23 June 2014

Japan Nailist Test Level 3

Recently I took the Japanese Manicurist Test at the beginners level. 

I've been doing nail art now for about four years. I first started at a community centre once a week and when that class was cancelled because there weren't enough members I started going to the teachers salon once a month.

(Usually I work on nail chips)

Last year my teacher suggested that I try for the Level 3 test. I'd never done nail care before but I thought it'd be interesting and a challenge!

The test has two parts, practical and paper. For level 3 you can take the test in Japanese, English or Chinese. I decided to do it in Japanese. In for a penny, in for a pound!

For the practical you need to bring a model with you. Before the test you paint their nails bright red. During the test you have to remove all the polish, file the nails to a certain shape, do cuticle removal, repaint the nails with base, red and top coat and do one nail with nail art. The theme was flowers.

(My teacher helped me improve my design)

You're graded on your technique and speed, you're also graded on using the tools correctly. For example, holding the nail file at a 45 degree angle. And you have to have all your tools labelled and set out correctly.

(I set up my kitchen as a salon!)

The paper test is easier, it's a multiple choice test with things like order of nail care, filing shapes, illnesses and treatments. There's a few weird questions though. Like 'How old must the model be for the test?' 

It's literally testing you about the test, not nail care. I actually got that one wrong because I knew from the start my model would be old enough so I didn't need to know the exact age requirement...or do I thought!

Speaking of models, I had a bit of a disaster with mine! You have to have nails longer than 5mm but my model broke two nails to the quick two days before the test! It meant instead of practicing or studying I was freaking out trying to find someone! Luckily someone I knew was free. Her nails were shorter than they needed to be but I had no choice!

I was so nervous during the test. Because it's hard to get people to practice on I had actually only done nails properly four times before the test, and I had never done taking the polish off before properly. It's my own fault for not wanting to put people out by asking for too much help. Anyway, the polish off took too much time and was messy, and with my hand shaking the polish was a bit messy too.

After the practical, the nailists go into another room to wait and study for the paper test and the staff examine the models' nails. Then we went back in and the models were told they could leave and we packed up our stuff and took the paper test. That part wasn't too bad do long as you have the JNA book to practice from and past tests.

Afterwards I met my friend to take photos for my teacher and remove the polish for her. I sent the pictures to my teacher and she just said "Did you not have enough time?" So I knew I'd failed then. :(

(The nails from the test)

The results came through and I passed the written but failed the practical, which I  already knew. I feel bad but I don't really pass things first time usually so I was  prepared for it. I think I will try again in October, hopefully I'll pass then!


  1. My goodness, the nails look great to me... You did so well this time and I know you're going to be fabulous when you re-take it in October - you'll know what to expect and can get more practice in in advance!

    Will you do my nails when you visit in July?! :)

    1. Thank you! Of course I'll do your nails! I'll bring my tools if you have polish and top coat!

  2. cool to hear about this in more details! you'll do better next time. ganbatte!

    1. Yeah, there wasn't anything in English when I looked.

      Fingers crossed!