Friday, 24 April 2015

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I would have to disagree, it not only becomes frustrating but creates a negative feeling, tempting me to start keeping things close to my chest. 
I am not alone with this gripe, I know a lot of you have also felt the whip of imitation within your career, but look at it this way,  if your doing something right, you will be copied. 

Throughout my career I have always been questioned for giving too much away, people rarely understand how I can give away freely some of the things I have learnt on my travels and my answer to them is this; "I share freely because it is my role as an educator to help others expand their knowledge".  But when things are taken from you, or your good will is misused you are pushed into a place where you ask your self 'sharing freely might not be such a good thing'.  

Life is not FREE, we all have to make a living and I understand we are all trying to carve our own empire with original innovation and inspiration available to us. I am not blind to the fight to be the best, but lets all take one step back for a moment.  This is about the clients and not our own careers, think about the bigger picture and before you dilute your business into many different avenues because it is working for the competition, look at what your business actually needs to grow. Perhaps there is something unique and distinctive of your own you can develop instead of ripping off someone else hard work and ideas. 

For me to stay healthy, my approach to education won't change and I will keep innovating and developing my own original ideas and share freely, I know I have touched a lot of nail technicians worldwide and my actions of  sharing have helped them move forward.  

Do the same and be a leader, let the others follow, they will always be one step behind anyway. 

It is not the action that is important but how we feel about it that will make the difference! 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I know what your biggest nail art hurdle is.

Because I have faced them myself!  One of the biggest stumbling block to creating Nail art is finding inspiration.  The second hurdle for many of my students is the lack of skills to translate this into a nail design.

Inspiration is every where, all around us we see colours, shapes and designs, but the skill is translating that onto a nail and coming up with a design. 

The one thing I see nail techs do over and over again is over compensate because of their lack of confidence and just keep adding more!  The skill of becoming a great nail artist is working out how to translate your inspiration and put the design together over 10 different nails to make it look complete.

What I am noticing is that there are a lot of nail techs looking to social media for inspiration, in fact lets loose the word social media - nail techs are looking at other peoples work and trying to recreate the looks they like.

This is where their problems start! STOP right there! Copying other peoples looks and designs will not only stunt your creativity and  hinder you, making you doubt your abilities and leave you frustrated! 

What you need to do, is find a design you like, and think about the actual application.

Ask your self....HOW? 

What did they use to create the look, was it pigment, did they get the fine lines with the nail art pen or a brush, was using alcohol and ink how they got that effect. Learn HOW, and then put forget the image. Instead draw from your inner creative and use what you have learnt to develop your own unique style. Pull two or three different nail looks together, use a technique or application from one, and colour combination from another. Perhaps the lines and patterns from a third.

Then you have a brand NEW look in your own style, and you feel good about your work!

Remember one thing I always tell my students above all else!

You need to K.I.S.S your nails.

"Keep them simple & sexy"

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The wisdom to say nothing...

The other day I overheard conversation, which turned into a little debate, both parties took it in turns to voice how they did things within their business, but getting nowhere in trying to change the opinion of the other. 

Although it is important to stand up for what you think it is right morally, It is difficult to fight the urge to prove yourself and the temptation to explain your actions to others is hard to resist.

It is the wisdom to say nothing and have faith in what you are doing is for the good of your business and the industry, which will ultimately make you the
There is no point wasting your time trying to change another’s point of view, they will still make their own opinion of you and your business. 
This valuable energy making sure everyone knows you are more than what they think you are is wasted. 

Ignore this urge, don’t feed the ego, instead send your self some love and give yourself a break. As long as you can continue with good intentions who care what anyone else thinks, surely this is all that matters.

Have you been in a situation where you wanted to shout from the roof tops because you know they are wrong, trying to inform them of this fact, or do you let them continue to insist their way is right and keep quiet. I would love to know what you think? Please leave a comment on this blog and let me know. 

Thursday, 9 April 2015


Is social media destroying our creativity?

Do you know the difference between inspiration and creativity? 

Creativity - The use of imagination or original ideas to create something. 
Inspiration - The process of being mentally stimulated to do something creative.

I have watched the industry grow over the last 15 years and the past 5 years have seen it become a tighter community, where everyone is available at a click of a button.

A blessing? Social media has enabled us to reach far and wide and speak to fellow nail techs on the other side of the world, making new friends instantly. It has expanded our businesses, allowed us to network and learn. We have had our eyes opened to new styles, products and application methods. The changing trends from different continents has given us knowledge we wouldn’t have had access to before. Social media has opened other avenues of awareness to help us build our own empires, like marketing and the beauty, hair and make up industries collaborating to expand what we offer to our clients and students. 

Social media and our need to share and show the world what we know has opened up a whole new way of gaining information, expanding our knowledge and learning from others for free, instantly.  

There is an influx of FREE video tutorials in abundance on the Internet. I have not only watched them, I have posted my fair share and I will continue to do so. I’ll be honest with you here; for me, posting free video tutorials is all about marketing my brand and getting my message out to you. I’m guessing this is the case for other people who post their videos too, but who cares its for free right?  

Learning online for free is something we all do in general whilst traveling, watching TV or waiting at the Doctors surgery. However this  new information and inspiration is all lost the moment we browse onto the next video.
So in reality, we learn nothing at all. We just watch a nice video and think to ourselves, 'must try that one day' or, 'I wonder where she got that brush from?’. 
What we think and feel about other people’s nails, products and even the attitudes towards clients is shouted at us in big bold capital letters, with different social media groups for just about everything.
There’s a battle to be noticed, to shine brighter than the rest of the posts, to be innovative and come up with something new and different  in order to stay ahead of the competition. 
Because of this fight to be distinctive, our timelines have been filled with so many different things, the attention span of an individual constantly being diverted and tempted towards something else more exciting and glittery.
Nail technicians are getting drowned in self doubt as they look at art work and video tutorials they hope to recreate by watching a quick 2 minute video, with no practical step by steps on how to succeed.

There are so many new avenues to education today; when I started there was limited internet, no YouTube and definitely nothing like Facebook. My only source of new information was magazines, workshops and shows. With videos and images coming up on our news feeds everyday, are we at risk of inspiration overload? We are suddenly caught like a deer in the headlights not sure where to start when it comes down to doing the work. The mixed messages and techniques floating around our heads making no practical sense at all. 

The questions I ask myself are, “Is our own inner creativity being stunted, are we loosing the ability to come up with our own unique ideas, style and be inspired by whats around us? Do we rely on our newsfeed and YouTube subscriptions to stimulate us and inspire, running the risk of not developing your own style?”
You will never be innovative or unique if you can’t learn to listen to your inner creativity. We all have it, the source of that creativity will not come out unless you’re sat in front of your nail desk, and not in front of your computer.

Stop looking to be innovating and different. Start looking for the right tools and information to build your own style, enhance the fundamental applications and develop the skills you need. That is what will make you unique and distinctive, standing out from the social media crowd. 

I would love to know what you think about this article and how you find your inspiration? Does this translate to being creative?