|I know this is just North America...I didn't have a full world image ;)|
Hello Loves. I have something weighing heavy on my mind right now. As you know, I recently made the change from a DIY Nail Hobbyist to a Professional Nail Technician. I'm now embarking on a journey that is a complete 180 for me in terms of my career. You were right here with me throughout my nail school journey. You helped me through some low times. You picked me up when I was down. You supported me both emotionally and financially to help me reach this goal. Now that I am here, there is something else for me to consider. So I have been doing a lot of thinking...a ton of thinking...about the direction of this blog going forward.
I started ManicTalons.com with the goal of providing honest reviews and color accurate gel polish swatches. Over the past two years, this blog has changed a little as I incorporated different product types, but one thing has remained the same: Manic Talons has always been primarily DIY themed. Sure, I have both Pro and DIY readers. I review a few Pro products that are nearly impossible for DIYers to find, but most of the products I show are easily obtainable.
One thing I have learned as I have joined forums for professional nail techs is this: a vast majority of professionals are not supporters of DIY. They believe that pro products should not be available to non-professional users. They see DIYers as clients that got away. These are the tools of our trade. They are the products that set us part and make us money. In a perfect world, these products would only be available to licensed professionals. But this is not a perfect world. As you know, the internet is the DIYer's best friend. As a DIYer, you have access to products that you couldn't get at the store down the street.
The industry is changing and that is a fact. Change is Inevitable! Services that once were available only in the salon can be done at home for those who choose to pursue that route. I also understand that DIYers are not lost clients. The vast majority of DIYers do their own nails for artistic reasons, for the control, for the ability to change colors more frequently, for...heck, a million reasons. There is a split in the industry: those who frequent salons and those who don't. I also accept that those who do not frequent salons are not likely to start. You have taught me that. ;)
So, let's cut through the bull and get real for a second. Thing is, I completely disagree that the products are what set Professionals apart from DIYers. A Professional Nail Tech has specialized training. We have spent countless hours perfecting our craft. We learn about sanitation, proper procedures, nail anatomy and health. The products we use are not what set us apart! We set ourselves apart! Our knowledge sets us apart. We are the doctors of the industry (a comparison I use loosely, by the way). We shouldn't expect our clients to come to us every time they need a coat of lacquer just as a doctor doesn't expect to see a patient every time she has the common cold. We are here for more advanced services. A basic manicure isn't about a coat of polish. It is about cuticle work, nail shaping, overall nail health and that luxurious massage. It's about pampering and relaxation. The tools of our trade help us, but they are NOT the key to our success.
So, now I'm a pro. What does this mean for Manic Talons? Should I become a pro only blog? That would be the most rational answer based on the popular opinion of my new peers. Or should I continue blogging as I have for the past few years? Not so popular with my new peers, but this would stay true to those of you who supported me throughout my journey so far. What of my new clients? Will it hurt my business to have my tips and secrets out here on the web for them to read? So many things to consider. After months of consideration, I have decided how I will proceed with ManicTalons.com.
As I'm preparing to start my new job at Artistic Expressions Hair Salon, we have decided that my business cards will include my blog URL. I want my clients to be able to learn more about who I am and where I came from. It is my firm belief that the best service I can provide to my clients is education. I accept that they will do some things on their own. Home care is a HUGE part of any salon service. If my clients want to embark on a DIY journey, I will be here to guide them. This is not a popular choice, I know. But I have to stay true to who I am.
So what DOES this mean for ManicTalons.com? Not much. I will continue to review both DIY and Professional products. I will continue to share my thoughts and share my art. There will be a few minor changes, though. First, I am going to replace my Monday Nail School Update with a Client Nails series. Yea for hands that are not my own! With each photo I share, I'll include the polishes and products used. There will also be a client nail gallery added to the top menu. The other change has more of an impact on you, my readers. In the past, I have linked to products on Amazon when I can. I will continue to do this for products geared toward DIYers (Bundle Monster, for example). For pro products, I will link to the official company pages. Y'all are internet savvy. You can find them on your own if you want to purchase. Of course, some of them will be difficult to find (Akzentz, for example) and I apologize for that. But being pro opens new doors for product reviews and I do have a number of professional nail techs that follow this blog and appreciate those reviews.
So, there you have it. There will be some minor changes going forward, but Manic Talons will continue serving both DIYers and Professionals as I have for several years now. After all, it is important to remember where you came from!
I'll be back on schedule with posting soon and I have some fun things to show you. I hope to "see you around" for many more years to come. As always, I am happy to answer any questions you might have about products or nail care. You can reach me easily via my facebook page or by email at email@example.com.
Oh, and because I'm sure you're curious...I am responsible for choosing and supplying my products at Artistic Expressions Hair Salon. As you can imagine, deciding which lines to carry was extremely difficult! I have sampled and reviewed so many of them! So...here's what I will be carrying for now. I may add others in the future, but these are my startup lines and some of my personal favorites:
Polish: Cuccio Colour and KBShimmer
Gel Polish: Cuccio Colour Veneer, Pink Gellac and Madam Glam
Art Paints: Wildflowers Nail Art Paints and Akzentz Gel Play
Hard Gel: Cuccio T3
Skin and Nail Care: Cuccio Naturale (Milk and Honey line)
(plus a variety of nail art supplies...stamping, crystals, etc...from various sources)
*All links within this post are courtesy links and do not benefit ManicTalons.com