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Nail Biter Challenge 2020

As we toasted our glasses into the New Year, the year that promised all of us so much, we now find ourselves facing a new and different reality. One full of restrictions, unwanted changes and frustrations. Its not what we wished or signed up for, but sometimes life has this way of surprising us in unexpected ways, as usual.

A test of patience and will power, and yet here we are, the only ones in control of our own actions: to Stay at Home!stayhome

But here comes the next part, which is applicable to so many of us right now: instead of welcoming a colourful and sunny spring into our lives, we were forced to almost instantly make drastic changes in our lives: give up regular routines, daily social interaction, working, visiting friends and family, going out for diner, physical activity etc.

So in a time when the world is being attacked by an invisible enemy, where does that leave our nails?
Having your nails done is a pampering process, you get to spend enjoyable moments and have a good laugh during your appointment, and then you get showered with compliments for the weeks to come.

silly hearts 1

But how has this now changed since we‘ve been urged to stay at home?
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) is actually recommending basic hand and nail hygiene routine, keeping our nails short and avoiding biting. Sounds easier said than done, but these people sure know what theyre talking about! Think of the consequences that come with nail biting and why it is crucial you keep your hands away from your mouth: nail biting can not only cause nail deformation at the level of the matrix (nail root) and damage your teeth, but it can also leave open wounds around your nails and allow germs to infect the tissue.

Caring for your nails during the COVID-19 pandemic
Longer nails can facilitate the spread of viruses. Although they can harbour germs, it is still being studied how long the COVID-19 virus can live on nails and skin. Certainly long enough to allow for spread if we dont clean our hands and nails properly. We should adopt the recommendation given to hospital workers: nails trimmed so that the nail doesnt reach over the top of the fingertip. I suggest you invested in a regular, cheap nail brush, a double whammy for your nail cleaning routine: white, clean nails and virus-free. Dont forget to moisturise and use cuticle oil on repeat: skin cracks from having dry hands will be more exposed to germs and viruses.

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If you still have gel or normal polish on, I would highly recommend you removed them. The CDC advises that healthcare providers dont wear long or artificial nails because germs and viruses could hide in cracks of chipped gel or nail polish even after hand washing. Yuck! So why shouldnt we take on the same advice? Forget peeling them off with your teeth! If you havent already removed your old gel polish manicure, check out my step-by-step post on how to safely do it from home.

nailbiter

You have to stop biting your nails NOW. With all the stress, anxiety and boredom that come with this new virus, we have to be stronger. Chewing or putting your nails in your mouth will only put bacteria in your mouth. Respiratory viruses cant enter our bodies unless we let them in: through our eyes, nose or mouth. So think of ways to distract your hands from going towards your face, mouth and eyes. Make a list of activities and things to keep you preoccupied during house lockdown. Setting a healthy routine in times like this will get you through it. Give the ol mighty Google a quick search.

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And what better time to start quitting bad habits than now?
Im already giving up Nutella and replacing it with pickled gherkins. Dont let the pandemic dictate you completely for the next few months, you make it your own and decide for yourself whether its worth to willingly make a change in your life.

We might not realise it now, but we will see changes in the world and in ourselves once this is all over. A new generation wiser than before.

Keep your chin up, but dont touch it!

Gel Polish Removal at Home

For anyone who wants to remove their gel manicure without the help of a professional, you can safely do this at home without damaging your nails.

shorties

What you’ll need:
Acetone / Pure acetone
Cuticle oil / Olive oil / Vaseline
Aluminium foil
Cotton wool balls
Nail file / Rough nail file
Pushing tool / Orange wood stick

Step1 – File down your nails and gently file off the top coat and some of the colour.

Step 2 – If you don’t have cuticle oil, you can use olive oil or vaseline to protect the skin around your nails from drying out.

Step 3 – Using tiny bits of cotton wool, soak them in acetone and place them on your nails and make sure to cover them fully.

Step 4 – Wrap each finger in a segmented square of foil and leave it to soak off for 20-30 mins.

Step 5 – Using an orange wood stick, push the lifted gel away. For any leftover patches simply wrap and repeat until all gel is removed. Don’t try to scrape the nail too hard.

Focus on one hand and then repeat all steps for the other hand.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any further advice.

2019 in a nutshell

Last year was definitely a challenging one!

Heres my top 12 moments:

1. The saddest farewell extensions I ever did for a friend client who relocated to the US for a year. I just wish they would’ve lasted her the whole year!

2. An A-Z session with a first timer. Lots of pressure when introducing someone to nails for the first time, but also very cute and memorable.

3. Emotionally challenged as I gave my friend her wedding nails. For a non-hugger, she cracked my bones at the wedding reception!

4. Tiny nail art on tiny nails, hoping it wouldn’t turn into reality – my client returned safe and sound after camping in the Canadian forests for two weeks, no real bears in sight!

5. Testing both your own and your clients‘ patience with very detailed hand painted designs.

6. Creating the longest nail extensions since doing nails, learning with every new request!

first 6

7. Treating nail biters and helping them grow their own nails. Succeeding in breaking a habit is a difficult task, but so-so rewarding both ways!

8. Completing a new course and working with eyes for a change. Very scary at first, I’ll give you that!

9. Nail art requests brought over from social media, Pinterest and Google – expectation vs reality fears/goals/fails!

10. Finding the time to actually do your own nails. Very tricky.

11. Persevere in taking the best photos and show off the newest designs. Always a fun way to end a nail session with my hand models, as they like to call themselves (haha)

12. Successfully giving everyone their Christmas & New Year nails, probably one of the busiest times of the year by far!

second 6

Nail Maintenance

Have you ever wondered why your nail technician recommends that you come back for an appointment within a certain number of weeks?

I pride myself in my work and have demonstrated that gel nails can even go up to 8 weeks before a removal. Although I guarantee that your nails will stay put for longer than 2 weeks, as a responsible and qualified nail technician, I strongly recommend two weeks between appointments with slight flexibility, taking into account the condition of each persons nails.

The longest you should wear a gel manicure without compromising your nail health is two weeks. Even though your manicure might look perfectly fine, after two weeks you run the risk of damaging your nails if you keep them on for longer.

Think about it, would you keep the same make-up on your face for a full week?!

Now lets briefly approach the importance of correct maintenance and wearing gel products.

The bed epithelium that sits between the nail plate and the nail bed must always remain elastic, therefore when wearing gel products youll have to make sure you use cuticle oil frequently, if not at least twice a day. It works the same as with hair: external factors, harsh weather or even chemical products make our hair brittle and our ends split. We help our hair by using conditioners, serums, hair masks and oils.

It shouldnt be any different with our nails.

Sure, a gel manicure can last you up to two months, but there are certain consequences to not keeping on top of it and leaving product on for too long.

Why is it always a good idea to book in advance?

  1. because as much as it strengthens your nails, gel can also weaken them: as your fresh set of gel nails starts growing, the strong point, which gives the nail balance and strength, gets pulled down towards the free edge (nail tip) and this can create weakness at the base and stress point of the nail.
  2. because a big growth can be unsightly and can make your nails more prone to breaking: as the growth uncovers your natural nail, the rest of the nail will still be protected by product. The longer the nails get, the quicker you will be to catch them, or even injure them without realising. Repeated tapping or pressure can start damaging your natural nail.

To keep on top of your manicure, simply book in advance to ensure your nails get rebalanced or redone in time. This way you avoid an overgrowth and unnecessarily stressing the nail bed. And dont forget that between appointments, using a nail brush in the shower helps keep the nails clean and free of building bacteria.

Recommended time for wearing gel polish nails (depending on individual nail growth & condition): 2 weeks

Recommended time for wearing gel extension nails (depending on individual nail growth & condition): 2 weeks up to 4 weeks maximum

Female hand with thumb up

Winter Is Coming

Its time to soften up, ladies!

As most of you can relate, those who have always had sensitive skin to the cold will get dry cuticles and chapped hands straight away if left too late.

chapped skin hands

Isnt it just a shame that we focus more on our face nowadays, remembering to carefully moisturise it in the morning and invest in face masks and the works, but forgetting to look after our precious hands & feet?!

We live busy lives, we work hard, we have no time for that. But we SHOULD make time for that. You SHOULD make time for yourself to take a moment and love the skin you live in, to keep it hydrated inside and out. Luckily there are plenty of ways to maintain a supple skin and the effort can be minimal.

CUTICLE OILS

These are not only lightweight and portable, but at the same time so easy to use, with just one swipe! Did I mention they smell heavenly?!

These are specifically made for the cuticle area, as the nail plate and surrounding skin can become dry from washing our hands frequently, if using an air dryer at work, and even from exposing our skin to hard water.

Cuticle oils usually contain Vitamin E and Jojoba Oil which are the best to use on the skin.

*NAF STUFF Cuticle Oils in various scents – £6 (please contact if youd like one)

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leopard dark salmon

HAND CREAMS

It goes without saying that we use hand creams or body lotions because we love their smell and the feeling of softness they leave behind. Nowadays you can get hand creams from as small as 5ml, in different shapes and with various dispense mechanisms.

Some prefer the lotion pumps, some like the cream pots more, as long as youre using them on a daily basis, chapped skin can be a distant memory. If you dont like the oily feel about them, try a non-greasy hand cream that absorbs quickly. 

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hydrated skin hands

ANTIOXIDANTS

Why not try healthy foods high in antioxidants together with using your favourite moisturizer?

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Im sure youll like at least one of these:

Dark Chocolate
Strawberries
Blueberries
Raspberries
Goji Berries
Kale
Spinach
Sweet Potatoes
Green Tea
……and the list can carry on……

But make sure you pair up with your Marigolds before doing the washing up!

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BOTTOM LINE

No matter what you choose to use on your skin or eat in order to help improve the condition of your skin and nails, your body will thank you!

So when you go to sleep at night and have finally decided to put on your cuticle oil and hand cream, make sure youve made your skin proud!

Female Hands Showing A Sign Of Thumbs Up

 

Grow your nails naturally!

Everyone wants long, healthy and strong nails that don’t break. This is a dream you can actually make come true with a bit of patience and loads of motivation!

I’m here to support each and every one of you on your journey to great and magnificent nails, but we do need to work together in caring for them. We all know how daily stress can make us nibble at our nails or pick at the dead skin around them and affecting the aesthetical part of our hands without even realizing it. I can guarantee that after just one manicure session you will want to change your habits and start enjoying lovely, looked after nails.

I take great pride in a job well done and immediate results bring such satisfaction! The products I use are kind to the nail and maintain its natural structure without damaging it. They help your own nails growth underneath and give them enough strength not to break or exfoliate. No matter how short or damaged your nails may be, I have the treatment for it, you just need to tag along. Wearing gel products or repair treatments isn’t enough though, you need to ‘feed’, nourish your nails with the right oils and regularly moisturise your hands. Beauty does come from within afterall.

If you’d like to discuss a course of treatment for yourself, a friend or relative, or simply just ask for advice, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to explain all the bits and bobs, as honest as always.

Here are a few ladies who have already reached their natural growth goal.

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natural nails removal

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And here are the nails who are still waiting to grow, with lots of patience and nurturing behind the scenes.

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New Treatments

I have been thinking about expanding the nail bar business for some time, and so now I am able to start offering more treatments to all my lovely clients!

Although I have a long list of courses I would like to complete in the near future, for the time being I can offer you the following:

Eyelash Tint (top & bottom) – £10
Eyelash Lift & Tint – £38
Eyebrow Tint – £7
Eyelash & Eyebrow Tint – £15.50

eyelash salon

Lash Lift Treatment Benefits:
– Immediate results,
– Lift lasts for up to eight weeks – ideal for those going on holiday!
– Short, straight lashes appear longer and more flattering
– Drooping eyes appear ‘lifted’
– Ideal for those who find the daily use of make-up irritating to the eyes
– For those who find the mechanical method of eyelash curling uncomfortable, time consuming and detrimental to the lashes.

first lash lift

Lash / Brow Tinting Treatment Benefits:
– Tint will intensify and enhance the brows / lashes,
– Darkens fine hair and colour grey or white hair
– Brows and lashes appear thicker and more defined
– Lashes appear longer as fair lash tips are darkened.

lashtint

A skin patch test must be done 48 hrs prior to these treatments to make sure I can carry them out without any contraindications, but also for your piece of mind!

I will also be offering additional services during the Eyelash Lifts. These can be offered at request e.g. nails file and polish, toenails file and polish, or hand / foot massage. An additional £5 will be charged for any of these services.

I will be introducing the Eyelash Lift & Tint treatment at a discounted price of £25. This offer will expire on the 13th May. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Then & Now

Becoming a nail technician has been a great challenge since day one, but also a big accomplishment. It took a lot of courage to take the plunge and enroll at college shortly after giving birth, to finally pursue my passion and study for it day and night. It also took a lot of work converting one of the bedrooms into the nail salon and sorting out all the bits and bobs to starting my little business.

I am grateful for how all of it has played out so far and feel quite lucky to have met such amazing people and gain loyal clients in a very short time, who always like to test my creative skills. Every new design I create contributes to my personal progress and pushes me to become better at what I do in order to master new techniques. It’s a constant learning process, and when it comes to nail art there will always be something new waiting for me to try it next!

Here’s my then & now evolution, from the first few weeks at college and studying for exams late at night, while trying not to wake the baby up, to setting up the room and practising manicures and pedicures on my poor husband, to practical sessions at college and a few of the manicures I did last year compared to the ones from this year.

I hope this journey never ends!

evolution 4
College uniform – Night time studying – Nail desk in the making
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Parrafin Wax hand treatment – Toenails practice and french manicure with nail polish
evolution then and now
TOP – first sets / BOTTOM – most recent sets
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TOP – first sets / BOTTOM – most recent sets
salon before and after
Before & After

Which one will you choose?

Everyone knows that the trickiest part of any manicure is picking the right colour! Nail trends by the seasons can be quite predictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make bold decisions this year!

If you decide to have your nails done at a nail salon, make sure to have a colour and design in mind before your appointment. This will help your Nail Technician to keep on track with their daily appointments and also give them more time perfecting the design you’ve chosen! Think of what you’ll be wearing for the next few days or weeks and how well that colour will go with your style. Try to match your colour to your outfit if you have an upcoming event. Why not give your nails an extra sparkle this winter?

Winter colours chart:

winter colours

Be good to your skin. You’ll wear it everyday for the rest of your life.

Party Season & Matching Nails

’tis the season to be partying, fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la.

So far I’m finding this to be the most exciting period of the year for nail art. There are endless possibilities to the designs and colours involved, and the challenges equally so. It’s so fulfilling to be creating such intricate artwork on such tiny canvases. And one of the biggest insights of this season is that matching your nails to your favourite dress or jumpsuit will not only make you look amazing but it will empower you to dance the night away. Such a sophisticated look with zero effort!

You may think it’s not an important detail, but when you’re struggling to find the perfect accessories to go with your new outfit you might end up trying on necklace after necklace, bracelet after bracelet, and ignoring the one accessory you always have at hand. Your NAILS!

So here’s some help with inspiring you for the weeks to come. Partying has never been easier!

blue snowflake

matching nails

matching red nails

ombre nails matching outfit

Your nails are jewels, so make sure they don’t lose their sparkle!