The third nail technician to be featured in my Q&A series is Charlotte Pilgrim. Charlotte is an admin on CJP Nail System Facebook group and a fellow admin on the Behind The Scenes Of A Nail Tech / Anxiety & Support group.
I have asked Charlotte 18 questions overall… We hope you enjoy reading 🙂
- What made you want to be a nail tech?
When I was about 12, my mum use to buy me all of these nail art kits. Remember the Argos Rio double ended striper polishes? Well I used them all until they ran out. All through school I just knew that I wanted to leave and be a nail tech. Then I ran with it 🙂
- How do you keep yourself motivated?
I think what keeps me motivated is knowing what I have achieved in such a small amount of time. I qualified in 2012, two years later I set up my own business and in that same year I competed in the UK nail tech competition at the beauty UK show in Birmingham where I came 8th in the UK from my category. Earlier this year I was shortlisted in the top 10 nail technicians in the country at the English hair and beauty awards. Most recently I built my own cabin salon at the bottom of my garden which has been a continuous sucess since. With hard work, passion and determination, I feel that I can achieve anything I set my mind to. This is what keeps me motivated. I know that I can keep on setting my goals and smashing them each and every time, bettering myself and my previous acheievments.
- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’d like to do my teaching qualification to offer 1-2-1’s and group trainng. I’d also love to get back into taking part in competitions.
- What do you feel is your strength and weakness regarding skill?
My strength is my acrylic application (especially the cuticle area application), and my weakness has got to be 3D nail art. I’ve been trying to crack it for ages and I just don’t feel confident with my efforts.
- What would you say is the difference between being a nail technician and a nail artist?
I think a nail technician is someone who does nails to pay the bills. They book their clients in, get them done, and move onto the next – It’s their career. A nail artist is someone who is filled with passion, who wants to better their nail sets each and every appointment. Someone who is constantly promoting their work and working towards achieving their set goals – it’s their way of life.
- If you could do anyone’s nails in the world who would it be and why?
Ok, so, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a Kardashian fan, however, I would love to get my hands on their nails. I see them post photos of their basic nails on their social media’s and I would really enjoy creating them a refined and creative set.
- Who are your nail idols?
Sarah Elmaz (@getbuffednails) because of her creativity, Kerry Anderson (@kez2107) because of her shaping, and Solin Sadek (@solinsnaglar) because of every single thing haha. Her work is just perfect!!
- Where do you get your inspiration from?
Honeslty? I get it from everywhere! I use Instagram a lot and when I feel I’ve hit a brick wall with ideas, I always get my inspirations from @Luminousnails, @Uglyducklingnails, and Kerry Anderson (@Kez2107).
- What are your holy grail products?
To start off with, CJP. It really is my holy grail. Individually, I couldn’t live without my NSI endurance hand files (150 grit), and my pro-impressions advanced competition well-less tips, also, the Indigo Nails perfume cuticle oil. It You can literally still smell it at the end of the day!
- What’s your favourite set of nails that you’ve ever done?
- How do you decide on a design for a set? Like colours and glitters etc?
When I’ve got my client in, I always start by asking them for their favourite colour. In my salon, I have a set of draws where each one is dedicated to each colour palette. Each draw contains a mixture of coloured acrylics, glitters, angel papers, crystals, you name it. I will choose the main colour that the set will be based around. If the client doesn’t know what they want then I normally always include a nail with a smile line and an obre nail. I tend to take it from there. Alternatively, I go off of their chosen colour and choose a contrasting colour or complimentary colour to put together.
- What is your method for marbling?
When I’m marbling, if it’s a new set, then I’ll always apply a thin base of clear acrylic, and work wet with each bead of colour. I normally choose to work with at least 4 colours including clear. I work from the tip to cuticle area applying it in stages. I then reshape my brush to a point and swirl the colours together after I’ve applied one tiny bead of each colour before I move on to applying more. I then cap the entire nail in clear.
- How do you achieve your baby boomers/ombres?
Again starting with a thin base layer of clear acrylic, I use CJP milky pink acrylic at the tip and blend that bead to the natural nail so that when you apply your cover pink, there is no shadowing or line. This helps acheive that flawless gradient from one colour to another. I then cap the blend to avoid filing It away.
- What is your top tip when it comes to shaping?
I always start by cutting my tips with stalk scissors to reduse my filing time, I then use my 150 grit file, using the surface of the file facing the nail, from side wall to the free edge using long strokes. Let the file do the work and remember to always keep it dead staright.
- What do you think makes a set of nails go from “Ohh look” to “HOLY COW!!!”?
I think a perfect refined shape is the basis for any eye-catching set. Sometimes my eyes see the shape before any design. Design wise, if it looks well coordinated and appears to flow well, whether that be colours, pigments, crystals, glitter etc, that makes it stand out for me.
- Who are you rocks in this industry and why?
My CJP and Behind the scenes admin team. They’re all like my minion friends who are ALWAYS there for me. We speak every day and it’s the little things that they do. The ‘little and often’ people who know when I’ve had a bad day, or when I’m feeling down or rushed off of my feet. I would say especially Liz Guild and Bethany Stockell. I feel there is nothing I couldn’t go to either of them about.
- If you had one wish would what would it be?
To eradicate MMA acrylic worldwide and to educate the general public on its effects and possible dangers.
- Best advice you would give a new nail tech?
My advice is to just always keep going. Keep at it because there’s so much to learn. It’s ok to not be happy with your work but address what’s wrong and move forward and improve 🙂
And that concludes Charlotte’s Q&A. A few words from me. Charlotte is one of those people who is always busy and rushed off of her feet. But she will always make time to help people. She just gets on with it and I don’t actually think I’ve EVER heard her moan once! Let’s just say I aspire to her for that as it’s my favourite thing to do at times haha. She’s just a lovely kind person. Her nails are always so refined and diversly creative – as you can see 🙂
Charlotte has also just set up her new YouTube channel. On there you can find a load of tutorials for many different techniques and designs.
We hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any feedback or further questions, please leave them below in the comments box (Click on the black title at the top of this blog first).
Love to you all xox