Tuesday, 28 December 2010


ONLY 28 DAYS....until

I am going to America, with a host of different and exciting designs which I can't wait to share.

Working with Gel & Acrylic over two days  producing  design & fantasy nails which suitable for the salon and showcase.

Do you want to offer a little more colour in the salon, and find out how to create spectacular design nails for your clients then this is the class for you.

With thanks to Carla Collier who has made it all happen, I will be working with you all in Long Beach, CA. At the Queen Mary Hotel, 27th & 28th January 2011.

for just $375 book your place today

email carla_collier@yahoo.com

check out this hotel....how cool is this 
Venue address; 

Queen Mary Hotel - Long Beach

1126 Queens Hwy,
Long Beach, CA, 90802
United States
020 3027 8143

Monday, 13 December 2010

Purple Poinsettia

Karen Thresher is a talented nail technician based in Chard, Somerset, running a busy salon Fresh Image Hair & Nail studio.  I first met Karen some 3 years ago when she attended one of my Fantasy workshops, (actually she is on the video on my website advertising the class). Since then we have done a lot of training together and Karen regularly attends my workshops.

 I was delighted to receive this step by step from her, and wanted to share it with you. To make life easier I now supply the material Karen has used within this design, please visit my website at www.sambiddle.co.uk to purchase your pack. There is more information at the end of this step by step.

This is a beautiful Christmas design nail, which actually looks fabulous all year round, and to celebrate Christmas I have a fantastic competition for you. To win a fantastic price worth £27.50 all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. The two best comments, Judged by Karen and me will win this fantastic Christmas prize. You will get some arabella forms, Colour drops and 3 packs of the Tulle, citrus, berry and classic.
So what’s the competition….we want to know how this step by step inspired you. Why are you inspired and what will you be doing about it. Let me give you a little example;

“ Karen inspired me with this simple and very effective way to create a stunning nail using Tulle. So I wanted to share it all with you, and create for you three great little Tulle collections.” Sam Biddle

So take a look at this step by step, have a go and then leave us your comments. We will be judging thiese comments in January. Closing date for this competition is Decemeber 31st 2010. Entry to this completion can only be made via this blog, do not email me your comments, you MUST COMMENT ON THIS POST to enter. Please click on the comment link at the bottom of the post to leave your comment.

Purple Poinsettia by Karen Thresher

I have used these tools and materials to create this deign nail…
Arabella nail forms (available from Sam Biddle www.sambiddle.co.uk)
Purple tulle (available from Sam Biddle www.sambiddle.co.uk)
NSI 3D white gel (good thick gel)
Artistic red & blue colour drops (Grafton International 01827280080)
Nail art -  Nfu.oh
Nail art pen – star nails
Artistic gel brushes,(Grafton International 01827280080)
Clear Gel from IBD (Grafton International 01827280080)
Gel Top coat

Step1, Using an Arabella nail form, sculpt out a stiletto shape in clear acrylic or gel. I've used acrylic as I found the material sticks to it better. You can also add a couple of drops of the Colour drops, to create added depth to your design.

Step 2,  Cut a piece of tulle just a bit larger than the sculpted nail. Brush resin onto the nail being careful not to get it on the form. Place the material onto the nail and pull it gently round onto the sides so it sticks flat. Hold until dry.

Step 3, Using a small amount of thick white gel & artistic red & blue colour drops mix 1 drop of each of the colours with the white gel to make a nice purple, you can adjust the amounts of colour to get your desired shade.
Using another sculpting form place a very small line of purple gel on the form then with a small gel brush gently tease the gel into the petal shape .. You can make all 5 petals with this gel before curing if you wish.
When you are happy with the petals cure for  2-3 minutes.
Making the petals on the form will give them a lovely curve to fit on to the nail.
Step 4, Draw the veins on the petals with a silver / black nail art pen, do this very fine & thin so that it adds definition to the petals. Let this dry.

Step 5. Place a small amount of clear gel on the nail where the petals are going to be placed. Using tweezers pick up a petal from the form & place it on the material & nail.
You should be able to move this around easily on the clear gel to get the perfect placement. Do this with all 5 petals until you are happy with the flower shape then cure for 2 minutes.

Step 6.  With a tiny amount of clear gel on your gel brush pick up some tiny silver balls or glitter & place in the centre of the flower, flash cure for 10 seconds.
Place a small amount of gel down the centre of the nail & add more glitter and Mylar flakes to make it sparkle, don’t over do it!
 When happy cure for 2 minutes.
 Step 7. Trim the material round the design then cap the nail in clear builder gel to magnify the design. Cure for 2 minutes. Check the shape of the nail & add more gel if required , cure a further 2 minutes. Wipe off the tacky dispersion layer.
Peel the nail off the arabella form & file into shape.
Finish the nail with a shiny top coat sealant to see your design pop out, cure for a final 2 minutes &  there you have your finished nail!


This is the Berry Tulle collection, a rich and Vibrant Purple teamed with a Bright Pink, balanced with a royal blue. These three colours will bring be perfect as a back drop to any flower embellishments.

All tulle packs are just £2.50, to purchase these collections visit www.sambiddle.co.uk


These three colours are a must for the base of any nail design, black, white and this beautiful slightly glittery champagne, you can incorporate these easily within any background colour blend or use with glitter and shimmer powders. Try overlaying the black Tulle over a white free edge of your French tips for that Classic party look!

I love these colours, not normally the first ones to be chosen, they actually highlight your designs, bringing out the colour of the acrylic or gel. Ideal for summer designs, they can't help but add some zing to your art, with this Zesty yellow, the juicy orange is also perfect teamed over yellow colour drops and use this gorgeous green as a lattice for your blooms to grow up.

There will be a short video posted on the website along with some more great ideas, top tips and steps using Tulle, so watch this space, but in the mean time to Win these three collections along with a bottle of colour drops curtsey of Grafton's international and a sample pack of the Arabella forms.
So don't delay......leave your comments to this post today.  

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Christmas Confetti

I thought I would post you this quick colour fade base I made to go with the holly design I posted earlier. (see the steps below).  This is a simple and effective design perfect for salon application. It won’t take long and can look great at any time of the year. I have used the Brand New Confetti Collection from Ez Flow Nail systems. It is a nice glitter collection which looks fab over the top of opaque colours or as a transparent effect.

You will see below that I have added a little festive embellishment, this is obviously up to you and your clients, and perhaps not suitable in the summer seasons...you can pop a pretty little flower on instead of the Holly. I’m using the Arabella forms to pre make the embellishments, but if you don’t have them you can place directly onto the surface of the nail or encapsulate it.

Step 1; prepare the natural nail, removing the non-living tissue, dehydrate and prime. Then apply your sculpting form, by the way this can also be done on tips if you prefer. Now extend the nail bed, I have custom blended this cover pink, if you would like the recipe, email me at info@sambiddle.co.uk.
Step 2; now apply a nice vibrant red.  I am using raspberry cream from the rainbow collection available at Ez Flow nail systems.

Step 3; You must try and get your hands on this fantastic confetti collection.  Firstly apply ‘I love a parade’ on the lower part of the free edge, and blend into the red.  This is a peachy transparent powder with largish particles of glitter, it really reflects the light beautifully.
Step 4; ‘Cheers’  goes over the top of the red and  peach colour, this will help you blend the two colours together, and for anyone who has tried ‘time to shine collection, this one is a ‘gold version of cocktail time, let me tell you now it’s   divine.

Step 5; cap your whole design with clear acrylic, you can do this with gel too. this gives the glitters a really bright shiny look.
Step 6; remove the sculpting form and pinch the nail, I am using the curved pinching sticks from artistic nail design. 
Step 7; Finish file and refine your shape
Step 8; apply a  gel top coat, check the next page before you do this, if you’re  going  to apply the holly you will need to do this while the gel is still wet, and  then cure under a UV lamp.

For more steps please visit www.sambiddle.co.uk and navigate to the downloads page.

ARABELLA FORMS - Acrylic Holly embellishments

With Christmas just around the corner, and a wealth of nail art and design to be inspired with, why not delight your clients with this cost effective marketing tool. Pre make these cute little holly leaves in your quiet moments and then when your finishing the nails, attach them with some gel top coat or resin. Your clients will love this festive touch, and it is a cost effective gift. Think of the referrals you will get as they proudly show off their nail art. Simple to make I have used acrylic to make these embellishments.

Step 1; double dip into two different shades of green acrylic, remember first dip into the paler shade. Place your bead onto the form, making sure the colours are side by side and not on top  of each other, see image.

Step 2; with a small design brush, use the point to drag the darker green through the paler one, into a leaf shape.

Step 3; press on either side of the central line of your leaf, press and pull out the acrylic and make this as flat and thin as possible.

Step 4; while  your acrylic is still at the mouldable stage you need to shape the base of your holly leaf into a point, this will make one of the first distinctive concave edges synonymous to holly.

Step 5; press in the two sides of your holly leaf.

Step 6; working your way up the leaf, press both edges at the top of the leaf. You can use a narrow edged blade to indent the leaf down the centre.

Step 7; to attach the holly leaves apply a thin layer of resin or a gel top coat and cure after you have attached the leaves. Remember you can encapsulate the holly leaves too.

To purchase your Arabella forms

 please visit http://www.sambiddle.co.uk/arabella.html you will also find a great short film on other great idea you can use these fantastic forms for Nail Art. 
Full steps seen in Scratch Magazine December 2010 issue.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Most Commonly asked Questions about Gel

Q1. How can I prevent lifting with my gel.
There are a few things you can do to prevent lifting; firstly as with acrylic preparation is the key, make sure that the natural nails are completely dehydrated, all the non living tissue is removed and you have a rough surface to apply your gel to. If you are using a tip, you need to take off the shiny surface otherwise the gel will not be able to cling to the tip and this will leave you with little shiny mirror pockets. This applies to white tips, clear or natural ones.  Another way to prevent lifting when you apply gel for the first time is to apply a very very thin layer over the whole surface of your nail; ‘rub’ or ‘brush’ this into the surface of your nail.  When I say thin I am talking thinner than polish.  You will need to freeze cure this for a few seconds so the first layer will shrink onto the nail and leave you with a tight hold.  Continue to apply your gel as normal.   Finally if your still getting lifting check that you have the correct strength UV bulbs, remember the bulbs have a shelf life and if they are old they won’t be as effective.  

Q2. I struggle to get a good shape with my gel nails, I just can’t seem to keep it in one place. 
Be gentle with gel; you have to guide it, not shove it with your brush.  You should be able to apply gel using just a tooth pick and ‘show your gel the way’.  Your gel (assuming it is good quality, self levelling building gel) is intelligent enough to do most of your job for you, so let it! The more you play with your gel the thinner the viscosity….in other words it will get runnier and less controllable. After applying your final gel layer place the finger into the lamp up side down for the first few seconds. Gel will ‘relax’ when it goes under the light and by drawing it down it won’t settle on either side of the nails making them look heavy and fat.

Q3. I just can’t seem to get a clean crisp smile line with my gel.
When doing pink and whites or creating detail with colour, it is easier if you have a second clean gel brush.  Wipe along the applied gel to give you a clean sharp line. It sometimes helps to dip this brush in some cleaner.   Apply the brakes! If you don’t want your gel to go in a certain place on the nail, for example; the free edge if creating a reverse smile line, then don’t apply that first thin layer in this area.  The rough surface, will act like a natural stop sign for the gel.

Q4. When is the best time to pinch your Gel nail.

Pinch about a minute after you place it under the lamp, remember if you’re doing a design and placing it under the lamp a number of times to freeze cure, you will find it harder to pinch. I would do the base of your design and then pinch after a minutes cure; you only need to pinch for another min and it will keep its shape. I use transparent pinching clamps, now available from www.sambiddle.co.uk

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Road shows....the benefits

Sam Biddle Demoing Gel Design
Last Sunday I was in Manchester at the 2nd annual IBD road show. After a very busy day, many demo's and plenty of visitors, I ask Amber Gibbons Brand Manager for IBD why these days were so important.

She told me that with such a huge demand for IBD in the North, this is a popular day. "We wanted to give something back to our customers and Show case new products from colour gels, artistic design and Gelac." she also told me that Grafton's will be holding more IBD open days nationwide in 2011. The next one will be the south east, so watch this space!

Gel Design Demos
 It is interesting that these events are so popular, Jo Shirley has had a massive success with her Ez Flow Road shows in the North.  Red 10 is holding their 4th roadshow and competition at the end of the month on Sunday 28th.

I think they are a valued addition to the industry, supporting the shows and offering nail technicians with a passion to learn an opportunity to get a look at new ideas, be inspired by the great product lines and of course mingle with fellow techs. You have to agree this can be a lonely profession at times.

Generally free to attend and held on a Sunday they couldn't be made easier for you to join in;  So please go and support your local road show, accept the invitation because you never know what you might take home with you.

Laura Hughes National education co ordinator
Gelac demo's & Amber Gibbons Brand Manager 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

SPECIAL OFFERS and Pinching Clips

I just wanted to let you know about the great Christmas offer I have running at the moment. I have to warn you stock is limited....

I wanted to celebrate Christmas this year with this great little package. Everything you will need to help you create those perfect pinkies this Christmas for just £40. Not just these goodies but free post & packaging anywhere. Now available, limited stock ....


    Let me tell you little about these fantasic Pinching Clips. Some of you who have been on my workshops have seen me use these amazing little clips when demoing my gel and acrylic designs. These nifty little clamps are perfect to get the perfect C curve in your gel nails; pinch and then place under the UV lamp, the clear plastic will allow the sides to cure. The clamps are curved so sit neatly on the free edge of the nail and they are also perfect to get the pinch in acrylic nails, they will hold the free edge into shape.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Its Astonishing .......

Oh I have been a busy girl over the last few weeks and I wanted to introduce to some interesting people I  met last week in Holland.

So I am writing this on the train back to Amsterdam airport,  traveling home from the Educators training in Eindhoven, Holland. (actually I am now home, but didn’t get to upload this before jetting off again to Manchester at the weekend….)  I was invited over by Peggy Spill, to help out at her Educators training event. 

Peggy Spill
This educator training was held by the Beauty Factory www.beautyfactorynails.com  one of the largest distributors in Europe.  Leading distribution in both nail and beauty products they provide nail technicians with an array of different brands from Ez Flow, IBD, Nail Perfect, So Easy nails, China glaze and Astonishing to name but a few.   This training was for their newer brand;   Astonishing Nails a brand which has been developed by Peggy Spill,  director of the Beauty Factory and Beauty international,  and her team.  With over 25 years of research and development, Peggy tells me she wanted to bring a new brand to the industry which is innovative. 
Wim, Me & Patricia

 This event was the 2nd annual educators event and was attended by  39 nail technicians and distributors  from all over the world,  Astonishing nails UK; www.astonishingnails.co.uk  Ela Loszczyk came with her husband, she is 2010 UK Nail Champion, and now master educator for Astonishing.  ASU beauty supplies in Dublin www.asunailandbeauty.ie  Suzanne Alcock brought a team of 12 girls all of which helped with the friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Greece, Russia and Spain where all represented along with many more….

The training kicked off with an introduction and distributor meeting held by Peggy Spill. Then the girls set up ready for some training after lunch. To the tune of the A team the international educators;  Tracey Vreven-Lee,  Wim Umans and Patricia van Loon came jogging on stage, ready to start the first class of the day; which was mine covering Gel and acrylic design. I hasten to add I was not one of the ‘joggers’…. yes call me a coward, I did declined that particular invitation to join in.

I was a guest educator along with David Fowler who was going to show the lucky girls pink and whites and competition nails the following day.

It was a fantastic training, covering 4 different nails we covered a lot of new applications and techniques,  along with inspiration and ideas. 

Wim, Patricia, Tracey & Kelly Lyn


Add caption

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

New nail design

I am wearing these nails today! and I thought I would post a photo, I have used colour drops, acrylic and gel, I will show you how I made these at the Cardiff and Birmingham workshops

Birmingham - 11th November - last few places available
Cardiff - 29th November - only 3 places left
book your place today, call Rebecca on 01299841009

Friday, 29 October 2010

Workshop Up Date

Ok, I wanted to give you a quick update on the workshop bookings

I have 2 more Gel classes this year; the 8th November in London is now  FULL.

Monday 15th November, has just 4 spaces left. 

The class In Birmingham, on the 20th November is Acrylic & Gel,  and Rebecca tells me spaces are 'limited'. The Cardiff class looks the same! 

all dates are just £35

Book today ladies...this is a red hot event, not to be missed!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

ARABELLA FORMS - Sunflower embellishments

This Nail Design is created using the Arabella forms, they can improve the way you work within the salon, giving you an opportunity to practise but also by pre making these flowers you can save time, when it comes to applying them onto your client’s nails. These embellishments can be encapsulated or embossed, perfect in any colour on an acrylic base or gel nails. Follow these instructions to create these sunflowers out of Gel, but please remember you can substitute the yellow for any colour to compliment the nail extension.

Step 1; I have created these flowers in gel; place a small bead of a thick   viscosity white gel onto the form. Have in your mind where the centre of the flower will be.

Step 2; Using a thin striping brush dip this into a yellow gel, so it coats the   bristle. Then drag the brush with the yellow gel  through the white bead, from the centre of the flower out. Lift the brush slightly as you get to the point  of your petal, this will help create a point.

Step 3; remember to cure each stage under the UV lamp, this is only a flash cure so no more than 10 seconds is needed.  Now to create the centre, use a combination of orange and brown gel, and place thins into the centre of the flower, mixing slightly, cure for 10 seconds and with a dotting tool dipped in black gel. Place dots around the outer edge of the brown centre.

Step 4.; once your happy with your flowers you need to attach them to your nails. Remember you can store these in a little pot for a later date to use when your short of time. Use all the forms sizes to fit different nail widths.

Also make the flowers on different parts of the forms to incorporate the c curve, so they themselves can be placed on different parts of the nail. To attach place a thin layer of gel down and using long nosed tweezers secure the flower, then flash cure. If your placing the flower on the top of a finished nail, use gel sealer first and bond the flower to the nail when it cures under the UV lamp.

For the full steps visit http://www.nailfreaks.com/
These nails were created for Nail Freaks.com

To get your set of Arabella Fantasy forms

Visit http://www.sambiddle.co.uk/ to view a short film for some more great ideas for these fantastic forms.