A TRIP to the nail salon feels like a real treat.
But whether it’s your very chewed and bitten fingernails, or the idea of someone getting up close and personal with your feet, there have probably been times you’ve wondered what your nail technician was thinking.
For celebrity manicurist Lucy Tucker, nails have always been a calling.
She says: “From a really, really young age in primary school I was painting my nails with Tippex, piercing my nail with a compass and putting a massive great big earring through before I even knew that was a thing.
“I was always begging my mum to paint her nails – obviously now it’s the other way around!”
With 25 years’ experience, she’s seen it all – so who better to give some insight into the 10 things running through a manicurist’s mind
Don’t turn up with a full set of nails if you haven’t booked a removal
Lucy says: “When you see a new client, you obviously would say to them, ‘Have you got anything on your nails right now?’
“But if you forget to ask and you’ve got a fully booked day and someone turns up with a full set of gels or acrylics on and you haven’t allowed enough time to get that off, that can be really stressful!
“Sometimes it can take 45 minutes to get the stuff off!”
Ripping a cuticle is enough to turn a stomach
“You’re careful not to but sometimes you can’t help it if you’re cleaning up the cuticles or whatever, so that’s mortifying” says Lucy.
“That person might not stop bleeding and you’re like, ‘Oh my God, please stop!’
“That makes you feel sick and it really upsets me for the rest of the day.”
Nail technicians don’t care what your feet look like
Lucy says: “Whoever comes to have their feet done, sits down in my chair and says, ‘Oh my God, I have the ugliest feet’.
“Everyone thinks their own feet are ugly, but they’re not!
“No one has ugly feet, they just don’t.
“You make sure your feet are clean and washed with soap before you come and see a pedicurist and whether the gels are completely grown out – which sometimes they are – it really doesn’t phase or offend me.”
Got a friend who does nails? Don’t ask for freebies
Lucy says: “It’s really hard, I really don’t like doing my friends!
“I always do their wedding nails – it’s something I’ve always done and that’s my little gift to them, but I find it really difficult to do friends, it’s just awkward.”
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The first thing they’ll notice is your nails
“The first thing I look at is someone’s nails or feet, like that’s my thing.
“Even children’s! My friend’s kids that come over, the first thing I look at is their nails!,” laughs Lucy.
“My girlfriend has just been with me for four days and she came with chipped nails but brought nail polish remover with her, knowing that I would comment, and bless her, took it off straight away!”
Try not to copy the technician
She says: “I generally spend about three hours on my own nails and I take my gloves off and they go, ‘Oh my God, can we do that on my nails?’ and I’m like, ‘S***, what did I take my gloves off for?’
“It took me so long to do my nails because I am a perfectionist and have three hours to spend on my nails, but our appointment isn’t three hours so I have to do a quick version and you’re like, ‘Oh no, should have kept my gloves on!’”
They’re not healthcare professionals
Lucy explains: “I lived in Spain and this lady came to me for a pedicure and the soles of her feet were nearly green, skin like I’ve never seen before in my life.
“That’s been the only time in my life that I’ve ever turned someone away and said you need to go and see a GP or a podiatrist, because I’m a pedicurist and there’s only so much I can do.”
Verrucas are another reason to postpone a trip to the nail salon.
“You wouldn’t really want to have a pedicure if you had a verruca,” Lucy says.
“As soon as I see that I wouldn’t carry on a treatment.”
Manicures, however, are never not an option – and if you’ve got bitten nails, the professional is probably just excited for you to see the transformation.
“Even if they come to me with properly bitten, chewed nails, I can build up a set of nails on that,” says Lucy.
“I can always do something – if they’ve broken half a nail or they’ve got a crack in a nailbed that’s bleeding, I can always fix it, it’s always fixable.”
They’re used to tearful clients
Lucy says: “You wouldn’t be able to be in this industry if you weren’t a chatty, confident, interested person because clients come to you because they want to relax, they want to unburden and be able to talk to you.
“Everything that gets said to me is confidential and I wouldn’t obviously mention it to anyone and sometimes they tell me things that they would never tell their partners.
“A lot get very emotional because it’s a really relaxed, comfortable environment.”
Your manicurist might hate your style
Lucy says: “I really don’t go for a French on toes, it’s not my thing.
“I don’t like doing them, it’s not my taste and I wouldn’t really do that with a client.
“I like a French on nails but my clients, now they know that a French on toes is just not me, we laugh about it.
She adds: “I always think, would I wear that? I would never put something on my clients that I wouldn’t wear myself.
“So unless someone was really specific or a bride came to me and wanted it then of course I would do it, but it’s not something I would ever recommend.”
Want to know what the manicurist to the stars does recommend on toes?
Bright red, dark red, corals or pale. You’re welcome.
Regular clients are more like friends
“They do become your friends, because you have that quality time with them one-on-one every other week or every three weeks,” she says.
“You’re not sitting there just doing their nails and making them last and look amazing for two to three weeks, you have a friendship and a bond.
“That’s a really nice part of the job.”
Meanwhile, ‘trashy’ mum blasted for baby’s manicure as people warn inch-long nails are ‘incredibly dangerous’.
Plus, woman reveals she can’t get a boyfriend because she’s barely got any teeth.