When one door closes, another one opens… and in walks The Lash Goddess (also known as Alexis Bruns-Rivas). A few months back we were in need of someone in the esthetician realm to join our team. Honestly, I’ve always wanted a lash guru and call us lucky, blessed, or favored, our dreams came true and we’ve got just that!
So you all know that the beauty industry provides a whole lot of confusing tips and tricks… there seems to be something new to try every other day (and many of this week’s suggestions counter last week’s). Whether you get your guidance from your favorite beauty magazine, the trendiest Instagram blogger you follow, or you stick with the age-old advice that your mama gave ya, today I’m here to give you the facts on a few nail-related myths and legends. Read along for my own personal “True or False?” list: nails addition!
Andddddd… like I was saying, at about age 20 I was watching TV and saw a commercial about ADHD, and suddenly I knew what I’d been struggling with! Though I self-diagnosed, I went to the doctor, saw a psychologist, did some tests, and I was officially diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). I started on a non-stimulant medication -- the most popular stimulant medication that you may have heard of is Adderall -- and suddenly I could organize my thoughts and I began to feel a whole lot less like a hot ass mess (hey that rhymes!) Let me tell you how wonderful that was!
Clients: “Tell me about yourself. Where is your family from? Did you always know you would be doing nails? Does your family live around here?”
Me: “Well… where should I start?”
Clients: “At the beginning!”
So here it goes… ladies and gentleman, buckle up for the wild ride of my life! I assure you it is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and in the end, a wonderfully exciting tale of how the daughter of immigrants found her passion despite the haters -- you won’t believe who was hating on me! -- and built a business on positivity that I’m TOTALLY proud of. I struggle with ADHD, I have zero contact with my family (including my 14 half brothers and sisters), and I’m the woman I am today because of it all! Learn all about me in this 2 part series… you won’t want to miss it!
The sun is coming out and it is officially SANDAL SEASON! Can I get an amen for that?! Aaaa-mennn! Washington’s weather can be a little underwhelming -- unless you’re into endless dreary days -- but our Spring and Summer are to die for. As you get ready to celebrate the warmer months, and likely take your toes out of hiding, there’s a few things you should keep in mind when heading to a nail shop…
It is about time I gave you the skinny on sterilizing. I know, this isn’t exactly a sexy topic, but you know what else isn’t sexy? Having to get toe surgery because you got an infection from tools being used by a nail shop that doesn’t properly sanitize! In my humble opinion, losing a toenail is a whole lot less sexy than taking the time to make sure that the place you get your nails done is following the proper steps.
Take a second to day dream… picture the day before your wedding. You have a big rehearsal dinner scheduled in the evening followed by a night of lounging with your favorite ladies before the big “I do.” You and your partner have guests visiting from out of town, so you’ve gotten two suites at your favorite local hotel. The boys are doing whatever boys do the day before The Big Day, and you and your bridal party -- plus your mom, grandmother, favorite aunt, etc. -- have ordered room service for lunch AND you’re all getting pampered by the Charme Studio team: manicures and pedicures galore. Some are lounging on the sofa, while others are sitting at a desk, but each of your girls has chosen her desired location to receive the perfect fingernails and toes before the night’s festivities begin. Sounds like the most relaxing way to begin a wedding weekend, does it not??
Does a three time cancer survivor sound badass to you? What about a mom who’s also a runner, an elementary school teacher, and a trained artist? Meet Brianne Harness. She's the artist who’s work hangs in Charme Studio and is all of those incredible things and MORE! She’s a hard-working mama and we couldn’t be happier to feature her work.
Brianne opened her own business called be.CAUSE Gallery and Studio where she sells her artwork (including commissioned pieces), as well as hosts creative events and painting parties where people can come and follow her instruction to paint beautiful pictures… proving that everyone can be an artist. The best part about be.CAUSE is Brianne’s mission to give back… “art with a purpose.” Ten percent of all proceeds go to national and local charities.
Raise your hand if you’re SO sick of this weather?! Because… same. If you’re in Washington, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about (okay to be fair this isn’t just in Washington). It is cold, off and on rainy, even some snow… in February!!! I’m completely over it. But here’s the thing, your skin and nails are probably more over it than you.
If you’ve noticed you’re extra dry (especially on your hands and feet), today I’ll be sharing some easy tips to help you combat dryness and keep those hands and nails looking amazing even when the weather sucks! I’ll also be shamelessly plugging some of our amazing products we sell here at Charme Studio throughout this post… but hey, when you sell the best you have to share, right?
Have you ever heard someone say, “I love gel polish because it lasts but it TOTALLY destroys my nails”? Maybe you’ve even been the person to say that. Listen, we get it. Nail techs aren’t taught in school how to properly use gel polish, and because of that… many of them simply don’t know the right or wrong way. Additionally, people are LAZY (yes, I said it) and even if the nail tech knows the correct way, she’s probably working in an assembly-line-type shop (you know, the ones I’ve described in previous posts) therefore she’s taking the easy way out and simultaneously damaging your nails! Yay! Just kidding. Gel polish has to be one of the most misunderstood products in the nail industry and today I’ll share the right way it should be applied, as well as debunk some other gel polish myths… like, did you know that Shellac is the same thing as gel polish?
Today we are wrapping up this 3 part series on pricing in nail salons… hallelujah, am I right? (Not that I haven’t loved shedding light on terribly unsafe practices and employee mistreatment, but I’m just about ready for some “lighter” topics if you know what I mean!) In this post we will detail the overhead costs all nail salons experience, let you know why salons across the nation are seemingly going “un-checked”, and discuss what you can do to help.
Let’s get right to it. Remember that our salon is located in Tacoma, Washington where the minimum wage is $12/hour. In our last post we discussed that after a $15 pedicure (assuming it is an hour long), there’s only $3 left to cover taxes, overhead costs, and hopefully to make a profit. So what are those overhead costs that all nail salons have?
Do you have a job where tips are a part of your compensation? Or perhaps someone close to you like your friend or your daughter very much counts on his or her tips as a part of their salary? What if every time you earned a tip for a job well done, your boss took the money and said it was to cover the “credit card fees”? How would that make you feel? How would that make you feel for your child? Perhaps like they’re being exploited? Would you have concerns that something illegal was happening? Maybe that their boss doesn’t have their best interest at heart? Remember these questions next time you’re getting a cheap manicure or pedicure, you know the types… almost too good to be true. I promise you, it IS too good to be true, and every single one of your concerns would be valid. Sadly, I guarantee this “practice” is happening in a salon near you, and that most people aren’t questioning the “deals.”
Have you ever wondered how it is that some nail salons can charge $10 for a manicure and $15 for a pedicure? As the cost of living rises, somehow the shop you went to 10 years ago is still peddling the same cheap rates… which is curious but… who’s really going to complain about a bargain? And have you ever been in a pinch so you went to that one down the street that costs practically nothing but you had the vague feeling of being part of an assembly line?
You know how people read something on the internet these days and almost automatically think it is true? If it looks like a news article it must be accurate right? I mean I’m sure YOU personally are not one of those people but we all know at least one of them. Anyone can put any information out there, and sadly if they’re convincing enough, someone might just believe them. Maybe it’s because we are such a fast paced society that we don’t stop to do our own research and therefore we end up getting duped by scammers? And because people know they can use the right buzz words that consumers want to hear, they do… even if they’re false.
When you were little, did your mom ever take you to get your nails done? Or maybe she had her own nail appointment but said, “okay honey, you can get your nails painted too,” and the sheer excitement of having a PROFESSIONAL paint your nails was so enthralling that you couldn’t wipe the smile off your face for the entirety of the appointment and likely for the whole day? And then at school when someone mentioned your nails you got to tell them that a PROFESSIONAL had done them… maybe like it was nothing but inside you were totally beaming? Okay maybe your mom didn’t take you but you’ve taken yourself and seen a child be offered this very same opportunity and you likely smiled knowing how happy that kid was. So… that’s why I became the Nail Fairy at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, and every time I walk into a room to paint a child’s nails, I get to witness that level of excitement. I’m not even going to lie, it totally rocks!
My story starts like many others you may have heard. I was a driven young woman who worked her way into a managerial position by the age of 18 at a popular Tacoma nail salon. I worked long hours, had only one day off, and was severely underpaid… but I was a MANAGER! Wonderful!… right? Truth be told, the 60 hour weeks, having no life of my own, and making only $10/hour (no overtime) started to exhaust me. I was dreading work everyday, even painting nails was no longer fun. But then, 2 things happened: 1) Pinterest and the artistic nail craze came about (and I started enjoying that aspect again), and 2) I began building a clientele that relied on me as an expert on nail care, and I found I really wanted to help these people; if I could be a resource on having healthier and stronger nails, I wanted to be!
Welcome to “The Horrors of Water Pedicures, Round 2!” Just kidding, today’s post will tell you what a WATERLESS PEDICURE is, and why we recommend it. If you missed our last post, check it out here. Make sure to create a link on the word “here” in the last sentence. There’s a number of reasons we do things differently here at Charme Studio, and last week’s post depicts all of that… we want to keep this one a little less scary, and a little more fun-loving :)
Have you ever sat in a pedicure chair and watched one person leave and another slide right in? Let me share with you a short story of the typical nail salon experience… and remember, you’re the one in the chair just to the left (or right, whatever you prefer.) Person A gets up and leaves, and Person B slides right into that seat.