Dabbling in nail polish, glitter and nail glue does not sound like paradise for most men but for Mark Mulrain...it is his job. One he says, he is very passionate about. A former machinist turned nail technician, Mulrain admits when customers come into the salon to do their nails for the first time, they are always baffled when they realise he is not there to hand out magazines but to actually do their nails.
He said, "Being a machinist is not all that different than being a nail technician. One of the things needed for both jobs is precision and attention to detail."
Looking to carve a niche for himself within the beauty industry, Mulrain says transforming women's ordinary nails, to what he says can only be described as living artwork definitely sets him apart from the competition.
He said, "For the Carnival season, it's a lot of colour. I did three different styles and techniques for women to have options. Some women may want something bold while others may prefer something a little more subtle; it all depends on the occasion."
From acrylics to almond tips and most recently edged nails that have a razor-type look to them have encouraged Mulrain to go even further with his designs.
He said, "When a person comes in I look at their hands and from there I start creating in my head, what the style might be. Even at that point I am still unsure what the end result would be because it is constantly changing. I am a very creative person and like to consider myself the Pablo Picasso of nails."
With prices starting at $40 all the way up to $500, Mulrain admits, he thoroughly enjoys when customers give him permission to do "his magic" on their nails.
He said, "One of the challenges of being a man in this profession is having people doubt my ability. The first question that usually pops into their head is— 'ah wonder what he could do with nails?'
"Of course they also wonder if I am gay, which I'm not," he added.
"There is nothing like man's work or a woman's work when it comes to work; work is work. It should not matter whether you are gay or straight because you should love what you do and when you do that the work does not seem like work anymore," he said.
A nail technician for the past six years, Mulrain is the owner of Nails by Mark located at Studio 27 in San Fernando. He recently opened another branch at New City Mall in Port of Spain where he does his craft on Mondays and Fridays only.
Whether acrylics, ice, sculpt or 3D nails, Mulrain can do it all. Though the beauty industry has been a field which has been dominated by women, he says he has what it takes to not only meet but surpass his female nail technician counterparts.
Mulrain now has courses available at his salon Studio 27. For more information call 348-4148 or 7818751 or email firstname.lastname@example.org