Confession of a man who went from being an assistant prosecutor to a manicurist: “I’m going to go file my nails.”

Confession of a man who went from being an assistant prosecutor to a manicurist: “I’m going to go file my nails.”

From icon painter to nail painter

While it is not so easy to find men who practice nail treatments, there are more and more people who do manicures/pedicures just like women (except without a bright coating). Many modern men perceive Pushkin’s unforgettable “you can be a efficient person and think about the beauty of your nails” as a guide to action. According to the results of 2023, the number of visits by Muscovites for pedicures increased by 18%, and for manicures by 9%.

“There have always been enough men who resort to manicure and pedicure services, but now there are even more,” nail service master Valeria told MK. - Either women bring their husbands, or they themselves come for a pedicure because of some problems - many, imagine, do not know how to trim their toenails properly. Among our clients there are quite a few athletes who have problem legs. They come for pedicures - these are primarily football players who kick their feet, or volleyball players whose feet get dry because of playing in the sand, etc. And now the number of male clients has increased. And these are not only actors, diplomats, businessmen whose hands are visible, but also the most ordinary guys. The men realized that this was just hygiene and self-care; Moreover, getting a manicure and pedicure is considered today as cool as getting a tattoo.

As for male “nail masters,” Valeria learned the basics of nail art many years ago, and even then she had a male teacher.

“At that time it seemed strange to me that a man taught what seemed to be a woman’s business,” she continues. — It’s interesting that he used to be an icon painter, and he was once asked to draw something on a small surface. He drew, and one woman saw it, admired his filigree work, and the idea came to her that he should paint this beauty on his nails. And she sent him to courses. So he started doing manicures and became a very sought-after teacher and nail painter.

Meanwhile, according to statistics from at the end of February 2024, out of 119,027 posted resumes for nail technicians, 1,600 (1.4%) were men. How do applicants describe themselves? An impressive-looking young man, judging by the photo, wrote in his resume on the free classifieds website that he is an “aspiring nail technician” and has a diploma from a nail service school, certificates and licenses. “A huge desire to learn, develop and learn various techniques,” he said. Another applicant for the position of a manicurist in a “fitness, beauty salon” described himself: “Responsible, punctual and sociable.”

An example of a man's manicure.

"I wanted to be unique"

MK spoke with a former employee of the internal affairs bodies, and now a male nail service master, Vyacheslav Leonov. He is 41 years old, almost twenty years ago, he graduated from a branch of the Moscow Academy of Economics and Law, and is a lawyer by training. He worked for 16 years in the Kolomna City Prosecutor's Office as an assistant prosecutor, supervising operational investigative and criminal procedural activities in the internal affairs and justice agencies.

— How did you come up with the idea to change your field of activity so radically, and even to such an unusual one for men?

— The midlife crisis also had an impact, when you start to think about what will happen next. I was facing retirement in the foreseeable future, and I began to think: what am I going to do with it? I planned to work until retirement in my organization and already imagined myself as the “elder” who had worked there the longest. But at some point I realized that I wanted something different from life. I began to look for an area where I could put my efforts. At school, children are asked: what do you want to be when you grow up? Likewise, I had an internal question: what do you want to become when you retire?..

— For example, there are a lot of male hairdressers, but why manicure?

— The first idea was to learn massage. I was almost ready to start training, but Covid happened. But this idea has already captured me - that I will start doing massage, it will be free swimming, you are your own boss, etc. When I had some kind of emergency at work, I said: I’m so tired of everything, I’ll go “nail my nails”! But “nails” then meant massage. And this joke went very well. That is, I’m communicating with someone, talking about “marigolds” - and they answer me: “Oh, cool! And I will come to you! You will do well! There will be a line!” And at some point I started to think seriously about this idea. There's something about her...

Vyacheslav gradually came to the idea of ​​​​the advantages of manicure over massage. This is a calmer, more in-demand profession, with more potential clients. Not everyone gets a massage, but almost 80% of city women take care of their nails.

“Due to the fact that I am a man, I thought that I could easily stand out, and this is a very good competitive advantage,” continued Vyacheslav. - Why go where you will be in the general mass, when you can go where the circumstances themselves will help you? I understood that there would be increased attention, but I was ready for it, and according to my character, everything would be fine. Just after Covid, it turned out that at work they wanted to transfer me to another district, but I decided that this was a sign and that I would not go to another district. I already had a ready-made plan to conquer the world (smiles).

Vyacheslav is preparing a new master.

“The joke turned into reality”

Vyacheslav completed training courses for nail service technicians in Ryazan. The first words of his female instructor were: “I’ve wanted a man for a long time!” It took three days of training to understand the very basics. And the first model was, of course, his wife, who supported his endeavors.

“She didn’t say, ‘Aren’t you a man’s job!' - on the contrary, we discussed a lot with her, both massage first and manicure. But about the manicure, it was a joke. At some point I just thought: why not? And the joke turned into reality. The fact that there were good wages was also important.

As a result, the man has been cutting his nails for almost three years.

— How did your environment react, was there any misunderstanding, ridicule, maybe?

“My parents were probably more worried that my seemingly stable job had changed to an unstable one, in their opinion. I’ve encountered negative reactions from strangers a couple of times on the Internet, but these are just episodes. And so, when a person is old enough, he already has the social circle that he created for himself, and in this regard I was lucky, everyone supported me.

— Do you like this activity itself - trimming cuticles and applying gel polish to your nails with a brush?

— At the moment I don’t want to change anything. I always have a full appointment, and 95% of my clients are regulars. My immediate plans are to create my own beauty salon in my native Kolomna.

— Do you also create designs on your nails?

— I mostly make monochromatic coatings, but sometimes I also do some really crazy abstract designs. Either classic, or, conversely, two extremes.

— When you open your salon, will you continue to work as a master or just manage?

“I’ll still work, because I like what I do.” It so happened that manicure became the point of intersection of many of my interests. This is ambition - because you are the only one in the city, and professional activity, and elements of creativity, and elements of organization, and social networks, which I am interested in maintaining... This is not only about “painting your nails” - it is also about much more.

According to him, men sometimes appear in this business, but after working for some time, they leave. A few months ago, an intern came to see him, but then disappeared. “I don’t understand why they are “merging” - it seems to me that there are many advantages. But, by the way, it is in my interests that there are fewer men in our field,” Vyacheslav smiles. — I’ve heard about other men who are nail technicians, some of them are quite famous and perform at various events. And I’m the only one in the city, come, you won’t regret it!”

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