Thursday, November 29, 2012

Nail Diva: Ruffné Püspöki Irén

*sigh*  It's been such a long time since I've blogged, and I know I dropped the ball, but I'm back!  But more importantly I'm back to show you an amazing nail tech: Ruffné Püspöki Irén (Holly1223).  Iren is located in Hungary and has been doing nails since 2006.  She's a nail designer and also a nail art trainer.  You name it, she does it - acrylics, gels, gel polish, aquarelle. She's immensely talented and very inventive with her designs.  Shes someone that I really like to keep an eye on for new work.  If you want to check out more of her work please look at her nail art gallery, her facebook, and a 2nd nail art gallery :) 

As for me, I am still on the mend from having bronchitis - but it does finally seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel!  I'm just glad to be on land where medical help is just a drive away instead of a helicopter flight away.  Other than that, life has been incredibly good to me lately.  So good that i've been completely distracted from this blog and doing nails that I love - but I'm going to try to be better at balancing things now that I don't want to sleep all day every day :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wow- 10 days without an update

Sorry Guys!  I can't believe its been 10 days without an update from me.  A lot has gone on... or perhaps maybe not a lot depending on how you look at it.  10 days ago I started getting sick(er) again on the ship.  Eventually they gave me some antibiotics that were supposed to help, but made me crazy sick... sick enough for them to decide to take me off the ship (which is a pretty big deal).  Anyway, they made that decision and then it was 4 days before we had good enough weather to get a helicopter.. so i pretty much slept as much as possible and attempted to do my job while trying to not keel over in pain.  Long story short, I get home and go to the doctors and they agree with me that Yes, I've had Bronchitis for the last 4 1/2 weeks and finally give me some normal non-prehistoric drugs.  So far, so good, they seem to be working.  I've got 2 more days worth of meds and then hopefully I'll be back to normal.  I'm definitely already starting to feel it.  So I promise a real update with NAILS sometime within the next few days.  *hugs* to all of my readers and thanks for being patient when I disappear for long periods of time!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Nail Diva: Urban Angel

I have yet another wonderful Nail Diva that I'd like to introduce you to.  Gina Elliott goes by the name "Urban Angel" on Nail Magazine's Nail Art gallery, and definitely caught my eye.  She's definitely an up and coming artist to keep your eye on :)   Here's her story:

"I started doing nails because I was a stay at home mom, living in a new area. I had a hard time meeting people and I wanted to earn some extra income that would still allow me to spend time with my children and have some me time socializing. I’ve always had a dream of one day opening a full service spa, and a friend of mine and fellow nail tech encouraged me to take a nail course. To be honest it wasn’t something I had thought about before, but once I took my course, I fell in love. It’s creative, challenging and social. I am inspired by so many things. Other nail techs, shoes (I don’t go shoe shopping, I go shoe photographing! My sister in law asks me if “I’m ever going to buy any of the shoes I look at!” lol) But I’m mostly inspired by my clients. I love how they will combine nail samples I have on display or allow me to change the designs that they’ve brought in to make them my own. I’ve never done the same nails twice! 

When I was in Victoria I did only acrylic nails, but we moved to Calgary in July and almost everyone out here wanted gel, so when in Rome…. I use INM  acrylic colours. I don’t think I’ll ever give up acrylic because I have so many favorites. For gel I use Amore, LCN and some akzentz. I’ve been really blessed to meet some wonderful ladies out here who have helped me with my transition between acrylic to gel and shared their knowledge with me, and they’ve become my nail besties.

I still want to open a full service spa in the future, but nails will always be a big part of that. I take as many nail art courses and private lessons as I can and eventually want to do
competition nails and share my passion for nails by educating others."  -Gina

So as you can see, she's a very adaptable, talented nail tech, and I think she's going to go far with all that motivation!  I know I can't wait to see more from her :)  Please check out  her Facebook and Nail Art Gallery for more of her work.

As for the update on Diva Pirate - I'm still out to sea... being a Pirate... a very sick pirate.  I'm watching my crew go home today and then I get a new crew for the next 4 weeks... and then its my turn to go home - and back to my nail goodies and family.  Honestly, this trip to sea can't end soon enough - perhaps the pirate lifestyle is starting to lose its luster?  Until next time!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Wise Words from Maggie Franklin on How To Find A Nail Tech in your Town - A GOOD Nail Tech

Borrowed from Maggie Franklin.  Shared by Perfect Ten Nail Enhancements, and Now here with you.

Finding a Good Nail Tech in Your Town

How many times have I run into someone who tells me that where they live there AREN'T any nail salons where English is the primary language, or that there AREN'T any nail salons where they live that disinfect, use top notch products, etc.

Look folks, this just isn't true. I spend hours online networking with other professionals who are constantly saying that they are having a hard time building a clientelle because the consumers in their area don't CARE about a clean salon, or a nail tech who speaks English, or uses high end products and offers high end services...

So, how is it that Group A can't seem to find Group B?

Here are some things to think about next time you go looking for a good nail tech:

A. If you want clean, professional, knowledgeable, and talented-- it's going to cost you.

There is a REASON that some nail techs charge $65+ for a set of pink and white acrylic nails when there's a salon on every corner with a banner on the window advertising a new set for $19.99. These two services are no more the same than a Hyundai is the same as a Mercedes Benz.

I do not understand how people who know the difference between the clothes at Walmart and the clothes at Holt Renfrew can't seem to make the same connection between a 20 dollar set of nails and a 65 dollar set? --and believe me! I'm using that $65 figure as a baseline for an upscale set of nails. Depending on where you live, a high end nail tech might charge anywhere from $50 to $150 for a set of nails!

According the newest data available (Nailpro Essentials, 2008) the AVERAGE PRICE for a new set of tips with overlays is $41 in the U.S. And the AVERAGE PRICE for a new set of Sculptured Pink and White Acrylics is $48. If you are paying considerably less than that, you are receiving considerably less than average work-- and considerably more than that typically represents considerably higher than average work.

Some adjustments need to be made to account for what might be "average" in your area, of course and there are always some exceptions to the rule on both ends of the spectrum-- but I trust you aren't stupid and can figure that much out for yourself.

B. Once you come to terms with the fact that you aren't going to be able to get really GOOD nails for the cost of a McDonald's happy meal, you'll need to come to terms with the fact that you are going to have to schedule an appointment if you want some quality time with a quality nail tech.

We do business the old fashioned way; we develop a relationship with our clients. We like to know who's coming in, we like to make sure we have reserved the appropriate amount of time needed to do your nails the way you like them, we learn your name, we want to know about you-- tell us who you are, how many kids do you have, where do you work, show us pictures of your grandkids (but please don't bring them with you.) We hope you like your nails, please let us know if you have any problems with them, and we hope to see you again.

Many of us are in demand-- even when we claim we are slow it can be difficult to put a claim on a piece of our time. Especially if you require an appointment after 5 p.m. So call in advance and be prepared to wait a couple of weeks, or be placed on a waiting list that might mean waiting several months before you get in! If you are able to schedule appointments during regular business hours, it'll increase your chances of getting an appointment sooner.

C. Be prepared to commit to your appointment.

We don't have you schedule an appointment just for fun! This is a RESERVATION. By scheduling an appointment, you are entering into a verbal contract to receive a service in exchange for payment. We agree to set aside a specified time period in which to perform that service. Once that time is reserved, we can't give it to anyone else. So if you default on your reservation-- we don't get paid. This is just like booking a hotel room. You have a certain amount of time to cancel that reservation, but after a specified point, you're credit card will be charged for the first night's stay even if you don't show up.

Many high end salon professionals have cancellation policies. In most cases, there is a minimum amount of notice required to cancel or reschedule an appointment. 24 to 48 hours is common. If you don't give enough notice, the salon professional will probably expect you to pay a fee. Usually the fee will be equal to the cost of the service that was scheduled.

Don't get all huffy about this. Just like the hotel that charges you for holding that room even if you don't show up-- it is not our fault that you were not able to keep your end of the agreement. We were there, with time set aside, waiting to give you a great set of nails. If you "forgot," "totally spaced," or just plain decided to blow us off-- it is unfair to expect us to cheerfully reschedule you and take the risk that you will deny us the opportunity to work for a living again.

Most salon professionals will take emergencies into consideration-- I once had a client miss an appointment because her husband suffered an aortal hernia and had to be airlifted to Stanford University for emergency surgery... I let that one slide. On the other hand, I have had clients remember to call to cancel their appointments while they were IN THE EMERGENCY ROOM awaiting emergency surgery!

Believe me! when a 16 year old can call her nail tech to cancel her appointment because she has had an ovarian cyst rupture and needs emergency surgery, it will NOT bode well for you to expect me to overlook my cancellation fee because YOU decided to go shopping with your sister but didn't bother to let ME know you wouldn't be getting your nails done.

D. You will have to look for us.

The vast majority of high end nail techs are working in high end salons. Possibly fancy day spas. Possibly in home-based salons or even alone in small studios. We are not (usually) located in the mall. We are not (usually) in strip malls. We do not advertise our services with faded neon-colored banners, or window decals of 1980's style Nagel prints. You will not stumble across us accidently by walking into the salon next to your local laundromat.

If you are looking for a high end nail tech, you might start by inquiring at your high end hair salon.

You might start paying attention to the nails of people you see daily. When you see someone with really nice nails, ask her where she has them done. Ask questions. Are you looking for someone who speaks English well? Are you looking for someone who does gel nails? Who does full acrylic instead of using tips? Who does nail art? ASK.

E. Don't just look for pictures.

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a nail tech can do awesome nails and still not be at the top of her game. I've seen great talent that used products with MMA, didn't disinfect-- or never bothered to change her disinfectant in the jar! (yuck) And techs who did great nails, but routinely cut their clients, and used the same files and buffers (non-disinfectable items) over and over on client after client.

F. Find someone you can communicate with.

I hear many people complain about nail techs that don't speak English--Some of the best, and most respected, talents in our industry don't speak English all that well. I certainly hate to think that anyone would walk away from a great nail tech just because English wasn't their first language-- but it IS important to be able to communicate with anyone who is performing a service for you! This goes well beyond speaking the same language however!

I cannot believe how many times a new client has sat in front of me and complained that her previous nail tech never did her nails the way she wanted. Many times the previous nail tech has been someone who speaks English fluently, but didn't bother to pay attention to what the client was asking for, or didn't bother to clarify what the client asked in order to be sure they were on the same page.

Once you know what it is that you're looking for, it'll be easier to find it. We're out here! Just don't go visit your aunt's nail tech 2 states over and complain that there's no one like her where you live until you've actually looked!

Monday, November 5, 2012

What Nail Tech's Do

Today I really just want to share with you a cute photo that I saw on Facebook today.  Its totally true too.  Nail techs = Therapists all the way.

Second, I just like to draw your attention to another change Facebook has made.  Its pretty much holding posts hostage unless you go to the pages you really like, click the sprocket, and add the individual page to your interest list.  That or you visit it daily.  The choice is yours.  But if you don't add it to your interest list, you'll miss out on a bunch of stuff.  :) So go add my page, and all your other favorites too -
And as for me, I'm FINALLY starting to feel better.  Which means you'll have some better posts coming up soon.  :) Until then!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Mani & Pedi from my trip to Hawaii

Its been long past I had a post about nails that I've created.  I honestly just don't have too many pictures of nails that I've done that I like stashed away to post.  These ones I'm only halfway happy with because they're not anything special in my eyes, but I digress, they're still nice nails.  I did these just before going to Hawaii - and by "just before" i mean i started filling my acrylic at midnight before my 6am flight.  So I slapped on some acrylic, and then did a quick polish design and tried to get some sleep before getting up at 4am to get to the airport.  So I guess under the circumstances, they're pretty good.  They're just clear acrylic with OPI DS Royal painted on half the nail.  I layered silver shatter on top (though it didnt really shatter the way i wanted it to, but oh well).  Then I outlined it with a light blue liner from Stripe Rite, slapped a topcoat on it and called it a day.  I can't even remember the polishes for the pedi, but I included it just for fun.  Again, another shatter - even though I've never been a fan.  Don't ask me why I tried them when i was about to go on vacation, clearly I was out of my mind :) 

As for me, I'm still out to sea.  I still have another 5 weeks to go- and yes, im still very very sick. Through November you probably won't see much from my personal stash, but I do have some feature nail techs to share with you.  Hopefully I'll get home in December and get to be able to do some nice work again :)  Truly, I miss doing nails like crazy.