Caitlin Iley

NAIL TECH TALK: Natalie Kirk of Nail Perfection by Natalie

By Callie Iley | 18 December 2021 | Feature, Tech Talk

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Scratch chats to Natalie Kirk of Nail Perfection by Natalie about her nail journey and what she would like the industry to achieve in the future…

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I first started out in the nail industry in 2004 after my mum, who was working as a spa manager at the time, suggested I did a nail course as I’ve always been into art and drawing. I remember when I was younger, I used to always paint my nails metallic silver and glitter.

I ended up doing a few nail courses after the initial course, and bought a second hand nail kit so I could practice more at home. My friends and family were so supportive and used to sit with me for hours. I was working a full time job at the time so this was originally a little sideline, but as my mobile services began to pick up, I realised I needed more nail time. I took the plunge and handed my notice in and became self-employed.

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For the first year of doing nails full-time, I rented a little nail desk in a beauty salon, and then a new opportunity arose to have my own little shop and I thought, why not – another leap in my career. My mum worked with me and I used to spend hours sitting and painting nail designs in the shop while I was building up my little business. I soon realised I needed more people to work with me, and offered out my desks to rent.

After 11 years and more nail courses in different brands, another opportunity came along for a bigger salon and off I went again. It’s been amazing to watch other nail techs who work alongside me grow in their career too, and see their lives develop in the nail industry. I’m also lucky enough to work with my sister, so there is never a dull day!

“The highlight of my career so far has been progressing onto a bigger salon. It’s enabled me to help others grow their career and achieve their dreams.”

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I have many admirations for other nail techs in this industry, in the 17 years I’ve worked in nails, I have seen a lot of trends come around and go again. The nail technicians I have followed from the start are still as innovative today. I love the intricate designs by Celina Ryden, Helen Yeg, Ewa Crawford, and many others.

I personally love creating abstract designs, and sometimes seeing where a set is going to take me. I always ask my clients, “shall I stop there or add more”! I have to have my nails perfect as I can, and I’ve been known to wipe the whole design off if I’m not happy with it.

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In the future, I would like to go into education, as I love helping others to learn – it’s always nice to see how far people have come from day one.

It would be nice to see the industry more regulated in the future, with service costs brought more inline with reality. I feel as if the beauty industry has a stigma that services should be cheap and quick. The reality is, product costs are higher and training and education is continual.

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For anyone starting out in nails, it’s important to remember that consistency is key. Take your time, don’t worry about how long services are taking you, just make sure you’re trying to be the best that you can be. Faster timings come with practice and repetition, nail art becomes easier the more you do it. With all the social channels now available, watch and learn as much as you can.

Your best advert is you and word of mouth. If people are happy, people will talk. Social media helps with images and promotions but it’s bums in seats that pay your bills!

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Follow Natalie on Instagram and Facebook.