Saturday, 22 December 2007

A Christmas gift...


I just wanted to post a little Christmas wish on here, and a thank you to everyone who has spent time perusing this site.

Christmas is just around the corner, and if I use my daughters words.....' i just can't wait anymore...this is torture'.....we are all winding down our businesses and the Christmas rush is ebbing, now it is time to tuck into the mince pies and break open the Baileys...(diets are for whimps, let those inner demons rule!!). Please have a drink for me and enjoy this time, what ever your circumstances, it is just one moment to be treasured and remembered, for each of these moments combined make you the person you are today.

Relax and enjoy and I send you the richest of wishes to you all.


Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Challange results - runners up.

Here it is......the long awaiting runners up, I am so sorry it has taken so long, but the decisions like these where so hard to make, I would love to blame this delay on a virtual battle via email between Amber, Victoria and my self about who's should come third and then second, I would also like to blame your wait on father time, as it seems he came in the night and stole some of mine, 1 week suddenly turned into 2...or is it more like 3. You decide which excuse to listen to, but first just except my apologise for the delay and thanks for your emails prompting me to post.

We decided to publish the results for the runners up as voted by in third place with a fantastic Xmas flower...which showed consistency with her petals is........

Lauri Dicker


The second place is awarded, I loved the shape and natural organic look of the well done to..........

Jeni Smith


And thank you to everyone who Voted for these three and the other great entries, which included.....

Anne Roberts

Jane Dempster

Katy Writtle

Susan Loasby

and not forgetting...James.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Why Fantasy?

This is a question that has been asked over and over again, why should I concentrate on fantasy nails? How does it benefit me or my client? They can't wear it and the chances of getting a film or advertising deal are tell me why?....
Producing a fantasy nail, once, requires a level of skill and product knowledge that most professional techs should have. However producing the same nail over again and making it into a theme is an art. Creating the design and making it look 'organic' and 'real' will only go to show how you have developed at as tech. there is a story to tell with your designs, and each finger is a small chapter in that story.
So why does it benefit you?

Learning about how your products behave, how you can manipulate the product and change the effects with simple techniques and ingredients will only improve your salon and competition nails. Becoming focused on the acrylic or gel and letting it work its magic between your finger tips will strengthen your skills. Each time you allow your self some creative freedom, you let something happen which is out of your control these ideas can be diluted and transferred to salon viable designs.

How does it benefit the client?

Yes your right..... they aren't going to ask you to place a rose on the free edge and then nip to Waitrose and do their weekly shop, but they do come to you and have their nails rebalance because your the best nail tech in your area who is constantly improving their skills. You have a passion about your craft and make an effort to update your skills. Show them this with your designs, make them wonder 'how' you could produce something so delicate and beautiful out of a nail application. Let them see just how talented a tech you really are. Sometimes we need to inspire the clients with 'what ifs' even if these possibilities are not used the message is still the same, you are the best at what you do, and they are happy to be on your books.

Never step learning how, keep your knowledge updated and then you will have the power to do anything you set your mind to.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

We have a WINNER!

Hazel Dixon from Norfolk

Hazel began working through her Masters Classes with Victoria Smith; Distributor and Educator for Ez Flow in 2007

Her technical ability and the progress she has made along with her vast knowledge and enthusiasm for her industry, will make her a valuable asset to any team. Working from home and as a mobile tech, Hazel intends to continue working through her Masters program and aim towards achieving Educator status.


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Design & Fantasy with Jo Shirley

I thought I would up date you on the happenings at Red 10 nail bar and Jo Shirleys fanastic new concept with Colour. I was invited to join her and demostrate at an open evening at Red 10 nail bars on the 3rd December, with nearly 40 guests all eager to learn more about utilizing design in their slaon and business we were packed. Jo demostrated design nails for the salon, using the new time to shine collection from Ez Flow....oh my.... it is divine, I have now laid my hands on one and and can promise you it is a real treat.
I was demostrating fantasy, and explained the importantce of building your skills, which can then be transfered to your salon designs. exploring your creativity can only benifit your self.

Then to top it off, the teches could try out the colours and new designs on a try me table, a fantastic idea which was manned by two brilliant women who had just completed an 'inspire' fantasy workshop with me that day. Jo Coates and Anglela Metcalfe.

Jo has big plans for colour in the North east, having booked two further dates with me (see dates list to your right) for fantasy in both acrylic and gel next year........ she has already got 50% booked.

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Thank You

Everyone who has voted for your best nail in the fantasy challenge. I was amazed with the response. I will be sending the results and pics off to both Amber and Victoria who will announce the winner.

By the end of the week, I hope to post the favorite three.

A Christmas fantasy....step by step

Step 1; Using gold, from the earth stones collection, lay a base onto your form and create leaves over the area where the flower will sit.

Step 2; Inlay gold foil in clear on a form in a leaf shape. When nearly set cut into the sides of the leaf.
Arrange these onto the gold leaves on your form.

Step 3; Ruby from the gem stones collection is a great red to use to create the petals of your flower. You will need to place these onto your form and lift just as they are setting, to get a more organic look

Step 4; Roll out the red carpet is a fantastic glitter powder from the walk of fame collection, use this to create four more petals for the centre of your flower.

Step 5 Place a bead of emerald onto a form, when dry, lift and cut round the edges to fray it, place it into the centre of the flower.

Step 6; Place a bead of gold glitter acrylic into the centre of the green, and embellish with a gold gem.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Nail it this Christmas

It seems every year Christmas comes around all too soon, and we are dragging out the tired old decorations and same old special offers, in the hope we can inspire and entice clients to have something wonderful and new. Traditionally ‘Party time’ the Christmas holidays and new year festivities can only mean a boost to your business and with a little enthusiasm and encouragement, our clients will look good and feel great as they step out the doors of our salons.
It is best to start early reminding people to think ahead. Sending out a newsletter to introduce some exciting new Christmas offers and products is a start, and ideally done at the beginning of November. Special offers don’t just have to be for funky fingers and relaxing treatments…tie two treatments together and offer discounts, never give your time away, just tailor the treatment for the occasions. Every little black dress is accompanied with some slinky sandals; offer a pedicure along side your manicures and some toe art with a bit of bling. Nail extensions and eyelash tints or waxing with manicures, all your skills can be utilized. With a straight ‘money off’ discount for both, your diary will fill up in no time. You must also remember these clients might just enjoy their new experience and rebook again. New bookings or referrals are also a great way to offer a discount and attract new business, as this is an expensive time of year, any savings are welcome. In my experience the clients will always end up spending more any way; with additional encouragement from you to purchase stocking fillers, gift vouchers and other treatments during their appointment.

Gift vouchers will go along way to maintain your business during the quiet times, all those purchased vouchers have to be redeemed in the New Year, with potential new clients and a busy diary for January. Remember the husbands and boy friends find it increasingly difficult to buy for their partners, and a healthy gift voucher for their loved one can save them the trauma of ‘getting it wrong…again’. Offer a discount on your Vouchers, perhaps 10% off if they buy over £30. This will increase revenue over the busy period without having to work the extra hours. And when everything calm’s down in the New Year, you will be able to give more time and energy for your new clients, whom, fingers crossed, become loyal. Your diary should start filling up now, get all our regular clients to pre book their appointments until February, thus avoiding disappointment. You must prepare for the new business your promotions will bring in so pre plan your New Year offers and by mid December start promoting them.

Decorate your salon with products and get your clients in the mood, dressing the tree with mini bottles of polish hung with a pretty ribbon, which can all be sold before Christmas, is a neat and effective idea, you could have a couple of mini trees, all colour coordinated. Hang glass or silver Christmas balls in your window and with nail varnish decorate them, showing your special offers and discounts, in the new winter colour range. Buy a little gift for your regulars to encourage loyalty, wrap them and leave them under the tree until their appointment. Send out a Christmas card to your entire data base, regardless of who they are, and remind them of your special offers. Even those clients who have not visited you on a regular basis would welcome a card and invitation to book. Two weeks before Christmas offer mince pies to your clients while they wait, mulled wine, hot chocolate and marshmallows create a little bit of heaven, in this hectic and frenzied period. Offer them a treat and make them feel special and wanted.

And Apply
These Holidays are a perfect excuse to get out the bling and sparkle your way through the dark nights, but not all of your clients would enjoy having design nails. Offer them something different, a little bit extra… holly or snowflakes on just one finger might just entice them to be more adventurous! Christmas gives you endless ideas for nail art, hand painted or 3D. Have your glitter acrylic powders out and ready, reds and gold’s go perfect with anything you would wear, as long as it twinkled, and the darker the colours this winter the better, metallic’s and chocolate, purples and greens. Lead by example, wear your nails with pride, and show off those perfect 10. Clients can not visualize how design nails will look, and if you indulge your inner fantasist, maybe they will too.

I wish you a great Christmas this year, and hope it is a profitable success, remember attitude is everything, make your customers feel special and your business will shine.

This article was written for and published in the December 2007 addition of Health and Beauty salon Magazine.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

An Audience with Sam Biddle... Challenge results!

After the challenge was set at Victoria Smith's design seminar, I never imagined I would receive so many entries and from unlikely sources too. Following the step by steps they received on the day I am very impressed in the level of skill and honoured to be part of something inspiring. I feel privilege to share these wonderful pieces of work here.

My only problem is there can only be one winner.

So Victoria and I thought it would be great to let you decide. email me the name of the person who you think has produced the best nail before the 8th December, and be a part of this difficult decision. I will forward this information to Victoria and Amber and they will decide the overall winner. that was easy wasn't it.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Think out side the box.

Many of my students ask me ' how can I get my clients to
try something different'...

There she is sitting in front of you, and you ask her ‘ what shall we do today?’ Her reply is like so many others you’ve heard ‘ oh the usual, a French please’.

The traditional pink and white has been around for years and that’s what most of our wonderful clients seem to want, mainly because they don’t know what else is on offer. As a nail technicians we have access to brilliant trade magazines, the internet and some wonderful role modals, who are out there experimenting with coloured acrylics, so… why can’t you. What’s stopping you, producing some fantastic designs and giving you the edge over the competition around the corner? I know what you’re going to say, ‘the wonderful clients’! Who seem to be too afraid to try something else…

Are they afraid or just uneducated in the possibilities available to them?

When I first qualified as a nail tech I trained in pink and white but my main passion was nail art. Painting designs on nails gave me a reputation for being different but that wasn’t enough, I wanted to push the boundaries, and I managed to do that using
Ez Flow products. The coloured acrylics and glitters combined with some hand painted art work, even encapsulating gave me inspiration, but all I needed was the clients to be let loose on. They where few and far between at the start but now more than 80% of my clients have coloured acrylic, changing their designs on each visit. Not only will this increase your revenue but will give you and edge and reputation over and above those other tech’s less adventurous than you. You don’t need to be artistic to do this, just have a little imagination.

We as nail technicians have a duty to take care of our clients nails, however we can also influence them to ‘try something different’. Something small can give them a little push in the right direction, and then let them leave the comfort of the salon and go out into the big bad world, and I assure you they will come back and want more...

Why you ask? Because they will get so many compliments and enquiries about their nails that not only will they want to push the boat out on the next visit but so will their friends. I have found that people are pulling away from the traditional pink and white, not wanting to look like they have ‘false nails’. Well make sure you are a nail tech that can give them something different.

When your client comes in next time offer her something new and exciting, free of charge! Involve her in your business telling her you would like to try something out on her to see how it will look. I usually choose a ring finger and only try something small and uncomplicated to start with. It won’t take long or cost you any more, but could start you on the road to something new.
*Try encapsulating tiny silver or gold stars in the white, this way it looks different from just sticking something on, and your client can still polish her nails without loosing the design.
* Christmas is a wonderful time to give clients a tiny painted holly, on one of their fingers as a small gift. Comic relief sees those ladies supporting a red nose and even my die hard, pink and white, fans wear it with pride, All your mothers could have a small flower or for Valentines… well a heart.
* Daisy’s are a great one for the summer, painting some tiny little one on a finger goes well with the white, and later you can introduce colours.
* The boogie night’s collection from EZ Flow gives you a fantastic alternative to the pink. Using Foxy lady or Brick road instead of the pink gives a light glitter effect over the nail, great for the summer, as when the sun catches the holographic film it seems like the nails are dancing.
*The younger clients would be ideal candidates for something totally different, remember most of them are following a trend asking for pink and white so encourage them to stand out from the crowd and have an alternative nail. Remove one of the nails (usually the ring finger) and place a glass tip on it, either encapsulate some 3D acrylic art work or use holographic shapes in various different sizes and colours. Using a transparent glitter powder gives an illusion of light.
*Using coloured acrylic on one of the tips instead of white. Grape soda (purple) or Onyx (black) is a popular one, I usually balance out the design by using the same colour on the other hand, either with a very tiny star, heart or a thin line over the smile line.

When you have created an alternative look remember to take a photo, so you can build up a portfolio to show you other ‘Traditionalists’ what you have done. It’s important that you yourself are breaking the boundaries, and are willing to try something different! Wear these designs on your nails and tell your clients how you have found it.

It’s important that you are enthusiastic about what you are doing, and you sell the ideas. Make sure the client is always aware that you will put right, what you have changed on their next appointment. But ask them to give it a chance and to tell them to tell you what people have said or what they have thought over the past 3 weeks. Even if they don’t want to continue on the road of discovery you have placed an idea in their minds which might reappear in the future for a holiday or special occasion’s. For every one client who doesn’t like it there will be two who do. Once you started letting colour into your life the idea’s and designs don’t need to stop with just French.

I hope you have fun in your quest to ‘try something different’, and remember only the attitude is permanent.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Step by step DVD

Get inspired with this New DVD,
with images and 4 step by steps, you can try your hand at fantasy and design.

The design steps are suitable for the salon, with both gel and acrylic to choose from at just £25 & free postage. email me on for your copy now.

An audience with Sam Biddle

I have just been looking at the photos of the Victoria Smiths design day in Peterborough and I have to chuckle. I had such a great day; listening to Victoria's talk about design and fantasy and why it is important to improve your skills as a tech, how she was able to bring over the argument with humour and elegance, I was very impressed with how motivating she is. Amber Gibbons was also there to talk to everyone about sales and how to utilize this within your business. I enjoyed listening to Jacqui Jefford talk about her experiences within the industry and stress the importance of education.

The afternoon was then all about nails and design. I demonstrated a nail for Christmas, and with a step by step to take home they were set the challenge of duplicating the design.
Watch this space, I have so far had 3 fantastic pictures, and will be posting them all next week. I am very impressed and proud that everyone actually set out to do one…so many people say they will and then chicken out, it just goes to show that it is possible….so very well done. I am proud to have been a part of a creative journey, now you guys have taken the first step, don’t let anything stop you.

I hope everyone had a great time and with the feed back I have read from the nail geek and emails I have received since, it is defiantly one we need to do again. checkout this link for more feedback on the day;

I would also like to thank Andrew; Victoria's husband for taking the photos and as promised, I am posting his pictures here (as supplied by Victoria) was this what you meant Andrew :0)?

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Water - Fantasy Nail

A calming look, these waves go along way to sooth and
caress those cares away. Making the waves on a sculpting form and placing them onto the tip this is a beautiful finished effect.

1. Apply a clear tip with brush on resin, and thin it using a grey fox. Cut the tips into an almond shape, and using the grey fox file tailor the tip so that the point is central.

2. Place a light aqua colour, here I have used Italian ice around the cuticle area and down towards the free edge, as a base colour to this design.

3. Each wave is created individually on a sculpting form and then placed on the tip, starting at the smile line.

On the form placed clear then blended rock candy, and white granite at the very edge to simulate the surf. While the acrylic is still curing I used a scalpel to flick the edge up and eased the rest of the thin acrylic into an arch (wave shape).

4. Trim the wave to fit the nail and while it is still pliable attached it to the nail using brush on resin, the base of the wave should follow the contour of the nail.

5. On the very tip of the nail I placed a rim of white, which was also flicked, up to represent surf.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

North East Roadshow...update

What a fantastic day, I am very impressed and loved the atmosphere and professionalism. The competition standards were brilliant ( fantasy design) I was honoured to be part of the judging team, I was really pleased to see so many enter, and I congratulate them for taking part.

A great big thank you to Louise and Lynn who organized's to the next one....

I haven't got any photos of the event yet....and will post some when I get them for Victoria.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Athens - Greece.

I have come home from Greece where I have been training with AME, the new distributor for Ez flow there, Anna and Angelo Colledan not only own 21 Nyxi-Nyxi (Nails-Nails) salons but a large training school, I was honoured to work with Anna who is renowned in Greece for her nails. Both Anna and Angelo are fantastic people from Canada who moved to Greece 10 years ago, with tremendous strength and energy they have their finger on the pulse and are quick to take that leap, even if it s a leap of faith. A trait that can only be admired and even, if I am honest, envied. They showed me a brilliant time and although I was in Greece, I got to sample an Indian (meal, in case you were wondering) that surpasses the UK, I am now spoilt rotten and can’t step foot in my local Tandoori again. Of course the Greek food will always be my first love, I don’t know why perhaps a childhood memory of Stafados and Hallumi in Cyprus. It wasn’t all about food, I did some training for the some of the managers of Nyxi Nxyi salons and then after the show “an introduction to the design powders” seminar for those who purchased kits.
Now let me just say something about the show; I just wish I had more time to walk around it as there was so much to see. I was demonstrating design nails over the weekend,
crowds watched as I built flowers out of acrylic and gel, and completely changed the way people think about their product, which was the aim, moving one lady to tears I served my purpose and introducing new possibilities into their craft. I have come home feeling very lucky to have the job I have, I am blessed to be able to fulfil my creative urges and happy to continue to share this with anyone who wants to learn. Until next time.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Dates for design

I keep getting asked for my class dates, and I have been very naughty and not planned ahead, well finally they are here and if any one is interested in further information please contact me by email on for more information. These classes listed are held in the South west however if you wish to have me come to you, email me the details and we can arrange a date.

Fantasy or Design??? - 13th Dec 2007
Ez Flow Acrylic Design - 7th Jan 2008
Gel Design - 17th Jan 2008
Fantasy – get inspired class - 7th Feb 2008
Fantasy workshop
@ Creative bleu Open day - 12th Feb 2008
Ez Flow Acrylic design - 26th Feb 2008
Gel design - 28 Feb 2008
3D Design Workshop - 9th Mar 2008

dates are subject to change.

Fire - Fantasy nails

With a three colour blend and a simple technique of creating the flame off the nail, you can create these red hot fingers to sizzle.

1. Blend a red, orange and yellow together onto ether a clear tip shaped into a point or on a sculpting form, I have used Raspberry cream, Candy Corn and Lemon Drop, from Ez Flows Rainbow collection, making sure the tip of the nail is red.

2. On a sculpting form, created about 60 individual flames. Apply the blend on the form in a triangular shape and using a scalpel, when the acrylic flame is just about to cure lift the edges, so that they are ragged and uneven. You can tell when it is ready when the shine turns more satin.

3. Place 5-6 flames to each nail using brush on resin, at the free edge extend them out.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Latvia & Oniks Beta

Latvia and the Baltic beauty show; this was my first time in the country and although it wasn't much, my prays were answered and I got to see snow.

I was there to demostrate at the Oniks Beta stand, hold a seminar and judge. I demostrated fantasy as it is very popular in the baltics, that and design.

On the SaturdayI was one of the judges for the nail art and 3d fantasy categories. With a catwalk show of the finished designs and dancers I was very impressed with it all. I wish something similar could be held in the UK. There was an interval and entertainments half way through and even a mini interview with the judges, language permitting. This was a scary one for me. Each contestant received a reward, some goodies from the sponsers and flowers, a great incentive to enter. The winners each had a trophie and even more prizes and flowers.

Oniks BETA one of the top distributors in Latvia and run by the beautiful
Elena Tarlavskaya, here with her husband Boriss and Trang from Odassey nails, who also worked on the stand and judged in the competition, it was great to see him work. The sales manager Julia, helped organize me and my stay and was the interpreter for the whole weekend. she and I at the Russian restaurant on Saturday, great food and loads of vodka.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Put some colour into your work...

Stop dreaming about what you could be doing with colour and get inspired with a new concept introduced by ...

Red 10 and Jo Shirley.

This exciting new range of classes are available in and around the North east and offer you the next level in nail design and fantasy.

From 3D and illusion, to competition work and photography, each class is design to inspire and motivate you on your journey into my wonderful world of fantasy.

Come and visit Jo and I on Monday 3rd of December, at Red 10 nail bars, for an evening full of colour, this is a free evening for you to see just how much colour we can put into your life.

CALL Lynne see when the next colour class is...and BOOK your place on it ...

Tel; 01302340550.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Pure Extrovert

Using the brand new Carnival Collection, this pretty design is very popular with my clients. the design is encapsulated within the design, and then extra gem stones are added for that extra sparkle. Octobers Scratch magazine has more step pictures for this one!

You will need; Bourbon Street, Carnival Queen, Fat Tuesday, Grande parade, Jazz band, Dancing in the street, Feathered Mask, Voodoo, Competition White & Gem stones (optional)

Behind the scene…

From the corner of the cuticle area blend Bourbon Street into Jazz band, at the mid part of the nail blend carnival queen. Starting just above the smile line at an angle blend Fat Tuesday into Dancing in the street, if you blend at an angle, the position of the peacock will become more sympathetic to the design; continue the blend towards the tip.

Proud as a Peacock…

The dark blue makes the perfect body for the peacock, mid way up the nail just overlapping the fat Tuesday, place a medium bead of blue, and bring it towards the tip in a semi colon shape. Then with a smaller bead of blue place the head at the top.

Using a tiny bead of voodoo, enhance the fat belly of the bird.

Start applying the feathers using feathered mask, each feather is a tear drop of colour with the centre hollowed out using your small design brush. Allow the feathers to fan out and up the nail.

Every peacock needs a crown, apply the plumb at the top of the birds head using a triangle of competition white, using voodoo apply a tiny bead along the widest part of the white, and then dark blue.
It’s all in the detail…..

Use competition white around the eye area, taking care to keep it crisp and clean, with a very small and dry bead of voodoo used as the eye. Use the white and black down the bead area.

Continue adding colour to the tail feathers using a small bead of grand parade, and then a smaller bead of voodoo to give them depth.
A nice alternative is to embellish some of the feathers with small gem stones. Place these inside one or two of the feathers.

To cap it all….

Use a clear powder to cap the design, file and buff to a high shine. Applying a 3D effect to the feathers is an alternative way to really make your design pop out. Overlapping the encapsulated design, place four or five more feathers using the same method as outlined in step 2 and 3, embellishing them with gem stones will really finish the nail off.