Rachel Tang of The Pink Room International Nail Academy is an influencer in the nail industry, not just in Singapore but also around the world. The only Singaporean to be invited to judge major international nail competitions, she is also the chairman of the Nailist Association of International License in Singapore. Instrumental in building up the nail industry here since the founding of her nail academy more than 10 years ago, A&B talks fingertip trends with this nail maven.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO SPECIALISE IN NAILS?
My interest in nails started at a very young age. Even as a little girl, I felt that beautiful nails really brightened up a person’s image. I started learning about nails purely as a hobby initially, and my insatiable appetite for the craft and a thirst for learning more about the various techniques quickly turned into a passion for helping others achieve the same results.
Nails are often neglected, and I wanted to educate women that nail care was just as important as makeup or hair. In fact, nail art might be the only form of primping and grooming that transcends skin colour, hair texture, face symmetry and body type.
HOW IS YOUR ACADEMY, THE PINK ROOM INTERNATIONAL NAIL ACADEMY DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
Furthermore, our focus has always been about providing our students a strong foundation of skills and techniques to rise up in the industry, regardless of products used. We are not backed by any particular brand so we pride ourselves on being able to provide fair, impartial and professional advice to our students. Over the past decade, The Pink Room has become the cornerstone of the steady rise of the nail industry in Singapore, churning out the top percentage of successful nailists and salon owners in the industry today, both in Singapore and around the world!The Pink Room International Nail Academy was created in 2003 as the first nail-centric academy to provide a more systematic nail education and syllabus in Singapore compared to before when nails were often taught as an afterthought, an add-on module to the more popular makeup or hair courses. We are now the largest nails-centric academy that is registered with the Council for Private Education (CPE) that is authorised to issue a Diploma in Nail Technology, the highest standard of nail accreditation in Singapore today. The Pink Room International Nail Academy is also authorised as the affiliated training centre for various International Nail Systems and Nail Associations, to conduct trainings, assessments and certifications in Singapore.
WHY DO YOU THINK NAIL ART BECAME SO POPULAR IN THE LAST FEW YEARS?
While nail art has been around for decades, we have to thank the fashion industry for pushing nails into the limelight. Unique nail art has made its way onto the runways of popular fashion shows and the red carpet of high-profile celebrity events. Celebrities are now using their nail designs as the latest must-have accessory to express their individuality and creativity, and I think that’s great. Women everywhere are starting to realise that your nails are as important as your clothes or shoes now, and that’s something that The Pink Room has been advocating for a long time.
Another big push for the nail industry is the rise of blogs and social media, as nailists and customers alike now have a platform to show off their nail designs. Many of our students and graduates have made a name for themselves in the social media world, and some of them even have a higher following than high profile bloggers or celebrities!
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MANICURE AND NAIL ART?
A manicure consists of the basic nail procedures such as shaping, cuticle care and treatment, and these steps are important to help promote strong and healthy natural nails. Nail problems and infections are just as real as acne or thinning hair, and manicurists at The Pink Room undergo months of training to learn how to identify and treat nail problems, and care for nails properly.
Nail art is the process of decorating the nail surface, and this is great way to show off a person’s personality or mood. Since the nail surface is relatively small, women are usually a bit more adventurous with their designs. For example, while a person may not necessarily wear
a neon multi-coloured dress, a similar design on her nails will be acceptable and may even add a touch of flair to a normal outfit.
LASTLY, WHAT ARE THE TRENDS FOR NAILS IN 2015?
Women have started to become more conscious about their health and the products they use, so organic and non-toxic nail products, such as the Angel Pro Gel range, will be all the rage in 2015. Nail art using gel polish, as opposed to the traditional water-base acrylic paint, will also be sought after. The Pink Room recently invited a well-known Japanese nail guru to Singapore to conduct a Gel Air-brushing workshop, a technique that has not been seen in Singapore yet. The effects created by this technique will surely make its way into the nail art designs of 2015.