Interview, Dublin 2009

Margaret, you're one of the most talented and best qualified manicurists, nail art designers taking part in today's show. Tell our readers where this passion of yours came from.

First of all, it's a part of my qualification. I graduated from the Warsaw Beauty College, one of the best at the time. After that, for many years I was working as a professional model and photo model. As much as beauty and fashion have been my main interests since I started growing up and feel like a woman, hands and nails have always been extra special to me.

What caused that?

I'm not entirely sure, perhaps some of my girlie complexes? I was very active in sports when I was at school, among others, I was doing javelin throwing. Because of that my arms and hands were more muscular and, in my eyes, less feminine. I was doing everything to give them this femininity. Well looked after hands and nails made me feel great and much more feminine.

Do you still think about your hands this way?

In my case, genes played a big role. I took after my parents when in comes to wide nail tiles. Back then, together with muscular fingers, my hands looked quite boyish ;) I don't think like that anymore. However, thanks to this complex of mine, I found out, for the first time, about those hands and nail care techniques aiming at slimming and lengthening of the hands through proper forming of the nail tile to make it more slender.

Are you trying to say that it's possible to correct nature without engaging the scalpel?

Oh yes, and quite easily too. All it takes is a few visits at a nail bar where an experienced manicurist will properly 'remould' the nails, slimming and extending them through a number of special treatments. It shouldn't take more than three to eight months of regular visits when the right manicurist is involved.

What do you understand by the right manicurist?

It's someone who's been working with nails for a long time and is confident in what they're doing. There are many women nowadays who are employed as nail technicians, but they lack basic knowledge in several, very important areas essential for the right advice being offered to customers. This kind of knowledge is usually gained in appropriate schools, professional workshops, years of practice and and reading on medical case studies; very rarely at basic nail extension courses. I've been extremely lucky to have worked with the best professionals in the field. As a professional model, I'd often peep at the world's most renowned specialists. I described their work as wood sculpting. They were capable of getting rid of farmer-like hands and turning those into the hands of a princess.

Can you do that as well?

Many of my clients suffer from different types of diseases resulting from many things, but resulting in only one. Destroyed hand skin and nail tile. Those women, who are looking for revitalization methods, after numerous visits in various salons, finally end up in mine. That's where their search usually ends. Very often, even after the first appointment, they feel better, more beautiful and they no longer feel ashamed of their hands. Not infrequently, these women travel from distant places in Ireland. I work in Galway and many of my clients arrive from Dublin, Cork, Limerick and one woman all the way from London! She books an appointment in my salon every time she visits her family in Galway.

How do you that?

Up to the first appointment, it's kept secret and when they visit me, I explain it to my clients what their problem entails, I offer some proper solution and perform a series of cosmetic as well those medicine-like treatments improving the appearance of their hands. Consultation is free, just a friendly, casual conversation.

You're considered one of the best nail designers.

Transform your nails into jewellery – that's my motto. Well looked-after hands and nails are essential elements of a woman's beauty. You can't have a beautiful make-up on your face and rotten teeth while still arouse desire. The same way, you can't wear an impressive dress and neglected nails. Even Egyptian women in ancient times decorate their nails with gold and precious stones. They knew, contrary to the popular opinion, that men do pay attention to the way women's hands look. When a woman's hands are well looked-after, it's a sign that she takes care of her whole body. Beautifully decorated hands stimulate men's imagination and desire. It's like their primary atavisms.

A well-matched design can beautifully complement a woman's outfit and serve as the best jewellery. The touch of a woman with beautiful hands make men turn very flexible, like jelly :)

Are such treatments expensive in your salon?

I must say they're not the cheapest. The price results from my knowledge, experience and the quality of service. My job often resembles a dentist's job. Many years of negligence create deeply set wrinkles. The start always presents the biggest workload. The later routine treatments are shorter and cheaper. I can assure you though, that the results are better than you could expect and I can give guarantee for my work.

What sort of guarantee?

When I'm visited by a woman with serious health problems and whose nails are not fit to be to be decorated with fake ones, I refuse the service and either encourage her to see a dermatologist or, when possible, I do some healing and correcting treatments. Thanks to that, ladies save their time, money and nerves, as it's actually bad, diseased nails that usually cause the decorations to come off.

Only after a while, when I decide that both the hands and the nails are ready to be decorated, we start working on the nail design. I can then safely guarantee that the new nails will look beautifully and won't be causing further diseases. If it happens that something will come off, I fix such cases free of charge.

In your opinion, how do nice nails differ form the unsightly ones, the good from the bad ones?

Have you ever seen a woman in ill-fit stilettos? She looks as if she was wearing ski boots. When shoes are not well-fit, it hurts a woman and she looks silly.

It's like that with nails too. Bad manicure or badly chosen nail design do women no favours. They're as well off hiding their hands inside their gloves and pretend their hands are cold :)

Nails should complement a woman's personality and her outfits. It doesn't matter if it's a modest French manicure or long, red nails. The crucial thing is that they go well with the rest of the outfit and are appropriate for a given occasion. It's also important that the nails show off the beauty of women's hands and hide their shortcomings. A good nail designer is able to divert one's attention from the defects of a hand and focus it on a beautiful ornament that will only add charm to the woman's hands.

What needs to be stressed as well is the type of occasion the nails are being prepared for. A toned-down, modest, business woman's outfit won't go well with bright red roses on long nails, just as the classic French manicure won't do its job on the hands of a woman whose husband wishes to have scars on his back.

Is there a universal recipe for beautiful nails?

I think there are certain canons, like in case of haircuts or styles of clothing, however nails, similarly to all fashion elements, are also subject to trends. People often look for new forms only to stand out from the crowd, emphasize their independence.

In my opinion, the best nails are those women feel most beautiful in, no matter what style they show off. They have to fir their souls, bodies and outfits.

Don't you find your unusually long nails an obstacle in your everyday life?

I'm sure you'll agree with me that the decorations I'm wearing today would attract attention of many people. That's their task, they clearly state that their owner must be slightly crazy and she hates boredom ;) These are typical show nails, not very practical in everyday life and their task is to represent my abilities :)

I can't argue with that :)

Thank you for talking to me, I wish you every success.