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Going back to basics

Katie Barnes tells us why it’s important as a nail artist to get back to basics!

Katie has been in the industry for 12 years and in 2013 set up her own independent non brand biased training academy in Warwick, UK.  She is passionate about pushing industry standards through education and has recently started her own range of innovative tools. 

We’ve almost seen it all. Tech’s pushing boundaries and Social Media with outrageous and eccentric nail creations.  These can have positive effects on the industry by showcasing a techs skills and imagination and what can be created with nail products other than just a short nude nail.  But when is it too much and detrimental to the industry?  When there’s such a heightened sense of being “over the top” it’s only natural we need some time to wind down and reset.  I personally hope and am glad to see many techs go “back to basics”, which is a positive move for our industry.

Already, I am seeing a lot of European techs opting for perfectly polished one colour enhancements. This may seem “boring” to many, but in fact it is actually a sign of a return to quality. A perfectly polished nail is a true skill to a nail techs quality of work and although many fob this off a simple service, done perfectly, it is a difficult and essential skill that will set you apart from your competitors.

Returning to a basic one colour or pink and white service means there’s nowhere to hide when clients’ nails are lumpy or misshapen. With the removal of nail art, it means the focus must return to fundamental quality, and I think this is a really important movement in our industry.  Any nail tech can create a set of average nails and cover their mistakes with nail art and accessories, but the true pros will show when the challenge is to create perfect nails. 

Many techs think that a ‘back to basics’ course is beneath them and this could not be further from the truth wherever you are in your career.  We all have bad habits, it’s part of human nature.  Can you honestly say that you picked up and mastered 100% of everything that you learnt on your beginner course? It is not possible to do so, whether your course was just 2 days or 2 years.  Whatever beginner course you undertook, continuing your education with basic skills is paramount for true understanding of every element required for the perfect foundation.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, and nor was a master nail technician.  A true master understands and appreciates the fundamental basics of enhancement structure and skills and never stops building on this knowledge or skill.

There will always be a place for extravagant designs in the industry to showcase a techs talent, for competitions and for photographic work but this will not create the substance of a nail business.  Long lasting, well executed nail enhancements and services will.  Don’t run before you can walk and hone your basic skills first. 

Katie Barnes – Back to basics

Katie Barnes

Katie has been in the industry for 12 years and in 2013 set up her own independent non brand biased training academy in Warwick, UK. She is passionate about pushing industry standards through education and has recently started her own range of innovative tools. Katie travels internationally to teach and learn herself and has collaborated with Sam Biddle to offer online training, to make education more accessible. With over 40 awards and accolades, Katie also now judge to help others aim for and achieve their goals. She is a Scratch Magazine cover star and has had work and articles published in various industry publications as well as writing a fortnightly blog for Scratch Magazine.