Thursday, March 31, 2016


To continue on from my last post, I'm starting to look into products from other companies that, in my opinion, better support the Pro nail tech, and looking to replace most of my items that are currently CND brand. In looking through my products (wall racks, retail cabinet, drawers, and closet), I figure I need viable options to replace the following --

1. CND Manicure Citrus Scrub: I'm looking at Cuccio, Qtica, does Footlogix have one (?), and a couple other brands to see if I can find a suitable replacement. My biggest issue is that many scrubs are either sugar or salt; sugar makes for a sweeter and stickier scrub than I want, and salt can be an issue for anyone with any micro cut (which, no matter how many time I tell them not to, people still shave *the day of* their pedi... don't do THAT!). If you have a good recommendation, let me know.

2. CND Hydrating lotion, Citrus: same scent as the scrub... I need to stay in the citrus scent lines, btw; anything else would trigger my husband's migraines (and would turn off not only myself but also my male clients). I like (so far) Body Drench unscented (which I could add cheap essential oil to), Hempz Goji Orange Lemonade (but it's a bit strong for some clients), a lemon one I got from JoAnn Fabrics, and a couple OPI ones.

3. CND Cuticle Away: This is a great softener/eliminator for real cuticle (not to be confused with pterygium, or even worse, hyponychium), but I want a different brand. I'd like to try Be Natural's and Blue Cross. I've use BC in the past; it's watery, but works well... I'd have to get a dropper bottle for it, if that's what I replace CA with. Again, recommendations would be lovely!

4. CND Shellac Remover: I found a good replacement... I'd been using OPI's Expert Touch, too, but for those clients that are sensitive to something in it, I was using CND's. Seems Artistic Nail Design's Remover works just as well. It's about $5 more for the 32 oz, but as rarely as I use it, that's ok.

5. CND Scrub Fresh: Artistic Nail Design's Cleanse is a great replacement here, too, although the smell is a little "chlorine", it's only noticeable up close (and you shouldn't be smelling it like that, anyway!). Pricing for the 32 oz is $2 cheaper, so that makes me happy.

6. CND's Boomerang buffers: Artistic has two different grits for their buffers, and they are also "spray sanitizable", but within Oregon's rules & regs, need to be disinfectible as well (people use these terms interchangeably, but there's a huge difference). This is also important to me when I'm spending the money on them that I do. They don't have the same grit choice (CND's are 180/180, whereas my choices in Artistic are 100/180 or 220/280... and they're 68c more each). Hmmm....

7. CND Cool Blue hand sanitizer: I'm thinking that OPI's Swiss Guard can be my replacement, but am open to other ideas.

Please note, as well -- I was told (but have yet to confirm) that CND will no longer be supporting their Shellac UV lamp (including not making the bulbs anymore). I have two clients I still use my CND lamp on (and I still have a new pack of bulbs, so I'm okay for a while); Shellac pedicure clients who don't like the LED lamp I have (yes, 60s in my OPI LED lamp works fine) for their feet (weird angle, I guess? I don't know; no one else has issues/complaints), but if this is true, they're just going to have to get used to the other one.

This all said, please comment if you have suggestions/recommendations for me about those items listed. Also, looking to sell some miscellaneous nail items. I'll put up a link/pics here this weekend if they don't sell on the FaceBook pages I currently have them listed on.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Great CND Fiasco

I thought long and hard about if I was even going to blog about this... it got so much press (negative and positive) that originally, I felt my opinions would just get buried by the louder voices. However, it's been a week, and it's still eating at me...

If you missed it, a fellow nail sister, Michelle, who runs a M-F "Periscope" broadcast as well as a paid content education page, found out that CND ran a promo on (a website with pics and video for beauty-related things). From what I've gathered, the promo was for bloggers on Preen to create beautiful sets of gel polish nails with designs, use a specific hashtag, which was, according to CND's later press release, designed to promote CND and drive consumers into the salon for a professional CND Shellac service. Yeah, all well and good, except they sent 50 kits (including CND Shellac shades, their new almost $400 LED lamp, a Shellac base & top coat, etc) to mostly NON-PROFESSIONALS.

According to CND's press release (after Michelle's Periscope broadcast went super-viral... and yes, she did her research before talking about it on air), Preen made the mistake of sending these kits out to non-pros. According to the bloggers themselves, no one asked for any proof that they were pros (I saw one comment in which a non-pro blogger posted a screen shot of the email from Preen... nowhere on it does it ask for anything about them being a pro), and a day or two later, Preen themselves admitted full responsibility. Here are my issues with this -- (1) CND did not ever take ANY blame for any of this, (2) CND not only blamed Preen, but also said in writing that the bloggers misrepresented themselves as pros to get this product kit, and (3) CND didn't even think to do something like this with their EXISTING CND Shellac Certified Pros or Grand Masters (of which, I am both... and have paid over $1000 to learn and be certified; something I *thought* was special).
(1) "Pass the buck" is not a good business model... ever.
(2) No blogger I ever came across in my research for this misrepresented anything. ALL of them were upfront on all of their social media pages; stating that they are not professional nail techs, do this for fun, etc... Every blogger that reviews for companies also always has a disclaimer somewhere about how they were sent the products for free in return for an honest review (or something to that effect).
(3) I understand the huge reach of the Preen website, so maybe the promo should have been that existing CND pros be offered the opportunity to win these kits, which then could have some caveats about how/where to post your masterpieces (even telling us we had to create a Preen account, because you wanted to work with that site, specifically). They could have run an email blast, directed to any current CND Grand Master or CND Shellac Certified Pro, with similar instructions that the bloggers at Preen got, sent out 50 kits to us pros, and the art created would definitely have done what they wanted it to; send consumers into the salons for a professional service. Heck, they could have had some "special winners" from Preen teaming up with a pro in their area to create artwork together! Instead, this huge fiasco where now the bloggers at Preen feel hurt, embarassed, etc and are angry with CND and my friend, Michelle.

My biggest problem with non-pros using professional products is not that it takes business/potential business away from me (seriously, I started as a non-pro... it was a jumping point for me to go to school. DIYers are those who take pride in doing it themselves, not because they can't afford professional services, but because THEY CAN DO IT, and sometimes, better than a pro)... no, it's because they haven't been educated on how to properly apply & remove those products (no, youtube is not the right place for that). I was having nightmares about what happens in six months... those bloggers and whomever they may also do services on (friends, family, what have you) blowing up CND's social media about how "CND Shellac ruined my nails" due to overexposure, improper application, improper curing, and improper removal techniques. THAT's why I'm pissed. You want to give away free product for a promo? Cool. But, this kind of thing can RUIN the small one-person studios like mine... and that is NOT ok.

I, for one, would love to exchange some simple Shellac manicures for the opportunity to work with some non-pros who are really good at artwork. I know that CND asked for the kits back, and (I think) paid for return as well as sent the non-pros who won these kits originally some other CND products (Vinylux, maybe some of the new Creative Play polishes? Not sure... if you're a blogger who is in the middle of this fiasco, will you let me know what you're getting from CND instead?). I can totally see that working in both of our favors... you get a good, quality, professional, and properly trained tech to do your Shellac service, I get to see you do some great artwork, we both get our names/business more exposure by linking those pages to all related posts, and CND gets even more exposure by having a wider audience loving on their products.

So, my current dilemma -- do I continue to #loveCND or do I #burnCND? I haven't decided, but for now, I will not be buying anymore CND products.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Nail Shapes

I have, more and more, come across photos where people (techs and consumers, alike) are misidentifying nail shapes. I know; there are a LOT of them.
Short list (seen fairly regularly) --
1. Round
2. Square
3. Squoval (or square oval)
4. Oval
5. Almond
6. Ballerina Slipper
7. Coffin

Longer list (less often seen in the real world) --
1. Stiletto
2. Marilyn
3. Pipe
4. Edge

I know there are more, but generally speaking, these are the norm in my world.
* I can see how round & oval get mixed up... but they should be true to real-world shaping (round are ROUNDED, like half a circle; oval are ELONGATED, like a true oval).
* Square and squoval get mixed up... squares are truly squared-off; straight across the top, and straight down the sidewalls. Squovals are slightly rounded off (it is normal to have your square nails turn into squovals by your next appointment).
* Oval and almond sometimes are confused... they are very similar, but almonds are more pointed (but not necessarily sharp). They literally look like an almond nut, usually done with a softened tip so as to not scratch people.
* Ballerina slipper and coffin are used interchangeably... but are NOT the same! Think about pointe shoes older ballerinas wear; flat toe, but slightly rounded & tapered edge; the ballerina slipper nail is the same. Coffin nail edges are much more defined; flat tip, angled edges, definitive lines (see photo below of actual coffins to get an idea).
* Stilettos and almonds also get mixed up... This bugs me more than other nail shape mix-ups. Stiletto nails are just like the shoe they were named after -- long, thin, tapered, point at the tip.

PLEASE GO TO MY BUSINESS PAGE, IN THE "NAIL SHAPE" ALBUM, TO FIND REAL EXAMPLES OF SOME PROPER NAIL SHAPES (I haven't found good examples of them all yet, but I will; keep checking back)... and use them the next time you go to the salon!