Further Education

Today I went to University.
I have to come clean as I am a terrible fibber…
I was asked along to perform back to back CND Vinylux manicures to the Staff and rather than my usual evening timings for Corporate events I was to start at 0930.
Today I was packing more than I usually do and thank goodness all my bags are on wheels I had to take all three of them just in case one of the Ladies wanted something different: CND Shellac, CND Vinylux, CND Brisa and Brisa Lite.
At the end of the day the most popular colours have been Purple Purple and Red Baroness with a splash of Limeade.

Flora and Fauna

Spring is in the air in January.  I know we haven’t had a bad winter in the NE of Scotland but my Clients are still not in Brights and Pastels (yet).
I think it is more of a psychological thing rather than a Seasonal issue with most people however, I have few Clients who decide to add in Swarovski Crystals or RockStars to brighten up dark morning and early sunsets.
I need to get some lighter colours on my nails to show my Clients how good and how much of a lift having a Spring colour can make you feel.

Our friends wedding

I always struggle when it comes to doing my own nails as I have too much choice: Colour? Design? Embellishments? Accents?

After weeks of thinking what to do, I decided to have 10 CND Shellac Blackpool nails to match my colour of  my dress but, on each of the Ring Fingers I put an ‘R’ and ‘K’ written in size SS3 AB Swarovski Crystals for the Bride and Grooms initials.

To add a bit more sparkle I had to have super glittery Silver RockStar toes to match in with the embelilshments on the dress.

Toenail reconstruction

As you know I like a challenge and I don’t like to be defeated.  Today however I nearly crumbled under pressure.

A lady had called asking for her two big toenails to be reconstructed with Enhancements. I carried out a bit of research as to what product had been used previously but as it wasn’t a CND system, it was best to remove the existing product and start from scratch, so as to avoid service breakdown.

Upon removal, I was perplexed as to how I was ever going to give her back two realistic toe nails, given the lack of nail to work on.  I have done minor reconstructions on finger nails but today I thought I’d met my match and would not be able to complete the work.

After custom cutting forms to provide a foundation piece and a regular shape piece I started work.  My Client told me this was only the second time she had this done as she didn’t realise that this type of service was available and after years of hiding her feet this was a revelation!

In the past month she’d bought 3 pairs of open-toed shoes for the first time EVER!

Nail Reconstruction

Before and after

Once the nails were completed you would never know they weren’t hers or how small the small bits of nails hiding underneath were.

On the road again

My CND Shellac and Vinylux Open Road Collection arrived today and for me being mobile it couldn’t have a better name!

It is the Spring collection for 2014 which has been released earlier than planned and is a welcome addition to my bag to add some colour and light in to dark mornings and early dark nights.

My clients are loving Mint Convertible, which is the same colour as a mint Aero as it is a shade that has been requested many times over the last few years.

Amazing view

Tonight I am pampering some lovely ladies at a Solicitors firm in a building which I have much admired from the outside.

There is an amazing view of the city which I have never seen before with sneaky peaks through the buildings of the Christmas lights hanging up the length of Union Street.

Things ran behind time, as normally happens at these events but I was happy to stay behind and make sure all the ladies who wanted their nails done went home happy.

Tonight’s most requested colour was the gorgeous deep dark rich red CND Vinylux Masquerade.

Glitter, Sparkles and Basil the Rabbit

Today I was at the CLAN Childrens Christmas Party at the Patio Hotel, not for manicures but for sparkly Glitter Body Art.

I had all the Christmas designs at the ready but as usual all I was asked for was Pirates and Kittens! Not very Christmassy but so much fun as always.

I wished I had been invited as a guest, rather than having to work so I could watch the awesome Gary and Basil do their Magic tricks.

At the end of the party I was covered in Glitter (as usual), had so much fun and I am looking forward to their next event in the Summer.

Mr Fox

Well it’s that time of year again!

My car, Mr Fox  is in the garage to have his tyres swapped from Summer to Winter ones.

When I get him back he’ll be packed with all the extras required in case of bad weather including the sledge for my trolley bag, which ironically since I bought it I have never had the need to use.

My clients have already shifted into using the darker colours in the range with Midnight Swim being the most requested colour, closely followed by Red Baroness.  It still amazes me that Red Baroness was one of the original 12 colours released over 4 years ago and is one of my most used colours 12 months of the year.

Good nails aren’t Cheap and Cheap nails aren’t Good.

You may think I have slightly lost the plot here but I would like to confess something; I like all these special deals on cut price marketing websites (Groupon, Wowcher etc.) and in NSS’s (Non Standard Salons) because they are GOOD for my business.

If my clients are tempted buy these deals or go to the cut price salons they always come back to me and then they tell their friends about the difference in service and quality I offer, which in turn adds to my client list.

I have seen many badly damaged nails on clients who have chosen the cheaper option and I have heard their frustration when their nails have only lasted 2 days, which has resulted in them returning to the ‘salon’ several times or they give up and just don’t go back. Often these salons don’t offer the full range of colours or treatments available.

I pride myself in reinvesting money and time into my business by having the full range of CND Shellac colours available at all times and attending Training Courses, Seminars and Trade Shows to ensure my skill level and knowledge is the highest it possibly can be and clients receive the best possible service not only in Aberdeen but in the UK.

What I offer to my clients is an individual, bespoke, convenient, service in the comfort of their home to fit in with their lifestyle rather than a ‘sell em cheap, stack em high’, conveyor belt mentality of others.

All my hard work and effort over the last 3 years has been rewarded as I am the current Scratch Award UK Mobile of the Year (2012-2013), Professional Beauty UK Nail Professional of the Year 2013 and I will now have to defend my title as I am Scratch Star Finalist UK Mobile Nailist of the Year (2013-2014), the winner of which will be announced at the beginning of June.

 

Life Begins at 39 NOT 40!

I have heard time and time again that life begins at 40 but for me it came early at the age of 39!

After a massive change of career somewhat later in life than most Nail Technicians I know, I have worked long and hard to build up my business and it has gone from strength to strength over the last 2 years.

I have always felt I had a lot to prove given the fact that I have 17 business experience instead of years of experience in the beauty industry and I was worried that my age might hold me back.

September 2011; I turned 39 and the countdown had begun to 40.

Here’s how my year unfolded;

October 2011:

Since starting up my business I have looked at various Competitions and Award ceremonies locally and nationally but there was nothing ever designed specifically for Mobile Nail Technicians.

Scratch Magazine launched the Scratch Star Awards and the was a category “Mobile Nailist of the Year” and I thought I would give it a go and enter my very first competition.

My clients were really supportive and when I showed them the article they were more than happy to nominate me.

December 2011:

I was specially selected to attend the first CND Master Painter Course being held in the UK.

The class consisted of 5 CND Education Ambassadors and 3 (me being one of them) non EAs.

At the end of the class I found out not only were we the first 8 in the UK but, the first 8 Globally outside of America to gain the CND Master Painter Qualification.

 

February 2012:

I received a call from the Scratch offices informing me I was a Scratch Star finalist and that they wanted me to come to London in 2 weeks to attend a practical test and interview session. To be honest I don’t remember much about the conversation only that I made a lot of high pitched squeaking noises.

The preceding hour was then spent trying to get hold of my Husband to tell him the news. By the time we did speak, he was in a panic as everyone including his 2 bosses were trying to get him to call home so he thought something really bad had happened.

I not sure how he managed to understand what I told him on the phone but, I think he was just relieved I was alright!

The trip to London went past in a flash with not a lot of sleep in between but so much fun.

I had never experienced a competition environment and I didn’t know what to expect or what was expected from me.

When I arrived back at Aberdeen train station I burst into tears with all the emotion.

 

May 2012:

London bound again for the Awards party.

I was looking forward to taking a few days off and spending time with my Husband. Everything was organised for the big night from my shoes, bag, made to measure dress and a bespoke headband.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the win!

I had a complete out-of-body experience that night and everything seemed to be happening around me. It was a really bizarre feeling walking around with the trophy in my hand in a room full of big names in the industry that I had been reading about and I was now going to be somebody that people read about!

 

London May 2012

Cafe de Paris, London

June 2012:

I received a call asking if I would like to assist Michelle Class at one of the shows during London Fashion Week in September.  Most of this call consisted of a lot of tears and whimpering rather than actual words along the lines of ‘yes thank you, that would be lovely’.

Turning 30 really hurt for me and I have been dreading the big 4-0 for the most of the last 10 years!

However so many amazing things happened to me in my 39th year that I am so excited about being 40 now.  Did I really just say that?

Bring on year 4-0 and everything it brings with it!