Nail Technician Training, what’s involved, what courses are available and how did I choose?

Initially when I decided that I wanted to train as a nail technician I had no idea just how in-depth the training would be.

I researched the various options for training, and because our industry isn’t regulated in the U.K. there are several.

There are purely online courses where you work on a plastic practice hand and send off your work for assessment, one to one courses with practicing nail technicians, full time college BTEC and NVQ courses, and courses which are brand specific offered in the U.K. by the brand themselves or the official authorised wholesalers. Some of these courses aren’t accredited or recognised in anyway and you can’t then get any public liability insurance if you decide to set up and work as a nail technician. Others are quite outdated or overly expensive.

For me the best fit was to train with CND (Creative Nail Design) who are industry leaders in innovation and development of nail products and have been a leading Brand in the market for a long time. They are actually part of Revlon, a well know and trusted cosmetics company. I had a little experience of their products having had Shellac Manicures myself.

The first course I completed was CND Shellac Beginners. I placed my deposit and was sent a textbook for some pre course study, and wow there was a lot to take in!

In order to be accepted on to the 2 day training course you had to pass an examination, this was taken online, was multiple choice but timed so you couldn’t look up the answers in the study text.

Training notes

I passed and the 2 day course arrived. I trained with Kate Taylor at the Cheltenham Academy, the course was brilliant. We covered nail anatomy, good working practices, business and pricing, hygiene, and had an in-depth look at each of the products used in the CND Shellac System including what they do, and what active ingredients make them work.

At the end of day one we started completing a CND Shellac treatment, step by step, from start to finish and practiced on our fellow students. After we finished for the day we had to complete another examination online which formed part of our final exams. On day two we finished the treatments we’d started on day one, then after lunch we completed a full treatment on our models one hand in red and the other in French, these were then assessed by our trainer.

My first ever CND Shellac nails.

We then soaked off one hand and painted it to match the other, so that our models went home with a full matching set of CND Shellac nails. After our models went home we were told if we had passed. Which we had.

The course was so comprehensive and so well taught that I felt ready to start offering my services and Five by Five Mobile Nails was born. I’ve since completed several further CND courses including Nail Art, Spa Manicure, Acrylic Enhancements and Perfect Polishing.

My certificates

Five by Five is now into its third year and barring a few health issues and a 5 month hiatus things are great, I have some wonderful customers new and old and I’m looking forward to learning more about nails and nail treatments. I’m also looking into training in other services offered by Sweet Squared, my wholesalers, including waxing and Lash Lifts.

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