Meet The Tech Monday featuring Hazel Clarke…

MEET THE TECH MONDAY

However you plan on spending your Monday, I’d advise you to stop whatever you’re doing, flick the kettle on & pop your feet up for a five as we’ve another exciting chatter for you all to feast your eyes upon. This week, we catch up with the lovely Hazel about life as a Nail Tech Educator & Distributor for Moyra Nail Products!

Don’t forget, if you’re a UK based Nail Tech (or training to become one) then *CLICK HERE* to get yourself over to the Nail Techs UK Facebook Group where you can meet oodles of new nail buddies, pick up a wealth of insider knowledge & chatter with a wide variety of like-minded techs – including some of the UK’s top educators too!

Anyway, that’s enough from me… sitting comfy?! Then let’s meet Hazel…

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Name:

Hazel M Clarke
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Age:

33
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Are you mobile, home working or salon based?
Salon based @ Sapphire Hair and Beauty Academy
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What training have you undertaken or are intending to take?
I have over 150 qualifications in the beauty industry, from basic customer care to level 4 salon management as well as a full holding a full qualified teaching and learning degree and internal verifiers award.
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What nail brands do you enjoy using & why?
My absolute favourite nail brand is Hungarian based Moyra, to which I am now an educator and distributor of.
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How long have you been involved in the industry?
17 years!
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Do you offer any other services other than nails?
Yes I offer all aspects of beauty therapy and aesthetics as well as educational NVQ courses
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Where do you get ideas for upcoming nail designs?
My 6-year-old daughter has some amazing ideas which she asks me to try out and develop
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What is your most memorable or favourite set?

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My absolute favourite set ever are my tartan extreme shape nails which have appears in 3 industry magazines, they were inspired by my Anderson family tartan
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What has been your least favourite set and why?
A set of bright yellow acrylics with back swirly leaf patterns on, my poor mum had to endure them for her holiday as she allowed Sapphire (my daughter) to have total free rein as long as it wasn’t pink! Big mistake!
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Are there any nail pro’s that inspire you?
There are so many and I am blessed to be friends with many of them Andrea Norka and Alex Andrea Snobs, Frank Scherble, Scarlet Senter and of course my amazing Paragon training team every single one of them is an inspiration.
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How do you deal with difficult clients?
To be honest, I don’t really have any difficult clients but I am very to the point and honest I stand my ground but also for those fussy customers I smile and nod and as long as they’re happy I’m happy to deal with their little quirky ways.
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How do you keep yourself motivated during quiet times or tough days?
I’m always wanting to do better or be better a quiet day means a day to look at what’s next on my to do list, I love to learn so a quiet day means a training day!
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What do you find is the most challenging thing about being a nail tech?
The lack of regulation and correct education in the industry it infuriates me that the nail industry is not properly regulated in the UK.
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How do you cope with business competition?
I don’t look at my competition, I am too busy looking at how I can be better and what I can improve on, if your too busy watching your competition you’ve already taken your eye off the ball and handed them the advantage.
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Are there any aspects of your skills you’d like improve on?
One stroke my one stroke is shocking! Lol
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What current trends are your clients loving?
My clients are living transfers and stamping at the minute especially when they are combined with free hand
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What are your interests outside of nails?
Other than spending time with my fantastic family, I love to make and decorate cakes but since having the training academy I don’t really have much time for that or my allotment
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What advice would you give to others thinking about starting off in the nail industry?
Go for it but be prepared to work hard being good doesn’t come easy to everyone and there’s always something new to learn.
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What social media links can we find you on
Facebook sapphire hair and beauty academy
www.sapphirehairandbeautyacademy.co.uk
#sapphirehairandbeautyacademy
#hazelmclarke @sapphirehba

A huge thanks to Hazel for taking part in Meet The Tech Monday… be sure to pop by her social media pages to check out her fantastic work or why not take a moment to say a quick howdy in the comments below.

As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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Meet The Tech Monday featuring Clare Kirk…

MEET THE TECH MONDAY

Well hello lovelies!

What a better way to kick start the new week than with our brand new series ‘Meet The Tech Monday‘… and just as the name suggests, each Monday we’ll be welcoming a Nail Technician onto our very own virtual sofa, answering all those questions so many of us would love to ask!

Every Nail Technician we feature is a current member of Nail Tech Chat & Support UK, who take pride in supporting professional industry practice by ensuring all members are either fully qualified or a student in accredited training. So if you fancy joining the UK’s best support group for nail technicians of all abilities simply *Click Here* – don’t forget to have your proof of training at the ready 🙂

Okay,  that’s enough from me, it’s time to grab a cuppa & get comfy so we can Meet The Tech…

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Name:

Clare Kirk
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Age:  

Ekkk 37 lol
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Are you mobile, home working or salon based?

I’m self-employed in a salon 5 days a week.

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What training have you undertaken or are intending to take?

I did my HNC in beauty, which included manicure and pedicure. Then I studied sculptured acrylics, acrylics and gel nails with essential nails, then CND gel polish
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What nail brands do you enjoy using & why?

I use Naio products for all my acrylic and prep, Bluesky and Missu gel polish. I’ve used many products over they years and find these have the best range or colours and last the longest. I’m an ambassador for All That Sparkles glitters and I always rely on their high quality too
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How long have you been involved in the industry?

I’ve been qualified since 2003 but didn’t really do much as I had a very successful career in fitness which was brought to an abrupt end due to a very badly torn calve muscle. I always knew I’d have other qualifications to fall back on if this was the case
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Do you offer any other services other than nails?
Yes, waxing, tinting and lash extensions
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Where do you get ideas for upcoming nail designs?

Usually the internet, or on pages like this (Nail Tech Chat & Support UK), which is awesome BTW!
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What is your most memorable or favourite set?
I’ve a signature set which was actually a complete fluke as client came in for nude nails and loved all the sparkles so I waved my magic wand

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What has been your least favourite set and why?
These were for a Zumbathon I taught about 7 years ago, looking back I just cringe but at the time I loved them, the shape, apex everything is wrong, I won’t even mention my design

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Are there any nail pro’s that inspire you?
Yes, Kirsty meiken, Gemma lambert, Tony ly, Kim Tu
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How do you deal with difficult clients?

To be honest I always try to give my best service possible and if I’ve a client that isn’t happy I always offer to correct work for them. But I find with these clients I always allow more time to consult with them before continuing treatment
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How do you keep yourself motivated during quiet times or tough days?

This is where I get my art head on and create some of my best work, if you want business you need to up you game and be magical

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What do you find is the most challenging thing about being a nail tech?

Concentration!!! People always say “you only paint nails” but it’s so much more than that. You need to have a rapport with your clients, and be able to communicate with them
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How do you cope with business competition?

I keep my head down and work really hard using the best products I can buy so my business speaks for itself.

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Are there any aspects of your skills you’d like improve on?
Yes, I’d love to learn one stroke nail art, it’s so pretty. I recently won the newbie category for 3D nail art on 3D fantastics fb page, which I aim to now compete in against some very talented people in the badass category too.

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What current trends are your clients loving?

 Definitely unicorn nails, and now with the release of beauty and the beast I think these will be a big hit too
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What are your interests outside of nails?

I still go to gym 6 days a week and I’m still very eager to step on a bodybuilding stage
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What advice would you give to others thinking about starting off in the nail industry?
Go for it!! It’s not going to be easy but with all the right tools and amazing groups you’ll get there, be patient and trust in the process
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What social media links can we find you on?
IG: @spellboundnailsandbeauty
FB: Spellbound nails and beauty
SC: Spellbound01
Twitter: @nailsspellboun1

A huge thanks to Claire for taking part in our very first Meet The Tech Monday… be sure to pop by her social media pages to check out her fantastic work or why not take a moment to say a quick howdy in the comments below. As always, thanks for stopping by 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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Doing my Own Nails: Mint Green, Grey & Chrome…

If there’s one thing us nail techs quite often find a drag it’s doing our own nails… I guess it’s kind of like a gardener not being arsed enough to keep his own lawn manicured or a hair-dresser overlooking her mass of split ends. It takes multiple cups of tea and a firm talking to in order to get me at my nail desk for some TLC of my own… not to mention the task of doing the non-dominant hand too – arrrghh! Yet on the other hand (excuse the pun) I could sit and watch YouTube videos from my fav nail gurus for hours without a single grumble – if anything, there’s something slightly therapeutic about it.

So if you’ve got a few minutes to burn and fancy seeing how I tackle bringing my own pinkies to life then why not get yourself comfy & hit the play button… if you’re feeling super generous you might even want to subscribe to keep up with my latest uploads – which you can do by *Clicking Here*

Anyways, more from me when I’ve recovered from my dose of the winter lurgies…. yes, I’m huddled up drinking copious amount of Lucozade and munching my way through vitamins to lift the aches a little quicker with any luck.

Cheerio Chums…

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Acrylic Unicorn Nail

Bonjour, Hello, Howdy, G’day…

How the devil are you lovely lot? I do apologise for the slight absence, as luck would have it I’ve been having a blooming headache of a time with my trusty laptop which seems to have all the symptoms of old age setting in *sigh* You know… slow to start, easily confuddled, muddling information, not remembering passwords, cripplingly slow – hmmm, actually it sounds scarily like me and I’m only 34… anyways…. I’ve spent the last few days cleaning the darn thing out before undertaking the monumental task of video editing; which is something I can only describe as wandering through an unchartered circle of hell when your laptop is as slow as mine. Needless to say after sprouting a few more grey hairs, shaking my fists vigorously in the air and clearing the kitchen of all other human life I emerged victorious! A video was born!

So this week I decided to attempt my own version of a unicorn nail… ‘A what?’ I hear you say… yes, a unicorn nail. Well, the unicorn’s horn, though mine started off looking more like a teeny Mr Whippy cone before somehow evolving into (what I can only describe) as a glitzy seashell. The thing is, the gorgeous Kirsty Meakin from Naio Nails, was the inspiration behind my attempt as her recent upload made the whole darn thing look so blooming easy. However, when you’re as awkward at acrylic nail art as I am, it simply shows what an utter dog’s dinner can be made compared to the seasoned pros. Okay, so it’s not the worst thing I’ve clamped my lamps on lately, but let’s just say 2017 is most certainly the year for me to get my practice hand out a little more than I have been. Hmm, maybe this is the beginnings of a little mini series… a first attempt kinda thing?! Something the world can chortle at as I try wholeheartedly to broaden my skill-set. Who knows.

Anyhoo if you’re waiting on the number 10 bus, sitting patiently in your local takeaway with a rumbling tummy or simply figuring out how else you can procrastinate for the next few minutes then why not press play. If you’re feeling really generous you can even *click here* to subscribe so you never miss out on any future snigger-inducing videos 😉

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As always, whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below, so do stop by and say a quick howdy 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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Christmas Nail Art: Santa Claws

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The countdown is officially on… Only 5 more sleeps (as Em’s constantly reminds me) til the man in the big red suit & fluffy white beard makes an appearance at the Confetti & Curves HQ.

Surprisingly enough, this year’s taken me longer than anticipated to find my Christmas sparkle. Maybe it’s the queues of stressed out shoppers, my lack of patience when it comes to waiting for parcels or perhaps (and most likely) it’s down to the fact I haven’t had my Christmas tipple to officially declare the festivities open. Hopefully, all that will change this evening as schools are now off for the jolly hols which means it’s ‘okay’ to pour an extra large glass of something fruity and whilst flicking trough the channels to find a cheesy Christmas film.

However, to feed my obsession with all things sparkly, I took to giving my nails a bit of a seasonal makeover. Now although I’m not usually a fan of ‘themed’ nails, I’d be a bit of a nail grinch if I didn’t at least do a little something to get my fingers feeling a little more festive… it also gave me an opportunity to test out a few of my newly acquired goodies from my Secret Santa Swap Box – if you haven’t already seen it yet then *click here* to take a peek at what was inside!

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The nails are actually a very short acrylic sculpt, as this year I’ll be hosting dins for all the family so I needed a length that won’t cause any mishaps with the turkey *rolls eyes* The gel polish colour I opted for is a vivid red by Saint Nails. Their range is fantastic for longevity when painting over acrylic, it’s also a great price point for nails techs looking to build their range of gel colours without breaking the bank!

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For a fun, but simple Christmas inspired design I couldn’t wait to test drive my fancy schmancy Born Pretty BP01 plate. I just love the cute little snowflakes, that look really eye catching against the bright red gel!

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For a fun feature nail I opted for a simple little Santa hat! The red and white go perfectly with the above snowflake design, not to mention the fact it’s fun and super easy to do! I opted for Saint Nails gel polish over my acrylic overlays, however, this would be easily achievable with standard polish – just be sure to allow the layers drying time before top coating to help avoid any smudging!

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So there we have it gals, I’m all ready for Christmas with my festive themed nails… I’m pretty sure they’d get Mrs Claus seal of approval too!

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Are you a fan of themed nails? Have you treated your tips to a seasonal makeover? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below so do stop by and say a quick howdy 🙂

Cheerio Chums…

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USPICY 48W UV/LED Nail Lamp: Unboxing & Review…

 

Regardless of whether you’re a well-seasoned pro, start-up nail tech or simply obsessed with a glossy gel polish; there’ll be one thing that’s top of your equipment ‘must have’ list – a fabulous nail lamp. But what to choose when there’s so much choice out there? Does affordability mean cutting quality or does sticking with the salon established names mean you’re paying over the odds? Does it have to be LED or UV? Is there room for an entire hand, and what about toes too? Is it able to travel well if you’re out on the road a lot? So many questions, and that’s just the tip of the Iceberg! *sigh*

Digging a little deeper into what (most) nail techs want from a lamp, and it’s no surprise to find out that my needs are exactly that as a majority of nail artists out there – a reliable, spacious, easy to use lamp that can cope with a wide range of gel products without taking up half of my desk and draining my bank account! Doesn’t seem an overly ambitious ask, right? However, over the last 9 months alone I’ve blazed my way through 3 lamps – all of which have turned out have more cons than pro’s when it comes to assessing my needs.

But could my curing woes be a thing of the past?

Cue the USpicy nail lamp… a 48W, sassy little lamp that fits neatly on my desk, looks smart and seems to tick all my shopping list requirements. In fact, it even has a bonus item of coming complete with its own little USB light which is perfect for any mobile nail tech, or notoriously badly lit area!

So this week’s upload is taking a peek at this fabulous little lamp that could just be the answer to our curing prayers… an affordable lamp that actually does the job! Grab a cuppa, nestle down, press play & find out for yourself…

Ps:  You can *Click Here* to check it out on Amazon UK for yourself!

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Cheerio Chums…

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Opening My ‘Secret Santa’ Swap Box

Hello, how are ya, come in…..

I know, I know, it’s been (quite) a few days since I’ve taken my leave of absence BUT in my defence, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in wrapping paper, receipts, deliveries and all other festive paraphernalia organising.  You wouldn’t believe the past few weeks I’ve had girls – but my gosh it’s good to be back and into the swing of things yet again… though I must warn you all I’ll be taking another short jolly hols over Christmas as we’re hosting the family dinner once again, so instead of my head being stuck in a laptop it’ll be popping in & out of the oven to check on the Turkey instead! Sounds wonderful right? Well, it is – as long as you’ve a hearty glass of prosecco close to hand to keep the energy levels up!

However enough waffle from me… how the heck are you lovely lot? Can you believe there’s only 15 days left til Christmas?!?! To be honest, if one more retail assistant asks if I’m “all ready for the big day?” I may have to use my newly purchased rolls of wrapping paper in ways I didn’t intend *sigh* However moving swiftly on to slightly more positive festive tidings… MY SWAP BOX ARRIVED!!!! 

Yes, some of you may be scratching your heads thinking “What on earth’s this all about?”… okay, so let me explain… I’m a member of a fantastic nail group on Facebook & a few months ago the opportunity arose to take part in a Secret Santa Swap Box. Basically, there’s a £20 budget, you’re allocated a name and your box had to be sent off by a certain date. Mine, however, was almost TWO WEEKS overdue… no thanks to Royal Mail having a good old rummage. However all is explained in the video, and all the goodies are revealed too. So if you’ve a few minutes to spare and fancy seeing what my very generous ‘Secret Santa’ sent me then just make yourself comfy & press play!

Ps: Don’t forget, you can *Click Here* to subscribe to the Confetti & Curves YouTube Channel so you don’t miss any future uploads 😉

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Okay, I’m off to grab myself a hot chocolate and get on with some more wrapping! What’s your plans for the weekend?

Cheerio Chums…

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