New shoes and polished toes

Today I got a beautiful pair of new sandals from my boyfriend.

As a given, my toe nails are well painted.  Currently they are coated in No.7 Cheeky Cheeky and No.7 limited edition gold glitter and they look pretty even if I say so myself.

It was only when I took this photo that I realised how glad I was that my toes were painted.  In fact, had they not been painted there would have been no way I would have posted a photo of my feel in those shoes on my Facebook feed.  I actually worried that people would think my polish was chipped as the glitter did not show up well on the photo I took with my Blackberry.

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New shoes and polished toes

I am going somewhere with this honest so keep with me.  I actually hate feet and when I was doing pedicures in college I started them wearing gloves.  I just could not bring myself to touch other peoples feet with my bare hands.  After a few weeks I got to a stage where I would use my bare hands but I wasn’t very happy about it.  I really had to work hard at getting myself used to giving pedicures.  Why bother?

Well as above, I will not wear sandals without my toes painted and I think it is fair to say this is standard of many women in the summer months.  Recently I attended my daughters sports day and my nieces sports day (different schools) and I did take note that almost every woman at the events who had sandals on, had polish on their nails.  Further still about 50% of them actually had nail art on their toes.

So my point of today’s ramble (as inspired by my new shoes) is, if like me you hate feet and you are thinking of doing beauty then you need to quickly get over it.  Pedicures are going to become a good income stream for you one day and in reality they are very easy to perform.  With nail art becoming ever more popular pedicures are also a great treatment you can up sell from a basic polish to nail art on some of the toes.

As I said above, I hate feet and so if I can do a pedicure without moaning then I believe anyone can.

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OPI Gelcolor

In my process of thinking of what brands I wish to use in my home salon I had already looked at OPI but didn’t think I would use it, I thought I would use Nails Inc.  That is until I realised that OPI do something called Gelcolor.

I will start of by saying yes I know OPI sold out to Coty (who do test on animals) BUT from what I have read OPI also signed an agreement with PETA to agree that they as a brand would remain cruelty free.  Their products are also vegan.  In a world where even the likes of The Body Shop are now owned by some of the evils in the beauty world I believe it is up to us as consumers to buy from the cruelty free arms to show the parent companies where their loyalty should lie.  That is with the cruelty free methods of testing their products and ingredients.

So moving on, I didn’t realise OPI even offered a gel polish.  It was by chance I spotted a training advertisement in a Sally’s brochure online and so looked in to it.

What I really loved is that they offer not only a quality gel based product but the colour choices also match with their nail polish range!  I honestly believe this could be an amazing retail opportunity.  Imagine the scenario, client is going on holiday and you are doing their nails in an OPI Gelcolor.  Perhaps they don’t often get their nails done with gel polish but love the colour.  This is your chance, you can retail to them the opportunity to buy the matching nail polish to use at home to remind them of their holiday in the future.  It would work equally well for brides as a reminder of their wedding day.

So today I dutifully call a local Sallys store who advise me they don’t offer the class but to try 2 other branches.  I called the next branch who where actually super (Sallys in Newry) and offered to call around to see who offered the course and said they would call me back.  She was true to her word and called me back within half an hour but sods law is the one store offering the course offered it TODAY and so I had missed it.  What were the chances of that?  She was very kind and said if I could get the minimum number of people they require for the course (3 or 5… she wasn’t sure which it was) that she will do her best to try and get them to book the OPI teaching staff again sooner rather than later.

In my opinion the course is an amazing price.  You do require your manicure qualification as this is only a one day course (5 hours) in the application of the gel and not a day course in how to provide a manicure.  That said, the course cost is £30+ VAT which is by far the best priced gel application training course I have seen.

Some of the beauties of the gel are that each coat cures in only 30 seconds!  It is also said to last up to 3 weeks and from the reviews I have read people seem only to be saying good things about this product.  The range of shades is also pretty amazing – you can see them here. The feed back on the removal process also makes it sound much easier than Shellac and Gelish which can only be another positive to add to the list.

GelColor colour wheel

So here is hoping that I can get on a course for it ASAP to get a chance to buy my starter kit and have a play.  I have even been thinking that gel nails could be my way to start with “testing my business” with the Princes Trust.

So that’s it, my place in level 3

So that’s it, my place in level 3 is now confirmed.  My interview was supposed to be yesterday but silly me thought it was next Wednesday!  They kindly took me in today for interview anyway.

Off I toddled and brought my passport and my qualification reports for GCSE’s, A-levels, Degree etc as although the college have these things… apparently they wanted me to bring them in again.  They also wanted my most recent “school report” which again they had… as they wrote it.  Sadly I didn’t keep mine when they sent it in January or so, why would I?  It was telling me about, well me and I already know how often I go to college and what my standards where.  It wasn’t like it was sent to let my mum know.  Anyways, I digress.  I went in for the interview and was asked for my paperwork, I hand it over and explained I never kept my report as nobody told me at the time I would need it.  I was promptly told “you will be marked down for this in your interview, lack of attention to the entry requirements”.  I didn’t know if I should just laugh at her or try and look like I had been chastised.

My attendance was 96%, my grades where high and so I am pleased to say I was offered an on the spot confirmation of my place on the level 3 course.  Amazing, I made it despite my inability to keep such important documents ha!

Yesterday I also had my introductory session with the Princes Trust.  I have also been accepted onto their Enterprise scheme to help me refresh on all the skills I need to set up a business as well as help to sort out my business plan.  Better still if all goes well then I can apply for their loan to help me with the home salon.

It’s nice to feel like things are progressing but I am still frightfully fed up of the lack of stuff to do while I’m at home so hopefully this course next week will keep me out of mischief.

I also enquired about when I will get my certificate for my level 2 as I want to sign up to do a gel polish and a body wrap course during the summer.  It seems we won’t get them until mid July.  The tutor did however kindly offer to write a letter on headed paper for me to use as proof of qualification if the companies will accept that.  My mission for the next week (along side attending the Enterprise programme) is to find out if the training locations will accept a letter as proof of qualification.  Fingers crossed.

So what’s it like to study with a baby/child?

I got asked a variation of this question yesterday and so I thought I would answer it here.

While when I started my beauty therapy course I had a 5 year old daughter, I did actually fall pregnant with her when I was in university. After a year out I went back to complete my degree when my daughter was 9 months old.

Depending on the age of your child and circumstances will affect the method of study you will be best choosing but I am a believer that if you want something bad enough then you can make it happen.  That said, living the dream doesn’t mean that you won’t have to make some sacrifices.  For me, I decided to go down the route of full time study both for my degree and my NVQ.

I am very lucky that I had a fantastic support base and so when in uni and indeed now while I am in college, I know that I am not short for help with looking after her or picking her up from school.  Better still, now she is in school, they offer a breakfast club which for me means I could leave her to school at 8:15 on the 2 mornings I started at 9am ensuring we both got to class on time.

It was very different when she was younger though.  Even at 9 months old, I still wished I could have stayed at home with her.  I also chose to breastfeed and if I had gone back to study before she was on solids then it would have made this a whole lot harder.  It’s amazing how easy it is to not realise how much your boobies will actually ache if you miss a feed or two in a day.  Worse still, they can start to leak without you realising! (TMI I know, I’m sorry).  While a 16 hour a week course doesn’t seem that long right now, when you are leaving a baby it can seem like a long time.  A time when you can be missing first steps, first words and even those funny stories that you just wish you had been there to witness.

Money is another aspect to think about.  For me money is tight.  I work part time and although I qualified for some financial help from the college by way of a grant it in no way replaces a fulltime wage.

Is it worth it though? For me, yes.  I find it important to ready myself for a new career that will make me self sufficient.  I want to know that regardless of where I decide to move in the future that I will be able to create my own work.  Money may feel tight for the now but I hope to prevent that happening again for the long run.  I also want to make my daughter proud and indeed she is.  She loved when I graduated from university, she made me a card, came to my graduation and clapped and cheered (all 3 year olds love a reason to get excited).  She loves that mummy is going to be a beauty therapist and can’t wait until I have my home salon.

So if you have a family and want to be a beauty therapist, I say go for it.  There is nothing to stop you doing it providing you have arranged a good support network around you, be that family or childcare. 

As a mum you have already done the toughest job in the world, have confidence in yourself, study hard, listen to what your tutors are saying and you will sail through your course!  Good luck x

Deviating

I have been trying really hard to kill the free time I now have until September.  Man it is hard!

So I took into my daughters room and rather than making a person look beautiful, I made her furniture look beautiful.

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I really enjoyed the process of doing up the furniture and making it look special.  I used paints from the Annie Sloan collection and they made the job so easy.  In fact so easy that I decided to start on our coffee table last night too.

To save the other half from pulling out what little hair he has left, I went to an auction tonight to try and find some bits of furniture I could buy to paint up and sell on.  There were a few bits there but what really caught my eye was a bright pink therapy couch!  Yes a little village auction with a therapy couch in the auction, so I have left my first ever proxibid in the hope I can win the item for a great price. 

I am not sure pink would have been my colour of choice had I been buying brand new but if I can get a bargain it will save me money to put towards other bits for my home salon.

I also had my letter from The Prices Trust this week to confirm my place on their Enterprise course in 2 weeks time.  Really excited as this is the course I am hoping will help me secure funding to set up a perfect home salon.

I have been a bad blogger and slacking a little due to being busy doing things that aren’t specifically beauty related.  I am going to try and make it my mission to come up with a few blog topics tomorrow and I can then work on them next week.  Feel free to give me inspiration on topics you would like me to write on as I am happy to do a bit of research to keep my mind ticking over and knowledge expanding 🙂

Would you like the good news or the bad news?

I always start with the bad news, then the good news cheers me up.

So the bad news is that right now I am sat here with a very red and bruised bikini line and my underarms weren’t far behind it earlier on!  This is because I exchanged waxing with another girl in my class and well… she doesn’t seem to do something quite right, be it stretching, her pull or whatever.

The good news however is that I managed to do so many waxes today that I have left myself with only a bikini, underarm and lip wax to do before I can do my Summative exam!  Meaning, all being well,I will be done with school for the year next Thursday! Ending school six weeks early and a fully qualified level 2 beauty therapist!

I can’t believe it, it felt like it took forever to get to this point but at the same time I am so pleased to be here and I can’t wait to get that bit of paper that will open lots of new doors for me in the world of beauty

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