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Can I Complete My Lessons In-Person?

Yes, if you feel you need extra help, this can be arranged by request. You need to be enrolled in one of our online courses, and then as you reach the point of booking a lesson, you can request to book that lesson in-person at a cost of $45 per hour plus GST, additional to your pre-paid online course fees. This additional payment covers your educators' one-on-one time where they would normally have at least 4 students, as well as any additional product required and extras like laundering and cleaning time that wouldn't apply to an online lesson. Before requesting in-person lessons, please check where the mentor closest to you is, as the one-on-one lesson will be held at their own salon.

When can I do free lesson repeats?

You can complete your free lesson repeats only after you have completed each lesson in the module once.

Can I Use My Own Products/UV Lamp For The Course?

You can use your own products as long as they are professional-only or professional-standard. Scrubs, masks, lotions and traditional polishes don't have to be professional-only, just professional-standard as there are no professional-only brands for these. Everything else must be professional-only and not openly sold to the retail market.
Imagine it as if a hairdressing student did her entire course using boxes of hair dye from the supermarket - there is a market for retail products in the industry, but the quality and performance of those products is VASTLY different. For example, the monomer liquid we use ourselves is $220/Litre - but it performs accordingly. The retail brands can't sell something like that to the general population so they create cheaper, lower quality versions. Another example would be if you entered a car race in your family car instead of in a race car - there's a market for family cars and there's a market for race cars but their prices and performance vary greatly.
With your lamp, you must use the lamp that matches your brand of gel polish. Gel feels hard at 55% cured but isn't safe until it's 95% cured. Professional-only brands have labs that test the cure using their lamps and develop lamps that achieve 95% (or develop gels that cure to 95% in their existing lamp). Pigment and other formulaic changes all affect the cure as well, so every single individual colour cures differently and every colour has to be formulated to cure in that brand's lamp. Retail brands don't test as rigorously because they aren't being judged on longevity, they just need the general public to feel like they're doing what a Nail tech can do.
Once you decide on a gel brand, you'll need to get the lamp that matches it so that you can perform services safely.

Is There a Minimum Age for Students?

We don't have an official minimum but the youngest we have had graduate was 16. Since we don't accept student loans and people use 'real money' to enrol, we usually just give everyone the benefit of the doubt that either they cared enough to work hard and save, or someone believed in them enough to lend them the money. So far this theory has worked out! The only thing we sometimes notice from teens is that they expect a lot more hand-holding than people who've been out of school for a while. As long as you're self motivated and have lots of initiative you will be absolutely fine and will have lots of support from us.

A friend completed her qualification with Monaco a few years ago, but her course was spent in your studio with a class of people. Has this changed?

Yes! We can accommodate in-person lessons on a one-on-one basis in the salons of our mentors but most of our classes are now done online. The live lessons are still exactly the same but done via video call, where we can see you and you can see us. The 27 x 3 Hour lessons that are included with the classic Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology are the equivalent of spending 14 consecutive days in a room with us (3 weeks of training). The total number of lessons now depends on what modules you choose to fill the 4 variable spots in the Foundation Certificate enrollment. We've added a LOT of additional online content so that you're familiar with the processes before you log in to a live online lesson. Previously you would turn up and the first time you ever saw a new technique was right before you did it. The current method is producing more confident Nail Techs. Splitting the course into 3-hour blocks has also meant that no one has to take 3 weeks leave to sit in a room and learn everything at once. You CAN book those 81 hours of live lessons into consecutive weeks, but most people choose to spread them out now, to allow time for the information to sink in in-between lessons. We again find this is producing better Nail Techs. If you want to do in-person training, you would enroll in the standard online course, and then book one-on-one lessons with your nearest mentor at an additional cost of $45 plus GST per hour.

English is not my first language – can I still attend?

This course is taught entirely in English however you are welcome to have an interpreter with you during live lessons (this would be at your own cost). With your Assessments, three out of four of them are practical. The Theory Assessment is done online so that you can take your time, at home in your most comfortable environment. There is a time limit to ensure that you don't just look up every answer but you can also reattempt it up to six times. If that still sounds daunting, you can submit your Theory Assessment orally, with an Educator asking questions out loud in a conversational manner, as if they were a client trying to get advice. You reply in conversation and your Educator will note your score as you go. You can avoid a time limit by agreeing to complete the Assessment in a 'closed book' manner.

How Do I Complete Assessments Online?

The Theory of Nails Assessment is 100% online anyway, so that Assessment is easy. For your Practical Assessments, you will book a time in our Virtual Classroom, which is a video link with an Educator. You set up your phone to show what you're doing and we monitor you while you work. At the end, we get you to angle the client's nails in such a way as we can see all the criteria we are looking for and we mark accordingly. You have your result straight away.  

How do I achieve the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology?

Enrolling in the Foundation Certificate course is now the new way to enable you to complete the Foundation Certificate with Monaco Nail Academy. You can still enroll module by module, to suit your study needs, but if you choose to study this way, the Certificate we provide you will have space for completing all of the modules we offer. For each module you're enrolled in, you'll need to:
  • Complete more than 80% of your course work,
  • Complete all portfolio work (if part of the module) and,
  • Pass your assessment with a grade of 80% or higher (if that module is assessed)
Upon achieving the above within 12 months of your enrollment date, you will then be eligible to order the sticker associated with the completed module.

What is the significance of the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology?

This is our highest qualification. The alternative is to study individual topics, sit their relevant exams and get recognition that you've done them. This is totally acceptable if it is enough to achieve your goals, but we would consider you to be a manicurist or similar, not a Nail Technician. Someone with the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology has in depth knowledge of all areas of Nail Technology, has shown competence and has demonstrated experience. These are the people we recommend for jobs, media work and the like because we know they are the most knowledgeable and experienced.

When can I start?

As soon as you enrol! You are given access to online content within 2 business days of enrolment and can book lessons in as soon as next week.

How long is the course?

That's entirely up to you, the full Foundation Certificate has around 65 hours worth of videos, 81 hours of live lessons, supporting texts and then you need to practice. If you committed an 8 hour day each week to the course and spent 3 hours of that day watching videos and 5 hours practicing, it would take 22 weeks to complete the content and then an extra day or two to sit Assessments. Let's call that 6 months. Some people go great guns and finish it in a couple of months, some do it in shorter bursts and take a year, and some set aside a full week every few months and do it that way.

How Many Lessons Are There?

That depends on which Module you choose.
Our most comprehensive course, the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology, has 27 three-hour live lessons plus additional pre-recorded video content.

When are the lessons?

You can see a schedule of available online lesson times here (scroll down near the bottom) You can also choose to attend one-on-one in-person training, scheduled at your own convenience, for an additional cost of $45 plus GST per hour (by request, and dependent on mentor availability).

Do we need to log hours?

Yes-ish - You are required to attend all lessons before the end of your 12 month study period.  

Are Evening Classes Available?

Yes! They are available every week but we require 4-6 people to register for the class to go ahead and cancel 2-weeks ahead if we don't get the numbers.

Is there Homework?

Kind of - throughout each Module, you will see areas where we ask you to submit Portfolio Submissions. These are just photographic evidence of practicing the practical elements of the course.

How do I submit my Portfolio/prescribed client pictures?

Easy! As you work through each Module, you'll come across Portfolio Sets in amongst the chapters. Complete the set described and submit your work right there inside the online workbook.

Can We Work On Each Other During Lessons or For Our Portfolios?

Sure! Use the Students and Graduates Facebook Group to coordinate this.

Do we need to submit a portfolio?

Yes. A photographic portfolio is required to be submitted within a year of starting each module. The required photos are outlined in each Module's online workbook.

What is a Portfolio?

Your Portfolio is a collection of images of your work, showing us that you have practiced outside of class.

Why Do we Have to Submit a Portfolio?

The Portfolio ensures that our students have practiced every technique you were taught in class, at least once, on both hands of a client. This keeps the integrity of our qualification high and ensures Monaco Graduates are Nail techs with experience, not just skill.

Are there exams?

We like to think we have redefined the word ‘exam’ here at Monaco. Yes, you have a standard that you need to reach, and we measure that standard via 4 moderated assessments. However, these assessments are not pass-or-fail exams. We don’t expect you to break records on your first go. Each time you do an assessment, we go through it with you, one on one, give you feedback, and send you away to practice again. You can do each one as many times as you want, free of charge, getting better and better each time. When you do eventually achieve an 80% feedback rating, you become eligible to receive recognition on your Certificate. That doesn’t mean you need to stop doing them though – you are still welcome to re-do assessments as many times as you like, to build confidence and get that invaluable feedback. We take full responsibility for getting you where you need to be. That's why we have so much support and so many extra lessons available to you. The assessments are -
  • Written theory (Done from home, 100% online)
  • Practical Gel Polish
  • Practical Hard Gel
  • Practical PolyGel
  • Practical Acrylic
  • Practical Builder in a Bottle
  • Practical E-File
Check out our Terms and Conditions for more information

What qualifications do I receive?

When you meet the criteria of the Foundation Certificate of Nail Technology, you will receive a certificate from Monaco Nail Academy. Our certificates are recognised nationwide. We also have graduates working across Australia.

What can I do with my qualifications?

Many of our graduates choose to work from home as an extra income. You can do this, or you can open a salon, apply for salon-based jobs, work on a mobile basis, or freelance on photoshoots and film sets - you could even work on a cruise ship! You will be fully qualified and ready to work - in fact we encourage you to start working on understanding friends and family as you learn each new skill rather than waiting for graduation.

Do I have to do both Gel and Acrylic? Are there shorter courses available?

You can pick and choose the Modules you are most interested in as long as you meet the prerequisites for each Module. This means you can focus on the topics you enjoy. You won't be awarded the full Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology but you will be able to work within your chosen area/s.

What is important to Employers?

We surveyed a group of New Zealand salon owners to find out what is important to them when employing new staff.
  • 82% said Quality. They don’t care how fast you are as long as you are GOOD. With high pass rates and repeated practical assessment, Monaco Nail Academy will make sure you reach these standards long before we send you out into the big wide world.
  • 18% said Variety of Skills. NZ Salon Owners would prefer a staff member who can do Acrylic, Gel and Gel Polish rather than one who could only do one or two of these services. This is why we don’t offer Acrylic-only or Gel-only courses. By the time you finish, you will certainly have a preference – but you will also understand the chemistry behind the products, how they adhere to the natural nail, and exactly why we recommended doing both in the first place. It’s easy to rank techniques by popularity. Tip application and Acrylics are more common, Sculptured Nails and Hard Gel services hold more prestige, and Gel Polish trumps all right now, accounting for 70% of nail services in New Zealand. If you want to excel in the industry however, you need to have a sound knowledge of all disciplines. Some clients will demand one of the other no matter what is most common, and for other clients, some services will frankly just work better for them.
  • 0% said Speed. As in, being able to get a client in and out the door. We will help you with tips and tricks to pick up your speed but our focus will always be on quality, not quantity.
  • 0% said NZQA Credits. We’ve spent a great many hours researching, planning, and ultimately deciding not to offer NZQA. We work within the industry both nationally and internationally and have close relationships with a large number of salon owners. We feel like we have tailor-made a course that fits the industry in New Zealand and internationally and sets you up for success.
It’s interesting to note that in the comments section of our survey, a huge number of salon owners said their highest priority was attitude, something we didn’t think to include. The overall belief was that skills and techniques could be learned but a bad attitude would go nowhere. Loyalty, work ethics and listening skills were also mentioned.

Do I need NZQA to get a job?

Definitely not. In a recent survey of New Zealand salon owners, 0% of those surveyed said NZQA credits were a priority when employing new staff. When asked specifically to talk about NZQA, salon owners were nonchalant. In fact, I can quote one as replying to the question ‘How do you feel about NZQA’ with ‘Ho hum, really’! It would appear (and we agree) that NZQA isn’t everything. While it’s nice to have NZQA credits on your Record of Learning, not all industries prioritise those credits over all others. In the New Zealand Nail Industry, the quality of your work, variety of skills gained, and your overall attitude rank higher on their wishlists than NZQA credits (which to be honest, don’t actually appear on their wish lists at all.

Can I Really Do The Theory Assessment At Home?

Absolutely! We have a lot of students with anxiety and/or learning difficulties and still more who are just plain busy. Being able to do the assessment from home made perfect sense. It's 100% online and you will find out immediately if you have passed.

I heard that you don’t actually need a certificate to do nails in New Zealand – is that true?

Not quite - requirements differ between city councils. So in Auckland for example you do need to be qualified, but it doesn't need to be NZQA.

Do I Get My Certificate On The Last Day?

You can actually receive your certificate when you complete your first module. It acts as a record of learning, showing which modules and assessments you have completed - as you complete a Module, you receive a sticker to show what you have achieved.
You can find links to order your certificates and stickers here.
To fill your certificate you need to achieve -
  • 80% or higher on your Theory Assessment (Online/From Home - Click the link and have a look, you won't break it!)
  • 80% or higher on your Gel Polish Assessment (Must be done in person)
  • 80% or higher on your Acrylic Assessment (Must be done in person)
  • 80% or higher on your Hard Gel Assessment (Must be done in person)
  • As well submitting as a 17-piece Portfolio (Online/From Home - Click through the whole thing and have a look, you won't break it!)

Can I Get a Certificate if I Just Do Gel Polish?

The requirements to receive a certificate for any Module are listed on the enrolment page for that Module. With Gel Polish as an example, first, you need to have completed The Theory of Nails and passed the respective Assessment. Next, you complete the Manicures and Pedicures module (which includes submitting a few examples of your work) and then book your Manicure Assessment, either in-person or online. Once you reach a passing grade of 80% on both Assessments you will be awarded a certificate and be able to provide Manicure services for clients.

I Have a Learning Disability – How Will This Impact My Assessments?

Three out of Four of the Assessments we require you to pass are practical, and very relaxed. You chat to your client and your friends while completing a full service. It feels like you're just working in a salon. The Theory Assessment is done online so that you can take your time, at home in your most comfortable environment. There is a time limit but you can also reattempt it up to six times. If that still sounds daunting, you can submit your Theory Assessment orally, with an Educator asking questions out loud in a conversational manner, as if they were a client trying to get advice. You reply in conversation and your Educator will note your score as you go. You can avoid a time limit altogether by agreeing to complete the Assessment in a 'closed book' manner.

Is the Course NZQA?

No. We've looked into offering NZQA Courses and while we don't rule it out as a future option, the fees associated with being an NZQA provider would require us to quadruple the number of students in each class to cover them. While NZQA is not a requirement in New Zealand for Nail Techs, we choose to keep our class sizes smaller instead, and our qualification is still recognised nationwide. None of our Graduates have had issues getting Health Licenses or Wholesale Accounts.

How many people will be in my lesson?

We will always have at least 1 educator for every 8 students.

What help and support will be available to me? (The answer is HEAPS!)

The thing we are most proud of here at Monaco is the level of support we offer not just our Novice Trainees but all Nail Techs throughout New Zealand.
  • FORUM - We have a Pro-Only Facebook Group called 'Monaco Nail Academy Product Support' available to all Nail Techs and Beauty Therapists. As a trainee you will get immediate access to this page once your enrolment is accepted. It is a wonderful community and means you can ask any question at any time and have full access to the entire Australasian Education Teams for all of the brands we teach with. It means if we are busy, someone can help - although we do monitor the page all day. We also have a second group just for Novice Trainees and Graduates where you can get more specialised support and extra special discounts.
  • VIDEOS - There are lots of free videos on our YouTube channel, in the Videos Tab of our Novice/Grads Facebook Group. You can also purchase our online modules for extra help.
  • MORE (FREE!) TRAINING - You can request to repeat any of your Lessons for free after you complete a module, whether because you struggle with a particular technique or just want a refresher. Spaces are limited for all classes so it pays to book in advance.
  • ONE ON ONE TRAINING - Need some alone time with us? Book in for one-on-one mentoring with one of our Educators. Completing your standard lessons one-on-one and in-person is $45 plus GST per hour. You can also book separate mentoring sessions for $80 plus GST per hour where you can cover anything you like, additional to your compulsory lessons. We can work on a technique you struggle with, practice your exam, or play with some designs you found on Pinterest!
  • EMAIL - You can email us [email protected] at any time
  • PHONE - Phone us 09 574 5573 during office hours 8am-4pm Monday-Friday

Is a workbook provided?

A comprehensive online workbook is included with every module.

What happens if I can’t attend a lesson?

If you cannot attend a pre-booked lesson, please give as much notice as possible. Missed lessons will need to be rebooked at a cost of $90.00 (inc GST) From our Terms and Conditions -
  1. Attendance at all lessons is compulsory.
  2. Missed classes for any reason including illness will be treated with the same terms and conditions as a 'Cancellation' (see T&Cs). We understand you can't plan for your illness but neither can we, and with small class sizes a refund resulting from your illness would mean up to a 25% loss for us.
  3. If you really cannot attend a lesson for any reason, it will need to be rebooked at a cost of $90 inc. GST.
  4. If you cannot attend a lesson without advance warning, please use the Novice/Grads Facebook Group to advise of this. We have different educators on different days and no phone line in the classroom so if you post in there anyone who needs to see it, will.
  5. Classes must be completed in order. If time or Educator availability does not allow for rebooking missed classes before subsequent lessons, you will also need to rebook the subsequent lessons until you are able to catch up to your group.

Do Classes Have a Wide Range of Ages?

This is a question we get a lot! Monaco Nail Academy is definitely not 'just' a place for young people and that's one of the things we love about it. The youngest person to Graduate so far was 16 and the oldest 58. At a guess we would say the average age is anywhere between 28-38.

What is the Student Dynamic Like?

Since we don't accept Student Loans, the people who complete our course have to really want to be there - they've either saved up, got a loan or got financial help. This means the people who end up enrolling are passionate, determined and hard working - a wonderful group of like-minded individuals who support each other endlessly.

Who Do I Call If I Am Sick?

We can't stress enough that this should be a last resort. As per our T&Cs, this can mean in some cases having to pay to make up missed sessions. If you do have to call in sick though, please use the Students and Graduates Facebook Group. We have different educators on different days and all of them work from their own salons so there is no shared phone line. If you post in the Facebook Group, anyone who needs to see it, will. No one wants a PM on their day off. A $90 late-cancellation fee will apply to your lesson.

What is a ‘Module’?

We split our course into sections or blocks based on topic and call each topic a 'Module'. You can choose to complete them consecutively or spread them out over up to a year.  

What Topics are Covered During the Foundation Certificate in Nail Technology?

In the online Theory of Nails course, we cover -
  1. Client Consultations
    • Learn how to perform a professional consultation before starting a service, identify contraindications (alarm bells that tell us not to proceed) and keep thorough client records.
  2. Hygiene
    • Learn why we need to follow safety and sanitisation practices, what products we should use, and how we use them correctly.
  3. Nail Anatomy
  4. Troubleshooting and Disorders
  5. UV Light
    • There’s a lot of information out there about UV Lights and the potential exposure to UV rays during Gel Manicures. Today we learn the truth about UV, the levels of risk we expose ourselves too, and the best ways to minimize the (very small) risk.
  6. Biohazards
    • Make sure you know your Biological risks and how to avoid them – plus what to do if the best intentions to avoid them don’t go to plan.
  7. Chemical Hazards
    • Learn which chemicals you are exposing yourself to, which have the potential to be harmful, and how to completely avoid any unnecessary exposure.
  8. Common Product Ingredients and Safety When Using Them
    • Expand your knowledge of the potential hazards around you, how to avoid them and what to do if you accidentally… don’t. Learn how to keep yourself and your clients as safe as possible at all times.
  9. Introduction to Acrylates
    • It’s time to get into Chemistry, learning the ins and outs of the products you work with most often. Today we start to understand more about plastics and polymerization before delving further into a couple of types of plastics – Cyanoacrylates and Oligomers.
  10. Polymers and Acrylate Characteristics
    • There’s one more important type of acrylate we haven’t covered yet – polymers.
    • Once we know lots about each type of plastic, it’s time to focus on the characteristics of those plastics and what they mean for us in the salon.
  11. Prescribing the Right Service for Your Clients
    • It’s not enough to know how to do each technique – why are you doing it? Where a big fan of ‘the why’ here at Monaco, and don’t believe in doing or saying something ‘just because’. With your new-found chemistry knowledge and a wee bit of experience under your belt, learn in this session why you shouldn’t just accept that a client wants a certain service and how to ‘diagnose’ if something else would work better for their wants and needs.
  12. Working with Nail Biters
    • Discuss the reasons people bite their nails and the best ways to help them stop.
    • Discover easy, temporary ways to make a nail biter look great for a special occasion.
    • Learn which techniques to use if applying enhancements and how to do so safely.
In the practical modules, we cover - Manicures and Pedicures -
  • Traditional Manicures
  • Gel Polish Manicures
  • Scrubs, Masks and Massage
  • Traditional Pedicures
  • Options for Male Clients
Dipping Systems
  • The science behind the Dipping Systems
  • How to apply a Dip Overlay
  • How to maintain Dip Manicures
  • How to remove Dip
  • How to extend the natural nail with Dip
  • How to create an ombre effect with Dip
  • Picking up beads
  • Natural Nail Overlays
  • Using both Tips and Forms
  • Natural-look Extensions
  • French Extensions in traditional and reverse methods
  • Blending Cover Powders
  • Backfills (2-3 Weekly Maintenance)
  • Rebalances (2-3 Weekly Maintenance for French Extensions)
  • Filing and Structure
  • Fixing Cracks and Breaks
  • Safe Acrylic Removal
  • Basic 3D Art using Acrylic
Hard Gel
  • Picking up beads
  • Natural-look Extensions
  • French Extensions
  • Filing and Structure
  • Backfills (2-3 Weekly Maintenance) (Demo Only)
  • Rebalances (2-3 Weekly Maintenance for French Extensions) (Demo Only)
  • Fixing Cracks and Breaks (Demo Only)
  • Safe Hard Gel Removal (Demo Only)
  • When to offer Putty
  • Natural-look Extensions
  • French Extensions
  • Backfills (2-3 Weekly Maintenance)
  • Safe Removal
  • Baby Boomers
  • Nail Art
  • FAQs

Is it OK if my Partner/Sister/Child Sits in With Me During Lessons?

Generally, no. If you have learning difficulties that require assistance from a caregiver or interpreter, please call us to discuss prior to enrolling as we will always find a way to work around this if it is absolutely necessary. Additionally, your models will not be able to bring their children into the room with them for safety reasons.

Will Online Training Be Enough?

Yes! We have lots of wonderfully successful graduates from our online programmes. Online students still have live lessons with an educator, it's just on video chat. As an example, teaching in person, I am able to show a student how to move her file 2cm and suddenly get a better result. If we are online, I do the exact same thing, but I show you with my own file on my own hand and then as you mimic my movements I can correct you if needed.

What is Remote Mentoring/the Virtual Classroom?

Our Virtual Classroom is a video-based classroom. You tune in with a link we provide using the camera on your phone. We can see what you're doing. You can what we're doing. We can see your mistakes and show you in real-time how to fix them. To get the best out of your experience, I would suggest getting an Octopus Tripod from Trade Me (they're under $5), attaching your phone to it, and attaching the Octopus to your overhead desk light so that your phone camera is facing down over your workspace. Make sure your phone can be plugged into its charger from your desk and that you have a good wifi signal. If you live near another student - get together at the same house/salon and stream in together! It was a big deal for us to start offering online training to beginners because we firmly believe that you can't learn nails without an educator looking over you to see your mistakes and correct you in real-time. In saying that, we've become acutely aware over the last couple of years, how many people are enrolling in really dodgy online training, super quick in-person training OR just going for it with no training, purely because they can not get to training they can afford. We believe this is the middle ground.

Do I need prior experience?

For the full Foundation Certificate, no, not at all. For some individual modules, there will be prerequisites listed on the enrolment page.

Can I get a Student Loan?

As we are a private training school and not associated with NZQA, we do not accept Student Loans for our courses. However, you can enrol in one module at a time in order to spread out costs and then pay via Humm or LayBuy, both of which allow for interest-free payment plans. Humm's 'Big Things' program allows you to pay off up to $6000 over up to 12 months.

Can I come and meet you first?

No, but only because we don't have an office or a classroom for you to see. Our team members all work from home in Tairua, Auckland, Tauranga, and Wellington so you would be entering their home, and since the same conversation can be had via a video call (which we're more than happy to accommodate), we choose not to ask our team to open their homes in this way. If you're wanting to see what lessons are like, we highly recommend enrolling in our 2-Week trial. There are also recorded online lessons on our YouTube Channel that you can watch for an idea of what these are like. In-Person lessons are held one-on-one in our team members' own salons (and only by request, at additional cost to our standard online training) so we can't allow you to see one as the student involved has paid for the Mentor's full attention and we respect that.

How do I sign up?!

Click the 'Enrol' link next to the course you're interested in, phone (09) 574 5573 or email [email protected]

When Do I Need to Enrol By?

ASAP - It's first come first served so when lessons are full they are full. Where there is space, you can enrol right up until 24 hours before a lesson. I would HIGHLY recommend giving yourself at least a week to sort models and cover some of the online content.

When Do I Have to Pay My Fees By?

Payment is made online as part of the enrolment process.

Is There Somewhere Cheaper I Can Get Products?

We are the sole distributors of Be Creative Nail Art products in New Zealand and import them from the UK, so this brand is the cheapest possible with us. There are 3 distributors of Artistic Nail Design products in New Zealand, including us, but we have a Price Match Guarantee - If you find any of our products available from authorised NZ distributors at a cheaper price, we'll permanently match the price. There are lots of other brands you can choose to use too and we will always give unbiased education so that if you choose not to use the same brands as us, you still have the knowledge to use others. We don't recommend using products or brands that are sold on EBay or other international sites, or that are available to the general public without proof of qualification.  

What Products and Tools Do I Need to Buy?

We supply all product used during in-person classes and so if you choose to seek work in an existing salon after you finish training, you probably won't need to buy anything. If you are studying online or if you choose to set up your own salon from home or commercially, we have recommended Kits for each module (see them here).  

Do You Provide a Kit?

Kits are optional at Monaco - you can add them to your Cart with your Course fees, but you don't HAVE to. We supply all product used during in-person classes, in unlimited quantities. For online lessons you do need to supply your own product but it doesn't have to be product we sell, it just has to be professional-only. Most schools that supply kits expect you to use your own product during class, so although it sounds good that you get a kit, you don't often have much of it left by the end, and you don't necessarily need all of it either (for example we teach forms and tips but you will choose a favourite and focus on that once you finish, so don't need both outside of class). We figure that if we supply all the product in class, it doesn't matter if you use it all up practicing, and then you get to pick and choose what you actually need afterwards. Using our product during class means when you do buy product you make money off all of it instead of using it up on free models. You will get to know what you like and don't like, decide what you need and don't need, and learn how to choose suppliers and product and how to order for yourself - something no one else teaches! It's worth noting that all of this is reflected in our pricing - after you remove kits from the equation and look only at price versus the number of hours of training you get, we are one of the cheapest courses available in New Zealand.  

What if I can’t get models?

  • Ask your friends and family first – they are more reliable and more likely to be honest with you!
  • Go on Facebook and advertise on your local community pages. Search terms such as –
    • ‘Grapevine’
    • ‘Buy Swap Sell’
    • ‘Trade’ or ‘Trading’
    • ‘Pay it Forward’
    • Your/Our suburb or city name
    • ‘Mum’ (for parenting groups, all Mums need pampering!)
  • Create a Facebook page and post your work regularly, calling for models each time
  • Create a public Facebook event detailing what you need and when. Invite your entire Facebook friends list and encourage your friends to invite their friends by offering a free cuticle oil to anyone who refers a friend.
  • Advertise on Neighbourly
  • Approach local kindys, schools, women’s gyms and other female-centric businesses and ask to advertise in their mailers or to give a half price appointment once you’re qualified to any one of their staff members who helps out as a model
  • Approach the Women’s Refuge or Ronald McDonald House – they definitely deserve pampering!
  • Approach Look Good Feel Better and Dress for Success
  • Put flyers on Uni Noticeboards and Community Centre Noticeboards
  • Ask EVERYONE. The check out girl at Pak n Save might be dying to have her nails done!
Remember you only need one model between 2 students (but you are welcome to work on your own). Pair up with a peer and make plans to share the model-finding responsibilities.

Will You Find Me a Job Once I’m Qualified?

We can definitely help, but this is not something we do regularly. Out of everyone who has ever completed our qualification over the last 10 years, we know of roughly 5 Graduates who have actively looked to work for someone else after qualifying - everyone else chose to work for themselves, either from home, in a commercial space or renting a table in a salon. We can however help you with whichever path you choose. We have had 3 Graduates get employment with Leah Light Nails and Beauty Studios and we also get salons regularly asking us to help them find staff - we post these job opportunities in our Novice/Grads facebook group, which you will get access to after you enrol.

Is this course ‘brand neutral’?

We are acutely aware of the number of people looking for 'product neutral' courses. We do our very best to teach you in the most brand-neutral manner possible, however we have chosen to teach with Artistic Nail Design products as our core system. Through years of experience we have come to regard these as the highest quality, most reliable, and best value products on the market. We have the choice to align ourselves with any brand and choose Artistic. As you gain experience post-graduation you will learn that the application methods of different brands vary greatly, so while there are some courses that claim to be 'brand neutral', you will still be learning with a specific brand and focussing primarily on the methods required for that brand. We will do our best to give you a wide, well-rounded education that can be applied to any brand you wish to use in future. Most brands offer a 1-day 'cross over' course to make sure you understand any differing prep and application steps if you decide to change (although we think you will like Artistic!) Our view is that by starting your career with Artistic Rock Hard products, you're lucky enough to be joining a revolution that we as experienced Nail Techs were very excited about. This is the first time in history that a combined Acrylic and Gel System has been created, both stemming from the same molecule and therefore chemically interchangeable. For us, we came about this post-graduation but for you, you start your career with more knowledge and better products than any of us had access to. Throughout the course you will learn exactly why this is the most exciting development in the industry in YEARS - and why we think it is worth sharing.

What products do you use for demonstrations?

We choose to use Artistic Nail Design's Lacquer, Gel Polish, Dipping, Acrylic, Hard Gel and PolyGel Systems during all lessons, combining these base systems with many other brands depending on which product we feel is best for the job. We do sell Artistic products online as well. The application procedures for each brand differ slightly so while we attempt to teach you in the most non-brand specific manner possible, we won't be able to troubleshoot any issues you have with other brands.

Do you offer courses outside of Auckland?

All of our courses are online, with remote access to our Mentors, which is how most students complete their training. We do also have in-person Mentors available in Auckland, Tairua, and Wellington. In-Person classes are by request only - you would enrol in the standard online courses we offer, and then request to book lessons in-person at an additional cost of $40 per hour. These lessons are one-on-one and held at the salon of your nearest mentor.  

Can I Use a Practice Hand Instead of Getting Models?

No, we specifically don't allow Practice Hands to be used during lessons because doing so would discourage you from putting effort into finding models and the learning experience on a Practice Hand versus a human is vastly different. There are some steps you just can't do, and it's also surprising how much the heat of a human hand affects the products we use. If you can't find a model, you will need to work on your own nails but this is limited to 20% of all classes and is designed as a back up if a model doesn't show up, not as a default.

Do I need to book models?

You are required to have models for most lessons for the most realistic learning experience. You can see exactly when models are required on the Lesson Guide for each Module, found here. It is your responsibility to ensure that the model has reasonable expectations about the service she will receive. Lessons are planned to give you plenty of time to practice but some application methods will be more difficult than others and in some cases you may not complete the full set. A sheet giving tips on finding models can also be found on this page. You are welcome to share models with a fellow student if they are studying the same topic and live in the same area as you. You do one hand each, taking a lot of pressure off your timing. Use the Facebook Group to communicate with other students and coordinate sharing.

Will I Have Enough Experience to Start Working Straight Away?

Absolutely. When you finish your practical classes, you will have all the knowledge you need, but may still have some practice to do in some practical areas. We work extremely hard to make sure by the time you graduate you do so with an exceptional skill level, evidenced by the exams and portfolio submissions you need to do.

Is There a Lot of Work Out There for Nail Technicians?

There is definitely enough work out there. Most people work for themselves by choice but if you're wanting to work in a salon that's great - salon owners are starved for staff because so many people want to work from home - good salon workers are hard to find. If you do choose to work from home, again there are plenty of clients to go around, but of course you do have to put in the work to promote yourself.