Freelance manicurist and CND Education Ambassador Shirlee Ann Kerr did the nails for our cover feature this month. For the former stay-at-home mom who built her client base on natural nails, doing magazine work is a dream come true. During a break on set, Kerr shared the news that her work would be featured in the July issue of Essence in a story on American Idol winner Jordin Sparks. “One of the techniques I used is called color blocking,” says Kerr, who used Vinylux Creampuff and Bicycle Yellow over a baby-blue shade of polish that Sparks was already wearing. “It looked very abstract.” Kerr is the consummate professional, no doubt because of her intense training with CND. “I was one of the first people to sign up for training when Shellac came out,” says Kerr, who “just knew I’d be an educator for them” after meeting CND co-founder Jan Arnold during an eight-hour class at ISSE in Long Beach, California. Becoming a CND education ambassador required eight weeks of online training before attending Boot Camp for a week in Carlsbad, California. “It really was like going to boot camp,” says Kerr, who woke up at 6 a.m. every morning, exercised for an hour and ate breakfast before starting her day. “It was amazing and inspiring and one of the most intense things I’ve ever done.” For Kerr, being a CND education ambassador put her in a different league. “I wanted to get more involved in celebrity nail work, and the company has really helped me build my clientele,” she says. “Jan told me, ‘Shirlee, I told you I’d get you here,’ and she was right.”

Marianne Dougherty

Editor in Chief, American Salon