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10 ways to lift your nail game

Nail tech holding nail colours

Nail art has come leaps and bounds since the days of correction fluid French manicures at the back of the classroom. It has taken Pinterest feeds by storm in recent years, with designs for every season and occasion. And with treatments such as gels and acrylics, we are no longer limited to the length of our natural nails, opening up endless opportunities for creative expression. 

Showing our vibe and personality through how we decorate our nails is a pastime that goes way back. Our UK cousins over at The Guardian have even written a brilliant article about the history of nail art, with records of nail decoration tracing back to multiple ancient cultures.

But what about your own nails or your client’s nails? Well, in this blog, we take you through 10 ways in which you can up your nail game and have the most dazzling digits in the business. Whether you are a total beginner or looking to turn your talents to nail artistry, here are some tips to inspire your inner artiste.

10 ways to lift your nail game infographic

1. A solid foundation

Caring for your natural nails will always be number 1 in our books. Proper nail care and management is vital for maintaining healthy nails and therefore creating a solid base for your nail art creations. 

Investing in a good quality hand cream and nail oil is a great start. Looking for products with extra moisturising properties and essential vitamins – particularly the renowned Vitamin E, which is vital for nourishing dry nail beds and cuticles and the surrounding skin – will help strengthen your nails, making them the perfect blank canvas. 

There are products out there to help stimulate nail growth. However, the best way to get your nails to your desired length is good old fashioned TLC. A regular clipping, filing and moisturising routine will give your nails longevity, rather than seeking a quick fix.

Aftercare is also vital to overall nail health. Ensuring we give our nails a break after having gels or appliqués applied allows them to recover and get strong, ready for your next trip to the salon.

Passionate about nail care? Want to take it further? Why not check out our very own nail art courses here at New Zealand Beauty School! Our Certificate in Manicures and Pedicures will give you the skills and knowledge to properly care for and manage nails, teaching you how to create all the classic styles and the latest trends. 

And best of all, as our nail courses are online, they come with an at-home kit! We will send you your own mani-pedi kit with all the essentials needed to get you started on your nail artist journey. 

2. Beauty on a budget

Want beautiful nails, but you’re on a budget? No worries! There are loads of professional but affordable products available, designed to help you create your desired look without breaking the bank.

One of the best ways to get into nail art is to start simple. Classic polish will be your best friend, and with the growth of the nail industry, we are seeing a greater array of gel-like polishes hitting the shelves. Why not try going on a spree to your local store and purchase a few polishes, stickers and simple tools to get the creative flow going?

If you want a little more pizzazz than your natural nails are giving, perhaps grab a packet of stick-ons and experiment with decorating them yourself!

New Zealand online distributor NSI New Zealand sell an abundance of professional nail products in good supply and at affordable prices. Our advice? It’s well worth shopping around online.

Practicing with polish will give you a solid foundation of skill to start tackling the more technical nail art forms infographic

3. Shaping

Deciding on how you want the shape of your nails can give completely different looks. Finding a nail shape that suits you and fuels your creative flair is a great way to change your look, whether oval, square, almond or stiletto.

4. Don’t mess with the classics

Never underestimate the power of a classic polish and a steady hand. Once you have mastered the brush, you can master anything. Polish will never go out of style, so it is important to learn how to apply it properly. 

  • Be sure to start and finish your nails with a base and topcoat to seal the polish, making it last longer. 
  • Avoid flooding the nail with too much polish and instead gently brush a thin layer of the paint down towards your cuticle and then up to the end of the nail. 
  • Adding a second coat when the first is dry will brighten the colour, and once the second coat dries you can dab and stick and decorate on any design you wish.

Practising with polish will give you a solid foundation of skill to start tackling the more technical nail art forms.

5. Tools of the trade

Knowing what is in your toolkit will stand you in very good stead. While they tend to get gradually more technical as we start entering gel and acrylic territory, your trusty nail files, buffers and orangewood sticks (along with nail remover and cotton pads) are always your trusty sidekicks. Make sure to have them close to hand!

6. Starting up

If you feel that nail art may be something you want to make into a career, the New Zealand Beauty School nail courses online with kit offer extensive guidance to those starting up their own business. 

Not only do we teach you about creating beautiful nails, but we also walk you through the more practical side of things, such as legalities, customer service, and client consultations. Industry professionals develop our courses, so you know you are getting top-notch guidance.

We encourage you to put yourself into your business, and ask yourself: What is my unique selling point/branding? What inspires me creatively? Where do I see my business going? What can I offer that the industry is lacking?

One of the best ways to get into nail art is to start simple infographic

7. Glitter and stickers and jewels, oh my!

The endless choice of nail appliqués on offer nowadays opens the door to a world of creative possibilities. Try drawing out some designs you like and then test them out. Don’t be afraid to get a little glitter-happy – what innovative new design can you come up with to wow your clientele?

8. Shopping small and sustainable

Here at New Zealand Beauty School, we recognise the unique potential of each budding nail artist, many of whom go on to create their own business. With this in mind, we believe in the power of shopping small and sustainably where possible, to support upcoming businesses and find new, more planet-healthy ways to create art.

Etsy is always a great shout when it comes to finding hidden gems, with a lot of small brands creating their own polishes and appliqués from natural ingredients.

9. Practice makes perfect

The best way to get good at anything is to practice. Rope in your family and friends and try out your new nail creations. Perhaps ask them what they like about getting their nails done, what sort of designs they like and where they think the gaps in the market are. 

Getting to know your audience is an excellent way to build your brand and create rapport with possible clients.

Create work that inspires you explore colour palettes and themes, and try new things that no one has tried yet infographic

10. Express yourself!

Whether you have plans of starting your own business or just enjoy nail art as a creative outlet, the most important thing to remember is that you are an ARTIST. Create work that inspires you, explore colour palettes and themes, and try new things that no one has tried yet.

So there we have it, a simple yet effective guide to set you off on your nail art adventure. Be sure to send us a postcard!

If you’re searching for online nail tech courses in New Zealand, we have not only our Manicure and Pedicure course but our Certificate in Nail Tech too! Completing a nail technician course online means you can explore your creativity from the comfort of your own home, with professional tutoring. 

This course will keep you up to date on all the latest forms of nail art and how to achieve the best looks for your clients. You will be sent your very own nail technician starter kit so you can start practising your craft on friends and family, building your business up from a foundation as strong as your expertly nourished nails.

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