Professional Beauty
Professional Beauty


Nail bites

Easy squeeze

Before the powder had settled from the wave of dip systems entering the nail market, Gelish launched another innovation at the Professional Beauty London show in February. Polygel is a new kind of enhancement that comes in a tube and is billed as the “lightest, most natural-feeling enhancement” by the brand. The patent-pending, pro-only product is designed to be a blend of the best qualities of liquid and powder acrylic and hard gel, giving a strong yet flexible and lightweight enhancement. It’s available in six shades traditionally used for acrylic powder, from Natural Clear to Cover Pink.

Polygel can be used as an overlay or to sculpt, and the brand promises “supreme adhesion” to prevent lifting during wear, while the product has been formulated not to run or chase on application.

The gel needs to be cured under LED and won’t set until cured, meaning techs can spend as long as needed perfecting application. It also does away with monomers and mixing; the only other product needed is Polygel Slip Solution Liquid to moisten the application brush.

Helping hand

Manicure accessory Handirest is now available in light pink, joining the black, bright pink and purple options already available. The foam rest with finger separators provides a stable, slightly raised base for clients to comfortably place their hands during treatments, alleviating wrist and finger pain.

PBTV: SS17 nail art behind the scenes

We enlisted top techs to help create four on-trend SS17 nail art video tutorials for PBTV, with the PB team as hand models. Assistant editor Georgia Seago got a “half and half” manicure from Bio Sculpture’s Haley Lomas using nude and navy shades, while CND education ambassador Nataliya Al-Ta’ai worked her magic on deputy editor Amanda Pauley with her take on the textured metallic trend.

Session tech Karen Louise used Gellux’s new Pro-Polish to give editor Eve Oxberry a minimalist “fine lines” look; and Jessica educator Daniella Cartwright painted a cuticle frame on Aesthetic Medicine editor Vicky Eldridge.

The first how-to video is already up online at Keep an eye on the website over the coming weeks to learn how to recreate all these techniques in salon.

5 minutes with…

Nataliya Al-Ta’ai, CND education ambassador and member of CND’s global team

I have a Masters degree in finance, but it was no fun at all for me. When I moved to Edinburgh in 2005, I decided to attend a beauty course at Mary Reid International School of Beauty. I love everything to do with nails, so it wasn’t hard to pick an area of expertise.

As a CND global team member, I travel worldwide as part of a team of elite nail professionals, training the educators, working at New York and London Fashion Weeks, writing education programmes, and a lot more.

I was inspired by the education ambassadors while I was converting to CND systems because they are always there for you from the beginning of your journey and through your entire career. I wanted to be a part of that family and I’m so proud that I can help nail professionals achieve their goals.

To do session work you have to be humble and able to work as part of a team, doing your best work in extreme conditions and small spaces.

You need to make the right decisions quickly and without supervision and be prepared for lack of sleep. It’s hard work but it pays back so much that you feel you could do it every day.

The best advice I could give anyone who wants to get into education and session work is to invest time into research. Follow leading session artists on their social media platforms and sign up for the Nails Mastered programme, which is a great investment in developing your skills further.


Beauty Lounge, Doncaster, Professional

Beauty Nail Salon of the Year 2017

Interior design vibe: “The salon’s colour scheme is a mix of grey tones and white, with a splash of deep aubergine thrown in. It has a crisp, clean and bright ambiance, with white wood floors, natural stone wallpaper, and grey shelving and details. There is a montage of frames across the salon wall, showcasing our work in professional photoshoots, along with nail art display tips.”

Client base: “ We h ave a c omplete m ix o f c lients f rom r etired women who have their fortnightly gel-polish manicures, to more adventurous clients who like elaborate nail art designs.”

Booking method: “We use Ovatu online booking to book the majority of our appointments and our clients love being able to see our availability from home. We have certain clients who schedule every appointment in the diary until 2018! We also take bookings via telephone, email and our Facebook page.”

USP: “Our nail art definitely gets us noticed and sets us apart from the competition. We pride ourselves on the designs we create and use every type of nail art medium out there: Aquarelle Paints, one move paints, loose glitters, Brillbird Brush and Go gels (which are amazing for gel art), foil, stamping, sugaring and 3D techniques. We have clients who travel from out of town as they love our art designs.”

Most popular treatment: “For hands, gel-polish is our most popular treatment. We use Brillbird Hypnotic Gel & Lac colours. For the feet our most popular is the CND Spa pedicure, in which we give the client a choice of either the Gardenia Woods or Citrus scents.”

Most popular polish shade: “Brillbird Gel & Lac in C42. It’s a beautiful nude pink after two coats and one coat gives a perfect French base. We buy this shade by the bucket load.”

Product houses: “Brillbird, OPI, CND Spa, Jessica, Mii, Beauty Lab, Decléor, Fake Bake, Adam & Eve, Epibrow, High Definition and Eyelash Emporium.”

Plans for 2017: “Expansion! We’ve been open for 11 years and have gone from strength to strength. For the past two years we’ve been looking for bigger premises but as of yet have been unable to find anything suitable, because at the moment we’re in a prime location on a busy main shopping road and the key to our success is location. As an educator, I run training courses from the salon when it’s closed but I want to open a training academy to run alongside the salon. To do this we either need bigger premises or an extra location nearby.”

Michelle Brookes is owner of Beauty Lounge

This article appears in the Professional Beauty April 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty

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This article appears in the Professional Beauty April 2017 Issue of Professional Beauty