Would you walk into any old “Get Your $5.00 Cheap Hair Cut Here!!” place, sit down, and ask the just out of beauty school, still terrified of scissors Stylist to cut, color and highlight your hair?… Gawd No!! And if you do, then we have bigger problems that probably won’t be discussed here… Sorry, but I’m just say’in…

I am here to tell you that I love you, BUT it is just as bad to do that ^ very same thing with your Nails.
Before you feel horrible, just know that we all do it, we’ve all done it, and well.. Even I, yes, have done it (back in the day before I knew better.)

Now that I am wise to everything Nails, I am here to teach you what I now know as a professional in the nail industry.

First things first!  No more “settling” when it comes to your weekly Mani/Pedi services and experiences.  It is so so so important that you go to places that are healthy, safe, and.. I’m just going to say it.. in style. That’s right. Just because the color choice is on the wall, it does not mean you are picking a great style choice.

Stick around. I am working my little heart out to get this blog content up and to provide you with all that you need to know the latest, greatest nail fashions, trends and how to spot a nail shop you should be running away from.

Before receiving ANY Nail Service, you must be comfortable with your Nail Stylist, the Salon and the Experience.  Here are some absolute must ask questions for yourself and your Nail Salon Professional:

1. How do you disinfect your tools? Does the place look Clean?

Does it?  Look around for the sanitation practices.  Before each service the Nail Tech and the Client need to wash their hands, or use a hand sanitizer. Towels on the table should be replaced and the table surface needs to be wiped down with some kind of disinfectant. Disposable tools are disposed of, and non-disposable tools are PROPERALY disinfected AND sanitized.

Tip: Sit down and watch the Nail Stylists work on a client before your appointment.  Watch their sanitation routine.  Don’t be afraid to ask them to explain the process to you.  Which needs to be this:  Wash+Disinfect+Sanitize.. all 3 steps.  Just a wash is not good enough.

2. How much does it cost & what do you get for your money?

Most places have a detailed description of what is included in their Service Menu.  Other places charge a-la-carte.  Know exactly what you are getting for that hard cash of yours and what your not.  There is nothing wrong with adding on to your service.  But the place is shady if your feel tricked into “additional” services.

Tip: Some places charge extra for Polish, Top Coat, Quick Dry Drops & French.  Make sure to ask.  Avoid too “cheap” of places.  You get what you pay for.

3. Is there a Consultation Before Your Service?

How are you supposed to get what you want if your needs are not being addressed?  Nail Enhancements (fake nails) are not always the solution. And if they are, do your nails need Acrylic or Gel?  Overlay or Make-Over?  Tips or Sculptured?  What do you want your nails to look like?  A professional will evaluate the best way to achieve the result a client is looking for. Shape, Length, Where the smile line is (and isn’t), Lifestyle, Job, Activity level, Medical info (pregnancy, diabetes), should ALL be evaluated during a Consultation with you.

Tip: If you are paying for it, your needs NEED to be getting met. Ask about your Home Care Maintenance.

4. Do you use MMA in your Acrylic Products?

MMA is the bad stuff that WAS used in products for Acrylic nails.  It is now prohibited by the FDA for use in Nail Enhancement products and had been since the 70’s!  But..  Some places (he..hum.. the cheap places) still use this in their Acrylics. I will be doing an entire post just on MMA alone.

Tip:Is the order overpowering? If so, it usually means inadequate ventilation & use of MMA.  Other signs of MMA use are “roughing up” the natural nail before Acrylic application & Un-Marked Acrylic Product Bottles.

5. Do You Use A Drill?

Drills are used in the industry and are perfectly safe if used correctly.. by a professional.. that knows how to use it.  We use them to contour a Nail Enhancement (fake nail) after product application.  They should NEVER be used on the Natural Nail unless it is used with a “Buffer” not a “Grit” attachment.  Nail Stylists have the job of PROTECTING your Natural Nail in every way we possible can.  A true Professional will never hurt or damage your Natural Nail.

Tip: When a drill is being used, do you feel Pain or Burning?  Don’t grin and bear it, run!

6. Is The Salon Licensed?  Are the Nail Stylists Licensed?

Make sure you see the Credentials on the wall.  Know your Nail Stylists name & look for his/her license.

Tip: Do you see one or two License’s hanging up, but like seven nail techs are working? … Um, yeah.  Watch for that too.

7. What Nail Products Does The Salon Use?

Your Professional should be able to answer this question easily, as well as explain to you what the products do and why he/she uses them.

Tip: Do you recognize the products that are being used (OPI, essie, Zoya, Spa Ritual, CND)? Once again, are the products labeled?  If you can’t see the label, then you have no idea what is being used on you.

8. Is There Good Communication?

Good Communication is ESSENTIAL! If you aren’t happy with your nails, or experience a problem, you need to be able to speak with your Nail Stylist or the Owner to explain what the problem is and have the diagnosis, solution & care be explained clearly to you.

Tip: If you are unable to clearly communicate with your Nail Stylist, then what are you doing there? You, & your hard earned money, deserve to receive EXACTLY the service and result that YOU want for your individual style.

9. What Is The Hottest Nail Trend Right Now?

Knowing=Caring. If a Nail Stylist is up to date on fashion & trends, then that shows that they care about their work, are professional & study on their own.  If they study styles, they are more likely to study techniques & develop their skills on their own.

Tip: A well education professional gets that way by independent study & practice.  You only learn so much in school.

I hope you have found this article useful.  Do you Interview your Nail Stylists?  Why or Why not?


Today… I am “The Nail Critic” – Official Biz on My Bday.

I have such big news, and it just couldn’t wait until tomorrow…

It is half past midnight and officially my birthday. 29 baby!
Which makes it the perfect day for big announcements. It is such an incredibly huge day for me. I love so much that I get to share it with you!
A vision I have been creating (down to every detail) is now complete, clear and beautifully focused.

So many of you have been asking me: Where do I find a good.. like REALLY good nail salon? How do I find it? How can I tell if it’s good or bad? What is in style?

So I have proudly taken on the roll and the responsibility for you of becoming a critic in the nail world.

As of today, February 28th 2011, I am “The Nail Critic.”

I will be personally Interviewing and reviewing nail salons in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, and filming every experience I have for you to watch.

My purpose is to Empower you, with a Professional Nail Stylists knowledge, to know The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in Nail Services & Styles!

Follow on Facebook and Twitter to be updated on ALL of the Vlog Reviews and Content as it is posted!


Lots of Love,

Jenny A Hansen
“The Nail Critic”