#NailTechNailedIt - Changes in Nail Boards

When nail tech school is complete (which is looking like it won't be April, but rather more like February), in order to get your license to begin working in salons, you must pass the boards.

Dun dun duuuuuuunnnnnnnn!

These boards consist of a two-fold test, taken at separate times.

First, you must pass your practical test. That's the test that puts your skills into practice, and you must perform certain tasks to pass.

The second part of the boards is the written exam, which is a good old fashioned written test.

This year, in at least Colorado (and I'm unsure of other states/countries), the provider for the test has changed. In previous years, it was Pearson Vue. Now, there's a new vendor, PSI, which means the test is slightly different.

One big change is who the services for manicurists is performed on. In December, hopeful nail techs were to have several faux fingers, which we so lovingly call Freddy Fingers.

Image source - Amazon
This hard plastic finger has a well that's not only terrifying, but useful. You can practice applying acrylic nails easily, without needing to soak off each set you do. Just rip out the fake nail from Freddy, and you can start over.

Image source - Amazon
With the new vendor however, we'll only be working on one fake hand, which a few of us have named Hannah the Hand.

This hand still has wells to shove tips in. The new vendor requires you to have all five fingers already set up with 5 tips, to imitate the hand's natural nail. Oddly, you're also required to have one fingernail painted, so you can show them you know how to remove polish. (Yep...we're tested on that!)

The range of services a nail tech must perform isn't very big, but it is bigger than what a cosmetologist is asked to do. The services include:
  • Sanitaion
  • Manicure
  • Tip application
  • Acrylic overlay on a tip
  • Acrylic overlay on a natural nail
  • Acrylic overlay using a form
What's most exciting about the new vendor is how clearly they tell you what you'll be doing. Each nail tech will be given a their test from one of 3 forms, which just shuffles the order of services a bit. They lay everything out clearly and easily, which eases a little of the pressure off of test day.

It's still intimidating, but with test day fast approaching, I'm eager to get the practice in so I can be ready for it all.

Catch up with all the rest of the #NailTechNailedIt posts here!


  1. I've been wondering how training was going! Freddy Fingers and Hannah the Hand are kinda freakin' me out though, haha!

    Good luck!

    1. One day, they'll all spring to life a la Toy Story, and my nightmares will come true.

  2. Good luck!!
    When my cousin went to the boards, I was her model. I think I was more nervous than her! It's a tough crowd in there.

    1. Thanks! From what I've heard, a lot of the graders for the tests have no background in nails, so they simply run through a checklist. It makes nailing every step pretty daunting. :(

  3. Good luck! I've always wanted to take a course to become a nail tech but I'm more into just the painting and nail art bit instead of application of acrylics. I'm still hoping that once I finish uni and have a job that I can do night classes or something! For now though, I'll just stick to my blog!

    Emily (yayils-or-nails.blogspot.co.uk)

  4. I live in the UK and yesterday I started nail college, yhh just thought i'd share!! :)


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