilar to how I feel. Pretty darned fed up. I lost over $100 today. I could have filled those three slots many, many times over and not lost that money. That $100 is a very real and personal loss to me.

This week, three other appointment commitments were not met. Three other clients did not arrive for their appointments. That’s a further $100. That’s a very real and personal loss of $200 this week alone. Two of these appointments were forgotten about because they had gone out of town for the weekend and forgotten to cancel their appointments with me. I totally understand the excitement of an unexpected weekend trip. I would love one of those...

I am self-employed. If I am not servicing clients, I am not earning any money. It really is that simple. I don’t get holiday pay or sick pay. Your individual nail appointment worth, for example, $50, may not seem like a lot to you but I’m pretty sure that if your employer deducted $50 from your wage packet, you’d notice it rather quickly. Consider also that the $50 loss is only for one single appointment missed; multiply it by six as I had this week alone and you get the idea of how big an impact this has on a small business. Just one missed appointment per week adds up to $200 per month. That’s over $2400 a year personal loss. I could do a lot with that. Yes, a family weekend trip sounds delightful.

On my FaceBook page, in my salon, on my brochure, and out of my mouth directly, there is a message that says “failure to give at least 24 hours notice to cancel/reschedule an appointment may result in a missed appointment fee”. Please do not be surprised or upset when you call me after missing your appointment and are reminded of this additional charge which will require payment before I schedule you again. You become a high risk client. If you complain about the charge and threaten to go elsewhere then I will wish you well in all future endeavors and hope that your new tech is as good, kind, and diligent about sanitation & excellent customer service as I am. If and when you call me back a year (or two – yes this has happened on numerous occasions) later, that fine will still be on your record card and will still require payment.

It doesn’t matter how much I like you as a person. If you miss a few appointments then you will become a client I cannot afford to keep.

We are an awesome salon. We work hard and we do a great job. I am an awesome nail tech. We are an awesome team. This is why you have chosen us for your beauty needs. Our appointment slots fill up weeks in advance (some of us - months!) and so you can imagine how many potential clients are turned away. Those potential clients would have very happily taken one of the appointments that were missed this week.

If you have an appointment with us, please make sure it is written in your diary, on your calendar, in your phone, or wherever it is you keep your life organized. If your memory is shockingly bad then tell a friend and ask them to make a note of the appointment or set an alarm reminder on your phone/e-calendar.

If, for any reason, you cannot make your appointment then please have the courtesy to call us and let us know. It really isn’t asking a lot.

Incidentally, phoning me on the morning of the appointment to cancel it because you cannot afford it isn’t going to make me drop the fine simply because it most definitely means I cannot now afford something. I’m quite convinced you would have known before that time that finances were tight.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I'm going to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal... It's a good thing I like oatmeal because my grocery fund is now nonexistent for next week.

Inspired by this blog Brittany, Dog Groomer, and real events. Side note - I know some of my clients believe that because I don't have a mortgage (paid off when my MIL died and left us a small inheritance), and my husband has a "well-paying" job (I use quotes because they obviously have no idea what he does nor what he makes nor what our expenses are), that I don't *need* to work. It's just not true.

Monday, September 7, 2015


My nail sister, Michelle, lives & works in Tacoma, WA. She's driven down to my area a few times in the last couple years, but until now, I hadn't driven up to her. I remedied that this past weekend. Three weeks ago, she came down on a Thursday, we had lunch at Bellagio's (my favorite local pizza joint), and spent an hour talking nails/business in my new studio (which she loves). I was supposed to bring her a vacuum I was getting rid of and some sourdough starter; both of which I forgot.
So, this past Saturday, at 830am, my daughter & I packed up the car with the vacuum, some starter in a small cooler, filled up the gas tank, and off we went. I was slightly concerned that I'd have to stop somewhere on the way home, but still in Washington, and fill my gas tank; I haven't done that in close to 20 years. I also get a little antsy driving to new places (although Google's STREET VIEW comes in handy to reduce that stress a little). We stopped at Toutle River Safety Rest Area for a potty break, and if I was in a more meandering state of mind, we would have hung out there a bit longer.
I turned on the voice directions just outside of Olympia; the last 10 minutes were a bit hairy with all the turns and hills... but at 1140a, we pulled in to Washington State University's campus in Tacoma; her salon is in one of their admin buildings. It's a nice campus, too; easy to navigate, lots of parking, and restaurants onsite. We were greeted by Michelle's daughter, Rain (age 20), who took the vacuum from me, and walked us up to Michelle's office. She has a tiny space (a little smaller than mine), but hers is like a wide hallway (set up with two tall chairs for waiting, a small nail desk, a small desk with for sale items on it near the front, a larger desk with her polishes/gel polishes/etc), and has a "large walk in closet" type space in the back that she uses for storage (behind a curtain in the corner) and pedicures.
The four of us walked over to the The Rock Wood Fired Kitchen for lunch (half a block); I'd never eaten at one, and it was better than expected. Michelle told me all about her meeting with (the famous, at least in our world) Tammy Taylor, Rain filled me in on her college classes/plan and personal life, and we just had a nice visit. It was over too soon, though; maybe next time, our nail sister Elyse can join us (she, too, lives in Tacoma) and I can stay longer.
We left just after 1p, but hit a bit of stopped/very slow traffic getting back out of Tacoma, and again in Olympia. We stopped for another potty break at Maytown Safety Rest Area (where not only did they have free coffee, but they had a little snack booth open!). Amazingly, I *didn't* have to stop for gas; I made it there & back home on 2/3 tank! We stopped at the Burger King drive through in Beaverton on the way home; my daughter wanted some chicken fingers for a snack. We pulled into my driveway at 443p; I had enough time to use the restroom again, get myself some juice, change into my "pajamas" (yoga-style pants, socks, and a hoodie), and turn on the Ducks game.
Now that I've made that drive, I'm totally okay with doing it again!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Service Menu Changes!!

For those of you that are current, or future, clients: please note that as of October 1st, 2015, my service menu is getting a revamp! I am adding a few things, and raising most of my prices. It's been two years since I last did so, and I'm the only one who will give me a raise. If you really need a reason, and you shouldn't, here are three:
(1) My new space comes with a higher rent cost.
(2) My product costs continually go up (and rarely do *I* get warning).
(3) My continuing education costs money; whether I'm taking a local class (on a day off, usually) or going out of town (sometimes state) for a weekend event. I continue my education to bring you the best products and make sure I'm keeping up on laws and techniques.

Anyway, this is the updated brochure. Keep an eye out for a lovely, framed, Service Menu to be hung from the wall next to my manicure station soon!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Let's Get To Work!

The OPEN HOUSE had less attendance than I would have liked, but that's ok... I am officially, fully, in my new space. Over 130sq ft of space, by the way, & a storage closet). I posted finished pics on my Facebook page, if you're so inclined.

My husband is going to build me a gel lamp platform at some point, & I have a new service menu coming next month (some price increases & some new services offered), but everything else is done.

Thanks to my husband, our daughter, my friend Julie, my salon owner, and all my other friends, family, & nails-fam who helped along the way.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I'm having a little Open House at my NEW studio on Saturday, August 1st, 9am-noon!! If you're in the Portland, Oregon area and want to stop by to see my new space, please feel free! It's Salon Shibumi, 1219 SW 18th Ave, Portland, 97205, about three blocks south of Providence Park. There is plenty of street parking in the area, plus we have a lot (the NORTH side of the lot, only!!), and the MAX stop is 1/2 block away (SW Jefferson/Goose Hollow). My studio is the center room upstairs. I'll have light refreshments/juice.

For those who have been following along on my FB page, I've been posting pics there... but I won't post any more until after the Open House (so the final product is a surprise to everyone).

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Same Salon, NEW ROOM!

The detail work isn't quite done, yet, but I am officially in my new room. After we got back from vacation, I had a very full work load, so I didn't get a lot done, but I was able to bring my daughter to work a couple days... With her help, we got my drawers & two of the shelves lined, the new pedi chair all set up, and a multitude of other little things done.
I still have to put up my certifications, misc decorative items, and window coverings, plus put the glass shelves in the retail cabinet and fill it with items for sale. A friend of mine is hemming my closet curtain and making a liner for my clean towel basket, and I may pick up a new rug or two (one for under the pedi chair and one for under my mani desk) and maybe a new client chair... but I am *IN* the room now.
My old room has been cleaned out and cleaned, and I got all the little holes filled & painted. I still have to do some white touch up, but it is otherwise ready to be rented to another beauty professional.

Here are some pics of what I've got done so far --

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Almost Done

One trip to Ikea, multiple trips to Home Depot, some internet purchases, three days of painting, two days of furniture building... I'm almost done. I know, it's the 1st. I was supposed to be done already. I blame my daughter. Yes, seriously. She insisted I wait until she could help me paint. That put my schedule back a full week, because she went on a trip with my mother & her best friend. When she got back, I had everything ready to go. So, here it is -- I only have to move all the wall hang stuff (polish/racks, certificates, misc decorative items, etc) then patch/paint the holes in my old room. But, I don't have the free time available this week. So, looks like I'll most likely be ready for clients in there when I get back from vacation -- July 14th (I'd be ready the 8th, but that's the first day of my vacation). If you haven't yet, and you want to see pics, go to my business page on FB (here) and follow along with my progress!

Friday, May 29, 2015


Artistry of the Nail is *MOVING*!! Not too far, though; just down the hall. As of July 1st, I will be in the center room upstairs of the salon. Set up will be similar to the current one; with more room!

For the last six months or so, I've debated with myself, talked to my family, a few friends, and a couple of trusted nail sisters; I've been trying to figure out if I want to move my studio. I currently rent about 60 sq ft (tiny), but more & more, I've found myself wanting space to have a real retail area (I currently have mini bottles/jars of things, and a few pedicure items in the windowsill...), offer hot towels & paraffin (no room to store the equipment), maybe even have a waiting area so when the occasional client is early, they don't have to go back downstairs to wait for me to finish!

We had a salon meeting mid-February, during which we all found out we'd have a $100/m rent increase starting with April's rent. We also were (finally) getting new rental agreements. Now, the rent increase was quite a large jump, but deemed fair (she pulled comps in the area, and we're still paying less than the going rate for our neighborhood; plus we get free parking for us and our clients!). I, too, wanted to get a comp for nail-specific or small-office space, so I started calling around.

I asked my massage therapist (Rachel) to help me look around her building's neighborhood (she's six blocks from my current location), talked to my esthetician (Amanda; her building is 8 minutes directly north of me), and talked to a few of my reliable clients to see how far they'd be willing to travel. Obviously, the closer I am to my current building, the less client loss I'll see.

Rachel told me a few things -- (1) The other massage therapist in her building may be moving out. That space is ~100 sq ft, has a utility sink, and a small closet with a built-in desk. (2) The building across SW KING from her has a Spaces For Lease sign out front; it's been there a while and she knows from her own space-research that he had different sizes of rooms available. (3) There is another building around the corner a couple blocks further up the hill from her which also had a Spaces For Lease sign out front.

After a few back-and-forths, it was determined that her co-worker got permission from the landlord to sublet her space; if she can find someone to work in there 3 days per week, she could continue to use it the other 4 and hold down her other job. Ok, that's not going to work for me (unless she can't find a sub-letter, and has to leave, anyway)... I called the rental company of the building across from her, and as soon as I said I was a nail tech looking to rent a larger space, the agent told me that the owner is "looking for a Professional-type, like a lawyer or therapist..." So, your sign's been up for more than six months, and you're that picky about your renters? Your loss! I then checked in with the other building's rental agent. She said they have one space available right now; it's 365sq ft and $900/m. Hmmm... if only I had another beauty professional I could share it with. She offered to keep my number handy, in case another smaller space opened up.

I then contacted the guy in charge of all the local salon suites (the one company I looked at has four local locations). After much back & forth with him, I got that a normal space goes for ALMOST $1000/MONTH!! That's ridiculous. They see no difference in ability to make money & pay between nail techs and hairdressers or other beauty professionals. They also do not give you any discount if you want to set up your room on your own, and don't want the cable & internet the rooms come with. Um, no thanks.

I also talked to another massage therapist who rents space in Hillsboro; her landlord has multiple buildings and she gave me his number. Moving my salon to Hillsboro would probably lose me at least half of my current clients, but rent would be cheaper, I'd have downtown Hillsboro's professionals to draw from (plus recommendations from some of my Hillsboro-area beauty professional friends -- I have at least five or six who would probably send people my way), and the commute would be less than 15m (current commute is ~40m, depending on traffic). My esthetician friend game me her landlord's number, as well; that building is three stories, has parking for the space renters (4hr street parking for clients), and has multiple sizes available, as well (for a bit less than I currently pay). One of my nail sisters, Michelle, just got the ok to rent space on her university's campus, so she told me "Think outside the box...".

I started eyeing other buildings within my own salon's neighborhood. There are three just west of us, only a few blocks away, with FOR LEASE signs out front. However, before I started research on those, I shared information with the owner about the salon suites; thinking that if she sold the current business (something she's talked about off & on for a couple years), and she *didn't* want to stay, her & I could share one of the slightly larger suite spaces. She'd never heard of the company, so looked it up on her iPad while I was giving her a pedicure. She agreed that was definitely an option.

Then, I sprung another idea on her. How about I take the center room? I know it's a bit more in rent than what I pay now, but if I moved into that space, I have the potential to make more money. I told her I want to do real retail, offer hot towels & paraffin dips, have the storage that that room has. I'd be willing to sign a new rental agreement. Originally, I thought I should deconstruct my current room, but then I realized that doing that would leave a section of flooring & wall (the section under the pedi platform) incomplete. A better idea would be to leave it as is, and see if a new-to-the-business nail tech wants the space. Another option is that a massage therapist, esthetician, or office professional wanted the space; they were then free to do whatever they want to with the space (including removing or just repurposing the current set up). I would, of course, take everything else (except the little cabinet behind the desk; that would also stay), and set it up in the other room. She said, "Notice I haven't said no..." but asked to think about it.

That was last Friday. After sketching & researching things I'd need to move in there, I came in on Tuesday and took some measurements of the room & closet. I also snapped a few pics. Since I had to borrow a tape measure (I forgot mine at home), I asked to borrow the salon's, so she asked me what I was doing. I wasn't ready to share with the rest of the salon's staff, so I said, "Remember that thing we talked about Friday? I'll get you a sketch later today." When I got home, I asked my husband to draw it out using the software we bought to mock-up our house remodeling projects.

He got all fancy with it, of course, and filled in wall color, door color, shelving color, trim colors, a curtain for the closet, etc. Then, he showed me the 3D rendition. OMG; perfect! I had him screenshot the overhead drawing, and I sent it to Patti along with some notes and the links to the mani tables I'm considering as well as the pedi spa I found (no plumbing!!). I emailed her all of that Wednesday, and today, I got a YES!! This is the mock-up, if you're interested (rectangle in upper left corner represents the pedi spa chair in its OPEN position; closed while not using would take 2/3 of that space). I'll be posting pics on my FB page of the new room redo as I get stuff completed. Ikea trip, anyone?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

LED Experiment

With CND finally introducing their new LED lamp, I decided to run some tests. First, let me explain a few things: UV light is a spectrum; a range. LED lamps run within the "visible light" part of that spectrum (so, when your "tech" tells you "LED is safer than UV", they are either lying to you or have zero idea on the subject themselves; LED is still UV). Traditional UV lamps can range anywhere in the 300-400 nanometer range (although most range 350nm-385nm), and each company's lamp is calibrated to properly cure their specific product. LED lamps are usually dialed in around 405nm.

When you use a lamp not intended for a specific product, you risk your product being under-cured (most likely not visible to the naked eye, btw... so don't tell me "well, it *looks* cured!") which can, over time, lead to serious skin issues including burning sensations, itching, skin peeling, and worse. You also, of course, lose the guarantee from the company and if you get sued when someone has a medical issue, you are on your own.

All that being said, I, like many artists, want to know certain information about products so that I can figure out which "rules" I can break. When I asked multiple sources how many nanometers CND's new lamp is, I got *ONE* answer: "That is proprietary information because the lamp is still patent-pending." Hmmm.... To me, and a few other techs I've spoken to, that is a bit fishy. Not unheard of, mind you, just irritating. I even ran all of this (my thoughts on the subject & what I know for sure) past my husband (one of his two degrees is in Electrical Engineering, so to say he "knows a little" is an understatement). He agrees completely with me, and educated me even further on a few things.

So, I set out to do some testing. Now, since LED lamps for nails have come on the market, a lot of techs have tried using them to cure *traditional* UV-curable nail products. Some had success, some did not. Of course, there are a LOT of products that are curable in either (anything that is LED-curable is also, by default, UV-curable... but not necessarily the other way around). Most experiments I saw involved curing the UV-curable products in the LED lamp for the times set for LED curing (30s for most layers; usually less for base coats).

The problem was, when you go to wipe off the tacky layer (aka: "dispersion" layer), a lot of the color also came off. What was happening is what some pros call "The Frosting Effect" -- seemed cured on top, but was still runny underneath. That runny layer is what will, over time, cause those skin issues I mentioned above. The answer, it seemed, was to cure longer; 60s each for colors & top coat seemed to be the agreed-upon time.

CND's new lamp came out and guess what? There are four buttons -- one for base coats (10s pulse), one for Shellac colors (60s), one for all Brisa/Brisa Lite gels (60s), and one for all CND top coats (60s). According to all info I can find, the lamp will cure all current and all future CND products. But, the fact that their products (minus the base coats) will cure in their new lamp in the same amount of time that techs have successfully been curing their products for in other lamps, and the fact that ALL LED lamps made for use with nail products have to fall within the violet spectrum, tells me that their new lamp is within a few nm of 405.

My testing was done in five stages --
(1) Using CND's Shellac on one plastic nail tip and using CND's Brisa Lite on another plastic nail tip. Each got 10s (no pulse) for their base coats, 60s for each color/gel layer, and 60s for top coats. The Shellac'd tip only got top coat on HALF the nail. When done curing in my LED lamp (I own OPI's, btw), I used IPA99 to wipe off the tacky/dispersion layer of each tip... I got a little residual Shellac; no more than usual.

(2) Using CND's Shellac over another company's soft/soak off gel. On my right hand, I used Artistic Nail Design's base coat (for soak off, you use their "Bonding Gel"), then "Correction" (the one in the jar; to give me a little extra strength), then their soak off top coat ("Glossing Gel"). {For the record, when you use a system in full -- base coat, center, top coat -- that is not *mixing systems"; once you finish off the system with their top coat & wipe the dispersion layer, you can layer any brand of color on top of it}. I then cured two layers of Shellac for 60s each (I used "Electric Orange") and Shellac's top coat also for 60s. Those nails lasted over a week (more than I expected), had zero breakage, a little tip wear (as expected; I'm right handed), and zero skin problems.

(3) Using CND's Shellac over CND's Brisa Lite system. Base coat for 10s (OPI's LED lamp doesn't have a pulse), BL Sculpting for 60s, BL Top Coat for 60s, two layers of Shellac (this time I used "Lush Tropics" and added their "Seaglass" glitter additive) cured for 60s each, then topped with Shellac's top coat and cured that for 60s. I've been wearing that and have the same results as (2).

(4) Using CND's Shellac over Artistic Nail Design's hard gel (RockHard). This is on a client; she wore it with no problems for two full weeks. I used my e-file to remove the gel and found zero uncured/undercured/goopy Shellac. She has zero skin problems.

(5) Using CND's Shellac over Artistic Nail Design's soft gel, on a client (yes, I tested this on myself, but her soft gel is thicker than mine was and she's elderly... I may have different results). She, also, had zero skin problems and the Shellac was as it should be when I filed it off her enhancement.

I want to run a test on Shellac under the LED lamp by itself on someone, but none of my clients wear Shellac alone. Maybe I'll put it out there on my FB page to be my guinea pig...

Friday, April 24, 2015

CND's Rescue Rxx - review

You can see the transition pics on my FB page (here) if you're interested...

Let me start out by saying that from a scientific standpoint, nothing you do topically will help your nails permanently. However, Rescue Rxx is meant to soak into your nails, which are porous, so I went into this experiment with open eyes.

Personal nail history: Ever since I can remember, I've had paper-thin, weak, nails that peel from the free edge. I've tried drinking gelatin, taking specific vitamins, using different nail treatments, etc. It was only when I first put L&P (liquid & powder; proper term for "acrylics") on at the age of 16y that I got any relief. For the most part, I've had some sort of enhancement on ever since (only removing to switch products, try something new, or for a class).

Day one: I took off my gel enhancements, careful to use a smaller & smaller grit file then switched to a buffer to remove everything without causing any damage (product is not what ruins your nails; improper removal is). I trimmed & filed them short, used a scrub product, washed my hands really well, and applied my first CND Rescue Rxx treatment. That evening before bed, I applied my second treatment.

Over the course of the next two weeks, I had to trim them a few times as a few of my edges caught & tore, and I applied Rescue twice every day (once in the morning, once at night). At one week in, I was getting frustrated because I wasn't really seeing any improvement. Keep in mind, though, my nails did *not* have any white spots nor peeling (as the bottle clearly states it is for), but being a combo cuticle oil & keratin treatment, I was hoping for some noticeable improvement in strength, too. Anyway, it was then that I posted in a couple of my PRO NAIL TECH groups; curious if anyone else had tried it & what were their experiences.

P.P. said that she is a picker (she knows that's naughty), but she tried it after peeling off her last set of gel polish and saw HUGE improvement at three days! She also bought a bottle for her mom, but I have no idea what her results were... K.L. said she saw improvement after three applications. L.M. - who is a CND EA - chimed in with the details on how to use it (which I already knew, but was nice to get confirmation that I was using it correctly).

Day fifteen: After fourteen days of twice-daily application, I noticed three new things. (1) The tips of my fingernails not only had no peeling, but they were no longer jagged & catching on stuff (although they are still too weak to have any longer than 1mm to 2mm of free edge), (2) My natural nails are shiny and fairly smooth without doing anything extra to them, and (3) My middle fingernail, damaged years ago from slamming it in a car door, seems to be rounding itself off (the correct shape; it's been angled since the incident).

I won't say it doesn't work, but I will say I was probably not the right client to test it on. If you have white spots & peeling, and don't wear product on your nails, this *IS* the treatment for you. If you want to wear product on your nails, try IBX (that is one of my next experiments). Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

It's Guinea Pig Time!

Over the weekend, I removed the hard gel from my right hand's nails. Wednesday, I bought CND's Rescue Rxx. This is different from IBX, already on the market, in that RR is meant to apply on your bare nail, twice a day. IBX is intended for use on bare nail, or under any product or enhancement, and needs a small heat source. I have left my right hand's nails completely bare (a difficult enough experience for me... lol), and started applying RR yesterday.
As of this posting, I have applied it three times. I am also taking pics, which I will post, along with my review, when I've completed a full two-week trial. If it does as it says, I will be offering it retail in mini bottles (as I don't think most people need a standard 1/2oz size bottle).
I may also purchase & try IBX (as long as it's not too expensive, or I can get a trial size), and if I do so, I will post my results from that, as well.
Also on the way is five colors (plus top & base) of LeChat brand "Mood" gel polishes. I had one of my local nail sisters give me a pedi the other day (which was AWESOME!) and she used one called "Sparkling Mist" (goes from glittery teal to glittery dark blue; you can see it on my FaceBook page). I decided I liked it enough to get a few shades to try. I will post my thoughts on those once they come in and I get a chance to use them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sharpie Art

This past weekend, I got to use Sharpie markers to do artwork on my daughter's nails. If you want to see this done, go to YouTube; lots of great videos there. I watched a few, talked to some fellow nail techs, and just went for it. My supplies consisted of: Fine tipped Sharpie markers, gel polish top coat, IPA99 (99% rubbing alcohol), a small mister bottle, a dotting tool, and a small art brush.

First, I gave her a rebalance, as she wears gel enhancements. We took them from an "Almondetto" shape (longer than traditional Almond, but shorter & wider than a standard Stiletto), to a short "Squoval" shape (squared with slightly rounded corners). I then applied two coats of white gel polish, curing each layer. I *did not* top coat at this point, and realized later than I should have. The Sharpie slide over the nail much nicer with a clean top-coated surface rather than the slightly tacky one I ended up with... lesson learned.

Viewing the pic below, the methods I used were --
A) Squiggle -- using hot pink, purple, and light blue Sharpies -- your colors all over the nail, then use a clean small art brush, dipped in IPA & patted almost dry on a lint-free pad, and squiggle over your colors. You'll want to do this in small sections so as to not meld your colors together too much. Let dry, *carefully* top coat (being careful to float it on top of the nail, not pressing the brush into the art; you'll smear it if you do that) & cure.
B) Squiggle on your colors. Put IPA in a small mister bottle, hold nail about 8" or so from bottle (I did this with the nail horizontal to the floor, with my hand under it, but you can get a slightly different effect if you hold it upright), spritz once or twice, let IPA spread & dry. You can always add more color and spritz again if it doesn't look quite right. Carefully top coat & cure.
C) Squiggle on your colors. Put IPA in a small dish (dappen dish works great, but you can use your IPA's lid if needed), use both the small end & the large end (for different sized dots), dip the dotting tool in the dappen dish, dot once or twice in different spots on nail, let spread, repeat as you see fit. If needed, reapply color, and repeat. Once you get the effect you're looking for, let it dry, top coat, & cure.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Goals for 2015 --

This was two year ago's list -- here -- and I'm happy to say that I accomplished all of it (and some even applied to last year, too)!

This year's list includes --
1. Clean out/clear out as I need; my room is only about 60 sq ft, so I am very limited with space. Keep an eye on this album (on my public FB work page) -- LINK HERE -- I will periodically be adding stuff to it.

2. Keep my windowsill retail area nice (labels on everything, put a UV coating on that window, get a smaller basket so things fit better, maybe get a wall decal that says "Retail" or "Take Me Home" - lol).

3. Keep working on my skills as an artist; including practicing in my off hours, and attending a nail event or two.

4. More clients, as usual! Currently, looking to fill up my Tuesday & Friday, every other week.

5. By year's end, I will need to update some pricing again. I've added a few new products, and haven't redone pricing on half my menu since 2013.

I'm sure there are more, but that's all I can think of off the top of my head...