Caitlin Iley

NAIL TECH TALK: Frederica Waldron of EEKA Beauty

By Callie Iley | 20 March 2021 | Feature, Tech Talk

Freddie Waldron Header

Scratch chats to Frederica Waldron of EEKA Beauty about sourcing inspiration for nail art and the importance of self-confidence…

What is your all-time favourite nail product?

This is a hard question! I don’t think I can choose one favourite product, but I definitely have a few must-have products that I can’t live without. I have only recently started using Brilbird’s Brush & Go for details in my nail art and they are so pigmented compared to some other products I have tried. I also love all their nail art brushes in size 0, which are really good for small details.

I cannot be without The Gel Bottle Builder in a Bottle or Bio Sculpture. I have been using both gel systems for the past few years and the strength that they give to my clients natural nails really allows them to grow strong and healthy.

What designs do you love to create?

I have a major soft spot for more minimalistic designs, however, I really love to challenge myself with the more intricate designs and I definitely find that pushing myself is helping me to improve my skills. Sometimes, I have an idea and don’t really know how I’m going to achieve the final design, but I just go for it and I often surprise myself – when I can see it all come together it is so rewarding. I’ve definitely learnt that you just need to trust the process! I haven’t really tried the more intricate designs until recently and I have really been enjoying it. It’s definitely been keeping me busy through this lockdown as some of the designs have taken me a few hours.

How do you keep your own nails?

I usually love to have a fresh nude base colour like a The Gel Bottle’s Builder in a Bottle or a subtle shade from Bio Sculpture on my nails, which also gives them that extra strength. I would usually keep it quite simple on my right, which is my dominant hand, with some minimalistic nail art, often with little touches of gold detail in there somewhere. On my left hand, I often have those nails a bit more jazzed up and change the design on them a bit more regularly as that’s my model hand. Sometimes, I will extend my nails on my left hand, depending on what designs I want to do on them. It also enables me to change up the shape a bit more regularly too. My favourite shape is always short and squared though.

Where do you source inspiration for your nail work?

I find inspiration from everywhere – clothes, Pinterest, wallpaper, other nail techs, artists, everywhere. My favourite set that I have done so far are my nude nails, which I found the inspiration for those when I was just scrolling through TikTok and came across this amazing artist called Lana Still. There are so many amazing nail techs out there and I used to only look for inspiration from other nail techs work, but would always struggle with finding a way to make a design more my own, so that’s when I started looking for inspiration from other places. Also, there are a lot of different nail challenges at the moment, which are really great at pushing you out of your comfort zone and getting you to try new things that you wouldn’t have thought to have tried.

What one piece of advice changed your career?

I have always lacked confidence. I’ve always been quiet, scared to take risks and doubted my work. People would always tell me, ‘you need to be more confident in yourself’, and it is true. I’ve always just taken the safe route and stayed with what I’m comfortable with. Last year, like a lot of people, I had the comfort of my job taken away from me through redundancy – I was working in a salon for 3 years – I definitely panicked, thinking ‘what am I going to do now?’. I had to pull some confidence from somewhere and keep telling myself that I can do this, I can start my own business. In the couple of weeks that my business was able to be open, it was amazing. I don’t know what the future will bring but it is so important to keep reminding yourself that if you want something, then you need to be confident and just go for it. You never know unless you try.

If you weren’t doing nails, what would you be doing?

Since I was at school, I always enjoyed doing my nails and trying some designs but I actually started studying for a different career path. I originally was studying Fashion Business Management and Marketing at university but it really wasn’t for me, so I decided to drop out and go back to college to study to be a beauty therapist because of my love of nails. While I was doing my level 3, I discovered that I also loved massaging and found the theory side so interesting. I started thinking of maybe becoming a Physiotherapist, however I had an accident which lead to having a wrist injury and I was told by doctors that I shouldn’t be massaging. I was told that I could paint nails, and I remember crying to my mum saying I don’t want to just do nails, but funnily enough I can’t get enough of them now! Every other career path I have thought of taking has always led me back to nails and now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What tips do you have for aspiring nail techs?

The tips that I would give to aspiring nail techs is to be patient and nail the basics first – take your time and perfect the prep, to ensure your work lasts its best. When it comes to nail art, practice definitely makes perfect. Don’t get disheartened if things don’t go right the first time, as it’s a learning process and you will get there. One thing that always knocked my confidence is that I felt as though I worked too slow and really couldn’t work out how I could speed things up without cutting corners, so I definitely would say that it is ok to take your time and make sure you are happy with your work. It wasn’t until I started chatting to other nail techs that I realised I’m not slow, and there’s many others who also like to take their time to perfect their work. There is nothing worse than having to rush a client and you’re not happy with the finished result. Also, I have found that clients actually appreciate you taking the extra care. I would also advise using social media like Instagram to connect with other nail techs, as there is such a lovely and supportive community of techs, and it’s good to share tips and help each other out as we are all always learning. I’m quite shy so it took me a long time to have the confidence to approach others, but I wish I had done it sooner.

Follow Frederika on Instagram, here.