CORNWALL, Ontario – Whether you are interested in a new hairstyle, or trying out a new wardrobe, nothing expresses individuality quite like a fantastic set of nails. For Victoria-Lys Hunter, owner of Ongles Chez Victoria, this is all too true.
“Nail art allows the consumer to take risks and express themselves in ways they might not otherwise explore,” said Hunter. “Nail art is temporary and can change at the next appointment. A woman can express herself while still maintaining a strict dress-code or business like appearance while at work. That freedom of expression is very liberating and addictive.”
Originally native to Chateauguay, Quebec, Hunter decided to relocate to Cornwall in October 2013. Having previously worked in hairdressing and office administration, her passion for cosmetology was the final push she needed to venture into the nail art business sector.
Hunter is now the proprietor of Ongles Chez Victoria and offers bilingual services from Bianca’s Hair Salon located on Eleventh Street at the Leduc Shopping Centre.
“I love what I do”, she said. “I love seeing the smiles on my client’s faces, it makes my day every time. When I lay my head down at night, it’s the satisfaction of knowing I did all that.”
But the satisfaction for Hunter doesn’t simply reside in creating beautifully custom made nails.
Currently there are only two provinces requiring licensing standards for this industry sector and Ontario is not included. In fact, many technicians are struggling to find quality education.
Hunter prides herself on her commitment to changing current salon industry standards in Canada. She has appeared in several magazines including Nailpro, CTV News Montreal, is active on various nail tech forums, and has been featured in an on-air interview with K103 Radio.
“Obtaining an education in this industry is a challenge”, said Hunter. “In the US where there are standards and licences, the shortest foundation course is 200 hours with some topping 600 hours. The average in Canada is three days… that’s a very sad state of affairs.”
That said, Ongles Chez Victoria is committed to using quality products that are safe. At present, Ongles Chez Victoria uses globally recognized lines currently frequented on fashion runways in Europe and in the United States. This includes her primary line Creative Nail Design (CND).
As a Grand Master Stylist, Hunter can accommodate almost all needs and desires. Ongles Chez Victoria offers four different enhancement systems and customized colours for clients, with over 60 pure pigment shades, and over 300 varieties of glitters.
“I don’t use products that put clients at risk such as the illegal acrylic that is known as MMA, and poses a risk to clients and techs alike”, said Hunter. “Quality satisfies everyone in safety, natural nail health, performance and look. I always make sure that I have quality and that the client’s natural nails remain healthy.”
Ongles Chez Victoria is also among the first in Canada to offer the revolutionary product known as IBX by Famous Names. Unlike other products that sit on the surface of the nail, IBX strengthens the nail from within facilitating nail growth.
Many professionals can benefit from this product as it won’t interfere with health guidelines associated with their positions. Hunter will be attending the ABS show in Chicago at the end of March, proudly representing Canadian technicians and working alongside the owners and developers of IBX.
Everyone is welcome at Ongles Chez Victoria as her clients range in age just as they do professions.
“There is no such thing as a typical customer,” said Hunter. “One client of mine likes to hunt bears on the weekends and wear bright neon pink glitter nails as she does it, while working for a government office during the week.”
For more information regarding salon industry standards or to book an appointment, visit the automated booking service on the salon Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ongleschez.victoria.
Ongles Chez Victoria can also be reached by phone at 613-935-3418 or in person at Bianca’s Hair Salon located at 385 Eleventh Street East in the Leduc Shopping Centre.