Marian Newman / Doug Schoon – Part 1

Marian Newman / Doug Schoon – Part 1 is focusing on what I’ve learnt so far this year from these two giants in the nail game.   As stated there will be a part 2 with so much educational knowledge available I can’t get it all down in one sitting.  

Two professionals in the nail industry that I respect above the rest (I’ve got favourites, sshh don’t tell), Marian Newman and Doug Schoon are amazing industry front runners for knowledge / regulations.  They are striving for an industry filled with professionals who are expanding their product knowledge far beyond colour choices and nail art.  Both professionals have published books and for me that’s money well spent at this part of my career and no doubt will be in years to come, when needing to reference.

As I’ve banged on a thousand times, I endeavour to be the best Nail Technician I can be.  Knowledge and practice, working “in my business” and “on my business” but education is key to doing anything well.

Knowledge is so powerful when passed down from someone who has learnt the same as you, put it into practice and gained experience.  Who then take the time to pass the knowledge onto people who are potentially at a different stage, on the same journey.

Whilst I’m learning, you’re learning because we all want to make informed decisions when purchasing products, such as home nail supplies.  We also want to know important information when getting our nails done professionally because it’s not all colour swatches and glitter. 

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.  Learn as if you were to live forever” – Mahatma Gandhi

Complete Nail Technician

I started out at the beginning of the year with Marian’s The Complete Nail Technician or should I say Marian Newman BEM.  Marian has been creating educational textbooks since 1990 and the title of the book is no lie.  What needs to happen is, this book needs to be used alongside any nail course.  It has every thing you need, it’s the book of books.   I have learnt so much from this book I can’t recommend it higher.  If you want to be a good, knowledgable nail technician then don’t over look this book!!

I read it cover to cover and im a better nail technician for it.  It’s the little details that I needed to know.  Thing like marketing ploys that confuse nail technicians such as “chemical free”. Who would have thought something so simple is actually ridiculously inaccurate.  Every single thing is made of chemicals.  The word formaldehyde also gets thrown around a lot but even us humans are not formaldehyde free.  We produce it in our bodies at the amount of 0.0005%. 

I have completed a course with Marian before, it was a great experience as a new nail technician and I’m so grateful I was chosen.  It’s only a short piece but check it out below if you want to read how badly I sucked at that one. 

Nails: Mastered 

Face to Face with Doug Schoon Volume 1

Doug Schoon – Volume 1

This is what I’ve learnt so far from the Science Boss himself.  When talking about us magical nail technicians he says beautiful things like this …… They regularly work with the most technologically advanced products in the beauty industry”

Some of the gems that you may have heard me spewing in the monthly newsletter come from these books and they consist of: 

Do nails need to breath?  

No, nails don’t need to breath.  Nail plates do not absorb any oxygen and can thrive in a completely air free environment.  Nail plates get everything they need delivered and filtered via the blood stream from the nail matrix.  The nail matrix is where the nail is created (just behind the cuticle area).  

When wearing a nail coating moisture and oil content still passes through the nail plate to keep it supple.  This may slow down ever so slightly but that is all!  

Nail polish

Have you ever heard of nail polish that is 3-free / 4-free / 5-free even as far as 6-free!?  This is normally related to chemicals that are no longer in polishes anyway.  Original nail polishes contained products such as fish scales for shimmer , Carmine for red shades and tallow for thickening.  All animal byproducts that’s were used a vveeerrrryyyyy long time ago.  This is why you may find polishes claiming they are “vegan”.

Nail polish bottles have no water for pathogens 🦠 to survive, it’s full of solvents which are known to break down a pathogen and kill them.

Any nail polish information you may want to find, check out 


Just in case you have ever heard misinformation about nail lamps.  Here’s the real intelligence..

For decades Dr’s have been using UV as a treatment for psoriasis (documented as a very safe procedure).  Scientific research at a major US University claims you would need to have 250 years of UV gel manicures every week, to match the risk of one course of psoriasis treatment.  You are at more risk of UV exposure from the sun when driving back and fourth to your nail appointment.  

Marian Newman / Doug Schoon – Part 1 is focusing on what I’ve learnt so far.  Up next is Volume 2 and 3 from Doug and a course Nail Knowledge Diploma that I won a huge discount on.  Watch this space.

Nail Art Trends – Geometric

The geometric nail art movement is laid down on a beautiful path by the genius’s before.  Artists use it, mathematicians use it, musicians use it, even spiritualist refer to the flower of life.
According to The Tate  – Geometry is studying the relationships between lines, angles, and surfaces.
One of Leonardo Da Vinci’s famous drawings was the man inside the square/circle, this is a visual image of the geometry of man.  

The Vitruvian Man

A very common picture when looking at geometric patterns is the flower of life.  The flower consists of 19 overlapping circles, spaced evenly, create a perfectly symmetrical flower.  It’s documented that the 1st image of the geometric flower dates back to 645 BC.

Sacred geometry is the observation of universal patterns which are found in the foundations of the universe.

Geometric sequences are also in mathematics, the numbers follow a pattern or rule.  Interest rates in the bank also contain a level of geometric sequences. 

Musical note frequencies each have a specific frequency called a pitch.  The interval between the pitches is called an octave all entangled into a mathematical sequence. 


Piet Mondrian a Dutch painter created one of the most famous geometric pieces of art known along with my favourite Kandisky, mentioned in previous blog about abstract art.  They were both pioneers in these styles of painting.  Using simple geometric shapes to portray a feeling, movement and a whole emotion.

What is a geometric shape?  How do we miss that they are all around us?  Your cabbage in the fridge, the flowers on your dining table and the pinecones in your pot purée bowl.  

Great examples of natures geometry consist of snowflakes, diamonds, shells, trees a sunflower head.  These beautiful items are in front of our eyes every day.  

Nail Art

I have the impression that this is why this common nail art request is timeless. Natural geometric shapes will continue to make an impression on us every day.  Whether it’s conscious or unconscious.

Nail art is evolving every day, just like fashion all trends go round in a circle.  Hot now, not next year but when it comes to simple styles, they are timeless.

Geometric patterns are always in our nail trends. Whether there are lines dots circles or squares we are wearing them every year.  My hope is that in 5 years’ time this blog is still relevant for nail art fabulousness.

The approach I’ve used for this style of nail is something you can also do at home. Home nail art can be fun nothing in life needs to be perfect and nail art is no exception.

I love to channel the info and practice into a real life set of nails so here’s one I made earlier… Blue Peter style.

Press On Them Thangs Gurl 


Brand selection – What am I using and why?

Here is how I’m doing brand selection and why. As a nail professional you are required by certification to use a product system in it entirety. In other words it’s the companies way of telling you, if you want the desired results we are offering then you must use every step. Therefore brands spend a long time formulating and testing each individual item and then the system as a whole.

The main problem when mixing brands and products is you can not guarantee your results! Above all the concern not only relates to “will the product perform” but what adverse effects will be created in relation to the clients nail and skin health.

Rhi Rhi Nails It Cuticle Oil

Whilst creating this natural oil I experienced a product development process involving multiple rounds of laboratory testing after multiple trial and error efforts. I am fully aware of the seriousness and commitment a brand takes in order to give the consumer the most effective product possible. Our professional liability insurance validity also requires us to use the system as directed.

Since the start of my nail journey I’ve been keeping you up to date with what products I’ve purchased and how they will increase your treatment satisfaction. Purchasing some very innovative nail art assistance was one of the 1st blogs I wrote. They were amazing for a new Nail Technician and I still use them now as an experience Nail Technician.

Specialist Nail Art Products

Im not one to use one brand for everything I offer and just go with it even it’s not the best. That’s my version of not being a knowledge, responsible nail professional. I want you to have the best I can afford in all individual treatment departments. So what are the key things I look for when doing brand selection:-

  • Professional standard product
  • Is there certificated product training available
  • Company values
  • Are they engaging in any environmental protection behaviours
  • What reviews are available
  • The financial implications of the purchase

Preparation Brand Selection

A nail appointment consists of many different phases from preparation to application and onto finishing. My preferred items for the initial phase of preparation is the NSI nail file. I use NSI products for various different treatments. Absolutely wonderful training academy, friendliest group of people I’ve encountered training wise. Their nail file options in particular are all shaped with a soft curve on the top edge and a full range of grits from natural nail (needing the softest grit) to acrylic extensions (needing the hardest grit). The NSI 240 combo file buffer is a staple item that I can not live without!!

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Nail files
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Nail files

Tweezerman / Official Tribe Tools

The manicure and pedicure part is most important to assess nail health and remove dead unwanted cuticle from the nail plate. These tools need to be sharp and effective in their usage. Another area where purchasing a more expensive option will benefit due to the time gained in efficiency. I have previously purchased the standard stainless steel option you can get from anywhere but buy cheap buy twice and I really did experience that error at the beginning of my career!

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Tweezerman preparation tools
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Tweezerman preparation tools
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Tribe preparation tools
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Tribe preparation tools

Application Brand Selection

O.P.I. – Nail Polish

I use it, I love it, I sell it. Not just because its OPI which is one of the most well known nail polish brands but because I think its the best nail polish on the market for what I want you to have on your nails. The colour pigment is unrivalled and I’ve amassed around 150 of these beautiful babies. The company has a beautiful story behind its founding and eventual sale to Coty. Suzi Weiss-Fischmann wrote a very insightful memoir called Im Not Really a Waitress. It was almost a business manual that I would recommend to any start up for inspiration.

p.s. O.P.I. has an amazing natural nail strengthen I worked a lot with for a previous case study. Its still as effective now get your hands on one here, I highly recommend it even in a market where brand selection is vast.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - O.P.I. Nail polish
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – O.P.I. Nail polish

O.P.I. Colour swatches

CND Shellac – Gel Polish

The original gel polish hybrid, so much so that when people want a gel polish manicure they say “I would like shellac” not realising they are asking for a brand name. CND Shellac offers great colour pigmentation, a range of base and top coats, along with specialist problem options and everything in between. Offering an extremely effective system that I have been using for a number of years now.

The top coat selection alone is a great selling point. After many years working with a variety of nail types I became increasingly aware that one size does not fit all. We have the hard handed gardeners to the gentle TLC regular oils and lotions nails. What CND have provided is something for all us.

The elephant in the room question is “have I tried other brands” the answer is yes and I still choose CND Shellac.

CND Shellac Colour swatches

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Top Coat range
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Top Coat range
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Specialist Problem Fixers
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Specialist Problem Fixers

Footlogix – SPA Pedicure

This company works on their products like a podiatrist would and I love that. They are created and used with a common problem in mind that they want fixed. I 1st encountered the brand face to face at Professional Beauty 2019. I then trained with them multiple times in the Covid-19 lockdown and then since then used the items many a time on your spa pediucures. Im so glad I was right and Footlogix really are the leading pedicure item.

Furthermore these products are so good I do my own pedicure monthly just to have some of the luxury treatment I’m performing for others.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Footlogix pedicure products
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Footlogix pedicure products

IBX – Nail Treatment

The only product on the market that gets inside the nails. Importantly this product really is different from anything on the market. It reminds me of what Olaplex does for hair, get inside makes changes and creates a healthy vibe we all long for. Great blog about that here.

Mundo – Disinfection Liquids

Disifection is an essential part of manicure and pedicure treatments. Without this integral part of treatment you are risking yourself and every person who you come into contact with for their appointment.

The variety of bacteria, viruses and infections available from underneath the finger and toe nail or the skin itself are worryingly extensive so Mundo have produced a liquid for all areas. There are foot spas, hard surfaces, files, tools and skin sprays and liquids. With this being their key focus it give you a confidence in what their aim is for professionals. I’ve bought into their range and am happy with the cleanliness outcomes.

Nail Art Products Brand Selection

The nail art selection of products is the most varied so finding the best products really can be trial and error. Lecente / :Yours / Krystal Katana are all great options for their specific needs. In short I’m not extremely experienced when it comes to nail art brushes in particular but the batch below really are great. For instance the bristles are soft and workable but stiff enough to get some strength when needed for a firm line.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? -  :Yours stamping plates
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – :Yours stamping plates
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Lecente glitter tubs
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Lecente glitter tubs
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Lecente fine detailing nail art brushes
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Lecente fine detailing nail art brushes
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Additional O.P.I. nail art brushes
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Additional O.P.I. nail art brushes

Travel Cases Brand Selection

Roo Beauty

Any mobile nail technician will be carrying a large variety of equipment and it become more logistically difficult with every new gel polish you buy. Therefore owning the correct travel cases is essential because carrying heavy items incorrectly could put a nail technician out of work for life.

Roo Beauty have created a very efficient trolley and carry bag, their range for travel professional is vast and not just nails and the designs are very trendy.

Brand selection - what am I using and why? - Roo Beauty travel kit bag
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – Roo Beauty travel kit bag
Brand selection - what am I using and why? - GSG Nail art travel bag
Brand selection – what am I using and why? – GSG Nail art travel bag

Firstly does a potential client choose you because of your brand selection? Do they also work from the same list of requirements I would when looking for a product? Secondly if this is correct then we are all part of the same expectation circle.

Finally, if im using a system you can rest assured I will always use as instructed by the brand but when it comes to brand selection on non systematic products that’s where my impeccable research skills come into use. Whether its researching the market for what’s the best face serum for dark circles (It’s Kiehl’s just in case you were interested), to what product softens stubborn calluses, I’m your girl!

Nail Art Trends – Designer Logo’s

It’s all about that logo! You can just see a yellow M and think MacDonald’s.

Logos have the power to make us feel or want something just by the sight of it. Designer brands can thrive on their logo, with such representation that you know who they are without the full company name present. We know L V, or two C intertwined being Louis Vuitton and Chanel respectively. Any company trying to make a name for themselves has to take note of the level of brand awareness these designers are achieving.

We have taken such an attachment to the expensive designer brands of the world and their famous logos we have placed them on everything. I’m talking rugs, pillows, toothbrush holders and now nails. With that in mind I bought a selection of options for every taste on from an amazing nail supplier Nail Citi.

These products are just what I wanted to be able to make some really eye-catching nails with not too much drama. I have used foils many times over the last 7 years and have always worked with a more abstract theme. These logos really needs to be seen whole on the nail if you want the full effect. So, I went back to basics and used the actual ‘foil glue’. It’s a white liquid which you apply to the area you want the foil to stick to. You wait for it to dry (look clear/no longer white) and then you place the foil on top. Rub, rub, rub with a silicone tool to ensure it’s all stuck down – top tip – You can see the pattern coming away from the foil as you press.

Why do we love designer?

It’s expensive, its luxury. Who can afford expensive? Rich and famous, are we ooobbsseesssssed with rich and famous? HELL YEAH WE ARE!

Rightly or wrongly we look to celebrities and influencers for so many things. When we look, we see designer. Shoes, bags, belts or clothing covered in logos. We tend to deem this as the pinnacle of success, and this can relate to any field.

Us working folk dreaming of “making it” comes from working at something and continuing to do well and then receiving the accolades and notoriety for our achievements. Just like an award show season in Hollywood which is no joke, have you ever watched the red-carpet coverage. Very serious business!

It seems that even the introverts of the world know the importance of doing well and potentially having rich and famous being inside the same success bubble. Steven Hawkings let the whole world, not just the scientific community know, what Black Holes are. This = fame.

Thats enough about fame, success, money and luxury. Let’s look at some nails that tell us we have all those things without using words. Check out these simple but extremely effective styles I whipped up in the nail studio.

Luxury example – Louis Vuitton bags are waterproof and fireproof, handmade with natural leather.

When making magic its always appropriate to make a pair for someone far away who I can’t get my hands on. So here is the purchasable press on pair.

The retro vibe of old skool logos is also back. Ellesse! I have not had an Ellesse T-Shirt for about 25 years, but they are back too. Along with a whole list of other brand names making a resurgence. Keep your eyes peeled, it’s the 90’s again.

Rhi Rhi Nails It Cuticle Oil

The official Rhi Rhi Nails It Cuticle Oil is completed, we have a Cometic Product! With its own Cosmetic Safety Report and Sustainability/Compatibility Assessment. It’s been 2 years in the making, the initial idea came when I 1st started doing nails back in 2014! I then spent years researching oils our skin will love, testing formulations, working tirelessness on research. Patience really is a virtue.

Working on a passion project that you envisioned at the start of a new career is exciting but did I underestimate the process…. YES! Not only did I need to develop the administrative part of the process, I also needed the practical part. Then to top it off I needed the money to fund the project.  All taking time and energy that luckily I had and was willing to apply.  I’m extremely happy, I feel the finished product couldn’t be better.  I have loved the journey and I’m loving the excitement of bringing it to the world. 

Small steps every day still take you on the journey, the same as the large steps.  I chose the small steps. I apologise if whilst taking those small steps, it’s meant you have been subjected to me continuously talking about oil for years. But I’m grateful for the patience everyone has granted me.

If you are new to Rhi Rhi Nails It and here for the Cuticle Oil story

Who I am – My name is Rhiannon Johnson-Smith I’m a working nail professional servicing the Bedfordshire area with mobile nail appointments.  From manicures to spa pedicures and everything in between.  I am trained by the biggest nail brands in the industry and have gained nearly 10 years experience and knowledge.  I am completely personable with solid customer care skills.

As a professional, I am passionate about nail health so much so, that this is where the original idea came from.

When I was younger I used to mix creams and products together on my dressing table and call them my “concoctions”. Who would have thought 24 years later I would use those dressing table skills to help people have gorgeous nails.

It’s exciting times in the healthy nails journey. With COVID-19 terrorising the planet earth an antibacterial gel being applied tirelessly. We are required to pamper ourselves at home instead of going to spa’s and salons. It’s the perfect time to start caring from your hands and start fixing some nail problems!

Sales Information

Imagine the world where you use a product that only has the ingredients that you wanted inside of it…… 

This is the 1st product from the Rhi Rhi Nails It Mani/Pedi line.  It has only 100% natural ingredients, it is vegan, vegetarian, cruelty free and non GM.  All listed with no hidden items. Providing you the transparency needed to enjoy the product knowing we care. 

The amazing 100% naturally occurring fruit and vegetable oils are blended to make a clean, simple and gentle cuticle oil.  It is free from synthetic fragrances and preservatives.  Manufactured in the UK by a qualified Nail Professional with close to 10 years of hands on nail experience.

Smaller molecules in oil products allows it to penetrate deeper into the top layers of skin, even more so than a moisturizer.  Rhi Rhi Nails It Cuticle Oil is not too thick, is not gloopy and will absorb quickly.  No one wants greasy fingers whilst trying to change gear on the way to work.  Its light, its absorbent and a wonderful way to keep your nails looking healthy. 

To ensure what I thought was true to be true, I carried out a case study. Heres what came out of it…..

Ingredients Profile 

Grape Seed Oil 

Grape seed oil is a by-product of the winemaking process, pressed from the seeds of the grapes.  The seeds are loaded with the natural plant compounds know as oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes, or OPC’s. These compounds have beneficial properties for the body, including being anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-viral and anti-bacterial.  The Main omega-6 PUFA in grape seed oil is linolenic acid, this fatty acid can help reduce inflammation in the skins middle and outer layers.  The powerful antioxidant properties work to tighten the skin to feel firmer by promoting the restoration of collagen.  Its high vitamin E, C and D content, proteins, mineral and linolieic acid make the oil an effective emollient that penetrates your skin quickly without leaving behind any oily residue. 

Jojoba Oil 

Jojoba oil is the liquid produced in the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant, a shrub which is native to southern Arizona, southern California and north western Mexico. The plant is slow growing and difficult to cultivate, it thrives in the harsh desert climates that could kill most living things.  Jojoba oil contains natural forms of vitamin E which works to seal your skin with a protective barrier to keep it from loosing moisture, which helps prevent bacterial infections from forming.  This vitamin also works to help your skin fight oxidative stress caused by everyday exposure to pollutants and other toxins.  Jojoba oil’s make up is so similar to the oil (sebum) your body naturally produces that your skin can’t tell the difference.  This sends a signal to your sweat follicles that your skin doesn’t need additional sebum for hydration. 

Avocado Oil 

Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the Persea Americana.  It is pressed from the fleshy pulp surrounding the avocado pit and not the pit itself.  The most abundant fatty acid in avocado oil is oleic acid, a fatty acid that provides numerous health benefits along with vitamins A, D and E to help moisturise and protect your skin from damaging UV rays and also increase collagen metabolism. With very high skin penetration ensuring rapid absorption. 

Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil 

Through a method of known as cold-pressing the oil is extracted from glands located in the peel of the grapefruit.  The grapefruit is a citrus hybrid originating in Barbados as an accidental cross between two introduced species, the sweet orange and pomelo both of which were introduced from Asia in the seventeenth century.  When 1st found it was nicknamed the “forbidden fruit”.  Essential oils absorbed through the skin transmit messages to the brain region, positively assisting heart rate, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing and immune function.  It can also reduce stress, stimulate circulation, increase energy, enhance mood and improve digestion.  Calming effects with a decline in the hormone cortisol which is released in response to stress. 

Direction for use

Apply a little oil onto the brush and massage it into the nail and cuticle area.  The brush holds plenty of product so no need to dab dab dab in and out the bottle lots, which is great as this bottle will last you a considerable amount of time.

Take a few minutes to massage the product in, life is busy and fast paced, have just a few minutes for yourself, daydream, meditate, take deep breaths. Whatever it is you feel you don’t have time for in life. Try doing it whilst massaging vitamins into your nails.  Massage is known to lower the stress hormone cortisol. The lives we live at the moment means we are very likely to have too much cortisol swimming around. 

The best time to use cuticle oil is in the morning or before bed.  The morning is potentially the easiest as you add it into your shower and dress routine.  Brush your teeth, put your pants on, oil your nails.  Easy!

All nail brands have a cuticle oil, why should you buy this one?  

  • Its developed by a working Nail Professional 
  • I am a genuine passionate Nail Professional 
  • The product is made in small accountable batches 
  • There are no hidden ingredients 
  • RRNICO was developed only to progress the nail health of the user
  • Complete transparency and authenticity 
  • Small business hustle 
  • RRNI understands the needs of the user  
  • Everything is fully recyclable (except one item – the brush) 
  • Direct and accessible 
  • There are no mineral oils in RRNICO only plant oils making the product completely vegan 

Rhi Rhi Nails It supports the Guild’s Green Salon Scheme. Our pledge is to reduce the environmental impact of our business and continually improve our environmental performance.  With this pledge in mind all Rhi Rhi Nails It retail items have minimal outer packaging. 

Currently available to purchase with a limited stock. So go and buy one, for yourself, for your friends, for your family anyone who has nails. A free voucher code will be provided with every sale for you to save on your second bottle.

Get yours now!!!!

Nail Art Trends – Abstract

You may have seen the new nail art trend across your socials of what I call a little bit of this and a little bit of that… I hear a Inner Circle song when I say that.

The abstract art movement is the concept of creating a visual language of shapes, textures and a liberal use of colour. However we are generally aware of art techniques that are recreations of real visuals The abstract art styles are different because its purpose is to not be an accurate depiction.

Abstract Art History

The artist named Kandinsky is noted as the pioneer for abstract art. He was born in 1866 so just like every trend we are not creating the wheel we are just rehashing a trend.

There is potentially the most famous artist of the genre – Jackson Pollock he was born in 1912. The end of the 19th century is said to be the abstract boom, when it was embraced into the modern art world.

Art is subjective, however we all know and the great thing about this world we live in there are options. Thousands, hundreds, millions of options of art that will suit your style and taste. Me personally am a BIG abstract fan, big fan!

The joy of abstract is the rules are non existent, bent or broken. The rebel inside of me loves this. The freedom of expression and speech in artistic form suits my style. If it’s not obvious its of interest to me. Its almost as if the abstract natures of the art takes the pressure of the perfection in the world and gives you a space to be who you think you are. I would like to live my whole life in an abstract expression.

Nail Art Varieties

This nail art splash or drip is inspired by Jackson Pollock. Most importantly known to pour paint straight from the can. If you choose a drip nail there is no promise that I won’t pour it straight from the bottle 😉

Layering is a great way of squeezing multiple artistic expressions into a small space. The below nail is layer with foil and gel, depicting a fireworks scene. Very effective and is striking enough to just have one.

When mixing colours and techniques the visual can be partial, complete or slight.

Mixed art techniques are effective when you use unconventionally approaches. These next two nails have a number of layers firstly being my fingerprints!! Wild. Secondly using a dry brush stroke.

As always I created a pair of abstract nail art press on nails. It would be rude not to channel all that artistic flow into a set of gorgeous nails.

As a result of my research and nail art, I also applied my love for abstract to a canvas painting. I was very free with my approach and worked on the painting over a few months. Only painting when I felt a strong emotion. Such as bad day at work, anger, tearful and my favourite listening to Beyonce. By layering these emotions I created a story. Can you see what I felt?

In conclusion, this trend for me is pure perfection in every way that is not perfect.

End of lockdown 2021

Knowing outside is opening up again there are a massive list of mental health problems that come along with this news. For years to come we will be dealing with the problems that the Covid lifestyle has caused us. We all use the line be “kind to each other” freely but we now have to apply this vigorously. To ourselves and the person standing next to you. Every struggle is different and every struggle is valid.

What skills do we need to look after ourselves and others?

Listening skills are essential to communication, listening to words and body language. I pride myself of good listening skills. Ill continue to do this for myself and you when we are arranging to spend time together for appointments.

Self care

Being kind to your body and the toll the past years stress has taken on it. Do you need a charcoal face mask? Peaceful time to read a good crime book? Maybe a delicious cup of hot camomile tea. My personal favourite is a hot bath with lavender essential oil. Never feel guilty for taking some time to look after your body. All your daily stresses are stuck inside of your muscles, maybe grab a pillow and just scream into it with everything you got!! I think I might try that one. Kick it old school and just cry! Just release the problems via your tear ducks.


We can’t all go to nice incense filled rooms for the full massage experience but I can assist with the smaller version of the massage at the end of a manicure. Its like the cherry on the top of a bake well tart.

Hands are an extremity that tends to feel the cold and sometimes lacks circulation. Small circular motions on the areas of muscle can release some built up tensions.

Some of the really effective techniques consist of the effleurage – circulation towards your big heart the quick movements will stimulate your circulation but the slow ones will help the lymphatic flow. The petrissage – pinching and kneeling motion aiding absorption.

How does a massage help us:-

Blood circulation
Removing cellular waste
Improved circulation
Lymphatic drainage
Absorption of creams and oils
Relives tension

So there’s nice healthy reasons to for us to enjoy the hand massage part of a manicure. Just like wine, which is really grape juice and 1 of our 5 a day. There’s a hilarious loop hole to everything in life.

Get yourself a comfy position and sit back, relax your whole body including your hand. Nail joke, as I say a lot “relax your hand”. Sleeves up, jewellery off, lets get rubbing people.

There are so many difficult things around us, every little bit of help is needed right now. We need and want to feel good and with this in mind I started working on a Holistic Candle that is vegan, vegetarian, 100% natural, cruelty free and non GM.

In modern day the candle is used for ambiance, comfort and filling your rooms and spaces with wonderful smells and aromas.  Prior to this the candle was widely used as a method of keeping time but the most commonly known use was for a source of heat.

The candle is created with conscious ingredients and purpose.  The essential oils included are there to assist with elevating your emotions, thoughts and feelings.  Acknowledging your chakras and aiming to balance them for a harmonious feeling. 

What is your chakra?  Chakras are energy centres inside our auras. Traditionally the chakras are base chakra, sacral chakra, solar plexus chakra, heart chakra, throat chakra, brow chakra and the crown chakra.  Knowledge of chakras are documented in sacred Sanskrit text as far back as 600 BCE.

Ingredients Profile 

Soya wax

Soy wax is created from the soybean oil, the wax has a low melting point anywhere from 49 to 82 degrees Celsius, and this creates a cooler burning candle, creating a longer lasting burn with a large liquid wax pool.  This in turn gives a good spread of essential oil fragrance into your rooms and spaces. 

Patchouli Essential Oil 

Patchouli is a species of plant that can grow to around 2.5ft in height.  The plant is typically bushy with small, pale pink-white flowers, the leaves can be harvested several times a year.  It is native to tropical regions of planet such as the Caribbean, Mauritius, Maldives and Seychelles.   

Patchouli is a great match for your base chakra whose energies assist with standing and grounding, deepening and connecting to the environment.  Resonating with red light frequencies while establishing us upon the Earth and stimulating the endocrine glands and sex organs. 

Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood is from the genus Santalum tree. The woods characteristics are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, they are known to retain their fragrance for decades.  Sandalwood is documented as one of the most expensive woods in the world, the essential oil has been highly valued for centuries. 

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

The Cananga tree, sometimes call the perfume tree is native to India.  This tropical tree can be found in parts of IndochinaMalaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia, Madagascar all the way to Queensland, Australia.  

Ylang Ylang/Sandalwood both used the Sacral chakra representing emotions, pleasure, relationships and creativity. Representing orange light frequencies and stimulating the adrenal glands responsible for our fight or flight reflex. 

Neroli Essential Oil

Neroli oil is an essential oil produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree, Neroli oil is prized for its calming and relaxing scent.  The blossoms are gathered, usually by hand, in late April to early May. Tunisia is the largest producer of Neroli oil followed by Morocco.

By the end of the 17th century, Anne Marie Orsini, duchess of Bracciano and princess of Nerola, Italy, introduced the essence of bitter orange tree as a fashionable fragrance by using it to perfume her gloves and her bath. Since then, the term “neroli” has been used to describe this essence. 

Neroli is commonly used in connection with the Heart chakra supporting our well-being, gentle love and unconditional relationships. Reflecting with green light frequencies whilst radiating the thymus glad used for our body’s immune system. 


Frankincense also known as Olibanum, which is the resin obtained from the tree Boswellia, the resin is sorted by hand to maintain quality. 

Frankincense has been commonplace in trade markets for more than 6,000 years over the whole Arabian Peninsula. It is documented that the Egyptians would cleanse body cavities as part of the mummification process with frankincense.

Frankincense is mainly used for our Brow chakra, connecting to our inner sight, intuition and harmony with nature. Resonating a deep blue frequency of light which can keep our circadian rhythms of sleeping and waking.

Dried Black Mallow 

Black Mallow is a flower widely known for its variety of healing properties ranging from inflammation to hormonal balance.  Previously a flower worn on the May Day celebration in the garland designed. 

Dried Gomphrena 

Dried Gomphrena is a flower native to South America but is currently grown globally.  It is widely used in garlands during Bhai Tika in Nepal.  Gomphrena has been documented as far back as 1870, to assist with anywhere from reproductive to digestive issues.

Black Tourmaline   

The black variety of Tourmaline can be found in a large number of locations, including Pakistan, Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Africa and the USA.  It is also known as Schorl.  Black Tourmaline is a powerful grounding crystal great for assisting the two lowest chakras the base or root chakra. Its main power lies in protecting from negative energies. The stone does not absorb negativity but alters it into positive energy.

With all of these things in mind, kindness has to be at the forefront. Big gentle hearts, big gentle words and some days soon big gentle hugs.

Nail Art Trends – French Tip

The French Manicure is making a come back, in a big way. Like most fashion it goes round in a full circle. Hot stuff then trashy then back to hot stuff. I bring your attention to the new found interest in the old school valour tracksuit!!!

The French Tip / French / Frenchie / French Manicure style is a prime example of starting out as a trendy fashion look and then falling out of favour, but slowly clawing its way back onto our nails.


There’s was a large period of time when the french look was a standard appointment at the nail salon, they call it one of the original nail styles. Block colours (other than red) or nail art had not reached its start of interest let alone the peak it’s at now. 

A professional nail technician is trained in pink and white as a standard! Pink and white is the terminology used by professionals.  We may also throw around the words smile line, the line of white on the pink, the smile line is the border between the two. This line is on the free edge of the nail. It can either elongate the free edge or alternatively elongate the nail bed. Some situations need a nail illusion ;).

It was once created with an airbrushing technique, a method that had somewhat gone out of favour but may also be making a comeback, keep your eyes peeled.. There are alternative versions such as the white extension tip and lets not forget the full out, steady hand skill of painting the white free hand on a natural nail! Ive definitely done a few of those bad boys.

So as per the trusty internet I researched why is it called French Tip? Where is the name from? Many articles reported stories but there was no definite story. The one that was thrown around the most was ………

It was created in 1975 by President and CEO of Orly International Jeff Pink. Jeff created the look to minimise the changing of nail colours per scene for actresses. Even now we refer to the french as something that will match everything we have going on in life. He then took the look to a Paris Fashion Week came home to America and said “the french look”

It has nothing to do with France and everything to do with Hollywood.

Colours and shapes of the free edge can play a big part., colour of the nail bed or shape of the nail. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

For a really clean natural look tone is a big factor in picking the colour for the nail bed. There’s a sheer pink vibe or the fashion forward nude nail look which is one of the reasons I keep a full stock of nude options.

Creating a nail look with a template of 2 colours together one on the nail bed one on the free edge is a vortex of nail creation opportunities. As long as the free edge is different colour from the nail bed its a French.

Just like most exciting nail art ideas I have got to make a press on version. Its rude not to! Let’s all get frenching.

Lets talk more about our feet

You won’t believe how many times people say “eww you touch feet, I hate feet, I couldn’t do that”. I do not hate feet, I don’t love them but they do interest me so, I attended another training webinar for more foot knowledge. The training had a hilarious name – The Fungus Among Us LOL

Now foot fungus is such a big problem for most people but we don’t want to talk about it or even fix it. Please note this condition is contagious not just for pedicure treatments but for others in your home. It’s not serious but it can take a really long time to get rid of. If under the toe nail it can look like a white area sometimes yellow. It does tends to appear in the corners as the nail lifts from the skin slightly. If left unattended it can make the nail brittle. On the skin it can be Athletes foot, not just for the runners. In between toes and heels it can look like peeling , flaking , cracking dry skin.

Reconsise, recommend and refer. The 3 R’s that I learnt last year on training. Im not a GP and I have no medical knowledge, I can not diagnose your toes with anything other than gorgeousness. Normally caused by choosing a banging colour. This said I do want you to be foot educated too. Here are some common foot issues we may all experience.


A hard (usually round circle) of dry skin. They normally rear their ugly heads on the top or the side of your toes. Shoes are normally the culprit. Baby toes do end up wearing our corns and they are very common in women. Do not try and cut these off they can become infected! Moisture, they need moisture and comfortable shoes.


The ingrown nail, this happens so easily. You cut at a strange angle 3 weeks later the nail has grown up but the skin is in the way. Bam💥 inflammation and an imbedded nail on some very soft toe tissue! Cutting the nail in a straight line with nice smooth edges is an art form.


This condition is when the toe joint is misaligned. This will always require specialist care as it’s a serious “ouchy”.


A verruca is categorised as a wart but in-growing. They are extremely common and can sometimes be identified by a black spot under the hard skin. A pharmacist visit can assist with this condition.


Is the type of fungi infection that effects you skin, hair and nails. It obtains it nutrients from keratin. This can be between the toes where its moist or on the heels where its dry. It can get under the toe nail and is extremely common. Toe nails need moisture too.

Nail Psorias

Is also a common problem. When there is debris under the nail it does not mean its fungal. if the nail is still attached to the nail bed, does the nail appear thick, is it discoloured, are there any swollen skin.

Please remember all of these conditions can NOT be diagnosed by me. I can look 👀 , think and refer you to the GP, Podiatrist or Pharmacy. Some conditions are common and easily recognised enabling me to know whether to continue with your pedicure treatment.

I have written a collection of foot blogs before if you’ve never seen them check them out. The Onycholysis one is my favourite as it was my own toe nail that came off!

Top tips

Keep you feet clean and dry with nice fresh socks where you can.

Our feet need to be injury free and moisturised if we want them to walk us around the supermarket or look good in killer heels.

The epidermis (layer of skin) is much thicker on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Note that there is ALOT of sweat leaving your body through your feet. We don’t want foot products to prevent the skin from perspiring we want to moisturise the epidermis. So we need fast absorption. A moisturised epidermis will prevent dry damaged feet.

Our big and little toe are essential for our balance. Confirming why those 2 toes take the biggest beating. Big toes get the fungal or the in-growing. Little toe have no nail or very firm nail with corns as added extras. There is a lot to be said for good comfortable fitting shoes! 🎿⛸🩰👡👢🥾👞👠

A pedicure is not a luxury, we brush our hair and teeth we need to love those hard working puppies.

For the Home Pedicure

Just a plain old foot
Trim the nails in a nice straight line, get the corners too.
File nice and smooth, with no sharp edges, and moisturise.

Long toes nails enclosed in your shoes can cause serious problems. It presses and pushes on the nail tip which in turn can then lift the nail from the bed and then our old friend the fungal infection can get right into the tiny, moist, sweaty gap.

Come on let’s moisturise and get good fitting shoes, we owe it to ourselves and our feet. You only get one pair!

Nail Art Trends – Ombré

Last year (the dreaded 2020) was a challenge for various reasons. The ombré nail art trend became an additional 2020 challenge for me. So this year I’m coming out swinging.

Ombré is an underrated, sort after look. We are adapting it into our lives in ways and means that we may not be aware of. I’m talking about hair, nails and decor. That’s assuming we’ve all looked up a balayage hairstyle, which is currently one of the most popular hairstyles around the world and has been for the past few years. Or googled baby boomer nails. Then there’s the classic ombré patterned bed cover I’m sure we’ve all had at some point in time.

The word ombré itself translates from French to English as “shading” which creates a look from light to dark.

The Incident

With this eye catching trend all round us the inevitable happened. Unfortunately I was unprepared for a nail booking with an ombré request! I can not remember the last time I practiced an ombré. Im thinking it was back when I still performed acrylic extensions, we’re talking circa 2016. The world of ombré has moved forward quite a bit since then. One thing this world teaches us time and time again is that it will move forward when we stand still.

The hardest ombré is pink and white otherwise known as baby boomer. Getting a seem free blend of the two colours is the pinnacle of skill. White is notoriously difficult especially when you want it to work with another colour. I’m sure you have guessed it, my ombré request was a baby boomer.

In addition to the whites problematic nature I am also working with the gel polish. The most challenging product for this look as the fluidity of the product is not forgiving. Acrylic (Liquid and Powder) can be dragged, pressed and thinned. Traditional nail polish can be dabbed, held in place by its drying capacity or layered in various stages of drying. So like an absolute amateur I used the tradition nail polish approach but with a gel polish……. I can honestly say it looked like I tried to paint her nails while drunk on Chardonnay. Epic fail and no one to blame but myself. There was no way I was going to allow this gorgeous girl to leave without her nails looking anything but 110%. So I filed the whole lot off and started again and poor “E” had to choose a plan B.

The Fix

There are a ton of nail art brushes that help professionals pull off this ombre look. I spent the best part of the past few months trying all the available tools and product combinations.

In true nail professional fashion, I had to create a custom made press on set for sale. The end result was fab-u-lous darlin!


I always want to learn and try new things for the anticipation of the outcome. Resting on my laurels with the nail skills I already have is not a desire of mine. Im also big enough and ugly enough to know when I’m trash and need to work on my craft.

Practice makes perfect is a saying we throw around very loosely but it has real weight in life behaviours. I will keep practicing my nail art skills and keep you up to date with the many embarrassing stories to go along with it. We all seem to think we are meant to be the finished article and good at everything. Our own life experiences show us that’s never the truth. Sometimes you fail, big, small and epic. My mindset allows me to admit my shortcomings as embarrassing as they can be and try something that will make them less short.

With my 1st batch of practising done I feel relatively confident. Now I’m ready and rearing to go for a wide variety of ombré, sombré or baby boomers. As an incentive to let me use your lovely nails as practice tools, all ombré nail art in the year of 2021 is free. Form an orderly queue girls.

The end of 2020

Am I glad to see this year end?

Unfortunately the answer is yes.

Working this year has been the most challenging of my nail career. I’ve contemplating quitting and going back to my boring office life. I’ve contemplating only doing nails from home and not mobile, or only doing mobile and not at home…. you can see the spiral of thoughts here. Thinking any of those options are non-existent when there is no COVID-19 fog.

Am I safe?

Safety is at the top of every humans list of importance right now with this virus ravishing our lives. The safety I provide as a nail professional has got to be the best I can do. We are in a world where we fear a virus, we fear the loss of our jobs, we mourn a life before, that we called “normal” we fear a world with no vaccine along with the fear of the vaccine itself.

With all these life changing things in place, is having glittery nails at the top of everyone’s list? No! As a Nail Professional, but human being 1st, I understand this fully. Searching for a small piece of happiness in a 1-hour gossip and pamper is completely understandable but with that in mind, those of you that do want that service, as a Professional who is Safe, I need to look after you and your family the best I know how. With education / knowledge and action.

Am I a Professional?

The time I have had available to me this year has been invested in education. In total I’ve completed 14 certificated nail related courses. Ensuring I’m pushing forward the only way I know how, by continued learning, expanding my knowledge base, bringing that joy to clients with a little nail colour, glitter and a good gossip. It means just as much to me as it does to you.

The latest course in my 2020 knowledge repertoire is a really important course by the Beauty Guilds titled Professional Standards for Therapist.

Keeping my professional knowledge at the sharp edge ensuring you always get the best service and information available is my commitment to the job and you. As of right now your Nail Professional Rhiannon Johnson-Smith MGNT is:-

  • A member of the Guild of Nail Technicians
  • A member of The British Beauty Council
  • and soon to be A Member of the Federation Nail Professionals (a newly founded initiative run by the world renown nail professional Marianne Newman – you may remember I trained with her on the Nails: Mastered course)

It won’t stop there ladies! The course up next will be The Green Salon Scheme to ensure I’m looking after the planet as well as taking over the world 😉

Positivity is in my nature so I will keep my head up and look for a brighter day in 2021.

Light Elegance JimmyGel Builder in a Bottle

Let me just start off with this statement…. JimmyGel I the shiniest gel I’ve ever had on my nails.

Im also going to confess that in my excitement I did not do the Jimmy Shimmy on the 1st thumb. I’ll break that down for you later.

So I attended some more amazing training! This one was distributed by Sweet Squared in connection with the brand Light Elegance for a product called JimmyGel. JimmyGel is a builder gel in a bottle. This is an innovative product due to builder gels normally being in a small tub which you apply to the nail with a professional nail brush.

1st question I hear you say…

Who is Light Elegance? Light Elegance founders are Jim and Lezlie McConnell the company was started 20 years ago (veterans in the nail product game). Their products are cruelty free, 9 free, hypoallergenic and HEMA free. Light Elegance’s quality control is meticulous along with their research and development. They have a great company with really good values but are not as well known as many other big name brands.

2nd question I hear you say…

What is builder in a bottle? It is very basically a gel product you can use to create an extension or nail shape all from one bottle. There has been a few builder in a bottles on the market and I have looked into them many times before. I am well trained in nail enhancements options such as soft gel, hard gel or liquid and powder. So this is a sensible product and skill to add to my repertoire.

The trainer for this Light Elegance course was non other than Jeni Smith who I trained with for my CND Shellac certificate and the CND Brisa Lite. This was at her salon in Peterborough Salottinos. Jeni is a multi award winning education ambassador and I am very familiar with her teaching style so the course was as expected, extremely informative and flowed well.

This was a product that I didn’t have before the course but I did purchase it after. I was completely convinced it was something that would do well with the services I offer. When it arrived I gave myself a lovely manicure because it would be rude not to 😉

The Light Elegance Manicure

Tack – Tack is described as double sided sticky tape in which to adhere the Light Elegance products to the nail. I will agree, its basically double sided sticky tape. Ive never used anything as tacky! (see what I did there) It’s a great product, it gave me complete confidence that the gel was going to hold to my nail for a considerable amount of time. This is the evolution of nail product chemistry. In a past life this would be the point where a nail file would be used to rough up the surface in order to get this level of adhesion. We now have access to a wide range of acid free primers to keep the natural nails integrity ensuring minimal damage.

JimmyGel – 1st impression was how thick the gel is but no where as runny as I assumed. Now in comparison it is perfectly in the middle of a gel that would be in a bottle and a gel that would come from a tub. It is very very well made! The Jimmy Shimmy is a movement you make on the 1st layer onto the nail. You place the brush down and push gently back and fourth pressing the product into the Tack. Creating an interlocking bond, ensuring longevity of the overlay or extension.


I applied JimmyGel as an overlay, my nails are on a really good, strong growing vibe at the minute so an overlay is all I needed. It worked a treat! My nails look nice and healthy and as you know that makes me very happy.

Im happy with the training and the purchase. It isn’t something I will be using of every single client. The product is quite thick so it should last quite a long time. Happy nail building 🙂

IBX and IBX Boost Training / Products

This training is one of the pre booked course I had with Louella Belle before Covid-19 took over our lives. The course was upgraded to a webinar after face to face activities were cancelled. Just have to say it was fun and interactive, Linda Nordstrom who is the Co-Founder of Famous Names took the course and she was fabulous!

IBX is a product the penetrates the upper layers of the nail plate, IBX works inside the nail filling up all the empty spaces and is not attached to the keratin. The IBX strength and repair products have the same routine of apply/heat for 2 minutes / 4 minutes respectively (with a 40-70 watt lamp 6-8 inches away)/blot/cure on the colour coat setting/cleanse. IBX Boost is a soak off product so I can combined this treatment with my chosen gel polish system which is CND Shellac. This will all remove from the nail in the same way with the usual…. no damage. Exother i.e. heat spike, is not a common factor with IBX and it does contain monomers but they are different from the products used for extensions. FACT FILE – Monomer is the match and Oligomers is the lighter

The IBX boost system is apparently extremely similar to a product I trained in a few years ago that was discontinued called CND Brisa Lite (see blog). This makes me very happy. I will be purchasing this item as quickly as possible. Having an amazing product like this does not surprise me considering one of the founders of IBX was also an original family member from the company CND.

From the product range available there is IBX Repair , IBX Strengthen , IBX base coat , IBX Boost, IBX high shine top coat. This training was completed in March 2020 and I needed to buy a few items to create the kit before I could show a true before and after for these products. I have chosen to buy – IBX Strenghten, IBX Base coat, IBX Boost and a heat lamp.

It’s time for the manicure talk. My nails were not in bad condition the pandemic lock down mode has forced me to leave them unattended as I focused on Rhi Rhi Nails It business administration. They were in need of some TLC in terms of the cuticles, moisture was lacking due to the amount of hand washing and alcohol gel used. They were ready for a nice treatment.

What I used and how I used it

IBX Strengthen – The consistency was so much thicker than I had anticipated, I think because the instructions are to apply product and heat under the lamp for 4 minutes a watery product was my instinctual thought but yet the product was like that of a very thin base gel! Application much be technically applied otherwise you will be flooding the side walls. I made a small error in my blotting stage there was some fibres left behind and effected the smooth finish. Note to self instructions state, only blot if needed!

IBX Base coat was not too thick. Allowed a smooth application.

IBX Boost was incredibly thick, I honestly believe I could have turned it upside down on top of my head and would be safe! These types of gels need to be applied with skill. It will only go where you put it, it will not swill around the nail freely, it will indent if you press your brush too hard. I think it would be easier to apply by a gel technician as they are used to tickling various types of gel products to do what they want.

IBX System as a whole – Conclusion

I am very hard on my nails, I’m quite rough with things, I have an oily nail bed and anyone who has ever met me knows I’m extremely clumsy. 2 left hands and 2 left feet so my hands are a good test for products. Even more pressing when Im physically working I am a rebel and did not used to wear gloves for manicure treatments (pre COVID-19) now I know nothing of the feel the skin on someones hands.

I can officially say after 2 weeks with this IBX Strength and IBX Boost on my nails:-

  • The product is still attached
  • My nails look pink an healthy at the nail bed
  • The nails are white and long at the free edge
  • There is a grow out at the base of the nail

Considering I have a treatment, a base and a painted on gel layer there is zero thickness, with a pure natural look. If I applied a matte top coat we would all be none the wiser. I believe I have come to the conclusion that this will be the continuous product for my nail care. Its strong and health promoting which is all I ever wanted from a nail product. For my Brisa light base coat ladies this is an optimal alternative.

Footlogix Training / Products

When I visited Professional Beauty last year (see blog) I hunted down the Footlogix stand to get 2 specific items. Which in true virgo style I had researched to within an inch of their lives and had to go on my shopping list. The items were Footlogix Seaweed Foot Scrub and Footlogix Callus Softener both from the professional range. Footlogix caught my eye early on for the sheer fact its not marketed in a “beauty” way. Its impression on me was the products they sell are there to end some of the struggles clients may be having with their feet.

Before the global pandemic of Covid-19 kicked off I had booked myself onto a few training sessions to take place on the same weekend as this years Professional Beauty Show at the Excel which was cancelled and transformed into an emergency hospital of 4,000 beds VERY SCARY! The training sessions were for Footlogix and Famous Names IBX (keep your eyes peeled for IBX Blog coming soon). I wanted this 1st class training to make sure I’m getting the maximum from these product. We then went into lock down but the very innovative Loubelle arranged for the training to be done via Webinar, genius! So cuppa tea, comfy clothes, pen and pad…… let’s do this. I have now been trained on product knowledge for the whole range, I am a very happy Nail Tech.

Heres what I know now that I didn’t know then… FACT FILE

  • 85% of the population have foot related problems
  • There are 250,000 sweat glands in the bottom of your feet
  • Soldiers in world war 2 were told to pee in their boots to keep from foot problems because of the urea in pee
  • When the skin on the heel becomes so dry that using a rasp to remove it (which normally does the job) creates more and more flaking this means the dry skin has a fungal infection

I have a huge interest in foot health / foot care / foot treatments you name it I’ve looked it up. Footlogix is creating items with active ingredients that are essentially products that work, they do not just sit of the surface of the skin. The active ingredients penetrate the upper layers of the epidermis to alleviate many foot problems. Then educating nail professionals about clients who have existing medical conditions that can still enjoy these treatments like diabetics and pregnant women. We can all buy a foot cream from the supermarket because it smells good and think that’s enough but I love companies who are doing something different from everyone else.

The best way to judge any product is to give it a real go. So that’s what I did. I was suffering with quite a dry heels so it was a really good opportunity to see what magic could be shazamed. Check out my instagram for the before and after.

The product usage

Footlogix Cleansing Wipes – This was a last minutes addition to my kit, with sanitation high on everyones priority list during this pandemic and my new training on product knowledge the wipes were imperative. They are quite thick surprisingly, wonderfully they were not too wet and not too dry. Just enough moisture to wipe over the whole foot with the ability to remove debris while leaving the foot slightly moist. There is also no smell which was quite refreshing to not have a product completely incapacitate my senses with synthetic fragrances. One wipe per foot is the correct practice if you are actually aiming to sanitise appropriately.

Footlogix Exfoliating Seaweed Scrub – This scrub had a soft, wet, quite loose consistency which I found interesting. So many foot scrubs are thick and gloopy they do not spread around the foot well and you tend to end up using a large amount. This was different it was light and movable, it covered the whole foot area with around about a 2p piece amount of product. There are not as many exfoliating grains as I’m used, in saying that it seems as though we don’t need as many, this product exfoliated the foot perfectly. The smell is strong but really pleasant almost a naturally perfumed vibe.

Footlogix Callus Softener – The star of the show, I was most excited about this because its basically the money shot and it didn’t disappoint,. It is a leave on product with minimal smell and does contain the all important urea. This changed my heels not just that day but for days afterwards I could visibly see and physically feel the difference. LOVE.

Outcome / Conclusions

I am extremely happy with my training and my purchases. I confidently feel that these Footlogix items will transform my pedicures for the better. They will do what I need them to do for my clients who need foot care, foot health and foot beauty. “Does what it says on the tin products”, having these items in my kit are a must!

Nail Art Trends – Marble

Have you noticed everything is marble?

It used to be just kitchen work tops, now its your phone or tablet case and maybe even your water bottle. I’ll have you know I am guilty of having both these items covered in marble. So like everything in life, heres the process for the nail art version!

So what is this thing called marble that we are all so fascinated with. Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallised carbonate minerals. i.e. it’s a gift from Mother Nature created inside the ground, on this great place we live call planet earth. As per usual the Greeks and Romans started the trend. They built beautiful structures with this material, some that still stand today with white or off white marble.

For my version I thought it a good idea to try a few styles out. Personally the one I enjoyed doing visually was the emerald green. This green is a visual representation of Swedish green which is a marble from quarries in Kolmården. This is so appealing to me as I am a big fan of any non conventional colours like greens, blues and my favourites orange and yellow.

The fail proof steps

Layer one – I started off using one of the techniques I used in a previous nail art approach of taking the gel colour and adding a little base coat to water the pigment down. This assists with layering.

Layer two – Consisted of the white lines of the marble vibes, these need to be loosened, like a tie at the end of the day. Or in our female world its a top button on the trousers. So to loosen the white lines we use a brush with a little acetone. Just let the acetone go where it goes, don’t do too much let the world create it just like the original marble.

Layer three – Has to be some more of that watered down green straight over the top. It takes away that sharp edge of the white. Just like the tonic we put with our gin.

These layers can continue on an on until you get the look you want. Variations of thin lines, thick lines and acetone amount. Nail decals, glitter and foils will always add a new dimension to these types of nails too if you’re feeling frisky.

This is an extremely cool style of nail, that I enjoyed working on. It has my preferred style of art, loose free flowing, and abstract. I created a pink version as a set of press on nails to place in the shop. Obviously because….. it would be rude not to! Check them out (shop).

Back to work after Covid-19

Its official Rhi Rhi Nails It is back!!!!!!

With an original start date potentially being 4th July, when the Prime Minister stated that date will only be for hairdressers my heart sank. I wanted to start painting gorgeous nails, but I was denied. So with no second date for close range beauty planned, we awaited any news. THEN on Thursday 9th a bombshell! After 15 weeks of Covid-19 ravishing our world, the UK Government decided that it is safe for close range services (but not on the face) to resume with extra precautions.

Getting this date with 3 days notice was a lightning bolt to the system but I’m ready to rock and roll.

I would like to assure you that in those 15 weeks I have worked extremely hard following all the government guidelines for reopening and partaking in all COVID-19 beauty training and webinars available. I want to keep you and everyone you know safe along with me and everyone I know safe.

Here is everything you need to know on a mobile beauty front before we get to the nail dazzle part.

Nail technicians are to:

~  Wash hands between every client treatment.

~ Will no longer be able to take cash payments.

~ Use single-use files, buffers etc. and dispose of these safely.

~  Clean tools to be kept in a clean environment until use.

~ Wear freshly laundered uniforms that have been washed at 60 degrees Celsius.

~ All nail technicians must wear suitable face masks.

~ Clean gloves to be worn for every client and for cleansing afterwards. These should be powder-free nitrile gloves in the case of latex glove sensitivity.

~ All tools to disinfected (strictly following manufacturer instructions) using products that are tested to approved standards.

What you as clients will need to do:

~  Please wash hands with liquid soap and warm water for 20 seconds before we start.

~  Do not touch face or any personal belongings during your treatment.

~ You will have to also wear a disposable mask.

Some of these actions are standard behaviours for nail technicians. But adhering to them with great intensity will benefit the whole world.

Here is my Covid-19 Infection Prevention Policy from the Beauty Guilds Covid-19 Training Course.

Here are the completed risk assessments for treatments that can still be carried out

The treatments that can not be performed are as below

24 hours before your appointment, I will have to ask a series of questions to ensure your’e feeling good and everyone in your house is feeling good. I will always ensure you of the same for myself and my household. I want to give you complete confidence in me as a person and as professional nail technician.

I have to say the biggest thank you to The British Beauty Council. They lobbied so tirelessly for us. They are the reason, that right now we are getting back out there and being able to work. I’m extremely grateful and it will be a whole new world next week but I’m up for the challenge.

I shall see you soon 🙂

Nail Art Trends – Tortoise Shell

This is one of the hottest trends in the nail #tag world. As usual with anything nail art when it looks amazing the assumption is its really easy, reality is, it never is! This trend is no exception.

Tortoise nails has been one of the most challenging nail art trend that I’ve tried. I’ve been attempting on and off for a two week period which has been met with swear words, nail swatches being thrown in the bin, long pauses while rubbing my temple and plenty of coffee.

As most things in life I came to the conclusion it is not meant to be perfect, it is not meant to look like someone else’s, its not meant to be what is expected. It’s meant to be my interpretation. Thats all I can do in this nail world is produce work that is my interpretation because that is where I fit in.

So once I got my head on straight I had a go with a clear mind and boom. Gorgeous. So gorgeous I made a full press on set to sell! Check them out in the shop Tortoise Shell Press On Nails

The process itself consists of layering. All depth whether it is colour or flavour are based on layering.

Foundation layers were with a yellow tone, covered with a slick layer of base coat, where coloured splodges were then applied in autumnal oranges and browns. These colours blur their lines in the wet base coat layer giving that shell like vibe that is whimsical in nature creating intrigue and misunderstanding. The final splodge layers were in black for a real richness. These layers created backgrounds of mysterious views and shapes of an unexplained look.

I can’t say I enjoy interpreting this trend but I grew my skills, every experience creates a knowledge base for life. You may learn you are resilient or that your fingers can hold a brush in a way you never realised. You may impress yourself with how quickly you can apply a coat of colour polish. All valuable life and nail knowledge, my cup will forever be half full.

The style itself is maybe overwhelming to do on all 10 nails but a few nails with this fabulous on trend look will be exciting and fun. Im attaching the option to my nail art swatches, for the girls to have as a nail art choice. Happy choosing people.

Collagen Infused Gloves – Product review

Beauty Pro have created a dual-function hand mask. A hydrating and nourishing hand treatment glove. The packet is a 1 pair single use product. Purchased from beauty wholesaler Salon Services.

The gloves are infused with marine collagen and fruit extracts. The name collagen comes from the Greek meaning glue. It is one of the hottest trends around, collagen can be purchased in sachets, chewy sweets, creamer, capsules and now gloves and booties.

The older we get the less collagen our body produces and a lower quality collagen at that, sounds about right hey? Ive had many conversations with women who claim their hands give their age away. We manage to maintain youthful facial complexions due to various luxuries like clean water consumption, minimal UV exposure and face products that contain a form of collagen. On the other hand (see what I did there) are left taking the brunt of working hard with minimal care, making skin look worn and wrinkled. Ive even heard of a cosmetic procedures in which hands are injected with fillers to give them a more youthful look. As a needle hater I think we should try these gloves 1st.

Winter dryness of the skin on our hands is really difficult to navigate and with skin loosing elasticity and becoming dryer every year, we need assistance! This year in particular with a worldwide pandemic and hand washing being imperative for our safety our hands are officially ruined. This type of treatment is perfection and for every set of hands!

Who is this product for? / What problem does this solution fix? / Pro’s and Con’s / Summary

The gloves have removeable fingers so manicures can continue whilst the skin takes on the gorgeous product. This creates a 30-60 minutes window, the instructions states that 20 minutes is long enough. So in terms of a gel polish manicure this product will only need to be applied to the hand once the potential gel removal and manicure is completed and then placed on the hand for the colour application process.

The same would not apply for a polish application, heres why! Its hard enough to walk in thin air with nothing around you to not smudge a polish manicure lets not get wild and take gloves off! So in terms of polish application I would apply this while the manicure part is taking place.

Cons list :- The product inside the gloves is of a gel consistency, the feel is slightly cold and could possibly benefit from a little palm to palm rub to warm it up 1st. As you can imagine the gloves are made in a one size fits all approach. Us little handed folks and the bigger handed folks may not love the fit. As its an open, loose glove I think a wrap/band (NOT TOO TIGHT) around the wrist area would trap all the goodness into the hand area.

Pros list :- The fruit extract smell is absolutely gorgeous, if that smell was incorporated into a hand cream it would sell well. After I wore the gloves in front of the telly for 20 minutes I can honestly say they felt extremely moisturised. I almost didn’t want to use my hands they felt so soft! The skin felt plump, there was some product left on the skin which I then rubbed in to maximise the goodness. I was convinced and happy to use the product again and even happier to use on all clients.

This treatment is added to the price list so next time you need a manicure fix with a little something special consider this add on. It is tried, tested and recommended by me.

Collagen Infused Bootie – Product Review

Beauty Pro have created an exciting collagen infused bootie product with removable toe tip in which you can also have a matching set for your hands. It is suitable for all skin types with the “anti-ageing’ formula sale point.

Little back story on collagen i.e. fountain of youth and why it’s a selling point for this product. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is the main component in various connective tissues. This is amazing news as the plantar fascia which runs from the heel to the ball of your foot is one of the strongest connecting tissues in the body. This amazing collagen ‘stuff” is found in your joints too, unfortunately its breaks down faster than it can replenish as we age. Creating problems like arthritis and with 26 bones in the foot I think this product is a wonderful match.

As with most products that are aimed at the feet, it has peppermint incorporated. Peppermint is an amazing for foot care, it is very cooling which is helpful for hardworking feet. Muscle pain is also known to be eased by peppermint oil along with helping with ailments such as itching. The antimicrobial properties it possesses its one of the best features for foot care. There has been studies for the use of peppermint oil in bacterial and fungal infections. With the addition of the collagen which has been used to treat wounds for 2000 years. Id say all the ingredients are legit.

Treatment time is for 20 minutes which allows this to be added into services as the polish application part for gel but the the pedicure part for polish.

Who is this product for? / What problem does this solution fix? / Pro’s and Con’s / Summary

Sandal season which is the UK is getting longer and longer (global warming – stay woke!) with the warm weather starting around April until potentially September. People that’s most of the year, we need to work on our feet more than ever!! The toll our lives take on our feet is underrated, I recommend all pamper treatments, care products, massages, reflexology, oils and lotions anything and everything that helps those little tootsies.

Cons list :- I think the reality is the liquid inside this bootie is cold and wet! Feet don’t like that feeling, warming up the booties within your hand is a must.

Pros list :- Soft supple foot skin with visible increased moisture levels! I felt indulged and pampered and sitting still for 20 minutes gave an added level of relaxation. Sometimes these treatments give us a special few moments to sit still, breath and be present. The smell was gorgeous much appreciated on the feet as we know how easy it is for them to work up a stink! Sizing is generous so no need to worry about the size of your feet which us ladies tend to think about once your over a size 5 or 6.

Do I recommend this to you, or anyone and would I use it again. The answer is 100% yes. Get involved! Check it out in the shop and on the treatment price list.

Infection Prevention

I started working for the NHS in 2008, after I left the Legal Secretary world. To this day, I still hold a zero hours contract with Children’s Services. As my nail world crashes and burns amid the wrath of Covid-19, I step fully into my assistance roll within the NHS.

Working for the NHS for so many years and having to adhere to the yearly, mandatory training for infection control, I’m fully aware of the severity of infection prevention. The idea that warm water and soap is your real defence. Not to turn the tap off with your clean hands after turning it on with your dirty hands. Do not use hand dryers as they do not come with a box of hot air attached. The air is sucked in from the room, i.e. The Shit Blowers. A lifetime worth of infection control knowledge that I have is then applied to life and nails. But in this time of pandemic, I have been accessing every bit of information I can from the beauty industry to ensure I am keeping you safe, your family, me and my family at all times, not just now.

On my recent training (Barbicide / Footlogix Infection Prevention) I have accumulated a good amount of top up knowledge. Such as – ‘The infection incubation period varies vastly depending on what we’re dealing with, but note the time frame is anything between 6 hours to 10 years!’. Bear that in mind when deciding whether or not you can be bothered to wash your hands. For nail salon set ups there has been cases of MRSA. Which can be transmitted via skin, towels and equipment. Let that sink in as a professional when deciding whether or not you can be bothered to wipe your equipment down.

Micro-organisms were one of the 1st forms of life on this earth. Micro-organisms include, bacteria, viruses, fungi, spores and Protozoa.

Let’s break them down. Bacteria is not visible to the naked eye and is a living organism, it doubles every 20 minutes at room temperature. Then there’s viruses they need a living host to survive i.e. animals or humans, watch out that means you. The very unsightly Fungi, which is not as dangerous but very visible, we’ve all seen a yellowing toe nail and made the eeewww face. Then there’s the big leagues, Protozoa. Example of this would be, Malaria and Spores like C.Diff! Alllllllll of these not so wonderful things transmit by Agent – Host – Environment.

The agent? – That’s your hands, your nose, your mouth. The host? – That’s the susceptible body the very young or the other end, the very old. Bodies who are a little poorly with a compromised immune system or have pre existing medical conditions. Environment? – The warm hot sweaty gym / the warm hot sweaty spa / tight spaced aeroplane or the busy shopping centre. Its like a little game of jigsaw, take a sneeze from your nose whilst a older human is walking past you in a busy shopping centre = microbe transmission.

With the information broken down in this manner, it makes it clear to see what needs to be done to keep us all safe from nasties. WASH YOUR HANDS.

When to wash your hands and when to use hand sanitiser….. If your hands are soiled, soap, warm water, bubble up and rinse, simple! If there is no water near you sanitiser will suffice UNTIL water is available. It is not instead of for every occasion ONLY when water is not available

What am I doing right now?

Every kit item is being removed and disinfected, that’s bottles, equipment and every single manicure/pedicure tool.

Towels and uniform rewashed at 60 degrees.

Complete new set of nail files.

The kit that I already use behind the scenes and will continue to use behind the scenes because it works!

Manicure and pedicure implements are disinfected in Barbicide.

Foot spa is disinfected with Mundo, along with files that are not single use.

Your hand and foot spray is Skin Truth.

Final note… I used to do extensions when I first started out nailing (not anymore!) and in that old kit I found some face masks, they will be going straight to the nurses at work on Monday! Like Tesco says every little helps.

Professional Beauty London 2019

Today was a wonderful day.

It was Professional Beauty London 2019 day.

It started off with a relatively easy journey from sunny old Luton with my “love you long time” homegirl Sital to the big LDN. Having never been to the Excell Centre before I was taken aback at the gorgeous setting right next to the docks, the airplanes coming in to land over head and the city skyscrapers in the background. It was all very impressive.

The show was well laid out, big, bright and inviting but when your 5’2 in a constant crowd of people its slightly hard to see the stand names unless your basically right in front of it. Never fear! found the bargains 😉

Let’s get to the best part of the day, my nail seminars! To start with was Sculpting: The basics then Sculpting: Advanced then Sculpting: Extreme Shapes. I had the privilege of being the nail model for all three. My hands are now equipped with 4 different nail extensions in a variety of lengths, shapes and colours. I have never been the demo hand before and I really did learn something extra. The added sense of touch/feel had entered my learning experience.

It gave me a range of additional knowledge such as:

  • What it felt like when the pressure was applied to file into shape
  • The strength of the structure
  • The wearability in the real world
  • How hard was the buffer was when taking off the natural shine of the nail
  • How much the hand needs to be moved to see the nail from every angle
  • How little product is needed in order to create all shapes
  • A continued close up view of sidewalls and cuticle area

I will always attend shows with no nails on for the chance to be a nail model again.

The cherry on the top was that the nail techs who created these masterpieces were non other than Denise Wright and Katie Barns (jaw drop awesomeness). I have respected Denise Wright since my 1st ever nail training course in 2013!!

Today was a wonderful day 🙂

Instagram Induced Career Envy

Nearly every single day I pick up my phone, open the Instagram app, mindless scroll through a slew of nail posts, freely double tapping on anything my eyes find appealing all the while feeling inferior and depleted.

Attach this behaviour with splash of anxiety, a dash of self doubt and a spray of FOMO then out comes an Instagram Induced Career Envy situation.

Its like looking in a front room window as you walk past… The curiosity of outside looking in gone into overdrive. We all know what happened to the curious cat….. This constant exploration into other peoples lives and careers seems to cause a dissatisfaction of our own.

I genuinely do think Instagram is an amazing place full of beautiful content, allowing people to express themselves visually, which is why I originally chose it as my only social media platform but there is a dark side of:-

What is real now?

Is it a platform to show off how amazing we are from the outside. Is anything as good as it seems on social media?

There are now workshops and seminars and webinars and workbooks for instagram strategies for likes!! And yes, Ive looked them up. I would not look for this information to be used in my personal life BUT in a work capacity, I am under the impression that I need the likes, I need the followers and the right hash tags or has someone I look up to liked my pictures, is it the correct time of day to post. A continuous push to be better in the world of social media.

Why do I compare myself to someone? Are they even doing as well as they portray?

These are the questions I have been asking myself, am I getting left behind in my career, am I standing still, am I as good as these people I look up to, do I put out valuable content, why do I not seem to have amazing opportunities coming my way.

After a long hard talk to myself I remembered:-

  • Stay positive
  • Stay focused
  • Be grateful

The thought of “would the 3 years ago version of myself look at my Instagram account and feel what I feel for my peers”? I think the answer would be yes.

I must continue to remember I’m not like everyone else that’s what it is to be an individual. My journey is different, I can do anything I want and be anything I want.

Ive come to the conclusion the main reason I feel envy is based around fear. Fear controls how my career evolves but fortune favours the bold. You walk forward by putting one foot in front of the other as long as I manage to do a little work on my dream every single day then I will get to my destination and so will you!

From UV to LED

Its officially I’ve crossed over to the bright side.

From the start of my nail / gel journey I have had my CND UV lamp, it has been replaced once due to the fan not working but its been my staple item of kit from the start.  Clients had got used to the machine and only just started sliding their hands in gently instead of the finger dive down to the back of the machine.  It only took them 4 years.

Ill set the scene… I was doing a Saturday night nail party.  3 gorgeous ladies all for Shellac gel polish mani pedi.  The evening was going so so well. The vibes were lighthearted and fun, snacks were flowing, alcohol for the girls (not me I like to paint in straight lines).  It was lovely.  Last treatment, last pedicure….. machine makes strange sound!! Like it could blow up with the clients foot! Next thing you know it won’t turn on at all.  As a mobile nail artist a malfunction of equipment is one of the most scary things that could happen. As I officially have a badge and t-shirt in worrying, machine failure has crossed my mind on more than one occasion so I bring a spare light (very small spare light but spare non the less) in my boot.  9:00pm at night I’m running down flights of stairs from a block of flats to my car to rescue this disastrous situation.  All was well in the end (I was sweating from various areas) but the clients were happy which is all that matters.

On contacting Sweet Squared the distributers for CND in the UK it became very clear that my machine can not be replaced due to the fact they no longer produce these UV lamps.  The only CND lamp available is a LED which cost nearly £230.00.  Rock and a hard place, the lamp is a must and £232.00 is the only way I continue to work.  So LED lamp it is, WELCOME TO THE KIT.

I have been using this for weeks now and can say I love it.  My clients love the difference too.  The most appreciated difference is that as they say “practice makes perfect’ my treatment time is cutting down consistently due to experience and with the addition of a 60 second cure instead of a 2 minted cure it aids the treatment time finish.  The lamp is much lighter than the UV so for a mobile nailista its heaven!

There are cons because nothing is life should only have pro’s. The two that I have come across is the power cable. it doesn’t quiet slot into the bottom as flush as I would love, especially because I’m plugging and unplugging regularly.  Does it effect the power that is transmitted to the machine. NO, it’s more of an annoyance.  There is also the lights themselves.  small round circles which do required your client to have perfect hand and foot positioning.  I had a client who I didn’t realise had not put their foot into the perfect groove for their base coat cure.  I then proceeded to apply the 1st colour coat and it was obvious the base coat was TOO wet to paint over.  Yes you want the slight cure with the 10 second setting but it was as if the cure had not reach her toe at all.  Guide feet in perfectly ;).

I just came across an interesting article in Scratch magazine from last month called “riding the wave” which is perfect for this gel curing light occurrence.  The Science:-

  • There is no universal UV lamp
  • 36w indicates how much electricity used not the light output
  • LED will not cure old gels as it does not have several peaks in brightness

One of the most important pieces of information with regards to gel curing lamps is , your insurance will be effected if you have not used the correct lamp for the formulated products you are using.

Money well spent lovely addition to my kit… and yes its already covered in paint dabs from the finger jabbing into light madness.

Various ways to be an artist

Spending an hour with someone every 2 weeks while touching them physically and sitting in close range of their personal space is one of the most intimate ways to get to know someone.

I have clients with varied professions from Office Mangers to Social Workers.  One client last week told me a story that warmed my heart as I related to on every level.  Going from a very serious, high pressured, restricted work environment to starting a artist course/business, in her case it was Henna.

The excitement of learning a new artistic skill, knowing you have a little flare of artistry in you, trying to hone it in and expand the knowledge.  The pride you feel when you complete a course with excellent feedback , then comparing your work from pre and post education.  Then the real fun….. opening your mind to what you can really do after using your natural ability and course based skills.  The joy it gives you to look back at your work and see how creative you really are.

Its freeing, it uses a different side of the brain, a sense of achievement, the shock and awe you give yourself from the feeling that what is in front of you came from your hands, your knowledge and YOUR skill.

Same as always everyone around you doesn’t understand your journey or the way it makes you feel, why you would want to step away from the normal routes in society, the routes that make obvious and steady money with pension schemes and annual leave.  When all you can feel is the lioness in you roaring louder than every now that you have fed her artistic flare.  The strain between normal and extraordinary is a risk not everyone is willing to take but I feel that once there is creativity involved, the door is too open to close.

Side note…. Henna is temporary body art which is also called Mehndi.  It can dye skin, hair, fingernails and fabric.  In many cultures wedding henna is still tradition and an important custom.  Henna gives blessings to the bride of joy and luck.  The designs are custom made for every client and can last up to 2 weeks.

Power to the creative mind!



Nail Art Trends – Stamping

Stamping is becoming the new go to for all types of nail designs.

Initial thoughts are that skilled nail artist could free hand most of the stamping nail plate designs. The reality is YES you can free hand the patterns which is a more personal, professional, artistic touch but stamping is time efficient, clean, crisp and easy (well if you follow these tips)

Ive watched the videos I’ve read the instructions, I’ve tried it and I’ve learnt its not as easy as it looks but thats nothing new when it comes to nails.  There should be a standard nail technician slogan that says “Its not as easy as it looks”

In order for stamping to work there is technique involved.  What i learnt…..

  1. Clean stamping plate with nail polish remover
  2. Apply a few drops of nail polish to the part of the design you want
  3. Scrape the polish across the design with a card just once is enough, do not scrape over and over in an attempt to get the liquid into the groves
  4. IMMEDIATELY press the stamper down firm and precisely onto the polish covered design
  5. Wait for a few seconds for the polish to get slightly tacky
  6. Press the stamper carrying the design straight onto the nail looking through the stamper to ensure design is placed appropriately

You could now generously top coat your beautiful design for a luxurious glossy look or get wild with it and maybe stamp again over the design with a second colour.  There is a technique of when the design is on the stamper using polish to fill in some of the lines with different colours before applying to the nail.  I have seen this done in on screen but never attempted. The chances are of it looking easy on film but not so much when attempting in real world maybe likely, you have been warned!

Visually stamping is awesome, the detail that you can pick up from one of these plates is just gorgeous.  I will be stamping my own hand again and anyone who else’s who will let me.

Watch out im armed with a stamper!!

Pure Vitamin D

As a small experiment, I decided to go on holiday (where there was predicted 32 degree heat) without my nails painted…. oh the horror!!

Every nail technician is aware that summer time = busy time.  Brits flock to hotter places with coral coloured finger nails, the infamous secret toes that are covered all year round get a little air time whilst navigating very hot foreign sands. Its a standard procedure to have a mani / pedi before a holiday but isn’t the sun meant to be good for hair and nails?

“Apparently” a large portion of the world is deficient in vitamin d.  Vitamin D itself can assist your body in the increased absorption of calcium, and aid in heart , brain and immune function.  All things that will increase hair and nail health and growth.  When gaining this Vitamin d via the sun, sun cream is a MUST!

There was a slight alteration to the experiment, as I am of mixed race I tan extremely well due to the melanin in my skin. Melanin blocks UVB rays which inevitably means I would require more sun exposure to produce the adequate amounts of vitamin D compared to most.  My nails didn’t get the memo 😉

My nails were slightly unkempt before I went to this Sahara heat but I performed a luxury manicure to get them into TLC receiving mode and I performed the same manicure on return.

Did my nails come home in a better condition they went to Spain in.  Yes.

Would I do it again. No. 

As much as my nails were pink shiny and full of a healthy glow, there is no fun in sitting around a pool with lots of brightly coloured toe nails around you to then look down and my …. well…. feet! Basically is all I could described the sad look of my toes with no jazzy colour staring back at me.





Nailing Mental Health

Nailing Mental Health is awesome!!

Nails and mental health are 2 things that I hold at the highest level of importance in my world and here’s why.

In 2013 I experienced a full mental breakdown.  I lost everything that I was and mentally lived in an extremely dark place.  The problem with living in the dark hole of depression is you can’t come out unless you have a rope.  That can be anything, your family, your best friend or your kids.  Anything!

Mine was nails.

I started to learn nail art and gel polish to keep my mind busy with something positive, using glitter and foils kept me visually stimulated.  The health an safety along with the anatomy of the nail itself kept my brain sharp and engaged.  The motivation to complete courses and gain certificates kept my spirits high from the sense of achievement.  Looking back on that time in life I can see that those early steps were like planting the nail seed and when I acknowledge how far I have come in my nail career I feel like its spring!

So… Nailing Mental Health is an amazing nail technician (Stephanie Staunton’s) way of fund raising and possibly breaking the Guinness World Record to promote awareness of mental health suffering.

The 1st event was held on 2nd April at the O2 Intercontinental Hotel and raised almost 6000 squid! The second epic event will be held at Olympia Beauty on 2nd October with the Guinness World Record attempt and a hope to raise another 5000 squid so that Nailing Mental Health can register as a charity in its own right.

With all this awesomeness happening I pushed aside the very annoying voice in my head which says im not a good nail professional and contacted Stephanie direct requesting to be part of her superwoman nail crew and guess what….. IM IN 🙂

Excited to use my skill for something so important is an understatement.  I will continue my positive nail career and I will also continue my approach to talk about mental health until its as accepted as the most common health problems like high blood pressure or diabetes.  Over the past 4 years the more I have done this the more I have heard …. “Yeah, my son is suffering with depression now”…. “I have terrible anxiety”….. “A few years ago I had a nervous breakdown too”.  The more we openly communicate about mental health the less alone we feel in our darkest days.

No matter the mental state I manage to get myself in, I have experience and facts to prove…. This too, shall pass. 

Wishing every suffer brighter days that outweigh dark days.

Nail Tech’s Success Challenge

When it comes to nails I like to keep an ear to the ground.  I have signed up to every possible newsletter from all industry leaders and continually look for more.  Following / Watching all the trend setters for nail art on Youtube and Instagram.

My thirst for knowledge and information is helpful because I come across some wonderful little gems, like this one…. The Nail Tech’s Success Challenge.

I have been receiving newsletters from Ela Loszcyk for a year or so now and her knowledge is very interesting, she has won numerous competitions and her nail extensions experience is vast.  I love hearing tips, tricks, new techniques, what works and what to stop doing.

Ela Loszczyk created this Challenge to help Nail Techs grow their businesses.  It was a 5 part challenge which was to be completed over a 5 day period with written workbook and online video to accompany the challenge.  In typical Rhiannon style I couldn’t quite do it the way it was suggested so I printed the workbooks and completed them when I had time.  Which was a Wednesday afternoon whilst drinking 4 cups of tea.

These types of exercises are amazing, I love pen to paper work as it really engages my brain to not only read a question, think of the answer, write it down in black and white, which then enables me to take it in and all of a sudden have clarification.  Its a very powerful tool.

A few things stood out to me after this exercise… How far I have come, My achievements so far, My very realistic and reachable future goals, A very clear view of what works for me and what does not, The new goals that I added and didn’t realise I wanted until this challenge and a really positive and healthy list of things to do.

On that positive note, im off to get working on some of those list items.

Thank you Ela for telling me:-


Nail Art Trends – Chroming

Chroming, Ombre, Stamping, Water marblling, just some of the trends of the past 2 years.

The biggest of the year is chroming, its on every youtube channel its on every instagram page and initially I wasn’t a fan, as you can get the look from polishes no?

I did my nail professional duty and bought a few colours to give it a whirl on some nail trend loving clients and I was honestly amazed.  Gawn open, eyes bulging with a smile in the corner of my lips type amazed.

In the pot the product looks like a fine glitter powder that we normally use for making custom blend products with acrylic powders or gels.  After watching numerous tutorials on how to properly apply the powder I tried a few combinations of routes with the products that I have to get the correct look.  The shine and the strange way all the powder grains joins together as if making a sheet of mirror was fascinating and something I personally had never seen before.  Like most techniques practice makes perfect.

Best results came from:-

  1. Usual PEP
  2. Gel base coat
  3. 2 gel colour coats (Which was Black Pool by CND Shellac)
  4. No wipe off gel top coat
  5. Apply the powder in a burnishing technique with an eyeshadow applicator

Repeat last 2 steps if the full chrome effect needed a little booster.

Not all nail art trends are worth the investment but I am a firm believer that this one is something im not only going to enjoy doing but will put a smile on my clients faces which is my main goal.  With that said, im going to hunt down some more effects with holographic being top of my list.

Bring on more chroming….

Nails Mastered: Creativity/Industry

Its all over

My Nails Mastered journey has come to a end.   Ive never been so nervous and excited at the same time.  It was as it I had won an oscar. Being chosen to participate in this course was a big eye opening for me, on a day to day basis I forget that I am a nail artist particiapating in the nail industry and at any moment can be recognised as being a part of it by a wide variety of people I look up to who are doing the same job as me.

Having a legend like Marian Newman viewing, commenting and guiding my work was something very special, it really gave me a tingle of excitement of what my career could be.

Now all these nicely tingle wingle, oh so lovely paragraphs are not the only emotions that went with this course.  If I had any advice for the next round of students its no matter how much time you think you have put aside to do well on this course its not enough you’ll need more!! I unfortunately moved house at the same time as the course kicked off and my creative juices were lost in decorating stress but everything happens for a reason.

There were 2 factors in the course which changed my whole outlook on my career choice.


The feedback received from industry experts was so trueful and brutal that it sometimes made me want to throw my entire nail kit in the wheeley bin and move on!


As the course had so many big names supporting our learning there were lots of opportunities available if we did well….. IF we did well.  Which I did not.

Combining brutal feedback and not winning any of the tasks and seeing how amazing other nail artists were compared to me made it a very tough few months of doubting my skills and my creative abilities.  For a month or 2 after the 1st stage of the course finished I felt that maybe nails is not for me!

When something rocks you to that extent to the core and yet your still hustling everyday doing it tells me im a fighter and I will keep doing this and I will get better and I will build my empire and I will have the career that I want.  As I said earlier everything happens for a reason and im so glad that I didn’t do so well on the course because I have more fire in my belly than I ever had.

So im now building with fresh bricks on my foundation that is solid!  Thank you Nails Mastered and Marian Newman for inspiring me to progress.

My 1st Bridal Party

2016 has started in 6th gear and im loving it.

I have just performed 5 gel manicures on a bridal party, including the bride, over a two day period and it was a fantastic experience.

When women hear the word bride we tend to assume the world zilla will be at the end.  With a fear of what will they ask, will they be fussy, have they made a decisive decision and various other fearful questions.  Just like lots of my other experiences in life I was lucky.  For the 1st bridal party booking I have ever done it went smoothly and I couldn’t have asked for a nicer group of humans.

The ladies were lovely, they treated me as if they had known me for years.  We laughed, drank tea, talked and even discovered that its a small world and some of their family know my family.

The hustle and bustle of excitement, with glimpses of centre pieces scattered around the front room in preparation for the weekend.  The family banter of what the men might get up to and what time cars will be arriving was a warm and extremely pleasant experience.

Like all my bookings it came from a referral, I had a short time in between confirming the booking and it being the week of.  I had carried out a gorgeous gel manicure on a new client who was attending a hen party and then said wedding a few weeks after.  Once this lovely lady had flashed her well groomed talons at the hen, they all wanted the same.  I was happy to oblige them.

As I had expected everyone chose subtle shades various nudes with beige undertones or nudes with pink undertones.  The Bride had her ring finger detailed with a gorgeous lace decal which had a beautiful multicoloured glitter outline, extremely delicate taking nothing away from the finger or ring, only to entice the eyes in that direction.

I would 100% love to do more weddings as the years go on and if bridal season was all year I would offer my assistance to every bride in the area.


Loosing a toe nail options:-

Trauma/Injury or Fungal Infection

The loss of any nail is upsetting whether its a break to your newly grown natural fingernails, a possible “ping off” of a nail extension or a loss of a nail from the toe, there is always a flood of emotion.  Anger, fear or maybe disappointment but one thing is true all those losses are extremely common.

If you are unfortunate enough to lose a toe nail this information is for you, and if you are lucky enough to not have experienced this please take note of information to help maintain healthy toe nails.

Your 1st step is noticing if your toe nails have changed in any way.  Colouring is the most obviously sign.  Trauma to your toe nail may show in a black/blue/red form and a fungal infection may change the nail to a white/yellow/green look.  Are they painful?  Is the nail still attached but loose?

It is very common to have runners toe which people suffer from when running long distances as your toes are swollen, perspiring and crammed into a tight space.  They will endure pressure on the base from the velocity your feet hit the ground and the tip of the toes from the sheer speed you are travelling.  Our poor tootsies are silently bearing the brunt of our amazing fitness 😉

If you suspect the change is a fungal issue do not contact your nail technician make an appointment at your GP who will advise you as to what treatment will be best to clear up the infection.  If you leave the infection unattended hoping that it will clear up itself by growing out, it will NOT it will continue to effect your nail as it grows!!

When / If your toe nail eventually detaches do not fear, follow your instruction of treatment from your GP and sit back and watch your nail grow.  Toe nails grow extremely slow compared to our fingernails.  Be patient it could take the best part of a year but as long as the nail matrix is not damaged your entire toe nail will grow back strong, smooth and healthy with a wonderful pink nail bed.

Going forward with toe nail health there are simple things we can all do to maintain a nice environment for them to live in.  We must wear clean, thick socks made of natural fibres, shoes with space giving your toes plenty of room, keep toe nails short and cut in a straight line.

I wish you all happy, healthy toe nail journeys in hope that mine grows back as soon as possible.


October 2014 to October 2015

One year on and look how far I have come.

The journey to setting out onto the nail roads as I call it, was one that made me feel nervous and excited at the same time.  Going into an industry which I am unfamiliar with other than occasionally being on the receiving end of a treatment left me with only my nail knowledge to work with.

That nail knowledge has taken me a long way.  When I 1st started out I had no clients, my friends would let me practice on their nails and then show them off to anyone who would look.  To get all the way to this year and have regular clients plus new clients coming every month who then become my regular clients, who then direct their friends and family on my direction as well is priceless.  Every client I have at the moment is through referral which I find most humbling, that people like me enough to tell others.

As a round up of the 1st year I have learnt:-

  • This job/life makes me very happy 🙂
  • Spend every penny wisely
  • Social media is an important cog in the promotion of a business and Instagram has looked after me.
  • Training with brand specific products seems expensive but is worth its weight in gold.

With all that in mind whats the plan for year 2 of Rhi Rhi Nails It?

World domination!!!!!

More training, more trade shows, more practicing, more nail competitions, more marketing, more fun, more smiles.  More, more and more.

Professional Beauty North

As this is my 1st full year of working inside the beauty industry I did not expect to be invited to the Professional Beauty North as a VIP  but it happened! NSI requested that I attend as one if their VIP’s and I was very grateful.  The first day of the event was my birthday but I booked my travel arrangements to go up to Manchester on the second/last day; the Monday.

Travel from Luton to Manchester was very easy, made a friend once getting to Manchester station, even shared a cab over to the venue.

The buzz and pace of Manchester Central made me smile with the hope that there would be bargains and new equipment or products to be snatched up in a hurry. I attended one of the seminars that was given by a very knowledgable lady named Claire and her Operations Manager for a company called Perfect 10.  It was focused on the mobile beauty industry.  I went with plenty of lined paper and a pen full of ink, which was lucky as they had many interesting points to make when it comes to the finer details of a mobile business.  I have lots to work on.

To my surprise there were nail tool stands on nearly every row which was great for me, I felt that time was getting away from me and could not look properly at all the different types but did manage to find myself 2 very hard to come by cuticle pushers which I had to snap up quickly.  I also found some gold leaf foil which I have been eyeing on the internet for some time and now I have some of that too.  Ready to ace some nail art with that asap.

There was also stages with live demonstrations, I saw a gel V acrylic display by a wonderful nail technician who then went on to win a nail competition which was announced at the end of the day.

One of the strangest parts of the day was when I watched the nail completion winners being announced by Denise Wright.  Denise was one to the trainers on my 1st nail courses for Essential Nails so to see her standing in front of me was very scary.

Roundup of my 1st beauty exhibition, loved it didn’t want it to be over but next time I will bring lots more cash (for quick transaction purposes) with a shopping list just like at the supermarket 😉

CND Brisa Lite

In the nail world soak off gel extensions are a god send.  This is because gel extensions are normally made of a hard buff off compound which is hard work when it comes to removal.  Soak off gel gives you the ease to wrap them up like your shellac polish and… off they come.

I booked on with Jeni again of Sweet Squared CND Educating Ambassador for a 1:1 session to learn how to use Brisa Lite Smoothing Gel and Brisa Lite Sculpting Gel.  Just before starting the training Jeni informed me that she had been given word from head office that CND will be discontinuing the sculpting gel in 2016!!!! I couldn’t have been more disappointed 🙁

I pre used the gel before the training session to get a feel for how it moves / behaves in the application process.  To gain feedback on the durability it gave the client and to view what condition their natural nail was in after the enhancement.  All of the answers to my questions were positives so why would they discontinue this product?

I have looked through multiple websites on the internet to find out more and im starting to see this is something that happens with CND quite regularly.  There is not a huge amount of information regarding this on the internet or forums and from what I have been told this would make sense.  The popularity in america for the Brisa Lite was not as big as they would have hoped therefore there would not be huge uproar about it not being available after this year.  BUT the techs here in England that have attended the training and now feel like they can not live without this gel do have a few choice words.  The fear that once the news spreads a little wider the stock that Sweet Squared have will deplete very.

With all that in mind, I will be making small, affordable orders every month of the sculpting gel and the smoothing gel (just in case) until I feel I have a comfortable stock.  Clients fear not im on the case 🙂


I won!!


My favourite and only form of social media… Instagram, has proved to me that it really is the best thing ever!

The Beauty Guild were running a competition on Instagram asking people to enter by liking their picture and then commenting underneath.  The winnings prize was the entire Venice OPI Collection.  The requested comment underneath the picture needed to be your favourite colour from the new collection.

Typical me I chose the nude which was A Great Opera-tunity with a few emojis at the end.  A week later, boom!! The Beauty Guilds has started to follow you then, boom!! There is a message in my direct messages box… You are the winner 🙂

I was excited like a child at christmas waiting to see if Santa got my list and was going to climb down and fill up the space underneath the tree.

The whole process made me extremely happy.  I respect the Guilds highly and OPI is the only nail polish I use on my clients, so the 2 companies combined is a hugely positive collaboration in which I was ecstatic to be a part of.

Plus we all know I have a nail polish addiction so this 12 bottle haul is more than I could dream of.

Thank you to both companies, for making a passionate nail technician smile from ear to ear. xxxx

Press On Nails

I have finally made a start on my press on nail design collection.  It has been on my to do this for a long time.

I initially ordered the nails months ago and started to plan which nails I would create for sale.  I was extremely excited about getting the creation process up and running.  Unfortunately life and work progress seems to have gotten in the way :(.

On a more positive note, I started this fun project with the typical french, pink and white style nail.  I changed it slightly by stripping the white tip.  What I love about the pink and white is there are so many styles that are fun an funky so I will make sure the french tip nail collections is extremely varied.  Even after all these years of nail extensions the french manicure look is still extremely popular with all age ranges.

My second set is a more detailed version of a design I had put up as a YouTube Video.  Visually it is so appealing because all animal prints are different it gives your eyes a real variety of “patterns”.

I will be doing one set a week until the gorgeous packaging arrives and then put together a huge launch for all the wonderful designs, so watch out!!

Exciting times ahead.

Top Coat

Important Information for anyone starting out.

Its not going to be the usual “important information” like ensure you do a client consultations before treatment or have up to date Public Liability Insurance or even something simple like make sure you are seated correctly when performing a services.  It’s stock up on top coat!!!

Top coats should come with a regular order form attached due to the amount you go through.  I use the full CND Shellac Power Polish system which include base coat, 2 colour coats, top coat and CND UV lamp.  If anyone has attended the training you will be familiar with the science behind the products so you will be aware that the generous coat is your top coat.

Base coat tends to last longer as it is a very thin layer applied to the natural nail to ensure removal process is effective.  Colour polishes last a long time as not every client chooses the same colour.  Top coat on the other hand is thick, luxurious and needs to cover the entire nail like the top slice of bread on a sandwich.

I have also used Essential Nails top coat whether it is matte, gloss or the old style out of a tub brush on.  And even with the difference in brand and application, there is still the same amount of product used which then leads to the constant need to buy another bottle.

After looking for my replacement top coat I came across the 15ml size bottles…. and I feel my prayers have been answered.  Once my 7.5 is finish im coming to get you 15ml 😉

Conversion Courses

The world of nails is very complex and extremely interesting one.  With so much to learn and so many different products to use, the industry provide you with conversion courses in order for you to get certificated in specific branded products.  I did a large amount of research on what products or brands are viewed/tried/tested as the best.  I came across NSI and CND as the top brands and products.

I booked onto a UV Gel Workshop with NSI and learnt wonderful tips for their gel extension range called Balance.  I then went to another conversion for CND to learn tips and tricks for gel polish Shellac.

My NSI workshop was at The Beverley Robinson School of Nails & Beauty.  I can’t express how amazing Bev was, she was like a warm hug from start to finish so much so that I have booked onto the Liquid and Powder (Acrylic) workshop in August.

My CND Shellac was booked through the only official UK distributor of CND products Sweet Squared and my trainer was Jenni, just like Bev she was full of knowledge and I once again booked onto another course with her which is CND Brisa Lite.

I was the usual amount of nervous as I had never been to anything like this before, all my previous nail training consisted of dedication to the nail trainer.  I had an amazing time!!! I loved every minute except the introduce yourself “My names Rhiannon and im an alcoholic” part (shy face).  I have never enjoyed training in anything before this.  I now want to go on as many courses as my purse strings will let me.  The feedback from both educators had me on cloud 9, I didn’t need petrol to get home I could have flown the car there with all the air in my head.

I am officially inspired…… Both of these wonderful women had carved out a carer and lifestyle that I have a need to emulate!  So I will plod along gaining training and experience until I am my own version of them.   

OPI Natural Nail Strengthener

Howdy ladies,

When we see things on the shelves that offer us everything we want from a product we scramble for our purses and hope that the purchase alone will give us the result that was offered.

I have test run a product that is hugely appealing to most women, OPI Natural Nail Strengthener .  Us beautiful ladies love to have many different treatment / services done to our nails but as time goes on our little nails tend to take a beating and we need a little boost.  Products that offer things like strengthening or lengthening are normally top of the list.

In terms of the chemical side of this product it does not contain any of the usual things that will inevitably give you growth or strength.  There is no formaldehyde and no Keratin.  So I was unsure how this product would work…..

I used a 20 year old as my nail tester, we booked in for a weekly manicure with OPI Natural Nail Strengthener  as a base coat then 2 colour coats and to finish a beautiful glossy top coat.  All products were OP.I. and applied as directed.

The main conclusion of the 6 week process was that her nails were longer and stronger BUT it was not an easy road.  The growth and change to the strength of her nails took the full 6 weeks.  There was an area around week 3 to week 4 where 4 of her nails had broken but by week 5 and week 6 they were visibly longer and the natural nail was shiny and smooth.  It had a moist texture with only 1 breakage from the week.

I strongly believe that IF we would have continued with the weekly manicure using this product as the base coat we would have continued to see more growth and strength.  Be patient ladies it does work!!