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.


Mum’s on the move: mobile therapist storage solutions


Since the salon got flooded in December I now work mainly from my home based salon, but I also offer a mobile service. Generally I am out and about  at least 1 day a week. I love putting on my sunnies and turning up the music, while consistently checking my sat nav ( I have the worst sense of direction ever). I get to work in some amazing houses. Its fab. However, in the early days adjusting from having everything sitting ready in a salon, to being mobile, was a huge shock to the system. I would appear at client’s homes carrying boxes, reusable shopping bags, and carrying my glitter and Shellac collection in a fruit and veg box- I kid you not. It was not a good look. In fact, it was a disaster. Thank goodness my lovely clients stuck by me through the adjustment stage and let me improve on my somewhat rusty skills of being a mobile therapist. I had to find a solution, and find it fast.

After a lot of research and asking other beauty professionals I decided to order my mobile storage kit off Roo Beauty. I started off with their Beauty Bundle, which includes polish storage and the Roo Glamour Bag. I love it. It has compartments for everything, and I feel it keeps my Ink and CND Led lamps snug and secure.


My Roo Glamour beauty bag: it has lots of pockets and clever storage compartments. It is light and easy to carry.

It wasn’t long before I added to my collection, I needed more room, so I purchased the Roo Beauty Cube. It holds 75 polishes over  3 different individual zip compartments that are removable. Before a mobile appointment I  quiz clients on what colours they would like and I pick a selection to suit their taste. For example if a client tells me they would like ‘bright and sparkly’ , I would pick a selection of pinks, reds, citrus colours and then a few wild cards, so say some nudes and marine colours, just incase. This saves me having to bring my full collection from the salon. The compartments allow me to separate polishes by colour or brand.


For those that know me, you know I have an addiction. A glitter addiction. I can’t help it. I have 2 glitter collections. In the salon I have a whole rack of Lecente glitters and pigments on a rack. In fact, come to think of it I need another Lecente rack as recently I decided I needed Lecente’s Mortar  glitter in my life. There has also been a  sneak peek of new summer glitters and strands released that I cannot wait to get my hands on. For my mobile work I bought the Ink Kinky Glitter Complete Collection, because I felt it had a bit of everything, and the smaller, flatter pots would be easier to store. So this gives me 2 collections. One I keep in the salon and one I keep in my mobile kit.

I store all my glitters and nail art products in a Bitzee Bag. It keeps them neat and allows clients to ‘flip’ through, and thanks to the clear zip pockets it acts as a glitter catalogue. Perfect.



My liquids are all stored upright in  a Roo Vanity Case, which stops them leaking. In the event something was to burst or leak, the solidness of the box should keep any spillage inside and stop me damaging my car upholstery (although nothing can save my car from my terrible parking).

A handy tip for towels is to keep 2 reusable bags. I use one to store clean towels, and one for used towels. This way when out and about I’m not getting the nice fresh towels mixed up with any that may be covered in nail dust and glitter.

Last but not least my waxing kit. I use Phd Safewax, which is a pretty neat and compact unit anyway. I keep it stored in the Mamba beauty Storage case. I use the pull out compartments for tweezers, thread, disposables and my tinting kit. I tend to preheat the wax before I leave the house to save time at mobile waxing appointments, but in the event the wax is needed in the middle of the day, it only take 20 minutes to heat.  I take the case into the clients house first, plug in the heater and set up my waxing station, and then unload the beauty bed and anything else I need. By the time I do this, the wax is ready to use.

It looks a lot, but I know exactly where everything is. I love that with the Roo Beauty stuff you can co-ordinate everything, it looks so pretty. My next purchase is going to be a storage solution for my ever expanding make up kit. If you have any suggestions, or pictures of what you do with your make up kit, then please do share. Leave your comments below.

I now have double of most of my kit apart from my LED lamps  & huge collection of polishes and Shellac colours. I find this way it makes my mobile work easier to prepare for. When I get home all I have to do is chuck the used towels in the washing machine, wash and sanitize my tools and replace anything I am running low on.


All packed and ready to go for a day’s work doing nails and waxing.

One of the hazards of going mobile is forgetting to eat. A packed lunch is essential. If you ever see my car parked up some -place random, it will be me eating my lunch. I’m terrible for stuffing really (un)healthy snacks into my gob at around 3pm when I get my sugar crash. Favourite’s include these Drumstick squidgy sweets and any kind of chocolate. To be fair, eating while at work is one of my hobbies. One of the only times I get an undisturbed meal while actually sitting down. At home I usually eat while standing up whilst putting clothes into the machine, or even whilst I’m making it. Some days it just lies on the table abandoned, congealed and cold, as child no.3 has decided he wants to try and climb out his high chair and kamikaze his way to the floor or stick his fingers down his throat and gag all over the place. Anyway I digress, my point is: to all you mobile therapists out there, please do take your time to eat. Drink plenty too, if a clients offers you a drink-say yes!!! (unless its vodka, in which case you grudgingly have to say no, lol) .

This week at work  I have been doing a lot of orange, coral and ombre two tone nails. Below is a small selection of nails I have done this week, if you click on the picture it will give you information on the products I used. These were all on natural nails.


This week I added to my make up collection due to the up and coming wedding season and I purchased : Urban Decay Smoky palette, and their original Naked palette. Urban Decay eye shadows are super pigmented ,and suit most skin tones. I also bought Mac’s Prep + Prime Skin Primer as I had run out.


If your a mobile therapist and have any tips to share please comment below.

Until next time, sparkle on,

Jo x

mummy moments this week: child no.3 trying to annihilate a baby chick by grabbing it by the wing. Trying to teach a 1 year old how to be gentle is like trying to keep a bull in a china shop. Poor wee thing will be traumatised #mummyproblems


Child no.2 running in to tell me to be quick there was a hedgehog in the garden. I went out to discover she had been trying to feed it mushed up bits of sausage leftover from breakfast. The poor wee thing had curled up into a ball in protest at being fed Malcolm Allan sausage for its brekkie. I managed to distract her long enough for it to go back under the hedge by bribing her (I painted her toenails). Funnily enough the sausage was also gone when I went to check later, I don’t know which of the 2 actually ate it. #hedgehogatkinsdiet

The eldest putting the toddler in a washing basket and pushing him round the kitchen. Who needs expensive days out when you have a basket eh?#brothersisterbonding









Scottish hair & beauty show 2016 review: mum’s on tour.


At the weekend I managed to dust down my wheely trolley case and hit the town. My friend Caroline and I headed to Edinburgh where we met up with Sara Crawford & Kristina MacIntyre from Famous Pout in Prestwick. We planned to hit the Scottish hair and beauty show held annually in Ingilston at the Royal Highland Centre. It allows professional brands, distributors and training companies to showcase new products, trends & courses available. There are 2 live stages showing demo’s over the 2 days covering different aspects of the hair and beauty trade supported by a good seminar programme. It meant I could pull the excuse to my husband ‘it’s for my work’ (but really I cram in as much drinking and giggling girl time I can).

All you mums out there  will know, going away for an overnight is a BIG deal, and takes weeks, even months of military precision, timing and organisation. Pre preparation took a week’s worth of beauty treatments (and yes – I even got rid of the winter coat & waxed my legs!!)- hair colouring, tanning and a new outfit to boot. I asked my hubby to get me a wheely case, to which request he proudly responded by presenting me with a huge trolley case suitable for a week’s stay abroad. A minor disagreement ensued as I whined ‘that’s way too big for just 1 overnight, I’m  not trailing that round Edinburgh’. He insisted I would need it. I soon had to hang my head in shame as I managed to fill it. Whoops. I managed to wave off my hubby and the  children without too much of a drama, although my middle child was slightly huffed that I was getting to stay at a hotel and she had to stay at home, so she kept telling me that ‘her and daddy will have a ‘jama party and your not invited’.

Below is a few captioned pictures of what I had on my nails for Edinburgh. Hover over the picture for more information on the products I used.


Edinburgh was busy and vibrant, the trip there was enjoyable. We arrived at our hotel to discover it had been overbooked, so we ended up staying in The Sheraton, which was beautiful. We got complimentary breakfasts and taxis there and back. We spent lunch at an authentic Italian eating home-made pasta, and finished off the afternoon having a few too many drinks, while catching up with Hayley, my husband’s cousin who part-owns a lovely coffee and cake shop called Strumpets on William Street. If you’re ever in town check it out.



Hayley from Strumpets in Edinburgh

Like most mums who  are out of practice, I had to give up on the cocktails around 9pm as I was feeling a little worse for wear. By 9pm when we arrived at Thai resteraunt Dusit on Thistle Street, I had shamefully switched to water. My cousin Katie is studying events management at uni in Edinburgh, and she joined us for dinner and dancing. She was telling me about a football festival she is organising for July and wanted to know if I possibly would come and do nails for a day or 2 over the length of the festival. I quite enjoy these kind of events and its a good excuse to go back so I’ve earmarked it as a possibility.

I was feeling quite proud that I switched to water at 9pm, I was able to stay up dancing until 1am. Apart from getting up for night feeds, its the latest I have been up in a very long time. I was hyper aware I had to work the next day, although if you asked my friend Caroline, she would tell you I wouldn’t shut up and go to sleep, at 1.30am I was still up chattering. Whoops.

After a lovely breakfast at the Sheraton we headed to St.Andrews Square to catch the free bus to the Beauty show. It runs backwards and forwards all day ferrying vistors to and from the show. I didn’t find the bus busy, which is a shame as it is a lovely touch for the organisers to provide.

Upon entering the show the first 2 stands that caught my eye was Lycon and Fake Bake, both of which were doing a roaring trade. Lycon spent most of the day doing live demos with their hot wax, which really did look less painful than strip wax. The models did not flinch and it seemed to be lifting even really short hairs. Apparently it can lift hairs as short as 1mm. Amazing! Although you could purchase Lycon wax at the show, to be able to have an account with them you must do their training and learn the ‘Lycon’ way. I am currently looking into hot wax training for this year , and after seeing them at the show it will be a toss up between Lycon and Waxperts. If any of you have done the training or have any experiences of any of the above wax brands that you would like to share please comment below.

Fake Bake were doing a roaring trade. The stand was never quiet, the girls there were all super friendly and welcoming. It was a very eye catching stand with dashes of pink to match the logo. There are a lot of very exciting things happening at Fake Bake HQ just now. I plan at a later stage to write another blog piece about it. The team were offering slots in their ‘VIP’ lounge where customers could come and discuss with their experts ways in which Fake Bake can help them further their business.



I stock Eve Taylor products and use them for facials, so I quickly stopped past the stand to have a quick chat with Matt Taylor. They were not selling at the show, but were giving out a code that could be used to order online from your registered account.

A rising trend at shows is to demo the products, but not actually sell , this is to try and avoid the general public being able to purchase them. I can see why you would want to protect your brand and keep it exclusively for professionals but its not the same going to the show and not excitedly getting to unwrap your purchases at home afterwards. Is it just me or is some of the fun missing when you can’t purchase your fave brands at a show?



Talking the hind legs off  Matt Taylor at the Eve Taylor stand. I hope I didn’t scare him too much.

The Ink London stand was buzzing. I got to meet the lovely Joanna MacIntyre and Chrissy Scott, both ladies have a real passion for the brand and the nail industry, which shone through as they chatted about the show, products and recommending colours to purchase to add to my collection. I would say the Ink team was by far the most friendly. The girls were smiling and chatty and willing to help. I’m going to ear mark Ink London as ‘the one to watch’. With an amazing Facebook following, a fab price point and an amazing range of colours, Ink is definitely a rising star within the industry.

I  have been a hardcore CND girl for the last 6 years, but have recently added a small collection of Ink London ilac polishes to run alongside  CND Shellac. My clients have been loving the new colours available, and I have enjoyed experimenting with brighter colours and some lovely glitters from the range too. My only complaint here is that I never got to meet the ever talented Tracey McGoogan from Notorious Nails in Coatbridge, whose work I have been following recently thanks to her #blingky (bling pinkie) trend that seems to be everywhere at the moment.


The Ink stand was buzzing


I stopped past to watch the nail tech competition area, which seemed to have a good turn out. Winners of the competitions can be found here. The boxed nail art competiton theme was ‘Ibiza’. I’ve attached a few of the entries, some of which were all singing  all dancing, with lights and lots of detail, all of which were amazing. I can’t believe the amount of work that must go into them. It is without a doubt a form of art.



My purchases included ilac colours , ijel, Rose cuticle oil, some lovely neon dots, cuticle nippers and a mermaid glitter all from Ink London. I also bought a Moyou stamping kit which I cannot wait to play with. I got to pick 6 plates, 6 polishes including diamanté, scraper, stamper and a pen for tidying round the cuticle. It all came presented in a cute box which is perfect for my mobile work. The girl at the Moyou stand took her time demoing the stamper, and she didn’t seem to mind having to repeat herself when Sara and Kristina arrived to have a look too, so kudos to her for that. I also purchased a new tunic from La Beeby which had some very pretty colours and styles in. They had a clever way of marketing, they collected your email address via an ipad at the cashier’s desk. While she rang up my purchase I entered my email address which instantly sent me an email with a 10% discount code for La Beeby and entered me into their database. Very clever. A trip to the show wouldn’t be complete without a consumer novelty purchase. So glitter lips it was.


my haul.


Sara uses a mixture of Gelish, CND Shellac, and more recently Ink London so her purchases mainly consisted of a mixture of Acrylink, Kinky Glitters and Ilac, all from the Ink London stand.


Sara @ Famous Pout’s purchases

Kristina‘s purchases included an Adam & Eve hot wax kit (not pictured). She had spied them at last year’s show and the range of different and unusual scents had caught her eye, so this year she took the plunge and bought a starter kit. Her other purchases included some Lauren’s Way tan, the Moyou stamping kit, some Acrylink from Ink London and a Revel lash salon stand which featured an array of strip lashes in different lengths and thicknesses.


Kristina @ Famous Pout, Prestwick’s purchases.

Sara said ‘I thought the show was a great first experience, being able to see first hand how many brands there are available & how passionate people are about hair and beauty. Next year I would like to see some bigger named brands within the make up industry and more tanning brands’.

Kristina also felt a few key brands were missing such as NSI. I myself miss the little bus that used to ferry us up and down to the Fingertips Centre. The show doesn’t feel complete without my CND purchases.

The hair side of the show seems to be getting bigger every year. Between the competitions, the live stage and seminar programme, there was plenty for the hair professional too.

Next year I would like to see some more of the missing nail brands we love, and more food carts please. The queue for food was long and tiring when you’re slightly  hungover and needing a carb fix asap. The prosecco and cupcake bar was a nice touch but I needed bread. The panini and chocolate brownie I did have was lovely (when I eventually got it).

I think we should stop writing off the Scottish show as ‘small’ or  ‘irrelevant’ and start promoting it. Scotland can be a forgotten part of the UK when it comes to the beauty industry  but with some amazing training venues, and exceptionally talented professionals available right here we should not be ignored!!! In fact I will make it my mission that we shall not be ignored!! #mummysonamission

The show was fun, well organised, and friendly. I struggled to get round it all in one day so shall be stretching my stay over 3 days next year if I can.

Special mentions go to: Steve and the Team at Dreamweave, his passion for his brand is amazing. He was filling me in on a few very exciting things that are happening at his HQ, some of which include a TV advert and an amazing lip gloss that will be an excellent retail opportunity for salons. Another special mention goes to the staff who actually ran the event. Every single one of you that I met from car park attendants, the bus drivers , to the ticket booth clerks were exceptionally helpful & polite.

Did anyone else attend the show? What did you purchase? How did you find it compared to previous years? Leave your comments below.

Until next time, sparkle on

Jo x

mummy moments:

listening to hubby trying to get the toddler to say ‘mum’. Instead he kept making mooing sounds like a cow. #mummyproblems

hiding in the kitchen eating wotsits while the kids eat their healthy snack of fruit #badmummy

getting home from Rhyme Time to discover what suspiciously looks like baby boogar stuck just above my eyebrow #mummyproblems







About me: my beauty beginnings



Arrrrghhh, the dreaded  first post. Where do I begin? I am Jo, a freelance beauty therapist,former salon owner and mum of 3. I have 2 girls ages 12 & 5, and a baby boy who has just turned 1.

I currently work from home and do mobile visits part time (part time is a total lie when you run a business, I will go into this further at a later date), the rest of the time I spend picking wotsits and mouldy apples out of my handbag, while trying to stop my youngest eating the dog biscuits and sticking his fingers in the plug sockets.

I have 2 passions in life: my children and my work. I started in the beauty industry, and incidentally my motherhood journey at the ripe old  age of 17. Both coincided with each other. My passion as a mother and a beauty therapist have grown and blossomed simultaneously. I continually get asked how I manage. Hopefully this  gives you an insight into what it is like to be a busy working mum of 3 in the beauty industry.

This blog is primarily aimed at beauty professionals, but if your a working mum, a busy mum, or just love everything beauty related then it is also for you. In further posts I will cover all aspects of the beauty business, including treatment, training and product reviews, aswell as advice I have learned over the years of being self employed, and balancing beauty work with childcare. I’m one of these people who generally learns by making mistakes, so please don’t expect an ‘I’m a Mrs perfect’, style of writing. I’m quite fly by night and honest.

At the minute I work from home and do mobile work. Originally I had a salon, but after a flood at the end of December 2015 that devastated our poor wee town I decided I needed a Plan B. The surveyor who came into the salon afterwards described it as ‘a murder scene’. The survey uncovered various issues with  the building including dry rot, not to mention the place was soaked through. I just cried and cried at first. It was awful. But being the hard (wo)man that I am I made a plan. What’s for you won’t go past you, my Great Gran always used to say. I had to find a different path and quickly.



Outside the salon when we were allowed near after the flood


So here I am. Now working from home and doing mobile treatments. My clients have been so supportive, patient and amazing. They have kept me going, and they don’t mind that my home salon is ‘not quite finished yet’. Without them there would be no plan B. Thanks to them I have survived floodgate and I am slowly moving on, still sporting crisp crumbs in my hair, and random bits of food in my apron pocket, but still managing to  give them the most fabulous treatments & service that I can.


My little slice of heaven-my home salon, also known as Plan B.



My Nail desk.


Upcycled shabby chic dresser in my home salon

This weekend I am off to Edinburgh for the Scottish Hair & Beauty Show. It is a yearly trade show held at the Royal Highland Centre, where hair and beauty brands can showcase new products. I will get to see what is up & coming and shall report back (once I get over the hangover from the night before.It may last a few days as since having baby no.3 I just cannot drink. I’m the 2 drink wonder, any more than that and I think I’m Beyonce when I hit the dance floor).

Please like and share my Facebook page if you haven’t already to keep up to date with the latest blog posts, make sure you click ‘follow’ . If there is anything you would like to see or you have any suggestions please comment below.

Until next time,

Jo x

p.s I randomly found a squished up mouldy banana in my peg basket. I can’t work out if I, in a sleep deprived haze, missed the recycling box, or if one of my kids have left me a present.Either way its pretty gross! #mummyproblems

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