Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Oh Christmas tree....Oh Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Trees….Oh Christmas Trees…..they are seriously a staple for nail art this time of year, but we need to jazz it up a little, don’t you agree? 

  1. Gel polish (or use regular polish if you prefer) your clients nails….any colour. 
  2. Apply a glitter topcoat in the shape of a christmas tree (that would be a triangle)! 
  3. Using the nail art pen, as a dotting tool, apply silver dots randomly over the glitter triangle. 
  4. Repeat this using white and gold. 
  5. Using the nail art pen, and any colour you like (for me it is gold) draw on your tinsel, like gold rings, getting bigger as they come down the tree. don’t forget to top off your tree with a star…or a Swarovski crystal if your feeling generous. 

check out the nail art pen, for more unique design ideas. 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Xmas Nail Art

 Fast and furious…that is what this festive season is like in salons all over the country. 
This step by step is your perfect solution, to give your clients something totally unique this Christmas.

  1. Gel polish your clients nails, in the colour of her choice. Top coat and wipe off inhibition layer.
  2. Buff the nails, so you remove all the shine….reassuring your client that she will end up with beautiful nails in the end. 
  3. With your top coat (must have an inhibition layer) apply creating circles randomly over the nail. Just 2 - 3 per nails. don’t over do it and Cure.
  4. Using Be Creatives Chameleon pigment (the blue looks amazing also) I have used lilac lounge lizard in this step……pat into the sticky layer of the top coat. 
  5. The nail  art pen is an amazing tool for nail art, but it is also fabulous for scratching through your pigment, remove the pigment in various patterns over the baubles.
  6. Now use your nail art pen to create a thin line of gold (or white) to hang your these baubles from your tree. 
  7. Last step - top coat to seal. 
check out the chameleon pigment for some more great special Fx on nails. 

Friday, 29 November 2013

We have a Winner!

What a competition - the nail art pen has rocked the industry over the last 12 months, hitting four continents and changing the way nail professional work in the salon. We wanted to celebrate the success of this amazing tool with a little competition....which turned into a not so little competition.

With a wealth of prizes amounting to a whopping £2000 donated by some amazing companies, which we from Jealous Cow and Be Creative want to say an extra special thank you for supporting us so generously. Visit the website to check out who they are. 

So what was this competition all about - well all you had to do was get your nail art pen and decorate it, in anything you wish.  We wanted to see creativity, we wanted to be wowed and ultimately we wanted to see if we would steal the pen.

The Judges Alisha Rimando, Catherine Wong and myself (Sam Biddle incase you didn't know) represented the international vibe, as this Nail Art pen Competition went around the world and back again.  Uploading images onto Facebook, the entries could accumulate LIKES which played a small and important part in the overall competition, ultimately showcasing the talent out there....and not just on nails.

So enough of the back ground you want to know who won right? Well hold your horses just one second, because a super special mention has to go to everyone who entered, there was a plethora of ideas all lovingly created on the Be Creative Nail Art Pens. Each one a work of art in its self. I want to show case just a few of them, as there was over 50 entries.

Created by Lisa Marie Allen
Created by Lisa Marie Allen
Created by April Wellington

Created by Aimee Ginsbery

Created by Caroline Carrick

Created by Marlou Dassen
Created by Vicky Louw

Created by Tammi Merritt

This is just a small selection, there was so many favourites of mine, so I have more on the website, and more to come.......there you can look and be inspired. I do hope you upload your design and let up feature it on the Page.

So lets announce the Winner after this long and I am sure you will concur interesting build up :0). 


to the winner of the 2013 Nail Art Pen competition

1st place Christine Roggeveen

2nd place Szilvia Egerszegi

3rd place Janetta Wouters

Monday, 4 November 2013

Canada & Beavers

Leaving Vegas and landing in Canada was a stark contrast, a place full of lights, eager expectation, and hustle and bustle of tourists from dawn to dusk. I felt the moment I landed in Winnipeg I was grounded and It also felt very much like home. I was finally going to meet Peggy Talbot Be Creative’s Canadian  distributor who very generously opened her home up to me.  With two days off before the class, I was soon whisked off for a 2.30 hour drive to Lake in the Woods, Kenora where Peggy has a cabin. Before my trip Peggy messaged me and asked me what I would like to see when I came to Canada. " Peggy I am easily pleased I would just like a Canadian experience” I replied. Well that is just what I got. 

Visiting Smith Camps and having a hearty moose meat stew served in a baked pumpkin. Along with fish cooked and smoked by Al, the resident Crocodile Dundee of Canada.. What he didn't know about animals, pelts and of course Beavers and their nocturnal going ons…...urmmmm yes I am talking the furry kind which build damns and Canada’s  national animal! I also enjoyed a hike in the woods, and realized yet another Canadian past time….hunting. It seems for Fungi????? I think I gave up after a couple of shots, but goodness peggy and Michelle where pro’s. I did wonder if perhaps this was the female version of Hunting moose. Ha only kidding….:0?



Monday was the start of the Be Creative Sam Biddle workshop, with a host of different nails and 20 expectant nail technician's  all waiting for me to blow their mind. Eeeeeek! I hope I did. Day 1 was salon viable designs, working with the be creative nail art pen and pigments, and creating stickers and one stroke effects with the gel paints. Day 2 however was the indulgent day, and we started out creating butterflies to flutter by acrylic roses. 
Peggy Talbot, Michelle Ketcher & Moi

Be Creative class 2013

This was the first trip out to Canada, and in just 5 days filled with a host of Canadian experiences and of course having met some amazing people. I look forward to returning. 

AUGUST....she surprised us all and herself. 

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Fantastical in Las Vegas

The last few days of my Vegas trip was just down right indulgent. Fantasy nails for me is that proverbial cherry on top of the cake...with extra frosting, and to teach this is an honour. It isn't an easy thing to teach to be honest with you, and I prefer to work along side a very small class, this keeps it more enjoyable for everyone, and they don't loose track or even forget what they need to do next to move onto the next stage. Unlike a design class learning fantasy nails is a slow process, and really your lucky to leave with a completed work of art.
Group shot! 

We started easy, with some snakes, incorporating those luscious chameleon pigments, and pressed tulle into acrylic to get the texture and skin effect. those snakes went from one extreme - cute to down right deadly. Moving on after lunch to cute and cuddly, and alas I have to say I had the attack of the giggles in the afternoon. Those giraffes where just the best things ever. I was very proud to see them grow up. 

Class results
The second day we concentrated on features and the human form. Creating magic with fairies, including working with gel to make those wings. 

Sandy Borges

Allison Ross

The aim of the lesson is to develop faces and form, working on building structure, create movement and features. and of course have some giggles along the way. 

Sandy & Tammi having a moment.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Artisan programs day 2

Last night I had every intention of sitting down in a quiet corner for 30 mins to write my blog, but alas this was not meant to be. The day its self was full of tension, which is understandable, expectations run high and a strong self belief is necessary. part of the assessment day is to do a 'micro teach' a portion of the lesson plan taught to your peers....eeeeeeeek! who on earth thought that one up. something I would have struggled with in the past. But their is a realisation when doing something like this, that you have nothing to fear but fear its self. sometimes it is the story you tell your self which becomes bigger and more scary than the actual realisation. Trust me i have conversations with my self in the shower all the time....! then one you have conquered those insecurities about what might never are better for it. That said we had three beautiful demonstrations, and along the way some giggles...resulting in the first USA artisans. Sandy Borges Combs, Sharon George and Tammi Merritt. they will now be offering the think outside the box class in the USA and Trinidad and Tobago.

Going out to celebrate at the planet hollywood, we came back to do abit of gambling...well as they say when in Rome. Not that I new what I was doing or even pretended to understand when the croupier explained, but it was fun 'loosing money'

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Day 1 be creative artisan training

Day 1 of the the Be Creative USA education program is over and I am sitting here by the fire with Rebecca discussing how truly amazing these new Artisans are, the phenomenal talent in one room is inspiring and to think they will be spreading the Be Creative word across the USA and Trinidad and Tobago. The naughty side of me enjoys the fact that we are enjoying a glass of something fresh in the bar as they continue to practise and complete theirs homework for another day of training tomorrow....and that in my defence is because I have been in their shoes all too often! Thank goodness we love our jobs.
The day started off with a giggle and plenty of ice breaking....first challenge to them was to deliver a 'creative' personnel presentation. From belly dancing tutorials to naughty knicker drawers we found out why our new artisans where blessed with their imagination.
Working in Las Vegas is distracting I have to admit, taking a lunch break in such a beautiful and entertaining setting means my normal 30min rule goes out the window....but hay oh we have all night.
So for now I shall sleep easy and look forward to tomorrow and their assessment day.
Check out this nail created by Sandy Borges for her homework.

Nail created by Sandy Borges

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Getting the best from your nail art pen

Have you bought a nail art pen and still not sure how to use it. My advise to you to get yourself onto a "think outside the box" class and you will be amazed at how simple it is. But if that is not possible then these answers to common questions I get asked might just do the trick. The one important thing to remember is not to over complicate the whole process,  It is a simple and effective tool, and will always work...
My nib is broken...
  1. The nib comes in 2 pieces, it is designed to be easily cleaned. 
  2. To fit your nib together correctly watch this film. Nail art pen instructional film
  3. There is meant to be a split down the centre of the large nib, this allows the paint to flow onto the nail. 
  4. There is meant to be a hole in the nib, make sure the smaller nib does not cover this hole. 

My paint will wont flow....
  1. Make sure the nib is fitted correctly. watch this film. Nail art pen instructional film
  2. The smaller part of the nib should not cover the hole
  3. The paint your using needs to be as thin as single cream.
  4. If you have bought the be creative paint, and it is too think, add some water until the pot is full. 
  5. You are not using enough pressure, this is a pen not a brush, hold the pen at a 45 degree angle...much like a writing pen, and to achieve more pressure squeeze your fingers.
  6. Practise on paper first to achieve your flow. 
  7. Scratch back and forwards to generate movement for the paint to flow. 
  8. Your paint has dried onto the nib and creates friction, preventing the flow. 
Can I buy a new nib?

Yes you can, you can get the new nibs at 

How do I clean the pen?

Simple wash the nib and pen in water, swirl it around and remove. 

TOP TIP, when your finished using the pen, dip the nib in washing up liquid or dish soap. leave to one side to dry. do not rinse. the next time you use it this will act as a lubricant for your paint. 

Thursday, 2 May 2013

‘What to say when you talk to yourself’

Empowering the tech out of the salon and into the competition arena

There is a book written by Shad Helmstetter, PhD with this very same title, it is a self help book which talks about how to move forward and be successful in anything you do, and knowing what to say when you talk to your self. 

You might have ambition and drive, but as ‘Creative’ people we are very quick to grab that base ball bat and beat your selves up time and time again, when things aren’t perfect or we haven't achieved our expectations.  

It is when we take that first step into the competition arena, that we become aware of what are those inner voices telling you? 

‘Sam what are you doing, your going to fail at this and make a fool of your self, stop right now’‘Sam are you mad, all this stress and work for what’?‘Keep it real Sam, there is no way you can compete with those guys their work is awesome, and yours is well....’ 

Believe me when I tell you I have had that voice in my head, but that is not my voice.  That is the voice of fear.  If you can image fear as a separate entity, a big green blob of quivering anxiety, willing you to prove it is right.  Could you look ‘down’ at this blob, staring it straight in the eyes and say

‘I don’t care what you have to say, I am going to do this regardless, and either way what ever the outcome it will be right for me at this time’. 

Can you feel your spine getting straighter, and all those concerns and nerves and everything else that comes with insecurity and fear seems unimportant. 

Competitions are no different than starting your first day at work or school.  The first time you are trapped in that dark room with fear whispering in your ear, but once you have found the window and drawn back the curtains you realize it is just a room, with a view to your future. 

Never listen to fear tell you, you are not good enough or not brave enough, talk to your self instead, and grab every opportunity to challenge it.

Article written for Scratch magazine May edition - feature YOU WIN AGAIN.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Make it work for you

Are you a good nail technician? 

It is easy to be a good nail technician, you need to know your stuff, be educated in your craft and continue with that education with skill building workshops throughout your career.  
But to be a great nail technician……That is a different question. 

Not to let fear hold you back, to relax when you apply your acrylic or gel and just ‘know’ it will be ok.  I wrote these top tips quite a while ago, I found them again whilst looking for something else and they resonated with me...reminded me actually of how it should be.

This is a top 10 list  about working smarter and learning some tricks to make your craft work for you. This little list is not about all the technical stuff, it isn’t a “do this, and you will achieve that…list”, instead it is guide, my little “notes to self” that achieves some fantastical results. 
  1. Don’t think it…. just do it, enjoy the process, and live in that moment, because believe me this will show in your work. 
  2. Do you over analyse your nail?  Sometimes we get stuck over thinking our designs, and before we know it we have given up before we have started, because we feel it might be too difficult, or might not be good enough.  It doesn’t matter it will be what it will be when you’re done
  3. Don’t try and manipulate any creative process. There is no right and wrong, you can’t make any mistakes, and you’re not going to win any prizes… just enjoy it…find that inner child who doesn’t care what others want least of all you…and have fun!
  4. We are as human’s extremely over critical, mainly of ourselves. We end up having long drawn out conversations with our selves, mostly negative.  Turn around and tell that part of you to “SHUT UP”, pop those ear plugs in……you might like this new you!
  5. Don’t rush anything, don’t try and finish the nail before you have even started it.  This is my problem; I get so excited I want to see the finished product. 
  6. Because you may miss opportunities to improve it along the way.   
  7. The secret is to just go with the flow, and see what happens.  Sometimes the best results are born from a mistake.  
  8. Have faith in your product; know what it can do for you.  Learn how your acrylic ticks and make it work for you; build a relationship out of mutual respect. 
  9. Don’t….don’t copy.  Don’t take an idea from someone else and recreate it, but do….DO use someone’s work to inspire your own design. If you are unique and original you will have a style, this is what will define your work, not designs….but you will never develop a style if you copy someone else’s, and let that influence you…instead, use their designs as your muse, to wet your creative appetite to develop something fantastic.   
  10. The final thing, and most important in my option is not to compare your skills and talents with others around you. As technicians we find this habit very hard to break, looking at what other people are doing and judging their talents against our own.  We just have to face it there is always going to be someone else more talented than you, it might be that they seem to be more creative than you feel, or display a unique talent that you covet. But equally there will always be those who are less than you in all these ways.  The way to find out who you are is not by comparing yourself with others, but by looking at fulfilling your own potential the best way you know how. Now ask yourself “Are you incomparably unique?”

Let me know if you have found this blog post useful and helpful, and please feel free to share it with others.  Samxxx

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Independant learning - does not mean buying products.

Q.  Do I need to buy all the be creative products on Sam's class? 
A.  No. 

When I ventured out and became an independent educator nearly 5 years ago now, I wanted to focus on sharing my skills and knowledge through application and not based on products and brands.  I moved away from being a ‘sales’ tech because I was tired of the constant politics and the warped motivation behind teaching. Let me explain…..

I built my business be Inspired on the bases that each and every one of my students can do what I do with what they already have. Over time I started to collect products and develop tools to make my life easier and the job quicker, and of course these where all wanted by my students in the class. “No worries” I would say “I will get you a pack”. 

Eventually I was spending more time on the products and development and not on education where my heart lies, so that is how Jealous Cow Ltd and the Be Creative was born.  Going into partnership with Rebecca, who was already a distributor of her own nail art brand and sub distributor of Ez Flow in the UK.  We developed a business, so I could continue to educate and use what I wanted in the class, and the focus could remain on application and design not products or brands. 

Rebecca then works with all the products and ideas I come up with, we development together as a team and she is the one who distributes them.  It is testament that over the short time Be Creative has been around in the nail world we have grown with little effort, this I feel is down to the way the products are used and relate to existing core products that each of the students use, wether it be Ez flow, IBD, Young nails and ONS.  I have been asked over and again, can I please bring out a core line of gels and acrylics, But both Rebecca and I feel it is important not to confuse our ethos, which is making the nail techs life easier, bringing you things to inspire you and help you develop your own business with what you have already, supported and enhanced by Be creative. We bring you items that others don’t have. I have even suggested we are a boutique brand. 

I don’t care what you use on my class, you can bring your additives and gel paints along, I just want to show you what you can do with them. I am very interested in everyone’s products, like you I am a nail tech through and through, looking at the colours and tools to work with excites me and inspires me. I find something new, I go and buy it right away and use it. I do not judge you or tell you on the class what you can and can’t use, and if your product isn’t quite cutting the mustard, I try and give you an option to make it work for you.  Sometimes this doesn’t even include using anything I have in my own kit.  Let me give you an example, if you need a fast setting powder, so you can hit the mould-able stage quicker and have longer to work with it, but the brand you have in your kit does not allow this, by simply using some acetone on a brush, it does the job perfectly……! 

A good friend of mine a few years ago told me to always remember to do what you do for the good of the Student, not a brand or company. And this has always been my  Ethos.  Some people say that to attend my class you need to buy all my products, I promise you this is not the case. Buying the products is not necessary at all, you will be able to do everything with what you have already. I am very insistent that the class is NOT BRAND RELATED. I am an independent and fought a lot of battles to stay this way, trust me. The brand Be Creative are products that just enhance your own favorite line. 

During the class  it is all there for you to use if you want or you use the products you know and love. The class is about learning new skills and very hands on, to help you move your business forward and help improve the industry as a whole. No one ever should feel you need to purchase anything to work with on the day.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Be inspired in USA

23rd & 24th January

I am very excited to start off the new year with this class....Be Inspired with Sam Biddle returns for another year, and this year in the USA it is going to be bigger and better.

I will, of course, be working with  Be Creative Gel Paints and the magical Chameleon pigment range in this class, along with the one and only Nail Art Pen and a host of other products you will not find anywhere else. This year it is not just about art work, this class will be filled with Hidden Depths!

It is all about layering, texture and depth in 2013, and I wanted to show you how you can easily incorporating some fantastical ideas into your salon viable designs.

  • You will find out how to create an illusion of a textured nail, and still give your clients workable enhancements.
  • Create beautiful hummingbirds, and play with peacock feathers, I will also show you how to create a fabulous on trend snake skin effect without the snake skin. 
  • You will be working with the Arabella’s to develop stickers and nail effects to save to time and make you money.
  • We will be marbling with a difference where you will find out the secrets to getting the best marble effects.
  • You will also create  3D acrylic designs...which gasp shock....are NOT flowers. 

If that is not enough.....

  • I will show you how to get the every best out of the gel polish and working with our pigment range you will learn how to produce fabulous results in minutes.

This is a class to WOW, no holds barred. 

 With my individual style to teaching, I will be  breaking down the design elements which means you will learn a whole new approach to design nails.
If you have never been on one of my classes you will know YOU DO NOT  need to be an advanced technician or fabulous nail artist to join us, each and every design  you will be able to do achieve on the day. It is less about being artistic but more about


So do your business a favour and step on board the design train. 

Let your inner child out to play.......with us in Long Beach...January 23rd & 24th. 
we have still got a few places left so please email Carla Collier on