A Guide to Nail Competitions
Nail competitions are a fantastic way to make a name for yourself as a Nail Technician, and they’re also great for branding and networking. Winning a nail competition category would prove your quality standard to potential clients as one of the best in your country and at the very least, can be a great conversation starter!
The key to standing out from the other competitors is to make sure that you produce a high standard of work, using and challenging your skill set. Even if you don’t think you may win, the experience alone will help you to grow in your profession. You will also learn new skills that you can take back to your salon or nail business.
Nail competitions can be daunting if you are new to it, as there is much to learn, including the importance of having the right tools and products. If interested in competing, this guide will provide you with a detailed insight into the competitive world of the nail industry and hopefully give you the gentle push you need towards to contending in your region.
Competition Nail Categories
The categories for competitions all depend on how big or small it may be. Some of the categories will depend on your level of experience. If you are new to contending, you should focus on the areas you are good at to begin. For most competitions suitable to newcomers, a minimum of 2 years experience is required and for this, you would need to have never entered nail competitions in the past. The Salon Nail category is a great way to explore and experience competitions and there is a shorter time limit than other categories.
Categories may include:
• Salon Nail
• Tip & Overlay
• Pink and White
• Showcase Nail Art
• Hand Painted Nail Art
• 3D Nail Art
• Boxed Nail Art
• Photographic Nail Art
• Photographic Classic
For most competitions, finding the perfect products to complement your skill is essentials to winning it.
How to Enter
Most competitions require for you to register before the competition. Numbers can be limited, especially for the bigger or more popular competitions. Always ensure that you submit your form and entry fee on time and enter the correct category. It is also extremely important that you read the rules.
Having a competition mentor can be very helpful and competition workshops are useful to attend to focus on your weaker skills.
Choosing the Right Model
In all competitions you have to provide your own model and this is without doubt one of the most important factors to get right. Always make sure that:
– Hands are in good condition
– Fingernails are graceful with long nail beds and cuticles are neat
– The model has a high level of patience
Remember that competition days are long for models as well. It is useful to educate your model on the competition process. This can help them become your second pair of eyes and a timekeeper to make sure that you remain on track.
For all competitions there are a standard set of rules and each category would have it’s own rules. There are also floor-judging rules. It is very important that you read and understand the rules before the competition day. Breaking or not complying with the rules may lose you points or worse case get you disqualified.
Creating Perfect Competition Nails
Competition nails are very different from salon nails. It is imperative to perfect each nail and every detail, as any mistakes will be noticed and can result in you losing points. Every nail must be identical and consideration should be made for product application, filing and design.
How to Prepare Yourself
Before you enter any competition, you should plan ahead ensuring that you have all the correct tools and materials.
When entering categories such as the Photographic and Showcase Nail Art categories, check the rules to see when your work needs to be submitted. You should always write your details on the back of your photographs to ensure that they are returned to you. With some competitions they will ask you to email or upload your work.
On the Day of Competition
On competition day you will be provided with your competitor number. Initiate focus by switching off your mobile phone, organise your uniform, labels, tools, products and model prior to the competition briefing, ensuring that everything is noticeably displayed for the floor judges and that you are comfortable to do your best. Attention to detail must be given to all factors involved in the competition as there are multiple ways that you can lose points, such as:
– Not being on the floor
– Manufacturer labels not written in English
– Failing to have the appropriate equipment
– Having incomplete client cards
– Not having a plastic liner for bins
– Not wearing eye protection
– Not removing your jewellery
Floor judges will observe all your work practices and additional marks are awarded for hygiene, tidiness and personal presentation.
How Judging Works
During the competition, models will be pre-judged before the main judging event. This ensures that the judge can see the overall standards and quality of the nails. It is the models’ responsibility to ensure they are judged a second time and they do not leave the competition area until all the judging has ended, making certain that all judges see them. The only categories where floor-judging rules do not apply are Photographic and Showcase Nail Art.
Overall, nail competitions offer great prospects and experience for nail technicians and should not to be disregarded, especially if you want to take your career to the next level. Good luck!