A nail tech’s guide to entering nail championships – by competitor Kate Barnes

Kate Barnes, Director at Simply Nails and Beauty, placed 4th in Pink and White Competition Style, 3rd in International Nail Master and 1st in International Nail Art Masters.

“When the Professional Beauty Nail Championships came around I was nervous and excited as I had already seen such an improvement in my standard from just a few months’ practice. I was delighted to find that I placed second in the competition category Pink and White and improved my personal best by 20 points.

I also entered the Photographic Classic and Nail Art and although I didn’t place, the feedback received from these was fascinating and I will use it for future photo-shoots.

Following the buzz from Manchester I researched other competitions and found out that the Irish Nail Championships were being held just two weeks after. While I was on a roll I decided to enter as a way to really push myself. I entered the Pink and White, International Nail Masters, International Nail Art Masters and Showcase categories.

I placed fourth in Pink and White, beating my previous personal best by 20 points, third in International Nail Masters and first in International Nail Art Masters. 

Why I enter competitions

As a nail technician that wants to continually progress and push themselves, I continue to enter competitions. I don’t necessarily enter with the intention of winning or even placing, but for the experience, to beat my own scores and gain invaluable feedback, which in turn improves my salon work greatly.

In just a short space of time I’ve noticed a huge improvement in both my competition and salon work, but to then place and even go on to win feels like such an achievement. It shows that all the hard work and practice has been worth it. 

Entering competitions takes a lot of dedication and practice but I believe to stay on top of your game in this ever-growing industry it’s one of the best things you can do to challenge yourself.

My top advice

The key thing to remember is that competitions are very different to salon work, so my best advice would be to make sure you read the rules and then re-read them to make sure you don’t lose points because you didn’t check. You also need to practice, take notice of your score-sheets and work on those points until the next competition. 

It’s also worth investing in competition training to make sure you understand the rules and techniques required to compete. Competitions are a whirlwind of emotions, hard work and excitement, but it’s all part of the experience.

I would recommend any nail technician wanting to challenge their skills to enter a competition because it’s the best skill improvement training you can receive.”

It is your turn now:

Enter the Irish Nail Championships HERE
Enter the North Nail Championships HERE