Friday, September 7, 2012

First Look Fridays: Manicurist Rica Romain

Teen Vogue. Harper's Bazaar. Vanity Fair. W. V. It's a who's who of fashion magazines ... and manicurist Rica Romain's work has appeared in all of them. The mother of two has a truly inspiring story about how she came to work in this business, not to mention great nail tips and a wide range of product loves! Keep reading to find out more.

How did you first become interested in beauty, and what led you to become a manicurist?
I am originally from Portsmouth, Virginia. I have two wonderful children: Heaven, 9, and Zion, 7. My story is so different -- most don't believe me when i tell them how I started to become a manicurist. I started to work for Verizon DSL and due to the death of my first son, I decided to take leave off of work.

During my life i was never the girly type, but I always seemed to have some type of obsession with always having to have my nails done when I touched people. I have always believed in the power of energy through touch, so I felt as though having your nails done when greeting a person would brighten their day (or yours). So during the time of my mourning, I found myself in the nail salon more than usual, but my nail tech seemed to not really care about the importance of my nail care. I decided I could do a better job on my own, so I knew I needed formal training. I went to Miracle Beauty and Nails Academy. After graduation, I went back to working at Verizon and doing my own nails, not wanting to ever make a career of it. As life does surely change, so did my goals.

When it came time to renew my license, I was growing more and more bored with my life and wondered why I never did anything in the two years with my nail license. So I quit a $60,000 dollar job a year to work in a nail spa. Single mother, no clients, no goals, no expectations. What the hell was I thinking! It was a struggle at first but with hard work and a soft smile I worked all the way up to being the nail department manager, which led to getting my Instructors license, and becoming the Director of Education for my spa.

Teaching for the salon, I had to stay up on the latest and greatest by attending trade shows. At one trade show I was able to meet the great Deborah Lippmann and later became her assistant. She taught me how to do nails on set and begin my portfolio and how to find an agent. I had to make another huge decision, to either stay in Virginia at the another great job or move to the city and see if i could make it as a editorial manicurist -- I'm glad I moved. It was much harder to adjust this time, but here i am today!

Are there any nail trends right now that you're especially excited about? What makes them stand out for you?
1) I love the pointed and stiletto nails. I always wore a round nail and often was told it was out of date or grandma-ish, so I'm glad they are back.

2) I am still a freak for short vamp nails. They can make any pair of hands million dollar worthy.

3) I love that color in general is back. I prefer that the nails are short to normal length because the length is what can make a neon pink classy not trashy!

4) I'm also into the nail wraps by Sally Hansen or Incoco, or Minx. I love the prints and that they are so easy to remove.

What are your favorite nail products?
I was told I'm a product whore because I don't believe in using one complete line to get the best look. But I do believe in supporting a line that is based on strictly nail products. These are the products I love.

Tropical Shine nail files

Mehaz implements

INM Out the Door Fast Drying Top Coat

Zoya nail polish

CND hand treatments

What are your top 3 nail tips?
1) Educate yourself by all means available. Trade shows or tutorials, fellow manicurists, DVDs, nail publications ... you get my point. This is a business that is always changing and there is something you can always learn.

2) Keep your nails done. You are your best form of advertising. No one is above making a new client.

3) Practice. There are so many avenues in the field of nails -- be the best at whatever road you take. If you can't do enhancements well, practice giving the best manicure until you have perfected other things because life is full of surprises and you might make yourself famous by that manicure!

Being a manicurist must be fun, but what do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I'm actually a poet. I write constantly. Also I make homemade aromatherapy candles!

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