Edinburgh-based salon group Zen Lifestyle has partnered with CND to create a menu of signature nail designs. The 18 designs mix bespoke colour combinations and effects such as a subtle, gradient ombre look blended with matte or shimmer pigment powders, and a striking handpainted design using gold gilt foil. Zen’s nail techs were trained by CND specialists to blend pigment perfectly onto a base colour for a bespoke gradient effect.
All three Zen Lifestyle locations will offer the Zen signature nails menu for £42 – the same price as a standard Shellac manicure – including polish removal, shaping, cuticle work, a hand massage and a glass of prosecco.
Owner Fiona Fowley says, “We wanted to create very subtle and sophisticated nail designs with our clientele in mind. The collaboration has resulted in Zen Signature Nails – a stunning collection of 18 looks with further customisation available.” Zen also recently underwent a £234,000 makeover across the whole brand.
Down to the wire
The first viral nail trend of 2017 to storm social is wire nails, minimalistic, delicate designs using gold or copper wire to frame the nail or create designs. The trend was kicked off by South Korean tech Eun Kyung Park of Unistella Salon in Seoul, who was inspired by the curved wire used as the skeleton for lettering on neon signs. She was also responsible for last year’s shattered glass looks, though this trend is definitely easier to recreate in the salon in a short appointment.
All that’s required is some thin wire sculpted into 3D shapes or curved to delicately hug the cuticle, and Park has showcased the technique on clear almond acrylics, bare natural nails and matte black polish. Fans of the look have been getting to work and posting their own looks on Instagram, creating heart shapes, flowers and geometric designs.
5 minutes with…
Katharin von Gavel, founder and chief executive of Footlogix
It’s very common for today’s consumer to have foot problems because of our fast-paced lifestyles, with lots of stress and poor nutrition. Our lower limbs are moving less so the first place the results of this lifestyle are visible is the feet.
Narrow toe boxes and high heels mean we’re seeing a lot of young women with toenail problems or dry, rough skin on their feet. The material cheap shoes are made with has a direct impact on the skin, sometimes leading to a dermatitislike condition.
Diabetes is also increasing dramatically in the western world and it’s really affecting the feet. All diabetics at some point have cardiovascular issues and that has an impact on the feet because they’re furthest away from the heart.
Technicians need to know that they have to treat the feet of a diabetic client differently than someone with perfectly healthy feet, so we incorporate that into training, because diabetic feet need to be very specifically looked after.
I don’t know anybody who has perfectly healthy feet. The most common issue among all client groups is dry, rough skin. This is why our Rough Skin Formula Foot Mousse is the product most clients are recommended to start with.
Nail techs should never diagnose anything. If they see something hot, inflamed or swollen, or an open wound, they should not touch it. But if it’s skin that just seems dry or a toenail that looks discoloured, then that’s where we come in, to recommend a product that might help.
We have an app called Pedicure Genius that can help technicians if they’re unsure which product to prescribe. They take a picture of the client’s foot and we get back to them within 24 hours with advice. Clients can also use the app if they’re not sure which products to buy.
Charli and The Beauty Factory, Blackburn
Interior design vibe: “The salon is mainly neutral. I’m not one for posters and accessories everywhere; I’m more of a minimalist. The main nail room is definitely my favourite because it’s pretty in a very simple way. I love it when a new client arrives and mentions how beautiful it is.”
Client base: “Our typical clients are women to want to stand out. We don’t take walk-ins – clients use a buzzer to enter the salon and this has created such a strong, loyal client base that is always sure to book their next appointments way in advance. I like it this way. We have a great social media following and more often than not clients will get in touch to make bookings through our pages.”
USP: “I’m a master educator for Nail Harmony UK so training is a big part of the salon. I feel this is also attractive to clients because they know they’re getting a great service with highly skilled technicians who are always building their skill levels. I’ve also been assisting Marian Newman as part of her core team for London and Paris Fashion Weeks for six seasons. This really gives us a reputation of being bang on with trends straight from the catwalks.”
Most popular treatment: “Without a doubt it’s acrylic with Gelish colour, and we have every single shade available. Nail art is a huge success at the salon and we always strive to create unique designs for clients. For feet, clients absolutely love the All That Jazz manicure and pedicure range, particularly in the apple and cucumber scent.”
Most popular polish shade: “Gelish in Gossip Girl and Bella’s Vampire. We have to buy two each time to keep up with demand and often get through a bottle a week.”
Product houses: Gelish, Prohesion acrylic system, All That Jazz, Fake Bake
Plans for 2017: “I can’t wait for Nail Harmony’s new nail system to be introduced as a salon service later this year. I can’t yet reveal details but have been trying it, along with the upcoming Gelish dip system.
“We’re in the process of creating masterclasses in make-up with a great artist and are introducing Russian lash extensions due to popular demand. I’ll be working hard to push the salon into entering competitions and two more staff started last month to help us expand and bring new things into the salon.”