Gel Nail Training with Beautique Academy Cork

I have always loved nails, anything to do with nail painting and nail art. I learned how to use Gelish nail polishes when I was living in Australia, I invested in a small UV lamp to cure the polish which makes it last up to 14 days. Once I started using Gelish the whole time on myself I was converted. Regular nail polish wasn’t good enough anymore! Now I’m hooked!I recently took it a step further. I learned how to do Gel Nails with Cliona Sweeney of Beautique Academy.

About Cliona Sweeney

Cliona has a passion for nails and her passion is infectious. Cliona qualified in beauty therapy in 2000 and then specialised in nail technology. Cliona has immersed in her field, is now been teaching for the past nine years and she has quite a few impressive titles under her name;

  • Hand and Nail Harmony PhD Master Educator
  • RSVP Best Nail Training Beauty Award
  • U Magazine Best Overall Nail Salon
  • Your Nails Magazine Nail Artist of The Year
  • Readers Choice Best Education Centre Award
  • Featured on Scratch, Irish Beauty and Beauty Professional Magazine

You may even recognise Cliona because she regularly features on Xpose TV show demonstrating up and coming nail trends with Gelish Creative Academy.

a small selection of Cliona’s many qualifications

What is the difference between Gelish and Gel Nails?

There is quite a big difference between “Gelish” and “Gel Nails”.

“Gelish” is a brand of soak-off polish. A soak-off polish needs to be dried/cured under a blue LED lamp. The polish is applied directly to natural nails and usually lasts up to 14days without chipping. The polish can be removed by soaking the nails in acetone which softens it making it easier to scrape off. Shellac was the first popularised UV soak-off polish and many people call the service just “Shellac” but nail technicians may use several different brands, my favorite brand is definitely Gelish.

“Gel Nails” are quite different. With gel nails you can add length to your natural nails. The gel used is a much harder gel which can’t be softened or soaked off. There are several different ways to get more length to the nail. You can use false tips or use ‘forms’ to build a long nail with the gel. The nails are cured under a LED lamp but the process takes longer and cost more than regular Gelish. Usually gel nails can last up to three weeks depending on each person. With gel nails you get them refilled as opposed to removed completely. Eventually your own nail grows up underneath the gel and provides the perfect base and length without having to create artificial length. Because the nails are quite long usually with gel nails, it gives the nail technician a better opportunity to create nail art. Gel nails look gorgeous!

My Experience with Beautique Academy

The Gel Nail course was spread across three Sundays from 12-5pm. I was supplied with a kit including a LED lamp and everything that I needed. The course began with nail theory and then went onto practice. We were paired with each other to practice performing gel nails. Each class absolutely flew. Cliona is an excellent teacher. She is an absolute perfectionist at her work and wants to pass that on to each and every one of her students. Her teaching method makes you feel at ease especially when she tells hilarious stories about her nail technician career. After the classes were finished we were required to do five sets of gel nails with a deadline before you received your certification. I definitely recommend going to see Cliona if you are interested in furthering your career in nails.

Beautique Academy Training Courses

Cliona does quite a few different courses, here are a few;

  • Gelish
  • Gelish Advanced
  • Gelish Art
  • Gel/Acrylic Nails
  • Nail Extension

If you would like more information follow Beautique Nails and Beauty on Facebook or email beautiquetrainingacademy@gmail.com


I’m delighted to now have a world-wide recognised nail qualification and to be trained by an award-winning master educator. Hope I have helped you make up your mind if you are reading and thinking of doing nails. :)

Hope you are all doing well! Until next time,

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