SCNIA – My First Competition Experience

Well I finally did it! My first experience in the competition world has been accomplished.

The Sunday just passed I attended the gorgeous Captains Club Hotel in nearby Christchurch, Dorset to compete in my first competition. Sponsored by Denise Taylor of DT Pro Nails and accompanied by Helena Biggs, editor of Scratch Magazine & Katie Barnes, BABTAC Nail Technician 2014 for me it was just an honor to be in the same room as these amazing Ladies!

It was actually a really wonderful first experience. The competition was split into 2 shifts, Morning & Afternoon. I was lucky enough to get the afternoon time which allowed me plenty of time in the morning to get ready, double check everything and just relax before hand.

Actually that was one thing I didn’t get, nerves. I’m not sure why. I remember in my younger years before a dance performance I used to get terrible nerves & butterflies, my little ritual was to exclude myself from everyone and have at least half an hour in a quiet place before getting anywhere near the stage, I would literally fall to pieces if that didn’t happen :/ and end up incredibly anxious!

Maybe it was because the set up for this competition was similar to college? Instead of performing in front of hundreds and on the odd occasions thousands of people, there was only 10 competitors in our room! I got to sit next to my fellow college friend, similar to how we used too, so it all felt very familiar & very friendly – that’s probably why I did the following & took a risk…

That risk was Nail Forms!! Unlike other competitions I have been looking into we were allowed to use tips for this one. I however wanted to push myself and choose the competition to do that. I have tried nail forms twice on myself and felt Sunday was the perfect opportunity to try them out on a client. I had briefly practiced the previous day when I gave my client her manicure so Sunday was the big day!

My application was probably not my best, I suffered slightly on my smile lines using the forms. I was asked by one judge how long had I been doing nails – seeing as I was in the student category – looking back I think she may have been slightly shocked that I had very recently qualified, but again I think because I was more interested in the experience then winning I felt more willing in taking a chance.

We had never formally been taught Sculpting, but I actually now prefer it to tips and after a bit of researching I’ve found out my local Trade Outlet offers Courses in sculpting so I’m definitely signing up for those 🙂

The basic outline for the competition was to complete one hand in 2 hours with Pink and White Liquid & Powder and with a buffed high shine finish, 2 nails also had to be painted red and for that I picked the most amazing red. ciate’s Boudoir.

Ciate Boudoir

Ciate Boudoir

I absolutely adore this colour! I find I never need a top coat with it, mainly because all the top coats I use actually destroy the natural high shine finish the polish provides – honestly, it dries to a finish similar to car paint, it’s gorgeous! That was one of the reasons I choose it for the competition, one less step to consider without compensating the high gloss finish with the use of a top coat 🙂

I finished a little under time so although I was done I didn’t realise the judges were then looking at my final product. I probably would have spent the last 15 minutes being doubly sure I was happy before saying for certain I was. There were a few little things that niggled me but I guess because I was happy to have used Nail Forms and to have finished within time I was more willing to let them go.

So once all was done we had the chance to go back home and get ready for the awards ceremony in the evening 🙂

It started with a Champagne reception and a bit of a paparazzi moment with me and my model having our picture taken, then we were taking in the main room.

SCNIA Ceremony

SCNIA Ceremony

Some delicious canapes were served while we waited for everyone to arrive and then came the big event… Results time!

This time around I wasn’t a winner, but I was so so happy that my fellow college mate did win! She really is amazing at what she does although she doesn’t think she is, to win this proves that she is and hopefully will boost her belief in herself 🙂

All in all it was an amazing but exhausting day, our host was fabulous and definitely kept the buzz going in me, he was incredibly entertaining and an amazing singer!

The one highlight from the evening was speaking to a lady who took an interest in my future visions for myself. What started as a bit of mis-identification – we were both sure we knew each other from somewhere but aside from her driving the make of vehicle of the company I previously worked for, we had no other connections? – it ended with her passing me her business card.

Why…well, as you know I wish to help people with nail problems and one thing we discussed was clients with oily nail beds and how many Gel Colour products lack adhesion so such nail types, something both of us have suffered from! While I manage a maximum of 5 days before I can literally peel it off, this lady barely gets a day wear! So something I discussed with her was better formulas or better ‘bonder’ products. We talked about UK products as something I eventually wish to offer is UK based brands only, it was shocking to discover how many ‘UK’ products are actually manufactured overseas.

Although I love doing nails, it is a booming business and there are so many Nail Salons out there, from the so called ‘chop-shops’ to those who actually care. I want to be that person who offers that additional service and then provide better education and standards in the industry. She assists with branding and manufacturing so her business card is definitely one I’ll be keeping in a safe place and not losing!

So that’s it, my first competition experience. Thank you to Denise Taylor for the opportunity and I can’t wait for many more in the future 🙂

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