Friday, 2 June 2017

Starting My Career As A Nail Technician

Before becoming a Mum, I worked in a supermarket whilst I was studying English & History at Teesside University. I graduated from uni in 2011, got married and had baby George a year later, meaning any career options were put on hold. Don't get me wrong, I've loved the past 5 years as a stay at-home Mum. The freedom, the clean house, the blogging, the fun days in the sun with the boys, the shopping trips with my Mam and friends, the endless cups of tea and cake, etc, but I still felt as though there was something missing. I don't want to sound selfish as I know a lot of people would kill to be in my position and be able to stay at home with the little ones. It's been amazing, but I also wanted to put into our marriage and family financially and not feel as though I was completely relying on my husband. He's been great and has never made me feel this way, but it's only natural to want to do something for yourself. Trust me when I say it hasn't all been fun and games as it truly is hard work being at home with little ones all day long. Some days I felt like a glorified maid and felt like I was slowly losing part of myself. With my youngest son, Freddie, turning 2 earlier this year, I decided it was about time to start thinking about work and what I could do that would fit in around busy family life.

Having always had a passion for nail art, I often dreamt about doing it as a career. When gel polish was launched I often treated myself to a gel manicure and soon became hooked. I used to spend hours trawling Instagram and YouTube for nail art and gel polish but I wanted to learn more. I began thinking about how working for myself would be ideal. Working around school and nursery runs, George's appointments etc (George has recently been diagnosed with ASD). The only thing that was putting me off was finance. I knew it would cost a fair bit to train and set up at home and I was constantly doubting that I could do it.  I talked to family and friends and they all pushed me to just go for it. In January this year I bit the bullet (with a lot of support from Martin) and booked my courses. 

I decided that if I was gonna do this, I wanted to do it properly. So I booked my courses through Nail Harmony (the makers of Gelish, Prohesion etc). They have educators all across the country and mine was based in Durham, which is just a 30 minute drive from home. Perfect. In February I nervously set away for my Manicure & Pedicure course, followed by my Gelish translation course a week later. I absolutely LOVED the courses. My educator was fantastic, I learnt so much and met some lovely girls who I now consider friends. I cannot get over the support and friendliness of everyone in the community groups on Facebook. Nail Harmony are a fantastic company and the support has been truly amazing. I instantly felt part of something and couldn't wait to get started. I had my kit, but needed to sort out a space to set up.

We have a small office space behind our living room which was basically full of toys and general junk and I knew would be perfect so I claimed it as my own. It has doors leading out into the garden, so I'd be able to bring clients round the back way, keeping it a little bit separate from the rest of the house. I painted the room, got new flooring and new French doors fitted and a few weeks later I was ready to furnish it.

A trip to IKEA was needed. I made my list, dragged my Mam along and off we went to IKEA Gateshead. We filled the car up to it's maximum potential, took it home and I then proceeded to stare with Bambi eyes at Martin (and my brother) until they got the screwdrivers out and built those flat packs. Cheers lads.

I was now ready to go. I had my beautiful logo designed by a lovely girl called Rachel on Etsy (link). I bought my insurance, set up my Instagram & Facebook pages, got some flyers made and began advertising. I got such a fabulous response from friends and family and I'm now even getting strangers booking. Gotta love the power of social media.

I couldn't be happier with my little salon space and I'm so glad I decided to do it. It's honestly the ideal job to fit in with busy family lifestyle. It's still early days for me but I'm starting to build up a loyal client base and I couldn't be happier. Turning 30 in August won't feel so bad now I feel like I have the perfect home and work life balance.

I'm booked onto my next course in the amazing new Polygel this Sunday 4th June, so there's exciting things to come for me and my little business.

I'll say to anyone who's considering joining the nail industry - DO IT! And don't listen to those saying 'there's far too many nail techs out there'. There's always gonna be a demand for pretty nails!

I'd love it if you could pop over to my Instagram and Facebook pages and give them a little like....

Instagram -
Facebook -

 photo Kate Signature.jpg
* = Press Sample

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

May Favourites

Eeeee well it's June tomorrow. How did that happen? Summer is well and truly upon us now isn't it?! I know I haven't blogged properly in a while, but I've been loving the same products on a daily basis for a good couple of months now.

I absolutely fell in love with the L'Oreal Pure Clay Glow Scrub back in February and I've literally used it every day since. It's still going strong too so great value for money - #bonus. It's marketed as a foam wash, which I can get on board with as it's gentle enough for every day use. It's so light and creamy but with exfoliating beads that actually do something without feeling too harsh on my sensitive skin. This is the first face wash I've used which doesn't make my skin feel tight and uncomfortable after use. It's really changed my skin for the better and I will certainly repurchase.

A brand I've only recently discovered since it blew up on my twitter and bloglovin' feeds is Deciem's The Ordinary Skincare. If you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I'm a massive fan of facial oils. I absolutely cannot do without one in my skincare regime. I've tried many oils, but The Ordinary Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil is definitely one of the best ones I've tried so far, not to mention one of the cheapest. I've been applying it once (heck, sometimes twice) a day and have noticed a visible improvement in my skin. It absorbs really quickly and doesn't leave a greasy film behind like some oils can.

I'm not usually one for thicker, matte bases, but I decided to give the L'Oreal Infallible Total Cover Foundation a try and ohhhh man. I was blown away. I've read mixed reviews on this as it does definitely depend on skin type, but I really love the finish it gives. It's full coverage without looking too flat, lasts really well and still leaves behind a healthy glow.

One I've been meaning to try for the longest time is the Maybelline Instant Anti-Age Eraser Eye Concealer*. I was very kindly sent this one from the Limited Edition Pixie Collection available in Superdrug. Why haven't I tried this sooner? It's amazing! It covers any dark circles, brightens and blends like an absolute dream! I even worn this without foundation one day in areas where I felt I needed it and it really held it's own. Will certainly repurchase this!

Who doesn't love a Benefit boxed blush? They're just my favourite. Their newest release is the GALifornia Blush. It doesn't disappoint. It's the most beautiful coral pink glow that I'm sure will suit most skintones and is perfect for this time of year. Oh and on a sidenote, it's the nicest packaging I've seen in a long time.

What have you been loving recently?

 photo Kate Signature.jpg

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Tropic Skincare | An Introduction

Well hellooo! I know, it's been a while. I solemnly swear to get back into blogging and social media.  Although I do feel like I've said this before. Anyway, I was lucky enough to be able to trial some gorgeous new skincare from a brand relatively new to me, thanks to a friend who is a brand ambassador, so I thought I'd write a post on them. I mean, how cute is the 'borrow box?'.

Tropic Skincare (or Tropic, as it's better known) is a vegan-based beauty brand founded by one of the contestants of The Apprentice 2010; Susan Ma. Susan was in fact the only ever non-winner of the show who managed to get 50/50 investment from Sir Alan Sugar. Founded in 2007, it's currently the fastest growing beauty brand in the UK. I've been trialling a selection of skincare and I've been really impressed.

Now I love a good serum. Anything that gives my skin a good boost I'll take it in a heartbeat. This serum is full of the good stuff. Chlorophyll, kale and maca root extracts deliver essential vitamins to the deeper layers of the skin. It's oil based, which is great for my dry skin. It's pricey though, at £42 a pop.

Some other products that have impressed me in the range are:

Tropic Skincare Good Skin Day Resurfacing Serum. £42 - this left my skin looking and feeling so much brighter and smoother the next morning.

Tropic Skincare Deep Hydration Cooling Soothing Mask. £16 - I chose to use this as an overnight mask (a thin layer), and washed it off the next day. My skin felt softer and smoother.

Tropic sell such a wide range of products, including foot scrubs, body scrubs, shower gels, gift sets, false tan and even makeup!

Thanks so much to Andrea from @thelittlenailhouse for letting me take The Borrow Box home for the weekend. I've really enjoyed trying these new products.

 photo Kate Signature.jpg
* = Press Sample

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Latest in Beauty | Beauty & The Beast

Well hellloooo. I'm back after a long, unplanned blogging break. I didn't blog throughout the whole of February, even though I had posts planned. Life just took over and I let everything get on top of me. I've been training with Nail Harmony UK to become a Nail Technician so I've been trying to focus on that, aswell as decorating a little salon room at home, looking after the little angels and trying to cope with a bloomin' vile stomach bug that lasted almost a week! Argh! Anyway, I'm back with this gorgeous beauty box from Latest in Beauty.

To celebrate the release of Disney's live action Beauty & The Beast on 17th March, Latest in Beauty have curated 2 limited edition beauty boxes; one for him, and one for her. I obviously went for the one for her, as it was a gift from me to me.

The box itself contains 7 products inspired by the film, so think French brands, red roses and delicate skincare.


The boxes retail at just £20, which I think is an absolute steal. I know the box will take pride of place on my shelves as it looks like a giant book with the design running round onto the spine. LOVE.

Beauty & The Beast was always my absolute favourite Disney film and I cannot WAIT to see the live action remake in a week's time!

Get yours HERE before they sell out.

* = Press Sample
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