Monday, October 19, 2015

My Week in Review - Artistic Expressions

Sample Nails from Artistic Expressions Hair Salon

Hello Loves!  So, I finished out my first week doing nails at Artistic Expressions Hair Salon in Braselton, GA on Saturday.  Wow...what a week!  I want to start by telling you a little about how I ended up in this salon.  Then I'll show you some of my work for the week.  :)

I was originally talking to a salon in Athens, GA but it didn't really work out.  It is a fabulous hair salon, but something just didn't feel right - like it wasn't meant to be.  So I posted on my personal facebook page that I was looking for a salon to call home and started a bath.

A few minutes after I posted, a friend from high school tagged a salon owner in the post.  Less than 30 minutes later, I was cutting my bubble bath short to call Tracy about joining Artistic Expressions Hair Salon as their new nail tech.  She told me she had been looking for a tech for a long time and felt like she needed to contact me immediately.  It was 9:30 in the evening when we connected by phone.  A few days later, I visited the salon and it just felt right.  I don't know how to describe it.  It was like an instant connection.  Instead of an interview, it felt more like old friends catching up and designing a nail room together.  Simply amazing.

As you know, it took a few weeks for me to get my inventory in order so I could get started. Of course, Tracy had a few things to order as well.  I spent a few days the week before last setting up my room and I officially started this past Tuesday.  I took a video of my room, but it was a little premature.  Tracy added some art on the wall the next day.  So I'll take a new one.  Plus, I was moving a little too fast so if you watch the one I took last week you might get drunk.  lol

So, how did my first week go?  Well...I would LOVE to tell you that I was swamped with back to back clients all week long, but that would be a lie.  Starting out is always a little slow.  People don't know I'm in town yet.  But I did do some really fun sets.  Want to see them?

Let's start with my very first client.  The salon is family owned and these hands belong to "Mama".  She never had a gel polish manicure before, so it was really fun.  She chose a simple french.  I used Cuccio Verona Lace on the tips.  Honestly, I'm not 100% happy with how these turned out.  I need a new cleanup brush.  But she loves them and that's what really matters.
Basic French Gel Polish with Cuccio Verona Lace

My next client is one of assistants in the salon.  She wanted dark grey with some simple nail art, so we chose Pink Gellac Smoked Grey from the Majestic Collection and these cute little ghosts from one of my Dashica plates (I think...I know I said I would tell you which products I used, but I completely forgot to write it down and my plates are at the salon).  The color is off in this picture.  I quickly learned that I need to do something different with my photo situation.  :/
Simple Ghosts with Pink Gellac Smoked Grey and Dashica

This next set is gel extensions using tips and Cuccio T3 sculpting gel.  This was my first attempt with this gel and I absolutely LOVE it.  I have the controlled formula and it was so easy to work with.  We then added Madam Glam What Color Is The Dress.  This is one of the thermal gel polishes and everyone seems excited by them. 
Gel Extensions with Madam Glam What Color Is the Dress

This next set was my first non-salon client (as in had never been to the salon before).  She found me through facebook and I was super excited to do her nails for her.  She told me that she has had a very hard time finding salons that do art in the area.  You have no idea how happy that made me.  She chose Madam Glam Sweet Lavanda and we added a few simple purple flowers on an accent nail with Wildflowers Nail Art Paints.  I couldn't have asked for a sweeter first non-salon client.  Thank you, Sabrina, for the pleasure of doing your nails!  I can't wait to see what we can come up with next time.  (Excuse the lighting.  I tried using the flash on this photo.  I'll get this lighting thing figured out, I promise!)
Madam Glam Sweet Lavenda with Simple Flowers

This set is one of my favorites from the week.  Tracy asked for some fun Halloween nails.  We started with Madam Glam Purple Sky for her main color.  Of course, the photo doesn't do it justice, so check out my swatch here to see the true beauty of this polish.  We then added some ArtsyFartsy Crafts glitter over a Madam Glam Perfect Black base on her middle fingers.  I can't remember the name of the glitter mix and its at the shop.  I know...blogger fail.  The ring finger nails have a base of Madam Glam Blood Orange with three of the Magpie Neon Pigments swirled over them.  You can't see it in the pictures, but the pumpkin faces really glow.  I then stamped with Konad Black and the jack-o-lantern faces from Bundle Monster BM-H06.
Halloween Nails with Madam Glam, Glitter and Stamping
Halloween Nails with Madam Glam, Glitter and Stamping

In keeping with the fun manicures, I also did a full set for McKenna.  She is an assistant at the salon and these are her birthday nails.  I extended her natural nail with tips and Cuccio T3.  Then I added Madam Glam Perfect Black and randomly scrubbed the Bundle Monster Star Dust pigments into the tacky layer.  Finally, I stamped with Konad Black and the scales image from LilyAnna 09.  A few crystals and shells completed the look.  Yep, this is a variation of my Mermaid Nails from a few weeks ago.  (Now if I can just get to her wear gloves when she works with hair dye so her cuticles aren't stained, we'll be in business lol)
Gel Nail Extensions with Mermaid Design
Gel Nail Extensions with Mermaid Design

The final mani I want to show you is a polish change and nail art I did for Nikki.  Nikki was my second non-salon client.  I met her at the gas station where I stop to get my coffee in the mornings.  lol  She has also been looking for someone to do nail art, so I stayed late on Saturday to do her nails after she got off work.  I did not do her extensions - those are acrylic from another salon.  I just changed her polish.  Since she has really fun blue highlights in her hair, we decided to go with KBShimmer What Are You Wading For? stamped in Konad Black with two different images from the Pueen Encore Collection.  I absolutely LOVE how these turned out.  I have to admit, I don't usually stamp over polish so this one made me really nervous.  I used one of my firmer stampers, which made it difficult with her long nails.  Next time I'll use one of my squishy stampers.  Thankfully I only smeared one thumb a tiny bit when I applied the top coat.  Whoo Hoo.  lol  I can't wait to see what design we do on her nails next.  She loves the bling as much as I do!
KBShimmer What Are You Wading For? with Pueen Encore Stamping

I did a few other manicures and one pedicure last week as well, but I forgot to take pictures of them.

All in all, I would call it a great week.  I can't wait to see what next week has in store for me!  And I'm super excited that people are excited for nail art.  Y'all don't even know how much that makes me want to squeal.  I mean, sure, plain colors are great...but you know I love the art.  :)

That's all for today.  I promise I'll do better with product names and pictures next week.  Oh, I added a services tab to my menu at the top of the page if you're curious which services I offer.  For anyone local, please come see me!  I would LOVE to do your nails.  :)



  1. Thank you for being such a sweet, caring, informed nail tech. You probably just made a client for life in your non-salon client... I can't tell you how many people go once, hate it, and never go again because they went to a tech that didn't care, didn't want to care, and just had lost all passion for their job. Keep it up!

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  3. I love every single one of those manis!! And I'm so proud of your journey!! Those Madam Glam polishes are amazing!

  4. So happy for you! Congratulations on finding a salon :)

  5. I'm so happy for you. Congratulations! And thank you again for keeping us non professionals in mind with your blog. Lynette


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