Month: September 2017

Marian Newman, ‘The’ Nail Queen

03May2017    Interview of Marian Newman , ‘The’ Nail Queen

by Victoria-Lys Hunter

 Recently I was graced with the wonderful opportunity to interview Marian Newman.  Who is she? I first learned of Marian Newman approximately 15yrs ago when I joined an online forum of Nail techs; (now known as   At the time, I wasn’t much better than NSS (Non Standard Salon) although I didn’t know it.  I am from Quebec.  A province in Canada that has no regulations, nor standards for the Nail Industry of any kind.  They don’t even have health board inspections for the salons.  When I joined, upon perusing the forums, and asking questions; I realized very quickly that my knowledge was abysmal, and my technical skills even more so.  I could have chosen to tuck tail and run but I didn’t.  I opted instead to embrace the knowledge so generously shared by members of the forum.  Marian Newman being one of those valuable members, and femtors.   She and a handful of other fantastically knowledgeable Techs turned my fledgling career around in the right direction; from NSS tech with very little theoretical knowledge, to Safe Salon Advocate and Femtor to others.

Marian Newman joined our industry in 1987 and is currently a Sessions Tech for Fashion Shows, Magazine Covers, Music Videos, and Celebrities.   She is Author of ‘The Complete Nail Technician” that is a textbook that every Nail Tech should have on hand, a contributor to “Milady’s Standard Nail Technician”, and in addition has co-written other textbooks.

Her most recent project is the Nails Mastered Program, an educational program with students from all over the world, who learn by her side what it takes and means to be a Sessions Tech.  Her website is found here .

If you ever have the opportunity to meet Marian Newman or speak to her, you’ll learn very quickly that she is a warm and energetic spirit.  Her personality can light up a space, and you can ‘hear’ her smile when she speaks to you. She is very generous with her time, answering questions and mentoring those with passion for the industry.  She has a no-nonsense approach that is softened with a genuinely caring heart.

I enjoyed my interview with her and please see the following for her words, not mine.  I think you’ll find her as inspiring as I do.

  • What is the name of the salon & brand associated  (if any): “For about 16-18yrs I have been deliberately independent because I decided to create a profile for myself that was believable. A profile in the media as opposed to the professional industry and the media know if you’re being paid to say something. It was a decision made in 2001 to become totally independent to be believable to the consumer.   But now I think I have created such a profile, so I’m not quite so specific about being independent and this year I have a contract with CND that for whom I’m exclusive to them ,for a professional brand, not retail brand.


  • What prompted you to enter this industry:  “It wasn’t a plan. I was a forensic scientist and did a lot of training with behavioral therapy. Then had children, but after decided to do something for myself so I went and did a makeup course that was six weeks long and I really, really enjoyed it. During that time I discovered the professional nail industry that I didn’t know existed.  In discovering that, it brought out the whole science questioning tendency I have: why does it do this, why does it do that.  This was back in the 80’s, when there were no answers.  This is what drew me in; I never planned, never had an interest, but discovered an industry with no answers and it intrigued me.  I knew only one manicurist.”


  • What have been your milestones in life: “Back in the late 80’s early 90’s, I was discovering CND. Because that was the only co that could give me the answers that satisfied my questioning.   The next one was probably discovering media/fashion/consumer industry; which was another accident, a happy discovery. “if you don’t innovate, you can’t educate” was a saying by Jan Arnold and I STILL believe this to be true. I actually wanted to return to science, but fashion revitalized my interest.  I discovered the consumer media, and recognized that the professional nail industry only promoted to themselves and I truly believed back in 2001 and that the industry could not grow unless the pro industry promoted to the consumer and that’s why I left it for four years, completely.  During that period, I worked on my sessions work and media profile, delivering a message to the consumer via the press but had nothing whatsoever to do with the pro industry for four years. “


  • What marked a turning point for you from Nail Tech to ‘Queen of Nails’Being believable and being knowledgeable, I don’t get paid for what I say. I tell the truth, if someone wants to pay me for that, HURRAH!”.


  • What is your mantra for professional and personal success: “I really believe that you have to know your subject and when I started out as a sessions tech which didn’t exist, I truly believed that if I was going to be a specialist and I needed to be a true specialist and do any single thing that was thrown at me.  So I didn’t go to a shoot with a dozen polishes, I went with 100.  I went to a shoot with every shape of tip, I went to a shoot with every possible technique that was at my fingertips. Because you can’t be a specialist if the question that is asked of you and you say “I can’t do that”. Whatever request was given to me, the answer was always yes. So I made that a very specific thing of mine. Whatever the question, the answer was always yes. I gave myself a lot of grey hairs trying to achieve that. “


  • What would you have done differently, given the choice, if anything (why & why not)“I don’t honestly think anything because for me, all I can do is the best. So every single job I’ve done has always been the best that I could personally do and I don’t know how I could have done that differently and I have always kept up with tech and with R&D and with information and never accepted an answer if I didn’t understand it. So I honestly don’t think I could have done any differently and have always done the best I could do in that moment. Maybe one thing I could have, but if I went back, I don’t think I would have. I might have been more commercial and sold my soul and been paid by a lot of people to give their message BUT I don’t think I’d have done that”.  “I’m quite proud of the fact that I’m not a millionaire. Ethics were always no 1 priority and had I dropped them I could have made a lot more money”


  • Of all of your achievements, which one are you most proud of: “One of them is writing the definitive textbook which I worked very hard on BUT I am most proud of pushing the boundaries of the nail industry an opening new career routes for nail professionals.”


  • Who inspires you:  “People that are passionate and truly believe In what they are doing, they are the ones that inspire me. They can be from any walk of life. And keeping an ethic that they are proud of & not selling their soul. I can name many, but they are the sort that inspire me.”


The interview ends there, followed by some giggles and chatter between us.   At present, I’m eagerly awaiting her newest edition of “The Complete Nail Technician”, personally autographed. I suspect I’ve been frightening the mailman with my intense observation of late.   When I embarked on this interview, I wasn’t sure what to expect, other than her usual kindness and humor.  I left it full of wonder, inspired once more to continue down the path I’ve chosen.  Is it any surprise?

Images included are:  Photo of her first salon shop front, photo of Marian Newman, photo of her book, photos of article that was featured in the paper of her first salon.

Photo credit unknown, all ‘borrowed’ from her Facebook Page.