For someone looking to get into the beauty industry, there is a lot of potential offered by many salons and nail shops. Cosmetologists work with the hands and feet to make them soft and look beautiful. Getting to meet new people every day is one of the best perks of the job.
Most of the beauty industry focuses on hair and makeup, but nail care and skin care shouldn’t be overlooked. Beautiful hands and feet lift the customer’s spirits and make people feel good about themselves. Customers come to have a manicure or pedicure to boost their self-esteem or just treat themselves to something special.
Tools of the Trade
The tools a cosmetologist uses are a brush to clean the nails, a cuticle nipper to clip rough edges, and a nail file to smooth and shape the nails in an appealing style. Here are some additional items they may also have on hand for a manicure or pedicure:
- Acetone/Polish Remover
- Lotion for Soaking and Moisturizing
- Nail Clippers
- Nail Brush
- Nail File
- Nail Buffer
- Cuticle Stick (Orange Stick)
- Cuticle Nipper
- Pumice Stone
- Foot File
- Toe Separator
The Use of Tools
The nail brush is a tool that most of us are familiar with and use often to clean our hands and underneath our fingernails. It’s great for getting the dirt out from under the nails with the least amount of effort. People who work with their hands find this tool to be invaluable.
When it comes to nail clippers, there are several different styles depending on what they are needed for. Fingernail clippers are small and have a curved edge, while toenail clippers are larger and used for trimming the thicker nails on the toes.
Most items used for a manicure or pedicure will be for cleaning, trimming, and shaping the nails and smoothing the roughened skin on the bottoms of the feet. That is where the pumice stone comes in handy. It is excellent for smoothing rough skin and getting rid of callouses caused by walking a lot or wearing shoes that are too tight.
Manicure and Pedicure Techniques
The different steps involved in a manicure or pedicure include the soak for a manicure or pedicure, trimming of the nails, foot and hand massage, and the finishing touches.
When receiving a manicure, the cosmetologist often places the hands in a bowl of warm, soapy water to soften the cuticles before pushing them back. The water does most of the work and cleans the nails for clipping and shaping. This is relaxing for the customer and gives the cosmetologist the opportunity to discuss with them the desired shape of the nails, and the color of nail polish they would like applied.
When the nails are dry, the cuticles are pushed back with a cuticle stick, so the nail beds have a more rounded appearance. At this time, the cosmetologist may use a cuticle trimmer to trim off any rough or jagged edges to avoid tearing or getting snagged on clothing.
The nails are then shaped with an emery board and buffed for a natural looking shine. As a finishing touch, the customer may want the nails polished or painted in the French design with white tips. When the polish is dry it is followed up with a top coat of clear polish.
When a customer comes into the salon for a pedicure, a foot soak is the first order of business. A relaxing foot bath to pamper your feet is something that everyone should experience as often as possible. It is very relaxing and is great for people who like to wear sandals in the summer. It also helps older people who may have trouble trimming their toenails and caring for their feet due to age or illness.
After soaking for 15 minutes, the feet are dried with a soft towel. It is sometimes best to trim the toenails while they are still soft from soaking. This is done with the toenail clippers and the nails are trimmed straight across to avoid splitting the nail. Once all the nails have been trimmed, they are filed in the same straight across pattern. This is done to prevent painful ingrown toenails.
At this time if the feet have rough spots or callouses, a foot file is a tool used to smooth out the rough skin on the bottoms of the feet and backs of the heels. These two spots tend to get dry and rough.
A Foot Message
Prior to polishing the toenails, a foot massage with a nicely scented lotion is a wonderful part of the pedicure experience. A foot massage is relaxing, and the lotion helps seal in moisture to the skin to keep it looking and feeling soft.
The prong-shaped tool, also known as toe separators, are placed between each of the toes to keep them from touching when applying the nail polish. A base coat of clear polish is applied first, followed by two coats of nail color, and then a top coat to seal it. Each application must be dry before starting the next.
The Finishing Touch
The cosmetologist will polish the nails by starting in the middle and then down each side to ensure a smooth application with no bubbles. A quick and handy tool to clean up smudges is a Q-tip dipped in polish remover.
Are you ready to help your clients to relax with a manicure or pedicure? Interested in earning your diploma in Cosmetology? Meridian College offers a Cosmetology training program in Florida that prepares you to deliver high–quality beauty and hair services to both men and women. Their hands–on Cosmetology training program gives you the skills you need to start an exciting career and become a leader in the beauty industry.
Contact Meridian College today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist.