Graduate Success Stories

We are so proud of our students and graduates and would like to share with you their success stories.

  • Carol Handrahan

    "What does a 54-year-old midwife of 25 years, recovering from a burst appendix, do during the day? Answer: watch YouTube!"

    And that’s what I did and where I first saw someone doing their own nails during a vlog, which made me look at professional nail videos and from which I discovered an interest in nails and nail art. Previously I had only had experience of patients whose machines wouldn’t pick up their observations due to artificial nails, and here I was discovering a whole new world on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. I decided to give it a go and bought a small home hard gel and polish kit and really enjoyed doing my own nails!

    Having a daughter who was a regular having nail tips and gel, she soon started hinting about me doing her nails. I was not confident or knowledgeable enough though and had also discovered the need for qualifications to buy the better brands of gel and products so decided the only way forward was to do an accredited course and learn properly.

    So back to YouTube where I saw an unboxing of an Essential Nails course and off I went to investigate further. In the end, I contacted Essential Nails and they couldn’t have been more helpful or patient. I eventually enrolled on the Gel Tip and Overlay course combined with Maintaining Nails, UV Gel Polish and Nail Art courses. The boxes arrived the next day and it was like Christmas.

    So started my journey alongside my trainer hand, Maradona (the World Cup was on, so what else could I call it!!)

    I watched the lessons over and over and read the manual thoroughly, but felt I was out of my depth, as I had no real knowledge of what the end product should be like. It felt like the technical challenge of the bake off, I had the instructions and plenty of supplies but felt lost. I spoke with Essential Nails who were brilliant with their advice, and watched their YouTube guidance, although in the end I sent my first assessment in as a way of getting feedback of how things should be. And it was quite bad, it came back covered in black sharpie pen, but provided amazing feedback, which helped me resubmit and pass the next time.

    Once I had completed the first assessment I moved onto the nails sets. I sat and did every one, and a few more. When I first attempted the nail varnish it looked like the chainsaw massacre as I got it everywhere. But with practice I improved and eventually sent in my nail sets for marking. As I did them, sitting for hours doing all the required sets I felt my confidence grow and control of the varnish improve dramatically. Even though I was committing considerable time to the course I was enjoying it so much I decided to move straight onto the maintenance part before I got my results.

    I then did the nail art course and sent them in for marking. I am pleased to say I passed all three of these courses with distinction! Which amazed me, but meant all the hours and hard work I had put in paid off. I have since submitted my Gelaze Pro Expert nails for assessment and I have started the UV Gel Polish course, but have to wait for my model to be on half term as she works in a school! Whilst I am waiting, I am about to start the Manicure and Pedicure course.

    I have found every course so enjoyable and challenging that I have felt motivated to put in the time when I could, even now I am getting back to work on phases return and reduced hours. I have worked hard and felt motivated to make time to finish the courses as soon as I could and push myself to get better and better. Each course I have undertaken I have embraced and thoroughly enjoyed each in its own way. I would not like to pick a favourite as I have enjoyed all of them for their own value. I am not a professional nail tech and I might never own a salon or have a client list. I did these courses for the challenge of developing an interest. It was a hobby whilst I was convalescing which developed into so much more. I have found an amazing industry and network and went to Olympia Beauty in London and Professional Beauty in Manchester trade shows and experience first hand the passion surrounding the nail industry.

    These courses are for everyone and the support and guidance is excellent no matter what background you are coming from. I have developed and learned things about myself I didn’t realise I had in me and am sure I will do more courses, maybe acrylic next, once I have completed my current ones.

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