To Beauty infinity and beyond. 2018 the year of the cuffed nail

So 2017, what was that all about? We managed to have a baby in February, sell our old  house (which had become a bit crowded) in a record time of 5 weeks and buy a new one in September, all whilst coming off maternity and surviving Christmas as a now family of 6. We have just celebrated this little superstar’s 1st birthday.


our youngest has just turned 1

Trying to tidy and prepare a house for viewings with 4 children in tow nearly killed me, I was almost a quivering wreck in the corner. We were happy to get it sold quickly to lower my stress levels. Thanks to family we mastered the art of speed packing and got moved with not too much hassle. Although both mums are probably still trying to recover from us staying for a week or 2 while we started decorating the new place. 2017 was a whirlwind, our son who is 2 was taken into hospital a few times shortly after Arya was born with breathing difficulties, so he is now being treated as an asthmatic and doing a lot better, although we won’t know for definite until he is older if he is a true asthmatic. It doesn’t run in the family, so its bit of a mystery why he is the way he is.


the trials of trying to sell your house as a mum of 4: rubbing pencil marks off the walls.


Meanwhile in the work world I am in limbo. My nail desk is currently sat in the dining area, I am doing a bit of work in my kitchen and mobile. However long term this won’t work for me, so I’m now looking at other options which I will update you all on in a later post. I have started adding to my kit slowly as I break myself in ‘gently’ since coming off maternity. I recently bought the Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Palette Volume 1. I do mainly bridal and wedding guest make up, this is the perfect palette to mix and customise shades to suit any skin tone. It comes with 18 matte shades, a mixing palette and scraper. Its perfect for any artists kit as those 18 shades can be blended to make even more colour options.


How beautiful is the purple shade, even on its own though?? The fact it is ‘volume one’ is exciting as it means there could be more ‘volumes’ to follow.

I also purchased some of my favourite lip pencils from Mac in shades : Kiss Me Quick (a deep red), In Anticipation (a pink brown tone), Dark Out (a dark brown/red) and Nothing Sexier ( a peachy nude).


For my nail kit this month I have just purchased the CND Shellac Nude collection for Spring 2018. Nudes featured heavily at Paris Fashion Week. These 4 beautiful shades teamed with Lecente glitter in white gold iridescent will be perfect for this time of year. For good measure I also added Lecente Rose superholo as its just so sparkly and pretty that I couldn’t resist.


Cuffed nails seem to be everywhere at the moment, I gave it a go for the first time using a deep blue Ink London gel polish and gold glitter. Its pretty straight forward to do but next time I would leave a cuff all the way around the nail instead of just in the cuticle area. I did the usual rockstar style nail, sealed with one layer of top coat then painted over the top using the blue leaving the glitter cuff on show. I then sealed it all with top coat. Its going to be a popular trend as its simple but effective, and can be done in various colour ways.



This months Glossy Box came up trumps with 5 gifts I will actually use. I have had to fend off my teenage daughter though as she had her eyes on the Steve Laurant lip balm. The box itself is pretty, it’s now stuffed full of Niamh’s LOL surprise dolls and accessories. This is my first ever subscription beauty box and it was surprisingly good!

I have been looking into various training courses for this year. Working on my own its easy to find myself a bit lonely and unmotivated as I have no one to bounce ideas off. Regular training helps me stay focused and work on any skills that may be lagging whilst staying up to date within the industry. First stop on my hit list is lash skills. I will keep you all updated whilst I research my options. I have one training company in particular I am keen to work with as their work inspires me. I should know more later on this week.

Last but not least is a call out to all my fellow professionals to check out Lisa’s Army. Lisa Wells is a former nail technician and trainer for Ink London who was diagnosed with terminal liver and bowel cancer when her second daughter was only 5 weeks old.  I have been following her story and her campaign to help raise money to secure the future for her 2 young daughters. As a mother I have found her story heart-breaking. Her strength and courage is inspiring and can be seen via her vlog style updates on the Lisa’s Army Facebook page. In honour of Lisa Ink London have released a glitter called ‘Lisa’s Army’. It costs £5 and the full £5 goes straight to Lisa’s campaign. It can be purchased here. I urge you all to buy it in support, not only is it a beautiful  and versatile iridescent pink, it’s also for a fabulous cause. Please do check it out.


Ink London ‘Lisa’s Army’ glitter

My blog wouldn’t be complete without a few mummy moments so here you go: enjoy.

Until next time: sparkle  on,

Jo x#

mummy moment 1~ catching your son planning to ‘paint’ with your favourite Morphe x Jaclyn Hill eye palette #unhandthepaletteson



mummy moment 2~ when your daughter makes the dog a collar which he sports for days until it disintegrates after being rained on #shesnowtakingorders #paperplatecollar


mummy moment 3~ being nicknamed ‘mummy monster’ as I desperately try and rejuvenate my tired sleep deprived skin while multitasking folding laundry and refereeing the kids #mummymonster


I’m back: babies, beauty work & the plan for 2017

If you had asked me at the back end of 2015 what I would have been doing the first quarter of 2017 I can guarantee you the answer would not be: on maternity leave! My blog posting went AWOL when the morning sickness kicked in. I had 14 weeks of non stop yakking into the loo. I would smile at my lovely clients, make some excuse of going to get them a drink, wash my hands or some other small task so I could run and heave. I couldn’t even keep water down. To make matters worse you don’t share the news in the first trimester, so the tiredness and sickness had to be disguised with concealer & a smile. It was awful. Work was really busy, so when I announced my pregnancy news I was at the height of the busy period and had no time to try and get back into ‘baby mode’. I started to wind down in December. I had to admit that physically I was struggling this time. Over the course of the pregnancy I had several colds & sickness bugs possibly caused by being run down at the start with so much vomiting. Even the medication prescribed didn’t stop me hurling every ten minutes. It was all worth it in the end though when smack bang on her due date little Miss arrived weighing 8lbs4oz. We have all been in love ever since. I continue to lash on the concealer to disguise the dark circles brought on by sleep deprivation.

So here we are; 4 children ages 12,6, 2 & 11  weeks. I know what you are thinking: time to hang up your gel brushes and lash tweezers is it not Jo??? Childcare will be a killer Jo. You will be tired Jo. All of the above do apply. I am tired, child care will be tricky, but 12 years in this is not the time to pack away the glitter. Right now I am taking a step back to enjoy my family, but this is not the end. 12 years in and the year of the big 3-0 I have plans. Things are going to get very exciting over the next few years and I promise you there won’t be a dull minute.

2016 did not end well. The flood brought about a lot of changes in my life. I still drive past the salon feeling mixed emotions, it represented the loss of a business, the loss of equipment, the loss of money and even the loss of a friendship. At the same time it also represented a dream fulfilled, the birth of a new home based and mobile business which was more flexible & suited to family life, the birth of this blog, & even better the birth of my beautiful baby girl. Yes the flood was horrible and stressful at the time, and for the months after, but it inadvertently brought about big changes, new ideas and a new path.


flood damage in the nail room in the salon

So whats in store for the rest of 2017?? In between nappy changing, potty training, teenage tantruming & adding to my ever growing gel colour & nail glitter collection (we all know I just can’t help myself) I plan to continue writing this blog. Family and friends are still willing to be pampered and beautified so I can keep my skills current & I am also researching which training course I hope to partake in before returning to work properly in September.

Expect to see make up reviews, industry news, nail trends & share in my mummy moments over the coming months. Watch out glitter fairies as I am back and raring to go,

stay fabulous,

Jo x

mummy moments

yes that is a brussell sprout on my fireplace. The worst of it was we weren’t even having sprouts that day , the 2 year old had managed to dig out an old sprout from his toy box and leave it as a present. Thanks little man. Note to self


I go into Arya’s nappy box (where frustratingly there was no nappies) to find daughter no.2’s brand new £60 toy shoved in there the same day she got it. Apparently she didn’t want it to’ keep her awake when she was trying to sleep at night’. It was only 2 o’clock in the afternoon. She had been wanting one of these things since Christmas, however seeing as they were like gold dust at the time we never got our hands on one. Now she has it, its safe to say the novelty is quickly wearing off. #notworththemoney


Sleep deprivation causes me to forget many things: including the £10 note left in my back pocket. I now own the cleanest tenner in town.


and finally….

I got the chop. My once almost down to the butt hair got cut off. I now enjoy half the blow dry time and save a fortune in conditioner. However the new hair style still didn’t hide the dark circles or make me magically lose 3 stone, but it did make me feel good (as long as I looked at the hair and nothing else lol). I’m still working on the rest.


How running a business part-time is a lie: trials of the working mother



This week, I have decided my house needs an overhaul. As I type this I am imagining hiring a skip and emptying the whole house into it except the beds (because that is my favourite place) . Unfortunately my days of minimalism are far off, so I have to continue the battle of washing, toy mountains and work related gear dominating my home landscape. Looking at the piles of kids’ clothes waiting to be washed, alongside the pile of towels from my beauty work was the trigger for me to write this post. If anyone asks me what I do I reply ‘I am a part-time beauty therapist’, then my nose grows several inches the way Pinnochio’s does in that ever popular Disney film which I have now seen about 50 times. Part-time, now that is a laugh. Having a ‘part-time’ business is a big fat lie.

I chat with other therapists who say ‘I just do this round my day job’. I don’t know how that is humanely possible. For example, each week the time I spend actually with clients doing treatments is around 26 hours. But what about everything else? The time it takes to do laundry, place orders, do paperwork, sanitise tools, set up for treatments, promote your business via social media, new training courses, researching industry related news, and not to mention the packing and travelling required if you are mobile. That ‘part -time’ business is now a full-time job. How do you work that round your ‘day job’??  Its just not possible.

As a working mum this part-time business also throws up other problems such as child care. I myself am lucky that I have fantastic support from family, and after my third baby was born my fabulous mother-in- law started helping us out with childcare. Previously when I was salon based I used a child minder. Years earlier I only worked at nights when the kids were in bed, and my hubby was home. Now, working only evenings, after having the kids all day, was a killer but it worked at the time, and suited my circumstances. That’s the good thing about running your own business, it can be worked  to suit your circumstances when you have young children to look after.

There is only one way to make a beauty business work with children whether you use family or professional child care providers and that is :set your hours. Simple as. Trying to fit clients in here, there and everywhere will lead to a stressed and exhausted mummy. Set your hours and get into a routine. Its the only way. That comes from a decade’s worth of experience juggling family and my beauty work (and making every mistake possible).

A few of you have asked me how I get time to write my blog, and I have a giggle to myself. My blog takes around a week to write as I do it when my youngest naps, else like just now he is up grabbing the laptop and smacking the keys. So If you ever find ‘987gdy.[[[‘ in the middle of a blog post you know why.

Work preparation is another giggle. I have learned to do it while entertaining the toddler. He likes to go round the cupboards in my little salon emptying them as I am packing my mobile kit. Some days he takes a duster and ‘helps’ me by rubbing dribble into the floor.  I play music as I steam the floor, while the toddler is perched on my hip. Never a dull moment. The next time someone asks what I do, I am going to leave out the ‘part-time’ bit.


The toddler ‘helping’ me put on my make up. Have you ever tried to put on bronzer with a messed up brush that has been shoved in a toddler’s mouth?? Trust me when I say-it DOES NOT work #mummyproblems

This week I have been purchasing: more glitters. This selection is from the Glitterarty range that can be found on Ebay. I can’t wait to play with them. These glitters come in different shapes, sizes, colours and finishes. I loved these so much I’ve already made another order. I just know client’s will love these.


Holographic dots, why did I not know about you before??

I also purchased a lovely new cabinet for my home salon, which is looking rather well and fits in nicely. It is an upcycled piece, and it matches perfectly with my upcycled dresser.

I’ve also had another order from Ink London. I’m running out of space on my Ink rack. I think I have space for 6 more polishes. The Rose cuticle oil smells divine and I have ordered a few to retail to clients to help them prolong the look of their Ink Ilac manicures. I find the Ink cuticle oil fantastic value for money as the bottles are a reasonable size, and last ages. RRP £5.

Orange & coral is still the colour of choice for most of my clients. Here are a few examples of my work this week. Spray tans and microdermabrasion are also proving popular at the minute. Products I have been using a lot of this last week include: Ink London Ilac, Magpie Amelia glitter, Glitterarty glitter,  Ink London Kinky Glitter, Eve Taylor Solar Shield thanks to the sunshine we have been having, and LA tan.


So what do you all think? Can you really run a part time business? How do you manage running your business while balancing it with children?

Leave your comments below,

sparkle on,

Jo x

mummy moments this week:

enjoying the (rare) Scottish sunshine: big sister showing her brother how to use the water slide


wee super baby flying down the water slide

Middle daughter running through to answer her gran’s door, only to find her brother chapping the letterbox. #fooledyousis


Most postmen worry about a dog grabbing their fingers, our post man has to worry about a toddler grabbing his fingers.

Relaxing on the sofa, pulling the toddlers blanket over my legs to find a whole rank banana squished and trampled into it. It took 3 washes to get it all out #mummyproblems


The offending blanket hanging up after it’s third wash. Note to self : don’t let the toddler eat banana while sitting on his blanket.