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.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

What should a technician look for in a training provider?

When searching for a training provider you need to ask yourself a few
important questions. Of course all educators will tell you how great their brand
is and the only one on the market that will produce fantastic nails, if they
didn’t you should be wary. You need to see a loyalty and passion for a brand
which they will in turn pass onto you. But don’t get too wrapped up in the sale
speak, the product can always change if your not happy, it is what you learn
that is the most important.

Don’t get me wrong a good quality brand will
always make your life easier, so don’t settle for second best and go cheap,
start as you mean to go on. But what is the best? Firstly you need to learn the
skills and use the product, when you are booking onto a class try to speak to
your educator on the phone or in person if possible, don’t just book through a
distributor without asking some important questions like; how long your educator
has been training? Are there any other qualifications in the teaching field that
might improve their teaching skills? The day will come when all adult education
requires your educator to hold a teaching certificate; it is a good idea to find
people already working towards their qualification. You also need to gel well
with your educator, she or he needs to be able to answer your questions open and
honestly. The rapour you have with your educator will last you for your career,
and influence your decisions. You will need to confirm how reliable and
available the classes and stock situation is, will they be able to provide you
with what you need when you need it. And then the crunch question; cost.

Budget education isn’t always the best education; it is more a case of
what you get for your money. If you are looking at three beginners classes all
about the same price, and the brands are competitive in the market, turn your
attention to the syllabus of the class.

What is it you will learn on the days you are there?
Can you gain more from one than another?
How many new skills will you walk away with?
Which techniques will be more valuable to you and your business in the long run?

It is not just a case of applying a product, it is in what way those products can be applied, you need to learn at least three different application techniques, for example, sculpting, tip and overlay and pink and white. They are in my opinion the foundations to being a good tech, not only in acrylic but gel. You will also need to learn the fundamentals required by the NVQ system, and be pointed in the right direction with business and marketing skills required when setting up a new business.

Any class you take should be fun, inspiring and motivating, at no time should you feel you are not good enough or able to complete the task at hand, the success or failure to learn will be the success or failure in teaching ability from your educator not you.

Remember to three key questions to ask;

What can I learn from this class?
How will I learn in this class?
Who can I learn from in this class?

...You might be surprised with the answers.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Competition...are you up for it?

These nails were done by Talented Jo Shirley, Master Artist Educator and Distributor in the North.

Jo Shirley and Red 10 are hosting an amazing roadshow and competition in the North East on the 18th November

..."there is something for everyone with Pink & White, Design & Fantasy and Gel categories to enter".

This is a perfect way to get your self some competition experience absolutely free....what a fantastic opportunity which you just can't miss if your serious about improving your skills.

When you enter any competition it is never about the winning but the exposure to seasoned professionals which can give you valuable feed back. Entering a competition is a fun way to prove your worth and test your metal...

I know what it is like, we sit in our salons perfecting those perfect 10 and we forget just how brilliant and creative we can need these competition to shine. Taking these first tentative steps out of your comfort zone will allow others to be inspired and creative with their careers and this mini competition might just be a great toe dipper to spur you to enter the nationals in March.
Of course winning is always a bonus, and the exposure that comes with it, but if that is not enough there is a generous prize fund of £2000 to help ease the crises of confidence we are all inflicted with when we make the decision to enter a competition. What more can you ask for before Christmas?

This event is not just about the competition...there is some amazing stuff available to visitors; demonstrations, forums, and opportunities to try out some products. For those burning questions some of the top icons in the industry will be available to answer them.

Along side Jacqui Jefford, Jane Cook, Antony Buckley, Jo Shirley and myself, Amber Gibbons the brand manager for Ez Flow will be there and some of the other super talented Masters from the Ez Flow education team...a day which looks to be very promising and educational.

Demonstrations from myself and Jo in design and Fantasy, to get some creative juices flowing before the Christmas holidays...showing you just what can be achieved within the salon through design, come see some of the new colours and maybe try them out before you buy.

Forums held by Antony Buckley and Jane Cook will also be available to you and If nails isn't all that interests you...Semi permanent make up, make up, Botox and Restylane will be name but a few.

I am reliably told this is all held at The Quality Hotel, Selby, Nth York's LS25 5LF in the Harewood Suite, But I suggest you call Lynne for more information on 01302340550.

Don't forget your entry form for the competition...go on be brave what harm
can it do....besides you never know what might happen.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Peterborough 25th Nov...

Let me tell you about an exciting event happening in Peterborough... Victoria Smith, one of Ez Flow's talented Master artist educators, and distributor is hosting a day full of inspirational ideas and business advice.

Not only do you get to see some fantastic demonstrations by Victoria her self, I have been asked to do a fantasy nail demonstration, and have a beautiful Christmas nail in mind.

Industry icon Jacqui Jefford and Ez Flows Brand manager Amber Gibbons will be talking about how to incorporate design into your business, and increase revenue.

Victoria tells me that is not all, for a free goodie bag, 20% discount vouchers on products and massive savings for classes you need to call her on 01692 408944 or email her on to book your place NOW.

Come and say hello on the 25th November at the Holiday Inn, Thorpe wood, Peterborough.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Professional Beauty show @ Gmex

Manchester isn't quite Global, but in the UK it is a great place to visit, as I am from a tiny town in the south of England, the bright lights of a city is always impressive. I have just come home from spending two days in Manchester central working with Ez Flow at the professional beauty show.

With four of us demonstrating nails from gel it and the new colour range to acrylic design, and of course the odd fantasy nail to wow the crowds, did we manage to wet the appetite and inspire those swarming around the stand? It was great to get the opportunity to work with some great techs, we all gelled well together, pushing our demonstrations to the next level.

Me Victoria Smith Jo Shirley Antony Buckley

A couple of the Fantasy nails that some of the visitors had to cope with. I dread to think how they managed with these and some of the other creations I subjected them too. Liquorice Allsorts, Swizzles and Twirls and Strawberry's and cream...all good enough to eat. this little fellow continued to decorate this colour nail which had been beautifully applied by Jo, and then covered up with a pert bottom and a paint brush...sorry Jo!
Antony Buckley found his inner kitten with these tiger strips, a stunning set in a multitude of colours, I have to say he did a fantastic job, his nails are truly stunning, there is an energy that sings when look at his work, a very talented man. We ended up working together holding a design seminar on the Monday, while I did what I do! He demonstrated to an audience of like minded people.
When you go to these things there is always an element of entertaining and ....urmmm eating involved, of course it is very hard work and we all struggle to enjoy it, as you can see from this Our brand manager Amber Gibbons has made such a difference to the team, building trust and new opportunities for us all, the fabulous Caroline Hickey, she always shines on the dullest of days with her sparkling personality, and of course the beautiful Victoria Smith, a wonderful woman who I really enjoy spending time with. We are all in china town.....believe it or not, this was before the bottle of wine.
I can't wait for Excel in March.....

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Indulge your inner artist...

I have painted these on color pops, a great way to display your work in a salon... visit

THERE are no rules with art, never be afraid to try it! Remember you can always take it off and start again. When I teach nail art, I first show how to break down the pictures, you want to recreate, into layers. Never look at the finished picture and say ‘I could never do that’, always look at the structure of the picture and ask your self ‘how did she do that’?
When doing any sort of nail art, I try to imagine all ten nails are part of my canvas and build a design. The last thing I want is for all of the nails to look identical. Let your artwork flow from one nail to another, placing the main parts of the pictures in different.

It seems it is all about colour this winter, neutral shades highlighted with bold, vibrant colour, this is perfect to create some fantastic nail designs to suit all those clients wanting to indulge their glamorous side.

Luxurious high gloss finishes with metallic and textured accents, allows that inner artist in you to truly experiment. Winter is vintage, black nails, white nails, moody blues, and charcoal greys, just remember that inner child and don’t hold back on the bold vibrant accent colours to lift your nails. Add some opulent purple or tantalizing turquoise… go on overindulge the fantasist within. Work those animal prints and tweeds and experiment with matt top coats and high gloss shines, to create a velvet and metallic effect.

Lime green is an amazing shade which I have truly fallen for, combined with natural colours and highlighted with black it can produce a surprisingly glamorous look.

The darker the better, look at some of the polish collection for this winter, to get truly inspired check out fashion magazines and study the colour combinations, a fun exercise is to choose an outfit and create a nail to match.