The Nail School Diaries | Week Three

Oh my goodness, where do I start? Such a lot happened this week, we learnt so much and I absolutely loved it! Definitely the best week so far, and I can tell it's just going to get better. In case you missed the first two nail school updates, you can read about week one here, and week two here. I'm just going to go in chronological order. I think I will almost definitely have a nail school update every week - I just about need one every day! Also, while I'm on that topic, yesterday I filmed a video about why I chose to go to nail school, expanding on some of the things I talked about in week one. It's one of three videos I have to edit at the moment, but it'll be up on YouTube eventually ☺.

Right, so if you read last week's update, you'll know that we practised filing on eggs, and I was absolutely terrible at it. While I'm still not great, I have been practising at home and now my egg carton is starting to look a bit odd... practice makes perfect!

The idea is not to go over the lines - so we don't file our client's skin. I also tried not to file too hard (as that would damage the nail plate), but the vivid had soaked in pretty far so I couldn't really avoid it! 

Another thing to add in (before I get on to actually being at nail school) is that I've been walking there this week! This is partly for financial reasons and partly for some exercise - I've been slack at going to the gym lately and this was to make up for it, a bit. I'm not sure what I'm going to do in wet weather, but I'm sure I'll figure something out. The downside to walking is that by the time I get to course I a) am generally a bit hot and sticky and b) have to carry around my trainers all day. I could always just walk in my normal shoes but I get foot pain pretty easy, so it's not worth it. I have been really enjoying the walks though, I listen to my favourite music and mentally prepare for the day ☺.

Walking to nail school adds an hour's worth of exercise to my day - not bad!

Okay, so here goes! On Tuesday and Wednesday the students from last year graduated, and while my new friends and I were having lunch we saw them all walk past. Quite exciting! This week I also watched (completely fascinated, I might add) while my teacher removed the acrylic nails off another student. The nails were particularly thick so they took ages to come off, but I couldn't tear my eyes away! That's something I've learnt this week; that it's not just the nail art I enjoy. I was a bit worried that once I started I'd hate all the other stuff - filing, soaking, cleaning, tidying the nail. But nope! I absolutely love it. It's so me. 

I didn't take photos, but this week we also split into teams of two and did the prep work for acrylics. I got so excited to actually touch nails, and found it very rewarding.

The graduation reminded me of my own, from Massey last year. I can't wait to graduate from this course!

I had a mid-class crisis on Wednesday. We only had three hours of class due to graduation and we were doing assignments (well, not me as much as I'm Miss geeky-nail-girl and had already done most of mine at home). I got a message on my facebook page from my friend, saying she couldn't access my blog - it kept re-directing to Google! I freaked out, thinking someone may have hacked my blog and deleted it, and put a call out on facebook for other people to check. Heaps of lovely people did, and I found that about 3/4's could see it, while 1/4 couldn't. Eventually I learnt that other blogger-run sites were having the same issue, so I relaxed - there was nothing I could do but wait. Sure enough, that afternoon I could access my blog again. Phew!

Screenshots? What is this wizardry? It was easier at the time to just take a photo on my phone ☺.

On Thursday we are taught by the teacher that one of the students call "Smiley" - she seems to be in a constant good mood! She's lovely. Anyway, this teacher (tutor? lecturer? I must ask if I can just call them by name in here) has the most hilarious ways of making you remember what she's teaching you. She goes to extraordinary lengths to drum it into our heads. On Friday she was teaching us about monomer and polymer and how to tell if you've got the right ratios... and then we're suddenly making cupcakes. Because, you know, they have a consistancy too, and you've got to look for the right things to know it's ready and- I think she just wanted to make them ☺. No complaints here!

I managed to score myself two of these, win!

"Smiley" then wrote up the most confusing and weird cryptic message on the board, telling us she was about to introduce us to our new "lover." We were to look after our lover very well and make sure he was always clean and in bed at night. She then brought out our brushes for liquid and powder, and made us name them! See, extraordinary lengths. We're not going to forget that in a hurry. It took me a while to decide on a name, but I went with The Doctor as I am currently in a dangerous state of obsession with the Doctor Who series. WATCH IT. Anyway, so here are a few snaps of my beautiful new $70 brush!

In hindsight, I should have called my brush "Tennant." Drool.

And then, finally, we got to play around with monomer and polymer - acrylic nails are on the way! We spent ages practising making the right consistency beads on our brushes, and then "faceplanting" them onto the paper. This, unlike the filing, was something I was actually decent at. I was accidentally incorrectly wiping them on for a while but that didn't last long. We ended up with these charming, and rather heavy sheets of paper.

There's so much more to nails than people think... no wonder you hear so many horror stories from mall nail salons - if you're not taught correctly there is SO much that can go wrong!

Cute little beads!

So that was fun. The annoying thing about this post is that I can't show you the best part, yet. The best part of the week was when "Smiley" put on Gangnam Style and made us all dance to it - pretending we were the brush!
"Arms UP and then DIP into the monomer... WIPE one side of the brush and then UP and into the polymer... drag it along and then UP and FACEPLANT!" she sung while bouncing around.
We all found it very amusing, and left giggling. Naturally, my blogging instinct came out and I reached for my phone and made a short video of what happened. I'll be adding it to YouTube as soon as I've gotten permission from everyone who's featured in it ☺. Can't wait to show you! I think my nail school is a bit different from the rest, and I am loving it. Here's my subscribe button for YouTube, so you can see the video when it goes up.

I think what also helped me enjoy this week so much is that I've made heaps of awesome friends now. It's much more of a school-like environment than my university experience, and you get to know people properly. Naturally there will always be downsides to this too, but I'm really loving it ☺.

Things I learnt this week:

1. THE CUTICLE IS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS! This honestly blew my mind. I could not believe it, I feel so uneducated! I've been talking about the bit of skin at the top of your nail being the cuticle for the last two years on here, but it's actually called the eponychium! The cuticle is underneath it, but often crawls out. I'll definitely be making a nail information video at some point, and mentioning this.

2. The tin foil method, which I thought was just for glitter, is actually used in the salon for acrylics and gels. I'm sure most people already know this, but I had never put two and two together!

3. Half of my class (and teachers) watch my YouTube channel. Freakin' weird! There are regular references made about it in class - once my teacher was shoving down a sandwich as fast as she could (so we could get started) and she remarked "I feel like you with your McDonald's!" Other people in the class were nodding and laughing and I was just completely blank, NO idea what they were talking about until I finally twigged, realising they had all seen my Happy Meal Challenge!

4. Metal trash cans with lids keep out smells. Again, common sense, but I didn't really think of it. I will be replacing mine ASAP, as my room can get very smelly.

5. How to do an in-depth consultation on a client. So cool, so many factors to bear in mind. Can't wait to start doing it for real!

Bottom line is, I absolutely love my course. Every now and again I'll pause, look around and smile inwardly at the fact that I'm doing what I really love. I hope you enjoyed this weeks update and I'll be bringing another next week - and remember to keep an eye out for the Gangnam nail tech video!


  1. It sounds like you had an amazing week. Your class sounds so fun!

  2. i hope im able to have a school experience like you are having it seems AMAZING but either way i still cant wait to start my own. Thanks soooo much for blogging ur experience & any lil thing u learn and share/explain is GREATLY appreciated!

  3. Oooo, I can't believe that I do my own acrylics and you probably know WAY more about it than me (even though I've been doing it for over a year!)
    Teach me! Lol!
    I really love reading your updates! Your class sounds like the FUNNEST class ever!
    Keep up the good work!

  4. Jessie, this is yet another absorbing post to read about your school experiences! You have a talent for using words to bring to life everything you're learning, including stories about your funny teacher and great new friends. I wish you continued good luck and much enjoyment out of this process! I love that you document this whole period of your life so well!

    1. Aw, what a lovely comment! Thank you so much!

    2. You're quite welcome! I enjoy your blog!

  5. It sounds like nail school is so much fun! I love how you got to make cupcakes in lesson - I wish all lessons were like that! Your new brush looks amazing too! It must be so weird that your teachers and classmates have seen your youtube channel! I can't wait to hear about what you do next week at nail school! :)

  6. Great post, Jessie! I'm a bit behind on my blog reading but I'm really enjoying catching up on your progress :)


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