Sunday, 16 November 2014

B.Balenciaga Perfume - Nail Bar with OPI

This weekend I was providing nails for the fragrance launch of Balenciaga's new fragrance, B.Balenciaga working with OPI.  The fragrance has been designed by Alexander Wang and is a lovely clean scent, that I loved so much I bought myself a bottle!!

It was so lovely to meet some lovely customers in John Lewis, Oxford Street, London.  Some customers even went for some funky nails!

Have you tried this perfume?  If you haven't, do try it out! 

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Glamour Session Bag from Roo Beauty

I have taken the leap and have purchased the Glamour Session Bag from Roo Beauty in Imperial Purple.  I chose purple as my logo is purple, and it's my favourite colour.  This bag also comes in Black, Pink and Teal.

This bag is fantastic, It can fit in my LED or UV lamp, daylight lamp and extension lead as well as all my application and removal tools, including extra nail art bits.  I can also fit a couple of towels in as well.  The front and back pockets have individual pockets for bottles, you can squeeze 2 shellac bottles in, and they also hold the OPI bottles, I am certain that Gelish would also fit.

I am so impressed with the bag and the amount of padding it has.  I would have no issue with carrying this around all day as I would feel confident that my equipment is safe.

My bag is currently packed for 3 clients and an event, and there is still space for more!!

The only criticism I have is that the elastic bits in the main part of the bag are slightly too high for my OPI bottles of remover and sanitiser, but fine for my CND ones, but this isn't too bothersome!  Just an observation!  

I would recommend this bag to any mobile nail tech, or any session tech.

Over the weekend I am doing the nails for a bridal party who have asked for both Shellac and OPI GelColor nails.  I will update with how this bag works out using both systems and lamps!

I also have the Roo Beauty Session belt, but I am now considering some of the polish bags as well.

When contemplating purchasing this bag I could not find any detailed pictures, so I hope that this helps you!!

What Roo Beauty products do you find most useful?

Claire xxx

Straight out the packet

Front/Back pocket with smaller pockets for 16 bottles on both sides (32 in total)


Right side pocket

All pockets open, main compartment closed

Main compartment and top pocket

Front and side pockets

Main compartment

Back/Front pocket

Left side pocket

Packed and ready to go!

I used my bad for a bridal party today, where I used both OPI GelColour and Shellac for 6 clients.  The bag held all my product and lamps as well as extra nail art products.  As I had so many clients and 2 services, I carried my towel separately, but if using one system this bag would give you plenty of room, I even had extra space!  Very impressed with this bag, and hope it wears well as I will be using it a lot!!


Front Pocket

Main Compartment, OPI and Shellac lamp with extension lead, files, towel, toe separators, nail wipes etc...

Top pocket of main compartment

Back Pocket

Side Pocket

Side pocket
Thanks for reading guys!


Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Inspired Nails using OPI GelColor Comet In The Sky

I managed to get my hands on the limited edition black and holo glitter Comet In The Sky from the OPI Holiday 2014 range. I thought it would look great over orange, so inadvertently ended up with Halloween nails!! 

For this look I used the NEON Juice Bar Hopping and Comet In The Sky.  A coat of alpine snow was applied under the NEON to ensure I really got a bright result.

I love the glitter, it has different size pieces and really sparkles under the light. 

Have a great halloween!!!

Claire x

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Nail Art Ideas

These last few weeks have been crazy busy which I love, in-between various events I have managed to pull together these nail art ideas which have been inspired by much of what I have seen at events, other techs and social media!

Hope that they inspire you guys!!

Claire x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Nail Art Tutorials on YouTube

Hey Guys, 

I have decided to set up a nail art channel on YouTube to offer my advice on designs, and how they can be created.  I will be using a mixture of both professional and everyday products to help expand and inspire you!

If you have any specific requests, please let me know in the comments below!

I am so excited to have this opportunity to create videos.  Below is my first video, your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!!

Looking forward to bringing you my next video over the next few days!

Claire xxx

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cheap Shellac - Is Cheaper Ever Better?

I have had a number of clients recently that have come to me with a variety of issues, mainly from using 'cheap' services.  Clients are attracted by price, and find that they are spending more money fixing them problems than using a reputable therapist in the first place.

Many clients want instant results and this is sometimes the problem and why enhancements are applied onto nails that simply should not have product applied.  Quite often the products are incorrectly applied, or is just not the product the client thought they were getting.  I have had so many clients come to me with a soak off gel manicure, when actually they have acrylic enhancements!

The best way to avoid problems is to educate yourself on what you are asking for.  The internet is a minefield, however in general there is some great information.  If you have been recommended a brand, look them up, or contact the manufacturer.  Some even have a salon finder where you can look up salons that are authorised therapists.

A few things to look out for when using a new therapist are:

Insurance - all services offered should be covered by the therapists insurance. The certificate should be displayed in their salon. If mobile, the therapist should be willing to show you a copy/Image - this is the digital age after all!!

Hygiene - therapists should wash and sanitise hands between each client. Sanitising hand gel at the very least should be used!  Tools should also be sanitised and disinfected, tools should be soaked in barbicide (or equivalent) where possible, and where not (ie a mobile therapist), IPA should be used before disinfecting at the end of their day.

Trade Certificates - There are many training courses around, and most are perfectly good.  Look up where the training certificates are from if you are unsure.  Many big brands only use certain training providers.  Although training for qualified nail techs is not required for all products, those that have trained with individual products will have a greater knowledge about the products they are using.

Products - how can you tell if the product being used is authentic? This is a little trickier, but a few pointers can help.  This is how you spell 'Shellac', it is manufactured by CND (Creative Nail Design) and is one of the original Power Polishes.  Anything that says 'blue sky shellac' or 'shellak' is not real! Do not use this, it was not purchased from an authorised stockist and will therefore not be insured should anything go wrong.  SweetSquared and Ellisons are the only authorised distributors in the UK.  This is similar for OPI, professional products are supplied through Lena White.  If you are unsure about the origin of a products, question them!  Some products, for example Gelish, is more widely available, however certificates need to be produced for a trained therapist to purchase products.

The problem with using products that have not been purchased through the authorised channels is that you and your therapist has no idea what is in the bottle!!

Cost - this is a tricky subject.  Sometimes there are very good therapists that charge cheap prices, or have offers on and introductory rates.  In general though, too cheap is too good to be true.  If someone is charging £10 for a mobile gel service, the therapist is losing money, by the time product, consumables, insurance, laundry, travel and the original cost of equipment are factored in, let alone what a therapists time is worth! They are making no money - why are they charging so little, and what sort of service are you expecting?

Services overview

Acrylic Enhancements - acrylic in its traditional form is called Liquid & Powder, this application is where powder is mixed with monomer (the smelly stuff), and applied in a bead to the nail.  You should always ask to see the container for both the liquid & powder. I have seen many salons that remove products from original containers - this is staying on your nails - what are they using?!?! Most clients I have will have l&p applied that is almost impossible to remove. Using correct application and products, the nails will remove easily and leave very little, hopefully no, damage to the nail plate.  Ridges in your nails are caused from over filing! Do not let your therapist do this!!

Gel Enhancements - Gel nails are an acrylate and are similar to the traditional l&p described above.  This products is applied from a pot that looks like thick paint and is painted on the nail with a flat brush and then cured in a light.  Enhancements are created by building a shape to the nail to add strength.  These nails are shinier.  There are a number of brands that offer traditional hard gels.  Again, ask for the brand and look at the pots, they should all be labelled.

Soak Off Gels - these are the most popular services, 3 weeks of colour on to natural nails with 15 minute removal time.  There are numerous versions of these gels, from Biosculpture and OPI Axxium SOG, to Shellac, Gelish & OPI GelColor.  The more recent versions of soak off gels tend to come in nail polish style bottles, with the exception of Biosculpture, OPI Axxium SOG and CND Brisa Lite.  Look up the brands being used, ensure they are not an eBay only product!!

Manicures - when incorrect or unauthorised creams are used, clients can have reactions and skin problems, why risk damaging your skin when using something unlabelled.

Pedicures - when was the foot spa last cleaned, sanitised and disinfected?  This should happen between every client, mobile or not! A way round is is to use liners for the foot spa such as the Footsie bath spa and liners.  Make sure it is clean!!

Nail wraps - there are so many wraps available it is impossible to know where to start with this! Minx is probably the most popular and common nail wrap when looking for a reputable service.  These come in packaging clearly marked Minx, if another name is on the wrapper, you are not getting the product you want!

This is not a complete list of products or services, but I hope that this post has given you a little insight and confidence to talk to you therapist about products, to ensure that you are getting the product you want, in a safe and protected way.

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Claire xxx

Monday, 25 August 2014

Rouge Louboutin Nail Polish from Christian Louboutin

As a treat, I ordered the Christin Louboutin 'Rouge Louboutin' nail polish from the new Beaute Louboutin range which launched in August 2014 in the UK.

This polish was purchased from Selfridges website, as they are the official distributers in the UK.

I was not disappointed with my purchase!  Although more expensive that my usual nail polishes at £36 +delivery, the sheer look of the polish is totally worth it, and the polish I think is really very good.

The coverage from one coat alone would be absolutely fine for every day wear, and two coats give superb coverage.

Having looked at other manicures using this polish, I used a border style/outline style nail art in black to imitate the look from the sole of the shoes.  The black shown is using Chanel Black Satin, just to keep in with the designer theme!  I was going to do all hands, but I ran out of napping time with the baby!  I think I may add some crystals to the ring fingers when I do this manicure for a special occasion.

The brush took a little getting used to, but works like a pen and one you've done one or two nails, using it come naturally.  The only problem I had was with the cat trying to hit the brush out of my hand!!

When applied very thin, it can look a little pink, but thickened up, or with two coats this disappears completely.

I am very fortunate to own a couple of pairs of Christian Louboutin shoes, and this polish is really up my street, as I love the designer.  If you are not a fan of Louboutin shoes, you may not want to splurge the cash, but I am very pleased with my purchase and will look at other colours in the collection when they launch, what girl isn't up for some glamour?!

Two coats on nails with no top coat in indoor light.

Two coats shown under my daylight lamp 

Two coats with top coats under daylight lamp

Two coats with top coat under daylight lamp

Have you tried the nail polish yet? Or any other colours from the collection? What are your thoughts?

Claire x

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Purple Nails - Colour Me Crazy Challenge - Week 7

This weeks nails are purple!!

Reverse French / Moon Manicure design with flowers.  I have had so many compliments with this design, I will be using it with other colours!!

The colours used are:
OPI Funky Dunkey - dark putple
OPI Rumples Wigglin' - lilac
OPI DS Radiance - silver for highlight 
Essie Incognito - dark green

Why not take a look at some other great purple nails?! 

Claire x

Word press

Nails in Borehamwood

Hi Guys,

I have had a lot of messages asking me where I am based, so I thought I would answer you all in one post :) !

I have a salon in Borehamwood, and will travel for private clients, session work and any nail need both within the UK and Internationally.

For more information, please take a look at my Facebook page for contact details, and the prices for private clients.

I look forward to working with you!

Claire x

Monday, 11 August 2014

Pink Nails - Colour Me Crazy Challenge - Week 6

To quote Aerosmith:

"Pink it's my new obsession 
Pink it's not even a question, 
Pink on the lips of your lover, 'cause 
Pink is the love you discover "

This week in the Colour Me Crazy Challenge is Pink!

I have used OPI GelColor in Strawberry Margarita.  The Pearl and Black colours are Additives from CND.  The chevron at the top of the nail was created using vinyl Stickers from She Sells Sea Shells.

The additives are great for added effects and pops of colour as they adhere to the inhibition layer (sticky layer) on gel nails.  Just buff them in, top coat, and away you go.  They do not interact with the wear of the gel and you will get your usual 2-3 weeks having used them.

Here is a quick 'How To':

1. Apply base and 2 coats of gel, curing each coat for the required amount of time.

2. If the design requires accurate shapes and straight line, apply your tape/stickers

3. Buff in the additive (a little goes a VERY long way) and remover the stickers/tape.  The brush used here is a sable gel brush, any nail art brush will do.

4. Apply additional colours if required, either free hand or with stickers/tape.  To avoid colour crossover, you may want to top coat in between colours.  For this look I have not.

5. Top coat and cure.

Have you used CND Additives?  What are your thoughts on them?

For more Colour Me Crazy Pink Nails, please follow the link below - some great other nail bloggers!

Hope you have a great week!

Claire x

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Lipstick Queen 'Hello Sailor' Review

I have been eyeing up Lipstick Queen's 'Hello Sailor' which is a balm like lip stick in blue.  I decided to take the plunge whilst shopping on Cult Beauty

The idea works on the colour wheel, where by pink and blue are on opposite sides.  This means that the blue on bunk lips turns a lovely berry colour.

This does not look blue on lips, it is a lovely hint of colour that lasts for a a few hours.  I find the impact looks best after 15 minutes of application.

The constancy is similar to a lip balm, slightly tackier.  It tingles on the lips slightly, similar in feel to using a mint lip balm.

It claims that it will also make teeth look whiter.  I cannot comment on this, as I can't really tell, but no harm if it does help, no one wants teeth to look discoloured!

Hello Sailor is different many of the other Lipstick Queen Products I own, but is a nice addition to my collection.  The most similar product to it, that I own would be the Chinatown Lipgloss Pencil in Mystery, however this is already a berry colour.

Have you tried this product?  What are your thoughts?

Claire x

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Blue Nails - Colour Me Crazy Challenge - Week 5

For this weeks blue challenge, I've gone for schools days nails.

Who remembers 'kiss/chase', netbalks lessons, learning the ABC and of course the endless noughts & crosses across our workbooks!

The blue is from Illamasqua and the colour is Force. A great nail polish, highly pigmented, long wear. This is shown without top coat.

The details have been done with acrylic paints and a small nail art brush.

Below are the links to some other great bloggers taking part in the challenge.  Do take a look!

Claire x

Friday, 1 August 2014

OPI Cajun Shrimp

The more I use it, the more I'm loving the OPI GelColor. Easy and quick to apply (even faster than shellac with the LED lamp). Super shiny, long lasting, easy to remove, I could go on and on.

Another advantage is the treatment time. My client last night for fingers and toes was within an hour!! 

The colour used was Cajun Shrimp. A lovely slightly darker coral. It's not red, nor orange. It matches everything and looks super for the summer!

Have you friend OPI GelColor?

Enjoy the weekend! Xx

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Green Nails - Colour Me Crazy Week 4

I am never one to blend into the crowd, but with this weeks green theme for the Colour Me Crazy Challenge, I thought 'camouflage'!!

The colours used are:
OPI - Alpine Snow (White)
OPI - Suzi Loves Cowboys (Brown)
OPI - Green-Wich Village (Lime Green)
Essie - Pretty Edgy (Bright Green)
Essie - Going Incognito (Dark Green)

I alternated the base colour on each finger, and then using a small nail art brush I layers on the colours in random blobs.  Each nail is different, and I think works quite nicely!

Have you tried camo nails?!
Check out these other 'green' blogs using the link below!
Have a great week, 
Claire x

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Yellow Nails - Colour Me Crazy - Week 3

I only own one yellow nail polish, I can't believe it, I have every colour under the sun, except for the colour of the sun!!

For these yellow nails I used OPI's Banana Bandana, the pink is Illamasqua's Collide and the matte top coat is Essie's Matte About You.

This is the first time I've really attempted a ruffian nail look, and I really like it, I can't wait to try it out with gel.  Other than the chevrons, these are all free hand.

The chevrons were created using vinyl chevrons in the medium size from She Sells Sea Shells.

Sorry the pictures are a bit blurry, my husband was trying to be an 'artist' with the camera.

Hope you like them!!

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Shellac Wildfire - Bright Red Nails

Red nails are classic, they go with anything and everything. Always adding a touch of class to an outfit!

My new client asked for a classic red nail, so I chose Shellac's Wildfire. It is a classic bright red, not too pink or orange. No shimmers, glitters or effects.

What reds do you like to use? 

Hope you're having a great weekend!

Claire x

Friday, 18 July 2014

OPI Juice Bar Hopping - Neon Orange

I am really loving using OPI's GelColor. I do love my Shellac, but the OPI colours and the super fast LED curing is really swaying me towards the OPI!

Continuing the orange theme, my client last night wanted bright orange, what a great oppertunity to try out the OPI Neon range! The orange is called Juice Bar Hopping, it is a great bright orange, which looks slightly brighter when used with a white as a first coat, followed with 2 colour coats.

The colour and look is just amazing under a black light, I will be wearing this the next time I go out!!

Have you tried out any neons? What colours do you find the brightest? 

For those readers in the UK, I hope you're enjoying the rare sunshine!

Claire x

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Orange Nails - Week 2 - Colour Me Crazy Challenge

Orange nails are this weeks challenge! I rummaged through my collection and found my trusty OPI A Good Mandarin Is Hard To Find and Cetuem #87.  The Cetuem has a lovely gold shimmer to it so I decided to use it as a highlight.

As you know, I have a baby, so my time to do my own nails is short. Whilst thinking about what to do, I thought I'd get my Konad stamping kit out and used my favourite paint splatter stamp!

I painted my nails with 'A Good Mandarin Is Hard To Find' and then stamped using the 'Konad White' and went over that with 'Cetuem #87'.

I forgot how easy the stamping plates are to use and how effective they can be!

Thanks for reading :) x