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 beauty.org/nmc/ 

UV / LED

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. 

Artists

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 www.etsy.com 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.

Massage

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
Relaxing

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

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.

History

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.

Corns

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.

Onychocryptosis

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.

Bunion

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

Verruca

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.

Tinea

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!

Conclusion

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.