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.
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.
Megan's artistic skills find a home on tiny canvases. She creates custom acrylic nail designs with iconic 3D art that includes rose petals, tiny turtles, or the famous pitchfork from American Gothic. She also uses gel polish to protect against chipping, and glitter-toes parties outfit the toenails of a group with sparkly sheens.
At Lush Wax Boutique, it's all about making the client comfortable. The salon's waxers put clients at ease with a professional and amiable bedside manner. All staff members were hand-selected by the owners and passed a rigorous training program where they learned the best waxing techniques and how to tell the difference between body hair and a skein of yarn. Furthering client comfort, the salon also provides cleansing wipes, perfumes, and antibacterial foot sprays in each treatment room, so clients can freshen up before or after a waxing service.
Over time, Da~Vi Nails International has expanded to more than 200 locations. At each of these salons, friendly nail techs tend to clients’ fingers and toes with products by OPI, Tammy Taylor, Orly, and Creative Nail Design. In addition to traditional manicures and pedicures, they embellish talons with silk-wrap overlays, nail sculptures, and airbrush designs of flowers or milkmaids.
Expansive, sunny windows illuminate the deep-red walls framing Mid City Salon’s elegant space, where trained aestheticians groom keratin-based parts with a range of treatments. Stylists revamp hair with trimming and chemical services that alter color and texture without attempting high-risk crayon implantation. Manicurists, meanwhile, outfit natural and acrylic nails in decorative swipes of polish, creating long-lasting style with CND Shellac applications or trendy designs such as cheetah print and flowers. Aestheticians can also rework façades with a quick brow and lip wax or a flawless makeup application. For offsite pampering, stylists arrive at homes during salon birthday parties to give girls aged 3 and older a chic updo, a smattering of glitter makeup, and polished nails that make them feel like adults without memorizing tax-return terminology.