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Full Version: Does great art really make a good nail tech?
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I think it is great that the nail industry has moved into amazing directions, but sometimes in all the fluff, so to say, does the foundation of a good nail and good tech get lost. I hear people say "oh she's a great nail tech you should see her nail art" When did nail art make a good nail tech? Are we missing what really makes a good nail tech? Are there people out there that cannot do nail art that are feeling inadequate? Personally I feel a good nail tech is NOT about the art. It's a bonus, but sometimes its good to just do make sure the prep, application, shape, form of the nail is perfect. No matter how good the nail art is, its not going to cover up a bad nail!

I just feel that there is so much focus on the nail art anymore, that the focus on a good nail has been lost.

Just had to get this off my chest, I cannot be the only person out in the nail world that feels this way or am I?

Nope, you're not alone in this!
I agree with you. I always see photos of beautiful nail art on subpar nails. No cuticle care. Unbalanced. Misshapen. You name it. Beautiful art does not equal beautiful nails.
You are absolutely not the only person who feels this way! There’s a tech in my area who does PHENOMINAL nail art. She admits she likes to hurry up and get the acrylic/gel full set or rebalance portion of the service over with so she can get to the art work. She’s very passionate about her nail art, and that’s what her clients are drawn to.

Most techs that are great with nail art like to focus on that. I’m with you though, I don’t care how beautiful and unique your nail art is, it can never cover up a bad nail.

Side bar - Kathy, I just started using LE gels. Can you email me at your leisure? I'd like to ask you a couple of questions if that's okay? My email address is [email protected] Thanks so much!

Bowie, MD
Art is my thing! But I totally agree. The foundation is where my art rests. And that is my first concern! If everything under the art is out of place,you can't hide it! People need to learn everything one step at a time.
The bread and butter of any salon is manicures, nail strengthening and nail extensions. Perfecting those and reducing times have to be the main priority. I do think that far too many new techs especially finish school and jump on the nail art before they are ready.

For the most part, few customers are willing to pay for good nail art or the time it takes (and here I don't categorise sprinkling glitter as nail art, but nail decoration). Nail art does have it's uses - it can be a great marketing tool and help you be seen as a specialist - providing you have your pink and whites down too.

Unfortunately, many magazines put too much focus on nail art rather than educating on what is a good nail shape and showing some of the newer application techniques for gel and acrylic.

But I understand why - nail art looks good in the magazine and helps sell copies. Although I wish in that case they would be a bit more selective and not publish some of the poor work from people who clearly received no nail art education. I don't mind if the work isn't complex, but it should always show good technique so others can understand what the standard is.
Bob is right on as usual!
After 20+ years, I'll never be ready for nail art . . .
Here's how I see a lot of nails:

Crappy nail structure
Over use of primer and filing
Lots of gaudy nail art

And that's why I'm still not ready to do enhancements, because I'm a perfectionist and trying to attain the perfect nail before anything else.
It's subjective: All depends on who you're asking.

For MOST consumers, if you ask them "What makes a nail tech good?" You will hear a lot about nail art-- if you live in an area where nail art is the norm.

Many consumers are starting to recognize cleanliness as well and count that in their criteria.

I hear "civilians" all the time say that they would never be good at doing nails because they can't paint: In my area, not being competitive at nail art will be detrimental to your ability to build a clientelle. There just isn't a large enough demographic interested in pink and white or polish-only to support many techs who only offer those looks.

But when asking most nail professional what make a good tech, you'll hear a lot about safety/cleanliness and technical skills for creating extensions.

Which tends to leave out those who specialize in natural nail care.Sad

Believe me, I am not your go-to gal if you want a killer mani. I can pretty up your nails, but I can not do one of those amazing miraculous make overs. I have no clue how to make up for years of neglect to the skin and cuticles with a single manicure...but some people rock it.

It never fails to amaze me that so many consumers are wow'd by the artwork while entirely failing to notice that its canvas is a disaster.

In the long run, I have to admit that the judge of being a "good tech" bears out largely by how successful you are in the field. Do you have a loyal clientelle? Do you have a thriving business? Are you making a living?

Well then, sometimes sadly, it doesn't matter if your work is appalling or amazing-- you're doing something right.
I think it starts with nail care and enhancement maintenance. The skill of building a properly structured nail enhancement has been lost. The nail art may be cute but if the structure of the enhancement is incorrect, then it's like putting lipstick on a pig.
Hello Beauty, That is a Great Quote! Putting lipstick on a pig gives me a funny picture to contemplate. That would make a really funny Skit for one of those comedians that do stand up jokes about Nail Techs!
On the other hand, it also gave me a great idea for Nail Art! Drawing a Pig wearing Athena's Glitzy Lips, and adding one of my Bling Bows would make me another $18.00!
Thanks for sharing! I just love this website! I always love every ones questions, and the opinions!
Nails are a personal expression! I admire everyone who has the balls to put out whatever they are proud to share! We are all at different skill levels,right? We are not doing a very good job as educators if we don't except the good with the bad! Constructive Critiques and a helpful hand is going to get those techs to up their game! We as a community of Nail Techs from all over the world have come from the school of hard knocks! Some of us stay in that dreadful school for way too long! So yes, we are gonna see bad Pink and Whites, as well as bad Nail Art!
I personally feel that the public tends to think that we all do nails the same! If you were going to a salon to get your hair done, and they didn't have a manicurist. (98% of the public would head to the mall and take the next available appointment if they suddenly had a reason to get their nails done! They wouldn't hesitate! It never dawns on them to think about safety or sanitation. Much less trying to find someone who has an education that puts the needs of their customers health first above the $ signs!
(And, I know not all mall locations are NSS Salons! That would also be unprofessional to assume!) That makes anyone who thinks that way just as bad as the general public!
I aspire to be inspired! Did you know that a fabulous Set of Pink And Whites is Nail Art? I am not the sharpest Pink and White Tech in the Box! But, I teach Nail Art. And one of the ways I help techs learn how to take the Art shy client in the direction they want them to go is to start with a French Mani. They have a jar of off white paint and my Designer Paint Pen on the ready! When the client sits down to her 3rd appointment with me, I ask her about her weekend. All the while we are talking I am buffing the shine off of one nail. Then I proceed to draw a very elegant Rose Bud inside her white tip with very fine lines! There are 50 shades of white ya know? If her pretty tips happen to be very short then I make it stretch across the whole nail tip as skinny as i can. Or I make it stick straight up one side like its standing at attention! 98% of the people I do that to are no longer Art Shy! It has been proven over and over in my career.
I am a firm believer, that not one person knows beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they will not like nail art on their nails, unless they actually see it on themselves first! Nail Art Is subjective! And that's why I never stopped making samples of white designs. I like to call them Phantom designs! I believe if you keep doing what you love and you only share what designs you do very well, that sooner or later someone is going to catch the eye of the art shy client! If we all liked the same kind of nails, we never would have seen the French mani! Someone had the balls to paint the nails like Chickletts with white polish straight across the top of their nails about 32 years ago. And they sawed back and forth across the top of their nails with a crappy emery board to make them square! And if that didn't go against everything I learned in Beauty School I don't know what did!
But seriously! Everybody has the right to express their opinions. I say if it makes you feel good wear nail art! Yes, I strongly believe if your structure is off and you are having lifting issues. You should practice those arts first! Then you have the best artistic CANVAS to display your work on!
The End.
Miss piggy look cute with the red lipstick.
Any tech that have 80% fill book is good on my list because they have find their glitch and working their best access.

Sometime artist don't really get pay well for their work till they die.