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…

Hazel Clarke 2

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?

Hazel Clarke 1
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 Jess Wells, The Nail Engineer…

MEET THE TECH MONDAY

Welcome lovelies…

So, in order to shake off those pesky Monday blues I’m insisting you take a moment, grab your cuppa & get settled to take a peek at yet another Meet The Tech Monday! And what a treat we have this morning as the fabulously funny Jess Wells joins us on the virtual sofa to chat about her transformation from Project Engineer to Nail Technician. Quite the change eh?!

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 Tech Chat & Support 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… are you sitting comfy? Then let’s get started…

Jess Wells The Nail Engineer 

Name:

Jess Wells, aka The Nail Engineer

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Age:

38

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Are you mobile, home working or salon based?

Mobile / home working

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What training have you undertaken or are intending to take?

VTCT Level 3 Nail Services, should complete Q2 2017

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What nail brands do you enjoy using & why?

My main gel polish brand is Madam Glam because they have a great range, the colours are pretty true to the website, the formula is vegan, cruelty free and 5 free, delivery is swift and the price point is great. The polishes are generally highly pigmented and well behaved, with hardly any shrinkage or wrinkling throughout the range. I also use The Gel Bottle Inc, but mostly for their amazing builders, which are my best buy ever! Me and my girls have such lovely long and strong nails now, thanks to this amazing product! The colours are great too and many are practically opaque on the first coat. I’ve recently tried Missu builders (for P&W) and initial impressions are very good. I don’t work much in acrylic but when I do, I like CJP best.

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How long have you been involved in the industry?

I was a hobbyist on and off for 19 years but only had the opportunity to train October 2016, when I took redundancy from my job as a Project / Quality Engineer. I’d just had my 4th miscarriage, with each happening after particularly stressful events and heavily work-related, so I just decided I had to change something. Now I fit my work around life and despite packing a year’s training into a few months, while starting a new business, I never feel strung out like I did. I just hope it pays off and I can get pregnant and stay pregnant long enough to have a live birth next time.

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Do you offer any other services other than nails?

No, unless armchair psychology counts?!

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Where do you get ideas for upcoming nail designs?

Everywhere! Art, films, music, life events, scenery, books, eras, nature, science, family, even Lush bath bombs! The list goes on! There is beauty in everything, so everything can be inspiring. In addition, I like to keep up to date with nail trends on nail art groups, instagram and YouTube.

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What is your most memorable or favourite set?

This set inspired by @helennails_yeg.

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I was just so amazed and intrigued by the colour combination of aqua, pale khaki and olive green glitter. My only regret is that my mandala detail isn’t freehanded, like the original. Oh, and that I didn’t buy a pale khaki before attempting this mani – I had to hand mix it from a mint green, sage green / grey and yellow polishes

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What has been your least favourite set and why? 

17555440_10155065290776763_1133515705_ - least

This set took an extra 1.5 hours of faffing due to a last minute mind-change by the client and the plate being awkward. They were going to be simple and classy in holographic silver and black, over nude pink, but the client decided she wanted this sickly pink instead and to avoid overkill, I had to painstakingly fill in only part of the designs, to avoid it looking super trashy. She loved them but I really hate that pink and wish I’d just said “pick something else!”. Lesson learned for next time….

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Are there any nail pro’s that inspire you?

@helennails_yeg, @deadlynails, Sarah Richardson / @therealmrsgrey, Sarah Abbott, @ninanailedit, Rachael Wilders, @ladycrappo, Annie Sarah Collins, Melanie Lewendon, Cassie Pattrick-O’Hara… The list never ends; there’s so many nail ninjas out there!

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How do you deal with difficult clients?

Relationships are key, and they’re built on trust. I work really hard for my clients, to ensure that every mani is personalised or significant in some way. I can only do that by building strong relationships and getting to know the client inside out. I always believe that honesty is the best policy. I am too old to just sit back and bite my tongue and I don’t need the stress of pussyfooting around prima donnas. If I’m not happy, I’ll say. I changed careers to reduce my stress so I’m not about to trade one hassle for another. Of course, a sense of humour helps and when someone questions your skill or judgement, the results speak for themselves.

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How do you keep yourself motivated during quiet times or tough days?

I have plenty of other things going on in my life so I just switch my focus. Dwelling on issues generally doesn’t help. Of course, you must analyse the situation, identify what went wrong and work on improving but, above and beyond that is just a waste. Life’s too short to spend it worrying and you’re only as bad as your last set, so get out there and do a better set

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

Working with women. After working in engineering for 19 years, mostly with blokes, and being a bit “Rainman” myself, I know I’m not a touchy-feely, huggy-kissy girlie girl and I totally get how many men think we’re from different planets. I’m getting used to it, but it is like learning a foreign language!

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How do you cope with business competition?

I don’t dwell on it. There will always be someone quicker / cheaper / nearer / whatever but I have yet to hear of anyone in my area who puts as much thought and effort into each mani, will try just about anything, has the range of products I can offer (without being a salon) and will totally tailor the service to suit. By offering a diverse range of niche services, competition is massively reduced – something I learned during my engineering career.

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Are there any aspects of your skills you’d like improve on?

I would say Acrylic, as it’s my Achilles heel, but I prefer using gel for a whole host of reasons, so I’d say my ability to multitask, or maybe to be less clumsy!

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What current trends are your clients loving?

Negative space, sharm effect, mermaid powder, chameleon chrome and direct decal stamping.

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What are your interests outside of nails?

Mechanical engineering, DIY, upcycling, sewing (I make all my own curtains and upholstery), cooking, reading and films. I’m currently compiling a planning application and completing my VTCT coursework, so it keeps me pretty busy!

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What advice would you give to others thinking about starting off in the nail industry?

Think long and hard about what you can offer – do you have a USP or hook? If so, you need to really focus on that. If not, think on. There are a lot of good techs out there so you need to be really talented and / or dedicated. You really need to build a brand identity and get it out there on social media, especially instagram. I also recommend going down the NVQ / VTCT route, as opposed to brand-specific qualifications so that you’re not tied to brands and can follow the trends without having to fork out for conversion courses.

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What social media links can we find you on?

https://www.instagram.com/thenailengineer https://m.youtube.com/channel/UC55CeVyyXRbliD_s0IPJ42g https://m.facebook.com/TheNailEngineer/

A huge thanks to our lovely Jess 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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Why I’m Going Self Employed As A Nail Technician…

Howdy Chums,

After posting last Friday’s feature “GIVEAWAY: Help Me Name My Nail Business” quite a few of blog buddies and regular readers got in contact to wish me well (thanks so much!!) but also to ask a some questions about my venture into self-employment. Of course the best way for me to tackle questions that need a little more explaining is by hosting a quick chatter – kind of like a life update on this particular topic – which is exactly what I’m doing today!

For those of you eagerly following my mini YouTube series of ‘What’s In My Makeup Drawers‘ I’ll be back on track next week with Part 3 as planned. It just seemed better to address all the questions I’ve been asked in light of things recently than leaving it a few weeks down the line.

Soooooo….. once again a HUGE thank you to everyone who’s wished me well, been super encouraging, supportive and shown such a keen interest in keeping up with my journey. If there’s any other questions I can answer or anything you’d like to know then by all means leave me a comment down below or you can drop me an email and I’ll do my best to get back to y’all pronto!

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Friday’s post as I’ll be announcing the winner of last weeks Giveaway along with the name of my new nail business *woo hoo*

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Keep up with my weekly chatters, tutorials & video reviews  by *clicking here* to subscribe to the Confetti & Curves YouTube channel so you never miss an upload!

Cheerio Chums…

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