For 17 years, Gayle Layton owned a large salon in Salt Lake City. She's since moved away from the noise of the city and into the cozy Hair, Heart & Soul Salon, a quaint brick building with a spacious porch exuding homey charm. Although she's downsized her space, she offers myriad services. Stylists snip chic coifs and apply trendy ombre color, nail techs provide pampering pedicures and adorn digits with Shellac polish and nail art, and aestheticians whisk away unwanted facial fuzz.
All of the students at Color My Nails School of Nail Technology have the same concentration. That's because the school is "nails only"—every teacher is a practicing nail tech, and the 300-hour course is designed to set graduates apart in the mani-pedi industry. To that end, it includes lessons on treatments that other schools might not delve into, such as how to use nail drills, perform white-tip fills, and forge a stunningly accurate van Gogh piece onto someone's thumb. Students practice on both mannequins and live clients, administering affordable manicures, pedicures, fills, and gel-polish applications. They also host children's parties that leave guests giggling at their newly glittery toes.