With Monika Then, YN Mentor, Young Nails UK

Instagram @monikathen_yn_mentor

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s quite common to break into terrified cold sweats when it comes to putting yourself out there in a bid for self-promotion and marketing. If you’re scared of posting on social media, we’re sharing our biggest secret to getting over the hurdle. We had the chance to sit down with YN UK Mentor, Monika Then, who over the course of one year transformed her relationship with social media, herself and her business for the better. Monika took the plunge and forced herself to step outside her comfort zone, every day for 365 days. The risk was relatively minor compared to the reward; especially when it comes to making a livelihood. The results were incredible, today she’s grabbed the attention of 40K followers. See for yourself how she gets the job done, follow her work on Instagram @monikathen_yn_mentor. 

WALK BEFORE YOU LEARN TO RUN

Monika: The first video I posted, I spent about 5 hours on it. Even after spending all that time, I still thought it wasn’t good enough. It takes time to shoot, edit, add music, cut something, speed things up. Everything was new for me. Back then, it was possible that my daughter could have posted faster (than me.) Now I can do it in a few minutes. 

- YN TIP

If you set your mind to do something, it can be achieved as long as give yourself a consistently safe space for trial and error. There might be an inner critic telling you that you’re not good enough or that everything has to be perfect in order to post. In reality, perfection is a stalling tactic for the risk-averse. Quiet that inner critic by being kind to yourself and be authentic throughout your learning process. There is no shame in being imperfect. The goal is to share something about you/your work every day. We never said it had to be perfect.

CONTENT RAMPAGE

Monika: I took the suggestion, “You have to do more video” and just started posting content. I thought, I have just to go home and start doing this now. I just posted it and it worked. In the beginning, on Instagram, I was like just today or maybe 2-3 times a week. I look at social media as a part of my work now. It is something that you have to do all the time.The first year I started with zero. I just used my phone. I learned by testing out a few apps. I studied YouTube to see if I could do similar things. In year two, I grew from a few to 2000 followers. Today, 1,954 posts and three years later, I hit 40K followers. 

- YN TIP

Proceed slowly and one day at a time. Believe in yourself. With a tad more effort than you use to post your #staycation, you will be well on your way to posting more content. You already have everything you need. It doesn’t have to be crazy or complicated. Prioritise posting daily for a week, try a mini 7 Day Challenge. Break through the feelings of impossible to discover it is possible. Ask a fellow nail artist or salon mate to join you on the journey of building this new marketing habit. Notice what works for you and what doesn’t. After you clear one week, see if you can continue the week after, and so on and so on. The more you do it, we promise the easier it will become. Accept that some days are going to be more challenging than others. That’s just the nature of things. 

A SIMPLE PLAN

Monika: I plan around, Who is coming today? Who is my client? The post doesn’t have to be huge or creative. I ask what knowledge or information can I offer even if it’s simple or basic. Just putting out good simple information helps a lot. It doesn’t have to be three inch stilettos with marbling and sculpted 3D flowers. Salon work is different than that. Students want to learn how to do nails. The simple (boring stuff) is important like hygiene and finish plus all the steps in between. I base (everything) on the nails that I’m doing that day. I put the camera on and don’t overthink it. Some posts just don’t do well. And that’s just it. No big deal. Get yourself organised. Think when you can do it. Get your phone. Hit record. Download the app to help you present it how and when you want to. 

- YN TIP

Big reveal...content is what you are already doing. I’m going to shoot and document it instead of create it. That’s how you get a lot of videos. Boom. That’s the true secret to creating daily content. Don’t overthink it. We recommend putting out small bites of education or entertainment. What makes content engaging is how it’s digested. Hook your audience with a straight forward video about removing shine, pushing back cuticles, working around the cuticles or building the body. These are all vital to what makes a set of nails hold up. You don’t have to create separate stand alone pieces of content. Keep it simple and document the salon starring you being you. You already have what it takes. 

OBJECTIVITY

Monika: I’ve done videos that I’ve criticise, of course. Some weren’t centered, the background wasn’t great or the brush was on the side and I didn’t like it. I still posted them anyway. I actually never had a bad experience with it. Nothing bad actually happened to me when I posted something that I didn’t like. It didn’t matter in the end result. I’ve had people criticise or comment in a negative way. Even though I was afraid in the beginning, it still has never put me off from posting. There are posts that I didn’t like but got 100K+ views.. 

- YN TIP

Just start to experiment and put it out there. The quality of the work improves as you go. The next time will be better. Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious while you are working in the moment. You learn from your mistakes. You can’t take the negativity you might receive personally. For every one critic, there are many more supporters of your work. Focus on the positive. That being said, don’t discount the criticism. Sometimes we are too close to the work to be objective. See if there is actually some feedback you can take from it. Turn over the criticism and examine it with curiosity. If it doesn’t serve you in any way; do not let it take up residence in your head space. Let it go. 

Nobody likes double dipping. Young Nails Slickpour is the easiest powder coating system. The Air Dry application and removal process is a breakthrough in nail enhancement technology. With a service that's clean and fast; you'll go crazy over the mighty staying power and glossy powder coat finish of each set.

Resin Technique:

Step 1: Prep the Natural Nail with a hand file or sanding band. Dust off and dehydrate nail with Swipe and apply Step 1 (Prep). Do not use Protein Bond for this step.

Step 2: Allow your Prep to dry (1 min). Then apply Step 2 (Base) follow with pouring your Slickpour powder over your wet Base on all nails.

Step 3: Dust off excess and apply another layer of Base followed with pouring your Slickpour colour on. Tap off any excess.

Repeat Step 3 one more time with your colour or cap it with clear slickpour powder.

Step 4: Apply a layer of Activator (Step 3) and allow to set (two minutes).

Step 5: Once Slickpour is set file and shape if required, and buff on top

Step 6: Dust of excess and Swipe.

Step 7: Apply another coat of Activator and with clean pad rub into nails.

step 8: Quickly apply Slickpour Top (Step 4) on all nails. Important !! Wipe your top coat brush on clean pad after every nail before dipping back to bottle.

Step 9: Apply second coat of Slickpour Top to all nails again make sure you wipe your brush before dipping into the bottle.

Step 10: Depending on room temperature and clients nails drying time is between 3-5 min. Important !!! Do not touch nails in meantime!

Step 11: Apply Cuticle oil

Slickpour Resin System Technique

Conversion Gel Technique:

Step 1: Prep the Natural Nail with a hand file or sanding band. Dust off and dehydrate nail with Swipe. Then 2 coats of Protein Bond.

Step 2: Apply Conversion Base and cure for 30 sec.

Step 3: Apply Conversion Base (don't cure) and pour over your Slickpour colour and cure for 30-60 sec.

Step 4: Repeat Step 3

Step 5: Swipe nails to take tacky layer off and file and shape.

Step 6: Dust off and Swipe nails, apply Protein Bond.

Step 7: Apply Conversion Top and cure for 30-60 sec.

Step 8: Apply cuticle oil.

Slickpour Conversion Gel Technique

Monomer technique:

You can also use our Slickpour System like you would with normal acrylic, Wet your brush with monomer and pick up a nice fluffy bead :).

Slickpour System with Monomer technique

“MIGHTY THINGS FROM SMALL BEGINNINGS GROW.” — JOHN DRYDEN.

In the early stages of your nail profession, there is a multitude of tempting products and tools to stuff in your salon kit. Who hasn’t wanted to redirect funds from a boring yet wise purchase for something racier like a seasonal limited edition Swarovski crystal mix?  What is the nail techs equivalent to an essential capsule collection or a new driver’s starter car? 

Wise or Wild Spending?

You want to binge-buy everything that catches your eye. You want it now. Nom nom nom, feed the ravenous glitter monster within. Red flag warning! Please slow down and be purposeful. Don’t spend what you don’t have. Square one is to create a spending plan that allows you to operate a steady nail business. Do you know which services you'll offer? What's your budget? Can you plan how many sets you can do with your current products? Remember to schedule regular product restocks. Keep track of what you use and spend. Start with a simple shopping list, track your expenses for three months, and see how much you spend each month.

Not so Basic Basics

To spend wisely, the bulk of your initial salon buy will consist of Core products. Decide if you’re going to offer Acrylic or Gel. It’s best to call out now what you want to be known for…basically what will be your number one service? Then pick up the essentials for that system. Our Saver Bundles are an affordable way to do this, save yourself 20% on every saver, this will maximise profits! You will absolutely need a good UV lamp (or two).  You will also need to start with an E-file to save your wrists from the wear and tear of hand filing. Both are big ticket items but worth every penny. The basics are what you use to build a business. The core products for your starting line up should be a set of 12 colours that include best selling classics like nudes, reds, pinks, and a couple trendy colours. You can layer on to that another 12 Glitters. Custom glitter mixes provide endless possibilities.  Lastly you will need a couple of high-quality brushes. Don’t over extend and dig yourself into any unnecessary debt before you bring in your first customer.

Variety Trap

For some reason, many nail techs can’t wrap their head around “less is more” philosophy. Take baby steps. A variety of specialty products means nothing if you still haven’t found your first client. Train yourself to slay in one specific service. Let that be your thing, your expertise. You will never regret it. As you build up your cash reserves, now you can pull in something new for fun. You can even plan when you will reward yourself with a splurge purchase. YN Pro Kits in acrylic or gel offer the most bang for your buck at a £300 starting investment. Just throw in a light and you’re ready to book clients. When in doubt turn to your nail community and ask for support. You may be going solo for the first time but you never have to do anything alone!

Professional Kits

Saver Bundles

E-file n bits

The Best Selling Nail Primer in the UK by Young Nails ✔️

Protein Bond is an absolute must have if you're a nail pro and it will save your clients nails from chipping and lifting no matter what service you offer: Hard Gel, Acrylic and even Gel Polish.

How to apply when using Acrylic or Hard Gel?

Step 1 - Prep the Natural Nail as normal.

Step 2 - Cleanse & Dehydrate the natural nail with swipe, to remove any contaminants.

Step 3 - Apply Protein Bond to all 10 nails, then apply a second coat. (does not need to dry. And remains tacky)

Step 4 - Apply your Hard Gel or Acrylic

How to apply when using Gel polish?

Step 1 - Prep the Natural Nail as normal

Step 2 - Cleanse & Dehydrate the natural nail with swipe, to remove any contaminants

Step 3 - Apply Protein Bond to just the free edge of all 10 nails, then apply a second coat. (does not need to dry. And remains tacky)

Step 4 - Apply your Gel Polish system as normal.

When using under Gel Polish, just apply some Protein Bond to the free edge. This way it allows for easier removal process in the future.

Today Greg is going to explain how to use Protein Bond for acrylic, hard gel, gel polish, and nail polish application.

Buy Protein Bond

Buy in Bulk

This is the leader in non-acid adhesion without the corrosive primers.

Our proprietary polymer bonds organically to the keratin structure and creates a stickier surface.

Bonds to the natural nail and provides an anchor for ALL gels, acrylic, gel polish and nail varnish.

Shop Young Nails

Follow us on instagram for everyday tips & tricks. #youngnailsuk

Welcome to the future of nail care, where beauty meets comfort, and scent takes a backseat. In today's blog post, we jump into the world of Young Nails low-odour acrylic system, a game-changer for both nail technicians and clients alike.

What Makes Low Odour Acrylic Systems Different?

YN Extreme Low-odour acrylic system is formulated with innovative ingredients that significantly reduce the strong lingering smell traditionally associated with acrylic Monomer. This system prioritises client comfort without compromising on quality or durability. The result? A pleasant and virtually odour-free experience that enhances the overall nail salon visit.

The Benefits of Low-Odour Acrylic Nails:

  1. Client Comfort: Say goodbye to overwhelming odours. YN Extreme Low-odour acrylic system creates a pleasant environment for both clients and technicians, allowing for a relaxing, chatty and enjoyable nail appointment.
  2. Versatility: YN Extreme Low-odour acrylic system offers the same versatility and creativity as our traditional acrylic system. Whether you prefer classic French, intricate nail art, or trendy designs, our system provides endless possibilities for expressing your unique style.
  3. Long-Lasting Results: Despite being low-odour, this Acrylic system is designed to deliver the same long-lasting, durable results as their traditional friend. Enjoy beautiful, strong nails.
  4. Enhanced Environmental Experience: With YN Extreme low-odour acrylic, nail professionals who work from home or in a Spa can offer the full range of Acrylic enhancements without impacting other treatment areas. By prioritising comfort and well-being, salons can attract new clients and retain loyal customers.

Tips for Using YN Low-Odour Acrylic System:

  1. Quality Product: Make sure to use ONLY the low odour system together. Do not mix the Extreme Low odour system with our traditional acrylic system. They don't like each other I'm afraid.
  2. Technique Matters: Proper application techniques are essential for achieving beautiful and long-lasting results. Remember, the low odour system is a faster setting product. We have over 3000 videos on YouTube all about nails. I'm positive there isn't a nail video we haven't done :).
  3. Client Education: Educate your clients about the benefits of low-odour acrylic systems and reassure them of the high quality products still being used in the salon.

YN Low Odour:

  1. Trial Kit
  2. Professional Kit
  3. 6oz Liquid
  4. 45g Acrylic Powders

“THEY ALWAYS SAY TIME CHANGES THINGS, BUT YOU ACTUALLY HAVE TO CHANGE THEM YOURSELF.” – ANDY WARHOL

Your time is precious.  So what if we told you when it comes to nails that short and sweet interactions can’t be beat? In fact, they should definitely be incorporated into your booking schedule and here is how.  We want to let you off the hook. Longer services doesn’t necessarily mean better. Depending on the needs of your client and the makeup of your clientele, a thirty minute nail service might be all you need to earn with ease. So let’s have at it shall we? 

NOT A FULL ENTREE
A nail client and their nails will have their own life cycle. As a pro, you already know that much of that cycle will consist of regularly scheduled maintenance services. An estimated 50%-75% of your workload will consist of maintenance clients because their original shape/structure is still sound. So imagine that your client service patterns might alternate between a new client wanting a full set and a returning touch up client. Knowing what maintenance services can be completed in a short amount of time is very useful. A quick thirty minute service might be a basic fill plus gel polish over the top for those who wear full nail enhancements. Another couple of services like gel polish or dip powder on natural nails would also fit an abbreviated time frame. As the nail look becomes more complex, more time gets put on the clock and you add more digits to the price.

TIME THIEF
So why do so many nail professionals schedule every client on the hour? One could argue the answer is because that’s how we’ve always done it.  If this is the case, let us point out some nail tech time card awareness. If you were a hairdresser and half of your clients came in only needing a trim, would you schedule those for a full hour appointment? Assess the situation. If your work day is only 8 hours (not including breaks) your maximum capacity is 8 clients booked on the hour. Your optimised schedule for a five day week would be 40 clients. Now if you’re willing to do something a little different and book on the half hour, the number of potential services increases. Your willingness to take a risk on your ability now makes it possible to increase your potential weekly income based on 60 clients, a mix of full set and maintenance clients. Make every minute at work count. Profits increase by booking efficiently without being a slave to the salon. Make every minute at work count.

MENTAL MATH YAY
Let’s pretend that your minimum rate is £60 per client. Multiply that by 40 clients (8 clients daily x 5 days) on an hourly booking = £2400 per week. Now if you are booking by the half hour, an average load would be 60 clients (12 clients daily x 5 days) multiplied by £60 = £3600 per week. Wowza, that is a £1200 increase to your bottom line. Remember there is value in the work even if the final product is easy to create. Your chosen profession in nails has always been about you and your quality of life. Your time is yours and you get to decide how to spend it. Do you want to be tactical in the salon and leisurely at home? Would you prefer to work three or four days a week instead of five? This is entirely in your control. Do not block out 60 mins for a fill. Why? Technically the client pays for your expertise. The price of your services should be based on that. The service of the fill has its own price. Any nail art/spa treatments are priced on top of the maintenance. A lot of salons like to simplify their menus by offering niche nail/spa packages. It’s up to you. In the salon, a 30 minute fill is very possible. We hope that it will soon become your scheduling norm. When you do a 30 minute fill, open up time to do another 30 minute service or you have the option to check out early which increases your rest and relaxation goals.

CRUSH IT
This kind of nail tech math gets us so excited. We want to see you take charge of all aspects of your work. It is 100% possible to make good money. You can have a very comfortable life. There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of being able to take care of yourself and support those you love. If you get your maintenance skills down to 30 minutes, you can breathe a little easier and not stress about taking time off for a few weeks of vacation or unexpected sick days. This is what we love about a life in nails, 30 minutes makes all the difference in the world.

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