Is it just a waste of money?

There are SO many products out there that promise great results, have amazing advertising and marketing strategies to sucker us all. You literally can throw away hundreds of dollars every year on crap that doesn’t deliver. There are a few products out there that do work, and deliver on their promise.

Let’s start with the famous BabyFoot™️; this exfoliating foot mask is the best on the market. Scented with the relaxing aroma of lavender, conveniently package in foot booties ready to slide on. If you have years of callus build up, like to run around outside with no shoes on, an avid swimmer or just simply want to maintain your pedicure, this mask is for you.

You will take an hour for yourself, and watch a dumb one hour tv show, or get pissed of watching the news. Within a few days, your skin starts to fall off, fall off some more and within this 14 day adventure – brand new baby feet. Not only does it work, the process will scare you, the results will be unbelievable.

BabyFoot is set at a low price around $18.00 on Amazon. Normally it runs $25.00 a box. Each box contains one mask, one time use only. (Not recommend to be used on skin with open wounds or athletes foot.)

Onto the next, A+D ointment! You might be thinking, “Why in the world would she be recommending diaper rash ointment?” Well, if you are diabetic or have severely cracked skin – A+D ointment will be your best friend. Use it as a 30 day treatment for cracked heals, cracked hands by applying nightly. Or as a daily necessity to keep that diabetic dryness away, that winter burn or treat those scaly feet from that summer filled pool fun!

Keep in mind, In order to repair the skin, you have to treat the skin first. Same goes with treating acne on the skin, you have to treat the skin before it can repair. (Or, is it the other way around?) I think we understand the message, right?

A+D Ointment is priced too low for this tube of magic at or around $3.99 on Amazon.

If you have these two Magic Potions tucked away in your Bathroom, your Feet and Hands will be on the right track to helping maintain your pedicure. One pedicure will not take away years of neglect, if it is your Nail Artist isn’t doing their job correctly. A quick fix never solves a problem, it simply “band-aids” the issue.

Do your skin a favor, repair then treat.



The Nail Society

Let’s take a moment…

How do you determine the best service for your client?

I worked at a high-end “ish”  here in Texas for a little over a year, before re-opening my own space. One of the few great things I walked away from when leaving there was adding a consultation to the service. I will be honest, it was hard to implement. When I thought of a consultation I thought no, this would be for a hair stylist, esthetics, massage therapist…a Dr’s appointment? “So Tabitha, tell me what your daily eating habits are?” It just seemed, weird.

Until, it was further explained to me; it clicked. It totally made sense why this step can set up your service for success AND be the best service for your client. I’ll admit, I still forget to do this time to time. I’m realizing that having a client fill out a nail consultation form while they are soaking is the best way for myself and may be for you.

So what should I be asking?

Here’s some examples:

  • Are you taking any prescribed medications? Such as Blood Thinners?
  • Are you Diabetic?
  • Are you Pregnant?
  • Do you have any known allergies?
  • Do your nails peel excessively OR chip and break easily?
  • Are your nail beds tender to the touch? Sensitive under running water?
  • Do you work-out? (Sometimes, A couple of times a week, 3-5 times a week, everyday)
  • If there was one thing you could change about your nails, what would it be?
  • What currently are you unhappy with about your nails?
  • Do you prefer your nail cuticle to be buffed away, pushed back or trimmed?
  • Do you regularly receive a manicure?
  • Do you regularly receive pedicures?
  • Do you moisturize your skin on a regular basis?
  • What is your current at home care routine for both your hands and feet?

Clients who have been coming to you, and see that you start asking any of these questions will be taken back, confused, and not sure what to say. They might ask things like, “Well, what do you mean what can I change about my nails?” If you noticed say for example, the nails peel on the edge. You might guide them with, “I see 3-5 nails that are peeling. Is this a regular occurrence or is this recent?” You will be surprised where the conversation goes, as you are working on their nails.

Why should I bother doing this?

If a client comes in, wants a full set of stiletto nails, with enough bling to set off a metal detector; but has extremely bitten nails, open wounds around the surrounding tissue of the nail – don’t you think you should discuss this? Rule one, we don’t work on clients with any open wounds. Why? Do you want to cause an infection, risk a yelp complaint that you did so and have our business affected because you couldn’t handle a 5-minute consultation. I know I don’t, and I would hope you would either. We all know the happy train Yelp! Is on with only showing negative reviews and “not suggesting positive ones…”.

Do the right thing. You might be surprised that the client will appreciate why you are suggesting a healing routine first, to get their skin and nails healthy before adding anything to them.

With all this said, please remember we are not Doctors. We are not here to diagnose any nail diseases or disorders. Unless, you have been Medically Trained to do nails; this is NOT in your scope of practice. Referring your client to the correct person is imperative, whether it be a Dermatologist, Podiatrist, or to ask their Pharmacist a question about their medication and how it can affect their nails; we need to stick to what we have been trained to do. If you’re uncomfortable working on the client for any reason, go with your gut.

I hope you have enjoyed my blog so far, this has been an eye-opening experience for myself. It has brought me back to why I started doing nails, why I went back and got my License to Instruct, and why I became a Certified Podiatrist Assistant. I love doing what I do, but I love even more doing it with the health of the client (and myself) as the top priority. Some will appreciate the care, and frankly more wont. Do what you have to do.


The Nail Society

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How to remove Gel Polish safely!

Time and time again I have a client that comes to me and says, “I don’t want gel polish its ruining my nails.” In my mind, I’m rolling my eyes. Gel polish is not bad for your nails, and it pisses me off that so many think that it does. Companies advertise their scrapbook nail forms as “no damage removal”, “no damage soak-off”, “longer lasting manicures”… EYEROLL. BUT did you know the same exact prep they advertise is the SAME prep (all Licensed Nail Artists who are properly trained) use for gel polish + acrylic dip ?? You probably didn’t .. that’s ok.

If I’m going to get my nails done like most people in the world, it takes skill, patience, blood, sweat and tears. OK, correction, no one should be bleeding. You get the point.

To remove correctly should be the same no matter where you go. If they are doing something extremely differently then what I’m going to lay out, be concerned. The prep and removal process is where in-properly trained Nail Artists cause damage to the nail. Now if your peeling your gel polish off before your next appointment, the damage is your fault. And, don’t lie about it buttercup, we can tell when you’ve peeled it off.

How to remove:

Supplies needed for at home removal:

  • Acetone, you can buy this with Vitamin E by Sally Hansen  for around $7.50.
  • Cotton Balls or Cotton Squares cut in 4 pieces.
  • Foil cut in 3×3 squares
  • Cuticle oil, I personally use Rose Oil by Young Nails , $16.50. A little goes a long way.
  • Two socks or two hand mitts (creating heats warms up the remover, resulting in a faster soak-off time)
  • 240 grit Nail File or Buffer Block

Step 1:

  • File and shape the nail. This removes the top coat seal from the free edge. Repeat on all ten nails or what’s left of your gel polish.

Step 2:

  • Carefully, using the nail file remove the shine from the gel polish. Do not push down with the nail file. Let the grit do its job, and simply remove the shine. The gel should be dull when done. Repeat on all ten nails or what’s left of your gel polish. **Now, if your Nail Artist is using an electric file to remove the shine, this is ok, IF the correct bit is being used. Simply ask them what number grit they are using, if the number is lower then 240, or they are removing it all the way down to the naked nail plate tell them to stop.

Step 3:

Place cuticle oil on all ten nails.

Step 4:

  • Cotton needs to have two pumps of acetone saturated. They should not be dripping of acetone. Too much acetone, is simply too much and gets all over the skin. The size of the cotton should also not be greater then the size of the nail plate.

Step 5:

  • Wrap the nail, with foil, like a burrito. DO NOT PINCH THE FOIL. Only pinch the sides where there is no cotton.

Place hands in socks, hand mitts, or some sort of plastic glove. This creates heat, and warm acetone works better. While soaking DO NOT PINCH the foil. You are squeezing out all the acetone, the cotton will dry out and the removal process will have to start over.

Soaking time do vary but not more then 20 minutes is necessary will the majority of all lines of gel polish. (Yes, it’s called gel polish, Shellac is a brand by CND.)

I hope this helps all of you. Our products out there for clients, artists, are truly all safe. It is poorly trained, or unlicensed individuals spreading nonsense; they give us all a bad reputation.



The Nail Society

Photo Credit: Lauren Conrad

Time flies…

Don’t you hate those days when nothing goes right?

We all have off days, we get behind and don’t know how; and it literally messes up the rest of the day. There are times though when we know why we run behind. We were late to work, our stations weren’t up to par, more talky and less worky, client came in late. No matter the reason we have to manage our time.

I used to work in a spa, and you work along side others and might have a group coming in, or your by yourself with one client but the next one is a couple and we need to be together. My biggest pet peeve is people not managing their time. When we run behind, it not only messes our day up but you could be messing up the clients day as well. They make the appointment, knowing the time allotted and might be planning on something afterwards, picking their rug rats from school, Drs appt, airport pick up…doesn’t matter. Point is if you want your time to be respected, respect your clients time as well.

If you’re a talker then pad yourself extra time by advertising a longer service time, you’ll realize very quickly how many more clients you can take in a day by learning to shut your trap when it’s necessary. If you have a client that’s always late – you need to talk with them about it. If you’re on your own, booth renting or own a space, guess what; it behooves you and your staff to not let it continue.

Running a business has its ups and downs, and having those talks is apart of it. Sending out passive aggressive posts, emails, and not abiding by your cancellation or late policy only shoots yourself in the foot. You created the policy for this reason, time being respected, follow through.

What about no-shows?

I remember a long time ago this girl not showing up for her appointment because she was making pancakes. Yeah, it was fun to then call her ” pancake girl”…but the constant no showing affected multiple people, and the business. No showing is disrespectful to you, your time, staff and business. If they won’t take you seriously, then bye Felicia. You could have booked that client that had been waiting to get in that you know will show up and be on time.

Before I went out on my own again in Texas, I did work for a company that actually followed through with their cancellation policy, no-show policy, and late policy. Guess what? It wasn’t an issue, because they followed through. You don’t get paid if they aren’t stirring in your chair. You have bills to pay just like the client does.

Simple policy:

  • Credit card on file for all guests.
  • Late three times, same day appointment only. Service time must and will be cut if that is possible.
  • No show, walk-in only. Credit card on file, 100% charge for service.
  • Last minute cancellations, credit card on file 50% charge of service.

Yes, emergency’s come up. We all have them, but when it’s excessive you have to be the boss and do what needs to be done. You’re running a business, not a sidewalk lemonade stand.



The Nail Society


I know all of you have heard so many times,

“I can go down the street, and pay $40.00 for a Mani + Pedi, and the place is just as nice…”

“Ok, then go there…?!?”

We loathe this reaction when someone asks for a price list. We can’t control how much people make, what their budget is, or what their opinion is on pricing. What we can control though is educating them on the difference. It’s not, and don’t ever let it be, a justification to what you charge. For Nail Artists, we need like 5,000 supplies to do our job.

We regularly invest in our business to better serve our clients. Manufacturers of our products can even tell you how many full sets you can do in a single container, divide that out by how much you paid, to know your cost per service. Some products you don’t get a ton of use out of, but have a high price tag. If you’re following state rules, you’re throwing away nail files, pedi slippers, etc; those products add up. Towels, laundry, rent, marketing materials and necessities all add up.

If you educate the client on what your using, how you’re different, and they don’t see the value. They aren’t the client for you, is that harsh, yes, but you shouldn’t have to justify the cost. Compare it to something simple like gas stations, they all have different pricing. Chevron here is regularly a lot more expensive then H.E.B…but the gas stations are equally busy. Each customer sees a value in different places they patron. It might be convenience, location, the set-up, what side of the street it’s on.

Who knows, so with you, clients who keep coming back is because they see your value. It could be you let them speak the whole time and you faithfully listen and offer up advice. You hug them when they leave, I love giving my clients hugs. It makes my day to make them happy and humans are happy getting and receiving hugs. Well atleast I think they are, I’ve never had a client cringe or walk away feeling violated..or maybe there was that one time…Anways, I have a client that comes to me because I sent her a thank you card for coming in, and she said to herself “I have never received anything like that, she’s my girl.”

That makes me feel good, that what I’m doing, what I’m providing has value. So charge what you’re worth, and don’t apologize for it.



The Nail Society

Keep the faith…

I’ve seen a trend the recent years of Nail Artists and our industry getting a bad reputation because of actions of others. I feel like this goes hand in hand with the other blog post of What to look for in a Salon. However, those are just the basics!

I know so many artists out there that go above beyond what is required of them in terms of sanitation and taking great care for each client that sits in their chair. We all have gone to different Manicuring schools, live in different states, and have chosen our own direction of what continuing education classes are important to us.

What drives me to be the Nail Artist that I am is my passion for the service and my relationship that I build with each client. You all become an extension of our families. We laugh, cry, joke and even yes, I’ve prayed with clients before. We might for some, remember when they started dating their now husbands, wives, or partners. I’ve even been the first one to be told of your pregnancy!

We see you grow, just as we grow along with you. We spend but maybe 2 hours together each month, but it feels like it’s an afternoon, full of whiskey and wine. I cherish my time with my clients just as I know so many out there do.

We also experience the dirty side of life, see struggles in others that they don’t see themselves. Divorce, sickness, loss, change and having to say goodbye. Not everyone gets to have this connection with their Artist. I ask you to keep the faith in us, keep searching for “the one”. We are here, waiting for you!

I don’t believe that you will get this connection in what I call “drive-thru” salons. Their goal seems to be get you get you out. However, that doesn’t mean when you sit in that chair the nail artist who may be quiet and not speak to you; doesn’t have your best interest in mind. It doesn’t mean they don’t care about your safety, being comfortable, and receiving the best service they can give you.

I grow everyday as a person in my personal life, as a business owner, and as a Nail Artist. I strive to do the very best that I possibly can.

Keep the faith in us, because I, amongst so many, love what we do.



The Nail Society

What to look for in a salon.

There are so many salons to choose from, but how do you know which one to pick? Intuition speaks volumes, but there are certain things to look for that could be red flags that often times get over looked. I currently live in Texas, but previously spent 8 years in North Carolina, and was born and raised in California. So these few states will base what I think you should be looking for. Chime in, comment below if your state does something different.

Cleanliness is a given.

If there are excessive nail clippings, trash on the floor, hair clippings but no one is cutting hair at the moment, trash is overflowing, things are not organized. Even the fixtures being dusty, screams to me they don’t care about their space or the overall health of their clients. If an Artist is with a client, doing a full set of nails, it can be common to see a piece of a nail tip that flew away. It happens, but this doesn’t mean they don’t care. Excessiveness or what you feel is “dirty” can be a red flag.

Barbicide jars at stations or at the sinks.

Ok, seeing the jar is great, but is the jar clean? Is the Barbicide a light colored blue? It shouldn’t be super dark in color like a deep ocean blue or green like the fungus growing on your left overs in the fridge from three months ago. Think of that beautifully un-filtered sky blue in Hawaii. Now, they do have other liquid disinfectants that don’t have color. You can tell the solution is mixed in the water though. If you aren’t sure, ask what they disinfect with. When a client comes to me for the first time I let them know my process for my tools, my pedicure bowl, cleaning my tables, etc. I even show them the bottles! This establishes trust, and trust is a big thing in the nail industry.

Heat sterilizer or auto-clave, what the hell is this?

So Texas, requires a high heat sterilizer, or auto-clave in addition to using barbicide. This is the first state I’ve worked In that requires this additional step. I think it’s great, but an auto clave to me seems excessive given we aren’t performing surgery. Let’s be real, it’s a nail service. However, if you go to a salon that has cut you following the basic standard OSHA rules, properly disinfecting the tool these come in handy. This is why you might see the tools going to be used on you in a sterilizer pouch. You will know that they actually have been sterilized because the pouch changes colors. For our industry the standard is a light blue to a light brown, the seal is where the color changes. This is also an indicator for the Artist that they have been sterilized to the appropriate time.

Towels, towels and more towels!

I think it might be safe to say, ALL states require bleach in addition to laundry detergent to be used when cleaning the salon towels. If you are receiving a service and the towels, sheets, robes are stained. Guess what? They are not doing the laundry correctly. It also isn’t professional seeing towels with holes, strings coming off the end. The cost of owning a salon comes with investing in items such as towels. Yes, they can be costly, but so can losing clients because you won’t replace them when it is necessary and clean them properly. Sorry baking soda, vinegar and love just doesn’t cut it.

Nail files, toe separators, pedicure slippers and buffer blocks, oh my!

None of these can be re-used! Why? Because it’s gross, who wants cooties from the previous person they were used on? I know I don’t, and this is a way to spread some unwanted friends in a nail salon! You’re friend fungus, or athletes foot…ew. These should either be given to you or thrown away in a trash can, not a pretty basket from World Market™️ underneath the nail drying station.

Callus buffers…

Don’t let them use a cheese grater on your skin, why? Your skin creates calluses as a protective barrier from getting blisters. When these metal foot files, even Credo knives, are used to remove your calluses; your skin in return and vengeance, will grow back faster, thicker, stronger and have a hardness to it. Calluses should be worked on slowly. At home care for your feet is crucial for keeping calluses from getting worse. You only need to get a Pedicure once a month, twice a month is a treat.

If you are suffering from cracking, calluses, dryness…use A+D Ointment. Treatment: nightly for 30 days, use a Pumice Stone twice a week! Just after the first week huge difference. Then the second month switch to weekly treatments. A great morning foot lotion is important, I love Footlogix Daily Maintenance it is amazing! Free of perfume and strong fragrances.

So I feel I might have touched on everything that is considered basic industry standard. If there is anything I missed leave a comment below!



The Nail Society