Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Nail Art

Is nail art becoming lost within the wealth of acrylic and gel colours now available to us today? Are overcomplicated design nails what we need to bring in additional income? I started my love affair with colour through nail art, painting on everything and anything I used nails as mini canvases which brought me an enjoyable income and helped me perfect my skills for design.
It is normal, when we first start out in this industry, to use nail art when we want to bring a lift to our tips, adding colour and something different to our craft which allows us a natural release to our creativity. As a new technician we learn a lot about how we should apply acrylic, create the perfect smile line and file the nails in to the correct shape, but nothing brings us more pleasure then adding a bit of tint and sparkle to the nails. Just a few moments of fun with your striping brush and a bright colour will help us remember why we try so hard to perfect our skills. There are some that say nail art is over rated and shouldn’t play a part within the industry, but it is not the industry which is important. It is your clients and what they want, that will pay your rent and put food on the table. Think about how your clients perceive you, and what your business can offer them. By showing them a range of decorated tips, you show your clients a range of skills, letting them have a choice gives them power to decide you’re the best tech for them. We ultimately want to help these clients remember us as a nail professional with an edge over the competition. This of course can be done with a range of different gels and acrylics in a rainbow of colours ready for use to use in neat little pots and tubes. But we don’t want to disregard nail art and hand painted designs, what you must always remember, is that the simple solutions is sometimes the most effective.

Perhaps we should start thinking of nail art not as a creative medium but instead as a marketing tool, which will increase profitability to your business. With a little swipe of paint we can change the look of a nail which costs us next to nothing. Imagine for example you have just rebalanced Mrs Smith with pearly white tips and a blush pink to make her nail beds healthy, now you turn to her and say, “would you like me to enhance your nails to match your outfit for that wedding, this weekend”? “oh” she replies “what did you have in mind”? “ well with a thin brush I will run a small stripe of gold and copper along your smile line, this will go perfectly with your dress, and after the wedding you can remove this if you like, giving you the best of two looks”! “well, now that sounds like a grand idea” Mrs Smith smiles and looks at your shiny new nails “how much will it cost me”? “oh not much at all” you reply, “it is very simple” and as you start to get the paints out you tell her it will only take a few moment and cost just an extra £5.
Strips, circles, flicks and flowers, little snow men and holly bunches, hearts and kisses or just a simple pattern over the tips, whatever you do think about incorporating the nails your clients are already wearing within your nail art. Making the most of their shape and style, and bring the best out of them with colour and design. For example; dotting different size spots in three shades of the same colour over one corner of the nail is fun for your younger clients. Using block colours and highlighting them with paler shades will add depth to your art. Whatever takes your fancy, don’t be afraid to offer it to the Mrs Smith’s of today. You need to do all you can to help your business survive, and by offering a quick and cost effective service with a high profit margin, then you can be one step closer to staying open.

By adding nail art to your menu of services, and making it common practice throughout the day, you will develop your skills, learning how to draw your inspiration from things around you. In time your designs will develop into true masterpieces which you should then think about showing other nail professionals. Utilizing the competition circuit will not only help you grow as a technician, the rewards also extend to your business. With trophy’s littering your shelves and certificates against the walls, your clients can have faith they are paying for a winner. Word soon spreads and your abilities will be sort after, your confidence will be boosted.
Don’t dismiss nails art as something too simple, boring or un inspiring, it might just be that added extra which turns your business around, inspiring you to develop your craft and moving you in a new, exciting and colourful direction.

This article, written by Sam Biddle was featured in an article published in SCRATCH magazine March 2009, titled NAIL ART IN THE NOUGHTIES.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Something Interesting!

Some of my work has featured on TREND HUNTER a popular on line Magazine. I was asked to present 10 of my most favorite designs by Jodie Anderson, free lance writer for Trend Hunter. In just 24 hours, the feature had received 1700 hits.
TrendHunter.com is the world's largest, most popular trend community with 6-8 million monthly views. Routinely sourced by the media, Trend Hunter is a source of inspiration for industry professionals, aspiring entrepreneurs and the insatiably curious. TrendHunter.com was launched in 2005 by Jeremy Gutsche,
To find out more, and see the feature visit;

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

What type of shoe are you?

I was reading Dawn French’s brilliant autobiography last night Dear Fatty…and she came up with a great way to describe her two grandmothers by the type of shoes she imagined them to wear. Dawn wrote, “a pink teeny tiny sparkly perfect pointy ballroom-dancing satin shoe” and then described another as “colourful, loud, high and clacky ankle strappy saucy strumpet of a shoe, too roomy for me and therefore inherently perilous”

I loved the fact that she used shoes to describe how she felt about someone, and it got me thinking, this is a great exercise to help us understand how to relate what we see to what we feel, and then dilute it into something we can incorporate into our own designs.

Therefore I have a challenge for you – I want you to describe yourself, what type of shoe are you? email me your short description at info@sambiddle.co.uk or post it on my facebook group, you will find the details on the discussion board.

There is two parts to this challenge….I will let you know the second next month!

So let me go first;

I, Sam Biddle, am a flip flop, a beautifully colourful crafted comfortable sole
for my painted toe nails with bright nail art to lye into, the thongs are
adorned with jewels and ribbon. My flip flop allows me to be close to the
earth, and free to express my creativity, the colour is only partially on view
unless I kick them off and allow others to see the real me inside.

Monday, 16 March 2009

NEW - 2009 workshops & dates

I am excited to bring you 'BE INSPIRED' new classes for 2009!
visit www.sambiddle.co.uk - for a full list of all the new classes and dates available around the UK. I have altered the wrkshops slightly to suit the needs for today, they still centre on my first love colour and design, but I wanted to bring you a series of workshops that wrk for you, that you can use within your own business and develop skills and new applications.

INSPIRED- is a class which takes you on a journey, working with both Fantasy and design application, learn how to master your acrylic, develop your creativity and individual style. Dilute fantasy concepts into design nails and find out alternative earning potentials. This workshop gives you the confidence and knowledge that anything is possible.

ADVANCED TASTERS - is perfect for those wanting to build on their fantasy skills and learn some new and innovative ways of building and manipulating acrylic. With a series of 3 mini workshops to choose from; an ideal way to add new skills and develop as a technician.

DESIGNS - IN GEL & ACRYLIC - a workshop not meant to replace design classes already available, but instead takes your work to the next level, bringing you new ideas and concepts which are 'outside' the box.

PHOTOGRAPHIC – this exciting workshop is ideal if you want to produce a winning photo or utilize your skills to promote your business.

VISIT - http://www.sambiddle.co.uk/ for a full list of workshops and dates!

Friday, 6 March 2009

EXCEL - Professional Beauty show in London

I have just returned from spending two days at the Professional Beauty show in London’s Docklands and I thought I would fill you in on my time there.

Attending the show now is not so much about the work that needs to be done on the stands and seminars, but meeting up with everyone. I love it when people come over and say Hi, the show becomes a place to put names to the cyber faces. The Internet has this strong community of nail technicians all working and talking together on line, it is only at the show when we can meet face to face. So to all those that said Hi.......hi back!

I spent my Sunday working with Ez flow nail systems, demonstrating Gel and the new Master it lamp on the stand. On Monday I held a master class on gel design, creating 3 different looks, using coloured gels, foils and combining acrylic with gel to create different effects. I wanted to show techs that there are no limits to what can be achieved. Thank you to Georgie Smedley for coming along and helping me out.
After which I spent the rest of the day Judging, in photographic category, encased nail art and fantasy. What stood out the most was the superb encased nail art by Zolton from Kinetics, truly stunning. The favourite image for me came second place – Jo Coates managed to produce a succinct shot which ticked all my boxes, colours worked, nails worked with the prop, and you knew what the message was. The fantasy category was extremely difficult and we three Judges all had a tough time deciding. I would have given them all 1st the clincher however was the step by steps…so all future competitors….remember!
At the end of the day I was asked to take the place of Kirsty Meakin who has recently had a little baby, and had the honour of presenting the nail artist award of the year to Jo Coates. A proud moment for me, I admire Jo's work and have seen her grow over the past year.
All in all a fantastic few days.