Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lotta's Christmas nails

I spend about 30% of my time making salon nails for customers. The remainder is spent learning Swedish, working towards a Swedish car license, practising nail art techniques and making nail design photographs.

When I started work in Sweden in April 2007, none of my customers wanted nail art just simple french or strengthening of their natural nails. However, 20% of my customers now have nail art on one nail or more.

Lotta is one of my 'ten nail' customers who loves nail art. This time she brought a bottle of nail paint in the color she wanted, and I created these holiday nails for her using a similar color of green gel with glitter and embedded with lace.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snake skin nails

We were browsing through Karen Millen in Stockholm last week and Bob found a wonderful pair of snake skin shoes - perfect for a nail photograph! The only question was how to create a snake skin effect on nails? After trying a couple of methods, I managed to find a technique that was quick and looked reasonably similar.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Valentine nails using "putty technique"

When we were at the Beauty 08 exhibition in Stockholm back in October, Bob noticed a very attractive model who had entered in the make-up competition as Marylin Monroe. Realizing the potential for an interesting nail photograph, Bob spoke to her and she was delighted to help us!

Frida Kardeskog is a professional makeup artist who works in the entertainment industry and has worked on CD covers, fashion and TV.

We wanted the theme of the nail photo to be based on Marylin Monroe, and I decided to make some bright red stilettoes with a love theme.

As part of the design I wanted to have a heart shaped hole in each nail. Using an electric file clearly wouldn't work as the bottom of the heart had to be a sharp 'v'. I could have used a small file to create this, but to do ten nails would take a lot of time.

After some discussion with Bob, we came up with a new method that we now call the "Putty Technique". You can see the effect here:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Blue and gold nails

Jenni Jansson is the model for the blue and gold nails.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Front cover of Nail Aesthetics

I was very happy to learn that one of my designs had been chosen for the December 2008 issue of the Ukrainian magazine Nail Aesthetics.

Photographer: Victor Medinsky
Makeup/model: Alisa Kalagnova

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Red, black and gold nails

Thanks to Jenni Jansson for being our model. Photographs again taken by Bob Giblett.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Beauty 08 exhibition, Stockholm

I rented a booth at the show to test or disprove the theory (often heard in Sweden) that nail art isn't popular. Incidentally, Bob's theory is that it's nail art education that isn't popular and that unless a nail tech can show a range of designs skills then the customer doesn't know what's possible or ask for it.

During the three days at the show I created 49 designs, with each person getting nail art on all ten nails. After the first few hours I had to organize an appointment system due to the demand and later we simply had to turn people away. In total, we estimate that we had to turn away between 150 to 200 people during the three days.

The queue seen below was typical. I'm somewhere behind all of this! As you can see we used a flat screen TV hooked up to a video camera to show the progress of each design. Many people would just stop to watch this, even if they didn't want nail art.

The most often heard comments from the customers were that they didn't know such nail art existed, or how difficult it was to find a nail technician who was a trained artist.

So if you hear that nail art isn't popular, simply remember that no-one wanted the iPod until it was shown and demonstrated! It's up to you, the nail tech, to develop your skills and offer your customers a wider choice. You will also have a lot more fun being creative and will also win more respect from your customer as a skilled professional.

Remember that more respect also equals greater loyalty. As we enter a global recession it's even more important for you to differentiate your services from your competitors. While it's unlikely that more than 20% of your customers will want nail art, 100% of them will be interested to see your new designs every month and appreciate that you are developing your skills.

After all, would you prefer to go to a hairdresser or a top hair-stylist?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Acrylic stilettos

This is a complex acrylic and gel design that took six hours to produce. Thanks to our new model and friend Jenni Jansson for her patience!

As you see from the photo on the right, the lines design goes through the nail and isn't simple white paint.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Creating our own photographic studio

Until now, all of our nail design photographs have been produced in Kiev. We are lucky to have a wonderful friendship with professional photographer Victor Medinsky; and friends such as Alisa Kalagnova (makeup and model), Mariya Rodjkina (model) and Anastasia (model).

During 2008 we have visited Kiev three times and apart from the cost of flights and accommodation which we fund privately, we have come to realize that we also need the ability to make photographs in Sweden so that several designs can be produced each month.

This means we need to find local models, a makeup artist and setup our own photo studio. The last part is purely a question of cost, but during the last six months Bob has been buying lights, lenses and background material. He's also going to attend a short lighting course in a few weeks.

Having a local facility doesn't mean we will stop making photo's in Kiev. Bob freely admits that he isn't a professional photographer like Victor, and we will want to visit Kiev twice a year anyway to visit my parents and our friends.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Naglar i Norden cover

Our second front cover for Naglar i Norden this year. Six inside pages also covered my most recent nail designs.

Photographer: Victor Medinsky
Models: Mariya Rodjkina (cover), Alisa Kalagnova, Anastasia
Makeup: Alisa Kalagnova

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Article for USA's NAILS magazine

Article in Naglar i Norden magazine

A two page article was published in Scandinavia's leading nail magazine:

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Cover for Naglar i Norden

My first cover for Naglar i Norden magazine. Also included two inside pages.