The Nail On Sunday

The Nail On Sunday

Issue 8

The cre8tive Collective team

Leo Ko-Nkengmo

I would like to start this issue of The Nail on Sunday off with a quote from Thomas Jefferson the third president of the United States. “Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” – Thomas Jefferson. Id like to point out that nothing can stop the woman from doing this too but I’ll let him off. I think this quote is pretty important considering the main focus of this weeks issue is about competing and achieving your goals. You may have noticed that our last issue was all about the horrendous issue of bullying within the industry. This lead me to organise a very special campaign against bullying within this industry with our first campaign activity being a big competition called The Leoko Cre8tive Cup.

This Leoko Cre8tive Cup will hold the title and hashtag #collaboratedonthate. The brands that have come on board to support us have not only donated their amazing products to support us but they will also be helping to judge the competition too. The message is clear, the brands won’t tolerate bullying and they are collaborating together to communicate that. read more about the competition and how to enter Here.

The competition is open to any level of nail tech/creative and we are very excited to see all the entries. However we realise that even though participating in something as exciting as this can be fun, challenging and positive, it can also be scary, stressful and may make you feel like you want to back out before you have even started. The stress of thinking about other peoples entries or whether your entry is good enough can be a heavy burden However we are here to help. within this blog over the weeks and within our supportive Facebook group we will have a host of information, activities, lives and more to support you in taking that step in order to show your creativity in confidence. Lets start right now with an insight into competing with our very own award winning nail artist Carly Dorman followed by some helpful insights from the rest of the team.

The Creative Side of a competition

Carly Dorman

As many of you know I have competed in a few competitions now. Each time my nerves are still there but I now see it as growth within myself and also growth within my skills, each time pushing my boundaries to see what I can achieve with my skill set. When starting a competition really get to know the rules and the theme. When choosing your theme we can have our own ideas of where to start, for me my head is always on over load with ideas so I break theses down by writing them down, this definitely helps when it comes to starting on my piece. For a lot of my competition entries I have done a full image poster either including myself as a model or my hands.

For me I always work with my nail creations first then bring it all together at the end. Sometimes my ideas can be created from a colour I’ve used to fit in with the theme or from a 3d piece I’ve made to go with the theme then I tie it all in together. Really think about your colours and how well they go together to and the finished results. Sometimes having to many thoughts on what to create can also cause a mental block, this is where making sure you plan all your ideas can help to. Here is a little piece of some pre to finish results from a competition piece I have done. This I have created using 3d nail putty and nail art paint for the bows.

I wish you all the best of luck and getting creative for the competition. XX Carly

Giving yourself a chance

Beverly McLoughlin

As a nail tech in a small town, seeing competition nails done, were done by high end nail techs and defo not me. I used to see this beautiful work and only wish it was something I could do but I wouldn’t know where to start. During the first lockdown, I started to explore nail techs on Facebook and Instagram. Joined a few groups and started learning new techniques, from watching lives, you tube and workshops. Then I entered by first comp in a small group. The rules didn’t make sense and I didn’t have a clue. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do first. I took to Pinterest searching ideas and doing drawings. Then when I finally had an idea and drawing, how did I fit it on the nail, which part would have which medium as I needed to use a few. I’m glad a pushed myself to do it and a few others after. Learning from feedback and getting the hang of what was expected. The only way to learn is to do it. so take a pencil and paper, get on Pinterest and give it a go. Nothing to loose but so much to learn. I wish you all so much luck and pm me if you would like any advice.

Stop Talking and Start Doing: Do What You Intend to Do

David Heffernan

Throughout your life, you were supposed to have achieved and done a lot of things for example, your career path may have looked a certain way.  You were meant to have a dream family home somewhere nice and peaceful, or maybe taken your hobbies to the next level.  But you know the score, that thing we call LIFE gets in the way and prevents you from doing what you have always thought you would or should do.  And here you are, still creating the same story in your head wishing you could accomplish some of the goals you wrote down a long time ago.  You hear yourself having conversations with friends and family saying things like…. “I’ve always wanted to do this or do that”.

So, it is time to STOP talking and start doing!! But it would be a rubbish kind of blog if I didn’t explain what it takes to follow through with your intentions.

To explain, I am going to focus on COMPETITIONS, I have lost count of the number of conversations I have had with Nail Techs who say they would love to enter a competition, but they are not good enough, or imposter syndrome sneaks in and they believe themselves not to be worthy to enter a competition that someone they have always admired has also entered. 

I get it!  Making the decision to enter a competition and ACTUALLY ENTERING A COMPETITION is worlds apart. Stress, imposter syndrome, fear, ego, all play a major part in trying to stop you doing what you should do.  Hope these tips help? 😊

These action’s (important word right there) and strategies can help inspire you to begin fulfilling your life’s dreams:

  1. Pick your top 3 competitions, that in an ideal world you would love to enter.  Limiting the goals you plan to work on will help you succeed. Look at the criteria, the rules, timescales etc. and again, without any real intention at this moment in time to actually enter any of them, just tick the one that appeals to you most. Now this is the fun part.  Procrastination plays a huge part in not making a decision. I could go on about what is going on in the background in your mind about why we procrastinate but I won’t bore you with that just now. The key is not to overthink.  Once we allow our thoughts to enter, ego steps in and tries to stop you doing stuff that is beneficial to you. It is trying to keep you safe, in your comfort zone, but growth and the good stuff is outside of your comfort zone.  There is a great way to overcome procrastination and STOP our thoughts coming through.   This is a trick from Mel Robbins, an American coach, it is called the method.  When you have whittled the 3 competitions down to 1 and you’re still oohing and aahing, have the application up on your screen and when your relaxed count down and immediately start filling the form in (or not) whichever you do is the right thing because you have broken the thought pattern and relied solely on intuition. It stops you from over thinking. As with anything, once you start, it becomes a lot easier.
  • Stay focused on this goal. Don’t allow anything to get in the way of accomplishing what you set out to achieve.  If it is your first competition don’t put any unnecessary pressure on yourself by setting expectations that you must win or come in the top to be considered a success. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be number 1 but if you define coming 1st as being a success it will all fall apart. Success is you making the decision to enter the competition.  I guarantee every single successful Nail artist who has won the top competitions will have FAILED their way to the top.  Failure is PART of success and should be embraced.  With every so called failing there is a learning curve – take these on board and you will be where you want to be sooner rather than later.
  • Vow to do something that moves you closer toward each of your goal. Virtually everyone who has entered a competition will always bemoan the lack of time they have at their disposal and so become stressed.  We all have the same 24 hours in the day – the successful Nail artists will replace a block of time that wasn’t really productive (scrolling on Facebook etc.) and do some more work on their competition piece.  It is about prioritizing your time and the compound effect in action.  Little bits of productivity each day consistently, will deliver what you need.

  • Change your language. Another trick I like to do which really works is to change your language and talk as if the event has already happened.  So rather than saying something like “I’ve always wanted to do” change it too “That was a really fun and enlightened few months, seeing my competition piece being talked about by the judges made me feel really amazing.  It is incredible to think that I was hesitant to enter this competition but I am so glad I have now as I will always remember the feeling of being handed my medal!”.   You see the brain has no idea whether something has happened or not, it goes off your emotion and language used so if you are talking and feeling the emotion as if it has already happened the brain will take this as read and will strive to provide you with more opportunities to feel that way again.  Think about a time when you were buying a new car, once you bought it, that particular model of car was everywhere.  The fact is it has always been there, but because it was never important to you before you bought the car the brain filtered it out and so you never noticed it.  The brain does not care about positive, negative etc. it just gives you more of what you’re thinking and feeling and so by talking about the competition as if it has already happened and feeling the emotion, the brain will look after you and make your goals a reality.

I wish you all well in your competition journey.  Please do get involved in the Leoko Cre8tiv Cup Competition, which is the starting point in a movement The Leoko Cre8tive Collective team have initiated to tackle the horrendous issue of bullying within the beauty and hair industry, as I am sure you all appreciate it is something that needs to be tackled head on #CollaborateDontHate

Good luck


Push yourself, you wont regret it

Leo Ko-Nkengmo

Limits are stumbling blocks between you and your success. You will face stiff resistance when attempting to break through the limit. Resistance could be self-inflicted fear, doubt, low self-esteem, physical disabilities, and mental block. These elements could package themselves as huge barriers. Most people find it hard to push themselves beyond these limits. They eventually give up and accept the status quo.

It’s much easier to remain within the boundaries of where you feel comfortable than it is to face the fear of venturing beyond them. However by limiting yourself to what you already know, you’re likely missing out on professional opportunities, life experiences, and personal growth.

I guess that biggest battle is taking that leap of faith in yourself. I know all to well the thoughts and feelings that run through a mind of a person in doubt of the unknown. Apprehensive to outcomes, positive or negative.

The bottom line for me and the personal decisions I make is you only get one life! what are you going to choose to do with it? Are you going to sit back and watch others achieve their hopes and dreams or are you going to join the race and achieve yours too? I have giant goals, some I’ve already achieved, some are in sight and some at present I will not achieve but that’s only because I have no steps to go with them. To get to where your going, you need to take those steps, one by one and you will end up where you want to be.

Look at some of the most successful people you know. These people could be celebrities you follow and admire, this could be a mentor you strive to be like, this could be a family member that you look up to. How do you think they got to be them? how do you think they achieved what they achieved. well the answer is simple, they took that leap! It probably took a lot of time, and maybe a lot of hard work, maybe even pain, but they did it. You can too!

I competed in my first nail competition in 2016 and didn’t place. I came back the year after and competed again and guess what? I didn’t place. I know now on reflection it wasn’t my creative work that was the issue. its was mindset. I wasn’t ready, I rushed in, eager but didn’t pay attention to the steps I should of taken to participate with an organised, clear, confident mind. In 2018 I placed in my first competition. I came 3rd in an international nail comp and I was over the moon.

To date I’ve won 10 trophies from nail competitions all together and placed from 2nd to 5th. My next goal in my personal journey is to get a 1st place award as this will allow me to push myself even more. I want to make the best of my time in this industry. This is not all about competing, for me its abut developing my skills enough to support and teach others.

Always remember as well, although you may see some very elaborate creative competition pieces, there are all sorts of categorise for you to have go at. Here is an example of a simple gel polish piece for a magazine cover category competition I did.

So your see just start off simple if your interested in competing. Think about the details instead and taking your time to complete a piece that you are truly happy with.

More importantly don’t stress our about it, just enjoy the process.

Of course some that may be reading this may not even be within the industry. This industry is vibrant, creative and fun. If you’ve ever wondered how you would get started on gaining your qualifications there are many different options. Sam Windsor tells us more.

Joining The Industry – The Right Training

Sam Windsor

Many of our previous blogs have provided information to people already in the industry, but what if you are just starting out as a new nail tech or looking to make the leap? Over the next few weeks we will look at some of the things you need to consider when joining the wonderful world of nails!

First and foremost, you really need to have adequate training, with so many training options out there it can be hard to know what route to follow. So this week I will discuss training options.

Traditional Route – NVQ via college or workplace

This option is the fail safe for many, it’s a nationally recognised qualification, it will allow you to pick and choose from insurance providers and trade bodies, and give you access to all the nail products you could wish for! You learn at a gradual pace, with plenty of practical hands on experience. Building your knowledge and skill level step by step. Many salons will require employees to have an NVQ, so this is something to consider if you wish to work in a salon.

However, as good as it all sounds it is not the right option for everyone. Some people simply do not flourish in the college environment, some do not have the confidence to be part of big classes, and some cannot commit to the length of time, or time of day, required to gain the qualification.

Face to Face Accredited Courses

Accredited courses have become popular in recent years. These are often done on a subject by subject basis, meaning you learn one system per course, they often require only a few days of contact time, so they can be fitted around other commitments giving a much more flexible learning option. (They are also a useful option to learn additional skills or new techniques after completing an NVQ).

The downside however, is that the training is more intense, and you will often need to have the commitment to practise the skills learnt between training sessions. You may also find that you will need to be insured with the accrediting body, as not all the courses are recognised across all insurers. Something that should be investigated prior to investing in training!

Online / Remote / Distance Accredited Courses

With these types of courses it is imperative to do your research, and to do it thoroughly!

Whilst this type of training can be a great option for some, you have to be absolutely sure you know what you’re actually getting for your money. 

Hints and tips to make sure you receive quality training include the following:

  • Check that the accrediting body is a well-known one, and that you will be able to gain professional insurance upon successful completion.   Many of these types of courses are only insurable by the company that accredits them, which is fine if all your training is with one company, but can become problematic if you want to train across a number of companies.
  • Check that the training involves real-time tutor contact, a good quality course will usually involve practical session and assessments that are carried out via live video link, allowing you to simulate the classroom experience, and gain instant feedback (and remedial advice as required) on your work. Without this feedback cycle it is very hard to learn effectively.  Most insurers will not provide insurance without assessments being watched by a tutor.
  • Check what is included in the syllabus. As a minimum there should be anatomy & physiology, health & safety, consultations including contraindications and contractions, as well as the chemistry of the system you are learning, and the actual practical skills.   

Between us, as a team, we have both experienced learning and taught students in all of the above methods.  There are pros and cons to each type of training, and there really is no single perfect learning method, it really is down to your personal circumstances, and the integrity of the company and the individual tutor that you choose to learn with.  

The one message I want to come from this article is “Do your research and familiarise yourself with the National Occupational Standards to ensure your chosen course comes up to scratch, sadly not all courses are created equally”.

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Comment (1)

  • Nikki Hunter Reply

    Again what a fantastic Nail on Sunday 👏 collectively the support and knowlage are so valuable for us techs, and individually you all rock. Helping each other is the prize.

    May 9, 2021 at 10:11 am

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