Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nail Those Profits At Sea 2009 cruise with Vicki Peters

We've just returned home from two weeks in San Diego and the NTP 2009 cruise down the Mexican Riviera. It was an amazing experience where we made many new friends, had some terrific education and shared some wonderful experiences. This was our first NTP cruise and it was a great privilege for me to be invited as a NTP Educator and to be given the opportunity to demonstrate some of my nail art.

The following people also provided education:
  • Dr. Ken Gerenraich - a leading authority on foot care and sanitation, creator of the Dr. G products
  • Christine Turner - the 'Vicki Peters' of Canada. Champion nail tech, judge and competition director, winner of Nail Technician of the Year 2004-2005 and Salon of the Year 2004-2005.
  • Jessica Hoel - winner of the NAILS magazine cover competition 2009
  • Lina Hernandez - Educator for Light Concept Nails
  • Loni Jensen-Preato - competition champion and one of the hottest nail techs who travels the US with her High Road to Education.
  • Nanci Soltani - winner of Salon of the Year.
  • Doug Schoon - unfortunately Doug couldn't attend the cruise this year but we meet for a group breakfast before boarding the ship. Doug is a master nail chemist who led CND's R&D lab for more than 20 years.
  • Anette Claesson - editor of Sweden's Naglar i Norden magazine and pioneer who introduced nail enhancements to Sweden in 1985. Anette is a nail health specialist who's presentations are in constant demand
  • Vicki Peters - as a nail technician, she wowed the industry with her championship nails. As a cover artist and author, her work has been published worldwide, more than any other tech in the history of the nail business. As an educator, she has trained techs from Russia, Germany, Japan, Ireland, UK, Canada, Mexico, Africa, Australia and the US.
For my education class, I showed a wedding nail design that uses the 'gel island' technique (you can read more about this technique in an earlier post).

Lonni and Nanci did some lovely modern gel designs and definitely gave me some new ideas. Thanks ladies!

We also had a competition with Vicki as the judge. The task was to create a perfect stiletto nail with decoration in one hour. I was extremely nervous with so much talent and experience to compete against, and was therefore very happy to win the 2nd place with 93 out of 100 points. Loni came first with an amazing 96/100 points. Christine came a close third even though she was suffering badly with sea-sickness.

Photo (left to right): Vicki Peters (judge), Loni Jensen-Preato (1st), Iryna Giblett (2nd), Christine Turner (3rd).

My stiletto entry:

During the cruise it was Vicki's birthday. As one of the gifts from us all, I was asked to decorate a glass. I only had a few hours before the evening meal, but here's a photo of it. The fairy at the top was made of acrylic using fantasy techniques:

We had shore stops on three different days at Acapulco, Zihuatenajo/Ixpata and Manzanillo.
Of these, Zihuatenajo was my favourite as it's a small, natural Mexican fishing town where we had a wonderful guide in Alejandro Ruiz (Alex) who spent four hours showing us around. One of the highlights was coming back from Ixpata and Bethanne deciding to hold a crocodile for a photograph! I just about manage a smile but I am ready to run at any moment!

In Zihuatenajo we came across this nail salon which was open to the street. It was the nail tech's house and gave a new meaning to 'drop-in nails'! Bethanne O'Neil is back left and Anette Claesson is show back right. Bob also took a photo of the menu.

A few more cruise photo's:

With husband Bob at an evening meal

With Vicki

Son Andriy getting an NTP award for being a good boy!

Hard at work during the stiletto competition

Carnival Spirit

Pelicans fishing

Nail and foot treatments in Manzanillo



Beach in Zihuatenajo

Before the cruise we spent 4 days looking around San Diego and the area. It's a very nice city which has a small town feel about it, with lots to do. We went whale-watching (we saw two males and a female), spent an afternoon at the San Diego zoo, and rented a car for a trip to the small beautiful town of La Jolla.

Some photo's of San Diego:

View from our hotel

View from the whale-watching boat

Sea lions in the habour

For any nail tech's who haven't been on a NTP cruise, I can't recommend it highly enough. It's a tremendous opportunity to meet some of the top nail professionals in our industry and I guarantee you will come home filled with enthusiasm and ideas to make both you and your salon more successful, and a raft of wonderful new friends! The next NTP cruise is April 11-23 and goes to HAWAII! See you there!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Baltic Beauty Show - Riga, Latvia

We made a late decision to come to the show after Bob discovered that it attracted more than 16,000 beauty professionals during the three days. He also found out that they were looking for a nail art judge and so he 'volunteered' me to help!

We'd been to Riga before - it's quite popular to take a ferry (more like a small cruise ship) from Stockholm to Riga, Tallin in Estonia or Helsinki (Finland). Riga has a lovely old town and has good shipping and restaurants - so it's perfect for a weekend break. You can read more about Riga here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riga

Unfortunately, the Baltic countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have been hit very hard by the economic crises. So we really didn't know what to expect from a beauty show during these difficult times.

Although the show seemed to attract a lot of visitors, few people were buying products from what we could see. We didn't take products to sell (we didn't have the time or energy to make arrangements with the Latvian tax office to collect and pay sales tax) - but instead wanted to show ourselves and products, and get feel of the market. Iryna Zamostinchuk our Global Educator and distributor from Moldova came and helped, making nail art on the booth when I was judging.

Over the three days we made some good contacts who are potential partners in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, saw some nice nail art and met many nail techs who were interested in our products and education concept. So we were glad we went!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Wedding nail design using "gel island"

One of the nail magazines is running a wedding nails article in February and wondered if I could supply some nail designs. With the help of Bob as the photographer, plus Jenni and Frida as models we managed to create a series of photo's in a few days.

The first design below is a variation of the "putty technique" that I invented for the Valentine nails in a previous post. I call this method the "gel island" technique.

Both techniques are methods used to produce different shaped holes in the nails that can either be left open or form a transparent window - without using an electric file. In this design I used transparent gel with a hint of glitter. You can click on any image to make them bigger.

The second design uses standard gel and acrylic techniques: