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 http://www.beautyschoolsdirectory.com/ 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 

20 comments:

  1. Congrats Amber! I am still deciding if I want to go to school and get my license. Everyone tells me I should, but it's such a time commitment!

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    1. I am sorry to intrude but I have been doing nails for seven years until one day I had a client come to me for a makeover and nails. Once I was proving the service the lady was engaging in normal conversation with me. Then she asked where did i get my license from and I informed,her that I didn't need one to do makeup and she said I do in order to do nails. Then she proceeded to tell me that I did a great job on both but that it is against the law fro me t perform procedures of nails without a license. I informed her I was not aware of such laws and she told me to stop providing services and to obtain my license. So, after a month of nervousness I decided to go to school to get my license and i am extremely happy that I did. It provides happiness on so many levels and a sense of Independence and freedom to you and the level you are desiring to accomplish. Go do it! It will fill a place in you that you never knew was possible.

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  2. Congrats Amber on finishing it! This was super helpful and informative reading your experience :)

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  3. Congratulations! So proud of you!!! =)

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  4. Congrats on completing your exam! I'm a nail tech in OH, and I think it's so interesting that you do your manicure on yourself! We have to do everything on a "sand hand" ....a rubber glove filled with sand with tips glued to it!!

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  5. pretty red color! and congrats :) andy

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  6. It's really interesting to hear what you have to get through over there. We've got no such regulation in the UK and I'd love to be able to add a qualification like you've gotten. Although I've already been manufacturer trained I'm saving up to do an additional NVQ in nail technology so at least I can be qualified.

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  7. Thanks so much for writing about this! I'm considering starting a nail technician course and this answered a bunch of my questions :)

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  8. Congrats!! I remember when you first decided to do this. It's been such a cool journey "coming along" to nail school with you. You will have so much fun with your new career!

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  9. This was very helpful to me especially with me having to go to state board in a few weeks. I have been looking all over for instructional videos for the practical part and they don't have very many that are in Louisiana regulations.

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  10. Congrats!!! I'm hoping to become a nail tech as well. Right now the challenge is getting the vocational schools to hold night classes as I work full-time. Thx for the great advice!!!

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  11. Hi, Amber! Thank thank thank you soooo much for posting this! I've been freaked out since I learned my exam date. I went to PG as well(rather not discuss my experience), but our 'teacher' didn't tell us anything about state board!! Thank you for posting pics of your set up, too! I do have one question. In all my time at school, time out of school, where I've been bugging the crap outta my classmates and who have graduated and taken the exam, I've never heard anyone say anything about having to glue on tips! What?! Could you please explain???

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    1. Hi Melanie! I'm glad you found d it helpful. I probably had the same experience with AS as you so I feel your pain. That's so frustrating to me! I was told to have tips glued on the rubber hand as the "nail plates". I just shaped the tips to fit into the nail bed areas and glued them with that hardcore OPI glue, I cant remember the name of it now. Once I had them glued on I shaped them more according to what service was going to be done on each one. To add nail plates or to not add nail plates was a source of confusion for us too but thats finally what I ended up doing and it passed so I guess it was right lol. If you have any other questions please dont hesitate to email me. I'll try to help as much as I can. Did you go to the Bossier or Ruston PG?

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    2. Oops forgot my email address adunson321@gmail.com.

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  12. Do you remember specifically what chapters were on the LA exam? I'm trying to avoid studying the entire book because I have a baby and its a little hard for me to dedicate alot of time to study right now. Did it just have questions about manicuring and nail diseases and how long did it take the receive the test results ??

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    1. Hi Charlotte! The test had a lot of different questions, it didn't focus on this or that. When I was studying I focused a lot on diseases and studied all of my chapter tests. With the gold book I just read it as many times as I could, that one was really more common sense stuff though. The thing that you should keep in mind is that every test handed out is different from the other so its really best to try to study everything you can and just focus on the things you feel the least comfortable with. I got my results about a week after I took the test and it took another week or so to get my license in. Hope this helps, good luck!

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  13. What book did you use to study for the national exam?

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    1. I mostly used my chapter tests that went along with the Milady Nail text book. I did flash cards of the diseases too. They didn't give us copies of the 100 question practice tests so I took pics of them with my phone and used those too.

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  14. Congratulations Amber! For the table set up in the beginning, I can put everything I need for manicure AND acrylics? Also, when do you know to clean up at the end?

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  15. Hi! I just started school about two weeks ago. The experience so far has been really bad. I don't have a teacher. All I do all day is sit in the room and take notes. Any time I ask for help from one of the cosmetology instructors, they have an attitude. I already know a lot because of my own research and self teaching. There is no information on line for Louisiana. Everything really sucks. I was so excited about starting but now it's a big ball of emotions.

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Thanks for stopping by today, I would love to hear any comments or questions you may have! :)