Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology Manicuring Exam

Hey y'all!  Yesterday was my big day!  I finally went to take my Manicuring state board exam to officially become a nail technician.  It went GREAT.  I am so glad to have it behind me and get started with my career in a few weeks.  I feel very confident in saying that I passed but I won't know for sure for another week or so.  I already have a great job lined up and I couldn't be happier with the opportunity, more about that in a few weeks though :). 

I was never able to find anything like this online so I wanted to do a special post to maybe help other nail tech students and to give my readers an inside look at the whole deal of what I did. 

First, let me say, every state is different on what they require for their nail technician licensing procedures so be sure to check with your state board of cosmetology.  This is strictly what I did to prepare and take the Louisiana state manicuring exam.  There is nothing official about it, I am not affiliated with any state board or school, this is strictly MY experience.

In Louisiana the state board of cosmetology offices are located in Baton Rouge so I drove down the night before and stayed in a hotel.  We live about 4.5 hours so staying over night was necessary because I had to be at the testing site at 9 am. 

I did 600 hours at my school so I had 5 months of education.  I prepared and studied as much as I could the weeks leading up to my test date.  I used my Milady books and the tests I had taken during school to help me study as well as a bunch of index cards I made up to help me study the diseases of the nails. 

In LA you have two parts of the exam, practical and written exams.  The written exams consist of the national exam, which is 110 questions all about manicuring and then then state exam which is 25 questions that all revolve around state laws and regulations regarding cosmetology.  The state exam is actually the same for manicurists, cosmetologists and estheticians. 

The practical exam consists of two parts: a basic manicure and acrylics.  Before I packed up my kit to go I did a few trial runs at home.  This was my table set up, this is exactly what my table looked like at my exam.  Everything you see on the table is what I took with me.  We were able to set up our tables when we got seated before the exam started.

The first part of the practical exam was on the manikin hand.  I had it prepared beforehand with the proper nail plates added.  This is my hand before I left.  The manikins don't come with nail plates so I shaped and glued nail tips on the hand.  Each finger I prepped for the certain things we had to do.  You only do three fingers, you have to do an acrylic sculpture with a nail form, an acrylic nail with a tip and a repair with a wrap.  I added nail plates to the pinky and thumbs so I'd have back ups if I had any problems. 

This was my finished product after the exam.  The index finger is my sculptured nail done using a nail form, the middle finger is the acrylic with a nail tip and the ring finger is the repair.  We got 45 minutes to complete this, I think I finished in about 30 minutes or so.  45 minutes is a good amount of time to be able to really take your time. 

Everything went pretty smoothly on this portion of the exam.  The only problems I had were when I was gluing my nail tip on the glue didn't want to dry so it popped off when I started filing it so I had to put a new one on.  (this was also the part I panicked on the inside and said a few 4 letters words to myself) And then my acrylic didn't want to dry.  (more expletives to myself) We have to use odorless products for boards and it's a little different than the odor products.  It takes a longer to cure so it can be difficult.  But it turned out fine. 

The next portion of the practical exam was the manicure.  You have 30 minutes and you have to show your basic work.  Filing, buffing, removing cuticle, massage and polishing.  You have to use red polish and I used OPI Red along with Beauty Secrets base coat and top coat.  You work on your own hand.  I did my left hand since I'm right handed.  I walked around all day yesterday with only one hand painted lol.  It couldn't have turned out any better, I am pretty pleased with the outcome.

That's all there was to it for the practical exams.  Once we were done with that we cleaned off our table and put everything up and got ready for the written exams. 

They handed out both the national and state exams at the same time and gave us an hour and 30 minutes to complete both.  Like I said above, the National exam was 110 questions and the State exam was 25 and they were all multiple choice.  Most of us were done in about 45 minutes.  And that was that. 

I was so stressed and worried but now that it's all over I can say that it was easier than I expected.  It was a pretty laid back environment, everyone we met was friendly and helped us relax. 

I'm glad it's all over, I had the best nights sleep last night than I've had in a month lol.  

My greatest advice I can give anybody that's going to take this exam is RELAX.  I promise, it's not that bad. 

This is a great industry to be in right now, the jobs are abundant and it's FUN!  If you or someone you know is interested in looking into going to school for nails you can check out to find a school in your area. 

Thanks for reading, I hope you found it informative and entertaining.  Thanks so much to everyone who has been encouraging during my journey this year.  I am so excited about my new career, things are really looking up for me and my family.  This was really the best thing I've ever done for my family and me.  Thanks again for reading. XOXO