Nail Art Training

essential nails nail art kit

essential nails nail art kit

I’m a huge advocate of further education no matter what career path you chose in life. So many skills to learn and new people to connect with – what’s not to love?

At school I was not gifted in art at all, so I pretty much gave up on it but it’s a skill I’ve always envied in others. Creativity is such a lovely thing to get lost in. Over the years I was drawn into graphic art with photoshop and web design and really enjoyed it. I discovered that I actually did have a creative side after all – it just needed to be nurtured.

Getting back into nails I am always blown away by the beautiful things people can do with nail art and whilst I have learnt some skills from the amazing youtube community and practicing at home – it just doesn’t seem enough to feel like a bona fida nail artist.

For that reason I was excited at the prospect of doing a nail art course with Essential Nails. It is expensive to buy the kit, which includes a “trainer hand” that feels and moves like a real hand but when nails are part of your career – I felt the expense would ultimately be worth it.

The kit arrived about 2 months ago and I watched the dvd but as I work so many nights, I hadn’t had time to delve into it properly. Well, now I’m off work on holiday until the end of July so I am making time each day to not only blog (hello!), but to do some lessons and practice, practice, PRACTICE!

Last night was my first attempt at doing a very simple (or so I thought) flower design with graduating dots. Maybe it’s because I’m trying to get my placement as close to what the tutor does as possible but I am finding doing this is taking longer than I expected. I’m excited to progress so determined to figure out how to get it exactly placed so it as close to the original design as possible.

Here’s the vieo about the course to give you an idea of the designs I’m looking at

I shall keep you updated as to how I find it but I’ve found printing out some practice sheets to use is saving me using all my practice nails up. Each time you make a mistake you learn something so eventually I will get it. Probably.

Have you done any further education? How did you find it?


Pound Shop Polishes


Hidden gems ahoy!

In years gone by you wouldn’t have caught me dead in a poundshop, or poundland or anything that screamed “CHEAP”. This was due to a small sprinkling of snobbishness, mixed with the fact that my experience of pound shops in my youth was that they were full of tat.

Whilst back in beauty school, second time round, I was reintroduced to the poundshop and although it is still full of mostly tat – if you look carefully you can often find some hidden gems. I was nosing through the cosmetics section one day a few months ago and nearly exploded with excitement when I discovered a stash of Sally Hansen Insta dry polishes. I have never seen them available anywhere in the UK, and couldn’t believe my luck. So of course I bought about a million of them*.

*a million may be a slight exaggeration here

Let me share the lovely stash that I have accumulated over recent months, which includes the Insta dries, sally hansen complete salon manicures, art deco striper and revlon glitter polishes.


revlon polish

Revlon Popular & Stunnin Polish

I was so excited when I spotted these gorgeous revlon glitter polishes as they retail for around  £5. They are both pretty sheer used on their own, but look gorgeous layered over other colours. Who doesn’t love to bling up their nails?


sally hansen insta dri polish

Sally Hansen Insta Dri Polish

My most exciting find to date. I nearly imploded with excitement when I spotted loads of these hanging up. Pretty much every nail stamper in the USA has a stash of these polishes as they are great for using with stamping nail art. They are fast drying and the colour range is amazing. Sadly the pound shops seem to have run out but I think it’s worth keeping an eye out in case they get a shipment in again.


Sally Hansen complete salon manicure

Sally Hansen complete salon manicure

Another popular choice with USA nail artists, so I decided to try them out too. I have seen them for sale in a local chemist for over £6 so I think I got myself a major bargain with these beauties. In saying that I find the brush is very big and makes precision polishing more difficult so I would never use these as a professional salon polish.


Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Polish

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Polish

Hello glittery shimmery goodness! These polishes are really lovely – some are sheer enough to be used as part of a french manicure to give it some sparkle, whilst others are more opaque. Really lovely polishes to work with.


Sally Hansen Nail Prism Polish

Sally Hansen Nail Prism Polish

Deeply regretting not getting more of these as they are amazing. The polish is pretty holographic when it goes on with a metallic sheen. The reason I was put off lifting it was because it had separated in the bottle so looked really sheer but a good mix sorts that out. More of these are definitely on my wish list. Yes indeed.


Rimmel Nail Pro

Rimmel Nail Pro

Rimmel is widely available in the UK but £1 is a bargain and I loved the colour so I grabbed this while I was in store. Ok, maybe I didn’t NEED it but, you know – a polish addict doesn’t understand that concept. You can never have too much colour in your life! True story.


Striper & Nail Art Pen

Striper & Nail Art Pen

Another find that almost had me hyper ventilating. La Colors stripers are brilliant and this was lying there all alone, so I had to buy it. I’m not sure if they had only got one in randomly or they had a batch of them and I missed the rest. I prefer to think the fairies left this for me specifically because that makes me feel special. Similar story with the pink nail art pen which has black gem stones in the base for adding to your art. I’d never heard of the brand before but decided to risk it for a pound and it’s a great little pen.

Here is a colour wheel showing all the colours swatched:

Colour Wheel Swatch

Colour Wheel Swatch

Moral of the story – being a snob gets you nowhere – check out those pound shops people!! As an aside if you happen upon anymore stripers/ nail art pens or insta dri’s – TELL ME! Until next time…