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.


Skinbase microdermabrasion: perfect summer skin. Plus Beauty UK review & pictures of this week’s nail mail.


The most popular facial I offer is the Skinbase microdermabrasion facial. This facial can plump the skin, diminish the look of lines, wrinkles, acne scarring and pigmentation. It leaves skin lighter, brighter and super smooth. Bearing in mind I currently only do treatments  3 days a week, I do at least 2 of these facials per week. It is a year round treatment. In Summer it is perfect to treat pigmentation and dark spots, in Winter it is perfect to treat dull skin that needs some va va voom. In this blog post I aim to answer a few questions I am most frequently asked about the treatment.

What does this treatment involve? 

I start off by thoroughly cleansing the skin to remove all make up and oils. I use Eve Taylor Purifying Wash. I then make sure the skin is dry by gently blotting with a tissue. The Skinbase dermabrasion machine is then used to treat the whole of the face, neck, and if required the decollette. I’ve also been known to treat the back of clients hands where they get dark spots, pigmentation caused by the sun.We can target specific areas on the face such as acne scarring, deep lines or pigmentation.

The machine makes a low humming noise when it’s on which is rather soothing. The machine works by simultaneously using a vacuum action while dispensing crushed crystal onto the skin. The crushed crystal is a naturally occuring mineral called aluminium oxide. This helps to thoroughly exfoliate &  deeply cleanse the skin by removing dead skin cells, leaving fresh new skin.

The vacuum action takes away  excess crystals while encouraging blood flow to the surface of the skin. Encouraging the blood flow to this area allows your skin to naturally heal itself by promoting cell renewal , as well as having a plumping action.

The dermabrasion itself takes around 15-20 minutes. This is then followed by  the application of Eve Taylor Soothing Masque to nourish the skin and calm any redness.

The facial is then finished off with a spritz of soothing tonermoisturiser and Solar Shield SPF 25. While the masque is on I like to give clients a hand and arm massage with a lovely hand cream to relax them, and make it more luxurious.

What does it feel like?

The microdermabrasion itself is very relaxing, it does not hurt. The crystals are very gentle. I often start by letting clients feel it on the back of their hand so they know what to expect.

Afterwards the skin may feel tingly, warm and have a slight redness. All of which dissapears within 24 hours. Most clients don’t even get any of the above.

How long does the treatment take?

Including consultation, around 30 minutes. It is the perfect lunch break facial.


Who is it best suited for?

Anyone who wants fresher, younger looking skin or has specific skin concerns which need targeted.

How often is this facial required?

This facial can can be booked as a one off a few days before a big event, as make up looks amazing applied to super smooth, plumper skin.

For specific skin concerns such as acne scarring or pigmentation an initial course of 1 facial per week for 5-6 weeks is recommended followed up by monthly maintenance appointments. During a course of microderambrasion the machine settings are gradually changed each week to improve results.

If you don’t have specific skin concerns but want to keep your skin in good condition I recommend this treatment every 4-6 weeks.


Is there anything I should be doing at home to maintain the results of the facial?

In the first 48 hours after treatment it is essential to apply a soothing moisturiser and sun protection cream to hydrate and protect skin. Avoid any exfoliating &  anti ageing products in this time frame. Moisturiser should be applied a minimum of twice per day. A non irritating soothing moisturiser should be available to purchase from your therapist.

Therapist overview: I find this treatment amazing, you can see visible results instantly. Compared to other facial electrical machines I have been trained to use in the past, this one is relatively simple. You need minimal products in order to carry out the treatment. The cost per service is quite high but the customer service, training and marketing support from Skinbase is amazing.

I have used this company for approximately 3 years now and I can’t fault them. Initially they sent the trainer out to the salon,  if you choose to go for the rental option then  training is free, and start up costs are minimal. Now I am home-based and mobile they have changed my machine FOC in order for me to be able to offer the treatment mobile.

I would advise doing a minimum of 2 of these facials per month to cover the price of the machine and the products used. In my last order from them I received some chocolate, it was a lovely touch, and helped me when I hit the 4pm energy crash I normally experience. The continued marketing support I receive includes Facebook banners, posters, regular emails and I can pick up the phone or email at any time and speak with an expert for treatment or equipment advice.

If I had to cut down my treatment menu for any reason, this would be the ‘stayer’ out of my facial menu. The results speak for themselves, and clients who try it once always return for another.



Beauty UK held @ Birmingham NEC review

We are slap bang in the middle of show season. I never got to Beauty UK, but luckily my fabulous friend did. Jo Stebbens is the owner of Premier Beauty Training. Based in Milton Keynes Jo is a mum of 2 and a therapist herself. She teaches beauty courses round her current clientèle. She is hoping to take her business to the next level and went to the annual beauty trade show held in Birmingham to see what caught her eye. Here is her review below:

‘So it’s a very rare day that I get to go out on my own child free! I haven’t been to a beauty show for a couple of years, so I thought I would pop along to Beauty UK in Birmingham. My first port of call was to the Ink stand. I’ve been using Ink products for about a year, I use it to train with as well as on my clients. I had a long list of colours I wanted to get, so knew it wasn’t going to be a cheap day out!! I met Angie Gunter and had a chat, I also had a brief chat with Chrissy. They were all so friendly and helpful. I was lucky I got there when I did as the stand was really busy after that!


Ink London stall

With my Ink haul purchased, I headed over to Nail Artists UK, their range of glitters, gel and acrylic powders is simply mind boggling! They also have a lovely selection of wraps and foils. A glitter top coat was what I was after, but unfortunately they hadn’t brought any with them, so I feel an online order coming on!


Beauty Select was next on my list. They distribute Callus Peel, which is an amazing treatment. I had run out of a few bits so stocked up on those. I then walked past Cuccio. I love their range of pedicure products. Lots of yummy different fragrances and products including scrubs and body butters. I bought a stainless steel foot file with replacment pads. I prefer these to the rasp style files you can get.

There was a new addition to the show that wasn’t there last time I went, which was literally crawling with people: Magpie Beauty. So many glitters you don’t know what to do with yourself or where to look first. They are simply stunning! I was tempted to add to my collection, but truthfully I have shelves full of glitter and would more than likely be doubling up if I bought anymore! Maybe next time!!


Magpie Glitters: so blingy

I stopped at Lycon Wax where I watched a demo of their hot wax. I was quite interested in this, as I currently use PHD warm wax, and I’m looking for an alternative. I then noticed that tanning company       Sienna X had brought out a wax depilatory system. It seems like every company wants to get in on everything at the moment!

I noticed that the cosmetic company ‘Younique’ had a stand too, and ‘Forever Living’. I’m not sure how I feel about these companies exhibiting at a beauty show. The whole MLM thing doesn’t sit well with me, also the use of these products in a beauty salon just doesn’t have that ‘professional salon only’ that I like from companies such as CND & Ink who only sell to pros.

Other stands I stopped at included Megamix and Magnetic Nails. Megamix have been around for a while now. I like it because you can turn a normal polish into gel, or create your ow mix from glitter and pigments. Magnetic nails is  company I have only come across in the past week. They are plugging a new ‘airbrush’ manicure at the moment, although it doesn’t look much different to the old airbrush designs you could get on extensions.

I stopped briefly at the NSI demo table, where the familiar face of Gemma Lambert-Lewis was doing what she does best!!


Gemma Lambert-Lewis from the Nail Team demoing for NSI

I was fairly disappointed with the show overall. There was nothing that really stood out for me and no amazing new treatments/trends that I thought “I must offer that!”. However, I did manage to buy the products I wanted so it wasn’t a complete waste!!’


Jo’s haul from Beauty UK


Nail Mail this week was a delivery from Glitterarty. This is a newer discovery of mine, you may have noticed in my last blog post a delivery from them. I have a lot of wedding nails coming up so I purchased a few of their ‘bubbles’ glitters to work into the nail design.


I specialise in Rockstar nails. Basically I incorporate glitter into gel manicures. I have a huge glitter collection (and addiction) and like to see it grow. These glitters are really eye catching, and I can’t wait to use them.

My nails this week are finished with Lecente’s Mortar and Waterfall both from the Fireworks collection. Both purchased and featured in my Creative Play Blog. I am completely in love with Mortar. I am wearing it over a bright blue  but it would also look amazing over a purple. The Fireworks collection is by far the most sparkly collection from Lecente, and is my favourite collection so far. #lovelecente


Mortar is gorgeous.

Have you had microdermabrasion before? What did you think? Did you go to Beauty UK this year? What did you purchase? Leave any questions or comments below,

until next time, sparkle on,

Jo x

mummy moments: note to self no.1, never leave a beauty couch roll near a toddler. He was like the Andrex puppy.



note to self no.2 : stop eating the kids crisps


Mum’s healthy lunch.

Note to self no.3:don’t leave your make up lying around as the toddler likes the taste of it waaay too much!


a healthy snack for the 1 year old:a beauty blender covered in foundation

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.




CND Creative Play: Review and news from this past week.



A ‘Jo-moment’ in the form of a pink rinse kick started my week.

Last weekend,  the hubby and I joined friends for an overnight in Glasgow. My friend was turning 30 and we decided we were in need of some pre-birthday debauchery in the form of drinking, eating & laughing. We had a fab time, I was still recovering 3 days later. When I returned home to my mountains of washing I realised that if I had stayed just one more day I would have made it to the official launch of CND Creative Play at The Centre in Glasgow, with live demos from the ever fabulous Fee Wallace.

Creative Play is the brand new polish line by CND. The polishes come in over 80 different colours, and consists of different finishes including- glitter,pearl,shimmer,cream,satin,pearl and transformer. I didn’t have too worry too much as Fee used the new feature on Facebook called ‘Facebook Live’ and went global with her 45 minute live video demonstrating different looks that can be achieved using the new lacquer line. For those of you who missed it, it can be viewed here.



I thought the live broadcast was an amazing idea. Stuck for childcare that day I wouldn’t have made it to the launch, but I didn’t have to. I could watch live from my mobile device which I could move from room to room while I watched my toddler go on a one man whirlwind of toy destruction. I could even interact by adding comments at the bottom, which Fee worked through over the following days answering every single one. Amazing!!! I am completely in favour of more broadcasts like this. So well done to Fee and the girls at the Centre for pulling it off.

So let’s get down to business. Me being me I had to order some of these polishes right away to see what it is all about. I placed an order for the pack of 40 minis which are super cute and ideal for retail, and a few glitters, top, base & a few colours to stamp with.



This picture was taken in my messy kitchen, but I was waaaay to impatient to wait before opening it.

My order arrived promptly the next day. Due to being super busy at work I never got a chance to ‘play’ for a few days so I ended up borrowing my eldest to give me a hand-quite literally. I applied Creative Play base coat, colour coat, glitter coat, and did some stamping on her ring finger followed by a top coat. The polish applied well in 2 coats. Dry time wasn’t too bad, and the polish had a strong pigment ideal for stamping with. My guinea pig was pleased anyway as you can see.



So what do I think? Well the colours are bright, bold & fun, but will I use them on clients? No, not as a polish. I currently use CND Vinylux as my polish for manicures & pedicures, the super quick dry time & hard wearing qualities of it wins out every time. That and the fact I have 2 racks full of it which hardly get used. Most of my clients have Shellac, only a handful prefer a polish. I use Vinylux mainly on toes. I find normal polish a dying trend in the salon. However, Creative Play does have a place. I have purchased some of the lovely glitter polishes to use on top of Vinylux. I have kept a few for stamping with, and the minis make the perfect retail item. Just because I won’t use it much professionally doesn’t mean my clients won’t enjoy it as an at home product for themselves. The price is reasonable, the colours are cool & it is still a decent polish. I think using Shellac & Vinylux has spoiled me, I just don’t have the patience for sitting watching paint to dry. My daughter loved them though, she managed to wangle a few of the minis for herself.

An idea shared via one of the CND groups was to offer a Creative Play pedicure. Where clients get to choose a complimentary mini polish with their pedi. I plan to incorporate this into a CND Citrus Spa Pedicure for the Summer. This is a great idea as it lets the client maintain their pedicure at home. Did I mention how cute the minis were???


Other purchases this week include two new Lecente glitters: Mortar and Waterfall. Don’t be fooled by Waterfall’s gold appearance in the tub, it is an amazing ultra fine multi tonal pink. It looks like it will be versatile and could go over most colours. It is supposed to be similar to CND’s limited edition additive ‘Dream Lily’. Mortar is a super sparkly holographic purple blue colour which I have been waiting to get my hands on for a while. I have also spotted pictures on Facebook of the new summer collection from Lecente which includes glitter strands. Now these I can’t wait to play with.




For my Glasgow trip I changed my own nail colour to another new glitter purchase (I know I have a problem) from the Magpie Glitter range: Angel and Amelia. Amelia came recommended as I was hunting for the perfect nude glitter. It is beautiful. Angel is a mix of white iridescent and silver holographic and reminds me of Winter and weddings.It is extremely hard to photograph this colour. Both these colours are stunning. This was my first purchase from Magpie and I definitely will be ordering again. If you have any recommendations please do let me know.

Have any of you tried the new Creative Play polishes yet? What did you think? Let me know by commenting below, until next time

sparkle on,

Jo x

In other exciting news I have been asked to be a bridesmaid at my brother’s wedding in February 2018. I am so excited. Of course I accepted. I cried when I got this lovely card through the door.The only thing is I may have to give up my (un)healthy afternoon snacks before the wedding in order to lose some weight. No more Squashies for me (who am I kidding lol).

mummy moments: note to self don’t leave unprepared fruit lying around. The toddler WILL eat it, skin and all.


The toddler loves bananas a bit too much- he won’t even wait for me to peel them!

Note to self no.2: remember to check under your bed for used baby cups.


I’m ashamed to admit I found this cup under my bed 🙈

Note to self no.3: don’t laugh too hard as your pelvic floor isn’t quite up to it just yet. This did literally make my pee myself laughing-mainly because it’s true.


I can relate to this

Note to self no.4: appreciate every minute as they aren’t small for long.


Enjoying a lovely walk to the beach with my youngest  in his trike.

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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