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.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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.

POWER TO THE BEACH READY MANI / PEDI  

 

 

 

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:-

IT’S NOT WHO YOU ARE THAT HOLDS YOU BACK, IT’S WHO YOU THINK YOU’RE NOT

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.

Feedback

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!

Brief/Opportunity/Tasks

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.

Onycholysis

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!!

YYYYYYAAAAAAYYYYY

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!!

Enjoy

“Powder” Gel

Informative Post Alert!

Over the past 3 months I have had multiple encounters with clients who either wanted their extensions removed or had an extension removal and then required a manicure treatment.  When questioning them further with regards to what type of extensions they had on, I was shocked to hear very similar stories.

The lovely ladies visited the common high street nail shops and asked for a “gel nail” or “gel extension”.  They were then given a set of extension which was made from powder and was not cured under a UV light.   At the till they were charged the price of a gel extension which is usually slightly more than the standard acrylic extension.  Without even seeing this treatment happen I can assure you they were not gel nails.

A powder based product is an indicator that you are having an set of acrylic nails.  Acrylic nail extensions consist of placing a mixture of a polymer powder and a liquid monomer on the brush which is applied to the natural nail.  It then hardens on the nail surface without the assistance of any other components such as uv lamp.

Gel nails or gel extensions will be applied with a brush with is dipped into a pot / jar of thick, clear, liquid which is applied to the nails and is then placed under a UV lamp to harden.  When the nails are completed a tacky layer will be wiped from the top leaving a smooth, shiny glass like nail (before colour and nail art).

This information is just a guidance with simple tell tale signs of what type to enhancements you are receiving.  Its your hard earned cash make sure your getting what you paid for ;).

xx

Left Hand Drive

Dare I call something an issue…..

I love both my hands the same but like most humans my left hand tends to betray me when it comes to following the directions my brain gives it.  It has been said that I have the patience of a Saint but it seems this only applies when im using my right hand to paint my left.

When you are a Nail Technician having beautiful nails is the best way to advertise your skills.  I have been known to have very short nails with no polish (which is me downplaying the fact my nails were unkept).  I think that my lack of confidence with my left hand painting did deter me,  I am also a perfectionist and would not want to feel embarrassed when my right hand did not look up to scratch, specially since I use that hand so much.  Like everything in life, even when I feel it is an issue/problem I do it anyway so I booked myself in for weekly manicures mainly gel polish due to the consistent use of acetone and polish remover.

Just as expected the 1st few manicures went to plan when painting with my right and then had a flooding of  the cuticle area when moving on to the left.  Strangely enough my main issue was not to go over the side walls, I was able to paint in straight lines ensuring the sides were acceptable but when near the cuticle area I struggled to keep a strong steady hand to get that perfect curve at the base.

Picture attached was manicure 4 and by the fourth week I had enough weekly practice to get 3 out of the 5 nails to my standard of perfection.  My thumb had a left hand side cuticle flood and middle finger had a right hand side cuticle flood, I have an oddly shaped middle finger due to a strange shaped fountain pen I used to write with as a youngster so I can’t blame my hand completely for that imperfect looking nail.

After these manicures and the progress my lovely left hand has made, one thing is apparent…. Practice will always make perfect and it reinforces the belief that I can do anything 🙂

Specialist Art Supplies

Just like my last post this one relates to the purchase of products (embarrassed face) I promise I don’t have a problem.

The world of nail art can be wonderful, although the main problems when getting to the finished product is mess and minimal time wasted.  Every tool that is available helps us in tiny ways and when you combine all the best tools it makes this miniature art composure stuff a piece of cake.

My 2 anticipated purchases where Mess No More and The Ring Thing both are hugely popular in the nail world, could even say famous and so I just HAD to have them.  Their price matches their celebrity status and as they are from the US shipping was pricey for the ring.  With that in mind both of the items had a very speedy delivery which I was very happy with.

On testing out these items for the 1st time I can honestly say The Ring Thing palette is so perfect that im surprised there are not more of these on the market.  All the sections are just the right size, I have a tendency to waste a lot of product when using a normal sized mixing palette so every little helps when it comes to keeping expenses down.  The Mess No More on the other hand does what it says on the tin i.e. peel off product for around the nail area but it smells VERY strong.  It smells so strong that there is a note on the instruction to ignore the smell as it disappears once the liquid had dried.  Even with this small downside it is a very good product.

I am completely happy with both of my specialist items and I can see that they will become permanent fixture in my kit.

Nail Polish Addiction

Its official im a nail polish addict!!

Fresh from a shopping trip at Salon Services I have returned with 5 OPI Polishes.  So why am I firing up the computer to look for more colours to purchase?  Lucky human beings are blessed with a maximum of 10 finger nails but yet 10 colours in your nail polish collection seems like a poor show.  What is it that makes us want so many different colour nail polishes?

I would hate to think that I am simple enough to be addicted to shiny things…….  But yet something about the word “shiny” rings quite true with me.  The shiny bottles filled with all the colours of the rainbow then you throw in the world of top coat finishes from glittery, shimmery, gloss and the new hot ticket matte!  The competitiveness of wanted to have the complete collection like some form of sticker book from the 90’s. The neatness of the bottle neck with no polish spills.  The fullness of the product inside – unsued.

My imagination running wild about how amazing the nails will look with this colour on, who will see them, the comments received, the experiences, the places, the new people all lead from this amazing nail colour.  The excitement sends positive vibes through my brain which I want to feel more of therefore the only logical answer is to…… buy more nail polishes.

Its official im a nail polish addict!!

Building Your Nail Business

I have been doing a large amount of reading over the past few days on big brand nail websites, nail magazines handbooks and a good old fashioned Google search.  After a serious overload early hours this morning, I chose to sleep on it hoping the information that stood out in the morning would be most important.  I dream that my nail empire will always be needed based on the idea that for the foreseeable future humans will have nails.  The thing that may slow down my business will not be the loss of human finger nails but money.  With this in mind the money that I do earn I want to spend wisely to have a long carer, happy life and secure retirement fund.  With these goals in mind I intend to work to my maximum capacity to ensure I achieve this.  Thinking back to my reading the points that stood out to me this morning were:-

Social Media Presence – As we are in a technological era this is one of the most important parts of business now.  I have chosen Instagram and YouTube as my social sites as I want the pictures and videos of my nail work to be the main focus and these two site specialise in each.  In coming weeks I am planning to hugely increase my youtube posts as this is an area which has got left behind in my journey.

Setting Goals – Dreams in your head do not put money in your bank.  I need to put a lot of serious thought into my business goals.  Im a huge list writer and having those goals and aspirations written down will take them from just dreams, to real life targets that I can financially track and put steps in place for me to achieve them.

Advertisement – When it comes to advertisement I was mainly relying on personal referrals, it has got me this far but I want to go further.  In the next week or so I will be doing some more reading on advertisement/promotion options as this is something that will expand my income hugely which will then allow me to put even more back into my business.

With these key points clear in my head ive got my Nail Boss hat on and am extremely motivated.

Watch out – Coming your way

  • My own nails – Showcasing my work on myself
  • Youtube – 5 nail art videos
  • Client Inboxes – Rhi Rhi Nails It quarterly newsletter with exciting updates

Nail Art Competition

My very 1st Nail Art Competition!!! It has been one of the funniest experiences in my nail journey.  The competition I entered was created by Nail Harmony Gelish and Morgan Taylor in connection with the new collection of colours, inspired by the Disney Cinderella movie due to be released in cinemas this week.  The rules consisted of either a 3D or hand painted nail look.

I researched the history of the Cinderella story and was extremely interested in the story’s foundation.  A wonderfully kind girl who is completely overlooked and neglected but achieves success and recognition.  This is the ultimate foundation for a fairy tale but yet it happens to many of us in real life everyday. As a child the film was one of my favourites so this idea of attempting my 1st competition from a film I watched on repeat was perfect.

The design itself was based on one of the colours that is from the collection called “If The Slipper Fits” and so I used my wonderful sculpting gel and started to craft a glass slipper under the UV light.  I then moved on to the nail itself to make a cushion look with tassels, a beaded edge, striping tape and a mixture of polishes. Voila.

Check out my Instagram page to see the competition entry pictures and fingers crossed I win 🙂

The Male Pedicure

Possibly the most unattractive part of a man could be his feet.  They endure trainers, a range of sports activities and sometimes some questionable dance moves.  The pedicure is no longer only for women it is now a staple part of male grooming.  Cutting the nail correctly to ensure comfort in tight footwear is the most important part, then a good portion of time spent removing the cuticle.  All of the male pedicures I have done show that the dead cuticle is very dry and covers around 1/3 of the toe nail.  These 2 steps change the entire look of the foot before you even carry out the rest of the treatment.  I enjoy doing the male pedicure because of the before an after results, its hard work but someones gotta do it.

The Perfect Nail Picture

Of all the client pictures I have taken this one has got to take the winning trophy. The hands are my 16 year old sister, who is suupper kool and trendy. Her hands are decorated with a beautiful henna design, which is the new must have feature to every girls hand. She also chose an OPI Polish colour with a matte top coat. Two of the most photographed things on Instagram nail accounts is matt top coat and henna tattoos. This is defiantly the first time I can say im down with the kids. Whoop whoop!