Manicures; “Practice makes perfect”

My last day at college before the mid term break seen me cram in my last formative for a French polish manicure with nail art and my summative in a manicure with exfoliation, hand mask, heat treatment and nail art.


My French polish actually went much better than I expected.  I can only put this down to practice I have been doing on family and friends in the last week.  Also partially down to not rushing it for the exam and telling myself not to be nervous as that would only make it worse.  My nail art on the French was very basic, as it was Valentines day I did a heart on the middle finger of each hand and a rhinestone in the middle of the hearts.  The key for me with nail art is not trying to be too elaborate like others in my class.  Not because I don’t appreciate their beautiful nail arts, but because I know my own limitations.  I am not very artistic when it comes to drawing things.


I got a little irritated in my summative with the polish I was using.  The client picked a dark pink from the college selection which was a lovely colour but as I started to put it on I could tell it had thickened up and wasn’t the best quality.  Thankfully it did level itself out in the end and it did look good.  The nail art was again basic, I used more rhinestones on the ring fingers and just did a simple off centred line on each nail.


The day earned me 2 more distinctions, one for nail art and one for my manicures.  That leaves me with only my pedicures and waxing to complete.  Yeay. 


Friday was my long day at work, I worked 12 – 9:15pm but the store does get pretty quiet between 7 and 9 as the rest of the town is closed and we mainly get customers in for the pharmacy.  I decided to put the confidence I got from my manicure distinction to good use.  I grabbed a nice red Estee Lauder display polish (Not a brand I would buy due to their animal testing but I was limited as to what testers were available in store) and polished the nails of one of the women working the shift with me.  Granted she didn’t like that the polish was not right down on her cuticles as “that’s how I would do it” but I did get the polish very close to the cuticles and nail walls without touching them at all.  Very impressed with how far my polishing skills have come with practice.


Estee Lauder – Pure Red nail lacquer, this image is not my own, taken from (I really should start taking photos of nails I do!)


It just proves that as the old saying goes, “practice really does make perfect”.


Pedicures and new foundation

To say I am not a lover of feet is putting it mildly.  I don’t even like people putting their feet next to me on the sofa or my beloved other half putting his feet anywhere near my side of the bed.  So pedicures were not really something I was super excited to be starting.

This week we managed to get most of the pedicure learned.  It is fairly similar to the manicure sequence minus the buffing and so it is quick to cover as we already know the drill.

Now I know using gloves doesn’t look great but I have been using them in class.  It just freaks me out too much to not use them.  The first girl I practiced on had discoloured nails which she says were from tan and a mole that had appeared under the tip of one of her toenails last year.  All I was thinking in my head was “do moles even just show up on fully grown adults?! Could this be some kind of contagious thing I don’t know about?”  That was it, my mind was made up to use gloves with her.

The second girl I worked on had very bad nails on her feet.  She works in a bar and said she has dropped a lot of glasses on her feet.  Her nails were broken and chipped all over.  I did start her pedicure with a glove only on one hand but once we hit exfoliation and massage I had to put both on.

I am hoping that with practice and time I may be able to do feet without gloves.  Perhaps I have just been unlucky so far with not so perfect feet to pedicure.  At least I hope so, because if not I am never doing them in the real world!  I will hire somebody to do them for me once a week.

In turn I received 2 pedicures this week also.  The first was shorter as we had not learned our massage routine and that was fine.  The second was actually by one of the girls who at the start of the year did my head in.  Her partner wouldn’t let her practice on her and mine wanted to go grab something to eat so I thought why not?  She actually did a great job.  I did have to remind her of the order everything went in the massage but overall she really did a good job of making my feet look prettier and relaxing my feet and legs with the massage.

Now I did say I wanted to get my manicures out of the way last week but due to a half day on our long day, that didn’t happen.  I have my mum booked in tomorrow for her manicure with nail art to get my summative done.  I am playing with fire a little as I am only planning to do my last formative (which is a French manicure with nail art) tomorrow too before she arrives.  I have faith in myself that I will do fine, however I really do feel like even when I have passed the module, I will still need to do a lot of work on my nail painting skills.  My French manicure and even my general polishing skills need improving on to get to a standard I feel will be high enough to actually feel happy charging people for my services.  I do also plan to sneek in another module tomorrow.  That is “promoting a product or service”.  This is one of those ones I feel I didn’t need to learn but can see why they teach it.  I have to promote a service or product to my mum. I am going to promote waxing and get her to book in for 4 weeks time once we are ready for clients.  I know waxing is something she wants to come in for so it is an easy way to get the “promoting a product or service” module passed.

Next week is half term and so I am off all week.  Once we get back we will be starting waxing! Yeehaa, the end is in sight as waxing is our last module.  Still very much on track for being 100% completed by mid May.

On another note, I was playing make-up tonight again.  I really do need to charge my camera battery as my Blackberry just washes the entire colour right out of my eyes sadly.

For this I used 3 shades of green no7 shaddow. I would have rathered a pencil liner... but my pencil liners were in the car... my liquid one was in the bathroom ;)

For this I used 3 shades of green no7 shaddow. I would have rathered a pencil liner… but my pencil liners were in the car… my liquid one was in the bathroom 😉

Tonight I tried a Lily Lolo mineral foundation sample that I received.  I was actually shocked at the level of coverage it offered me.  I haven’t got the best skin and due to fine lines around my eyes I have always opted for liquid foundation to ensure good coverage and no highlighting of the wrinkles.  This stuff may actually have converted me!  I will be putting it on tomorrow to see if it lasts a full day as I have my 10 hr day at college tomorrow.  Should it fair well, I shall be placing an order with them over the weekend for a full size foundation.

Hand and Arm massage elements of the manicure

Bliss.  That is how I can describe this.  It really was quite lovely to have an arm and hand massage and it was not something I would have went out to have.  I think a lot of people are going to enjoy me practicing the routine on them to get it in my head to start formatives as soon as my polishing skills are up to scratch.

To aid the nail art element of the course I spent Saturday evening on E-bay browsing.  I ordered some metal studs, some coloured crystals, caviar beads, striping tape, dotting tools and brushes.  I tried to buy only from the UK to avoid shipping taking weeks and I was very shocked when the crystals, studs and caviar beads all arrived on Tuesday!  Fantastic service really and I am happy to recommend the following ebay stores:

Hail the nails  




 I loved the cute bottle the caviar beads came in and its great that all the crystals came in a little divider box.

Trying to practice nail art is a little tricky.  I only have myself to practice on at the moment and I will be honest – it isn’t that easy to do your own nails with art and not smudge them.  I decided to just try a basic shevron with some dots and nail crystals on my ring fingers.


The colours I used were Nails Inc Motcomb Street for the dark navy, Nails Inc Glamour Glitter for the glitter top coat and the pink is a No.7 colour called ME! ME! ME!

I still need to figure out how to get my lines nice and clean.  Robin Moses manages to make it look so easy while I find it tricky.  I am sure it will come in time though.

On Thursday I had my summative for make-up.  I am pleased to say I got a distinction with full marks.  I had my mum come in for this exam as I was desperate to get it over and done with so I can focus on the new stuff.  She was very pleased with her look which gave me a sense of pride.  The only irritating thing was the tutor hadn’t realised who she was and commented on how dedicated my friend was to travel all that way (she lives 1 hr 30 from my college).  Well… of course my mum loved this and the tutor started to go on about how we did not look the right ages to be mother and daughter… yes, thanks for that.  I will now have to listen to my mum brag about how young she looks from now until easter ha.

I am also toying with the idea of putting in for an online *Be Inspired* make up competition on the Karla Powell Facebook page. If I decide to go for it I will of course post my photos here but I just need to find the time to not only do the look but to go shopping for a few supplies.  If you feel you have a bit of talent in the area or like me just fancy a go at something new even if you doubt you can achieve the standard of other applicants then head over to her page and upload your photo.  I wish you good luck!