My Nail Salon
What are my qualifications as a Nail Technician?
I followed an approved programme by the Beauty Guild and I completed 7 diploma courses which covers:
- Spa manicure
- Spa Pedicure
- Gel nail extensions
- UV gel polish
- Nail art
- Nail extension maintenance
- One Stroke Nail Art Master Technician
I have uploaded some of my work here for you to see. One stroke nail art is the application of paint with just one stroke of a brush to create complex nail art - I also did pass my GCSE Art and Design, but this was a long time ago in the 90's. My favourite aspect of art was being able to use different types of mediums to achieve a desired effect such as clay for 3D art, charcoal and acrylics for painting portraits, abstract art, and sceneries. Now I do portraits and sceneries as nail art on a set of nails as my canvass is the product on a nail. My personal preference in nail art is usually fantasy and dark fantasy, popular computer game characters from commodore Amiga, playstation, Nintendo and PC, and characters from popular anime series.
Where am I based?
Based on the east side of the A6 within Galgate, Lancaster; just behind the old silk mill. See my contact page for details. Free parking available and no need to get on the busy A6. There are several B roads that can reach behind the mill.
The Guild of Nail Technicians / Association of Beauty Therapists - what is it?
The Beauty Guild and the ABT are insurance providers and also accredit courses that are offered by training schools in an attempt to raise standards. Being a full member of the Guild or the ABT not only means that I have proven my professional competency in the nail industry, but can also work safely with clients and carry public liability and personal insurance which all Nail Technicians should have. So you can be at ease that your nails, are in good hands! All the courses that I have done are accredited by The Guild of Beauty Therapists and I am insured with ABT.
My past experience
In this section, I will describe my past experiences which led me to where I am. This section is only if you would like to know more about me :)
What did I do before University?
As an A-level school leaver with good grades, I couldn't join University as I had my own set of reasons at the time. Nowadays I can understand why a student wouldn't want to go to University and face a huge debt later in life. I started out as an IT apprentice, then left for my first temp job in a private bank (banking being the most boring to me). Then after a year, I served as an ambulance attendant with the St.John Ambulance Brigade Gibraltar branch for 2 years full time and 4 years on volunteer reserves. This was a combination of PTS (Patient Transport Service) duties transporting patients locally and in Spain, to EMS (Emergency Medical Service) duties being the driver and at the back with the casualty/patient. After a few years, I left the ambulance service to work in the mental health sector and then after 4 years, I decided to start my career in Software Engineering. I can say that the jobs I had as an ambulance attendant and in mental health made me appreciate more about life. Life is precious and it can easily be taken away from a loved one in an instant.
Why a Nail Technician?
Combining my abilities to interact with people, artistic talent and craftmanship, I decided to train to become a nail technician. One of my hobbies is cycling and whilst I was training for long distance cyclo-sportives (in 2015, I was training for the "Wrynose or Bust!" cyclo-sportive event which is 115 miles long and took me 10 hours to complete. It was organised by the Rotary Club Lancaster and I managed also to fundraise over £620 for Cancer Research UK). This training lasted for about a year which gradually intensified near to the date of the event. In the end, I had nail splits on my finger nails from wearing wet gloves and split toe nails due to wet cycling shoes. I also had a nasty habit; I bit my nails and sidewalls constantly which led my finger tips to bleed. Tired of my problems, I decided to do something I like to do; doing my research and I managed to solve my own nail problems.
I have been studying and teaching in Lancaster University for over 4 years (from 2012 to 2017) and I am a trained researcher (As a researcher, I hold three certificates, 2 Bachelor degrees - one being a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Bachelor degree, a First Class Honours Bachelor degree which I graduated both in the same year in 2011 and achieved a senior advanced research degree (Ph.M) in 2016.
Why a researcher?
A researcher has the necesary skills to go beyond and study other subject areas not previously studied. For instance, a research degree is never a clean cut discipline that you study a particular subject in it's purest form. For my own research, I had to study meteorology (the study of weather) and to some degree, civil engineering within the water utility sector in understanding how sewers work... nothing to do with computers, however, computers are everywhere in sensing the environment and acting on the data it receives.
As a trained researcher, I do my own CPD and I read about the newest innovations in the industry and keep abreast with the latest advances and technologies. However, I am the type of nail technician that won't jump into the marketing band wagon; I always like to find out more as I do keep an eye out for clever marketing gimmicks (All companies do this, they have to sell!). As an unbiased nail technician, I am aware of this practice and this is where I believe I am in a very good position to advise clients and educate them adequately (I am chatty but I do like to educate my clients about nails). When companies market new products, they usually release a product which is considered "better than the rest", "7 free", "this stuff allows nails to breathe" or even "safe for kids". This is called "marketing hype". You might have seen polishes with these statements. When you book an appointment with me, I can tell you more. This is when I do my own research and I ask hard questions such as, "Why is it better? What benefit will my clients get from another product? What's in it? etc".
This is the advantage that I have over other nail technicians, I am always critical of new products being released and I like to understand the hard science behind the products I use and follow the advice from the top scientists in the field; my belief is, if you understand how a chemical reaction works or how a process works, you know what you are doing. If there are ingredients hidden in a product or the marketing falls far from the truth, I won't buy it.