Tuesday 10 December 2013

How Much Help Do Your Nails Need?

Are you mystified by all the options for your nails?  There's gel, and acrylic and Shellac, not to mention that timeless warrior, plain regular nail polish.  How do you know what's the best product for your nails?  Better yet, how does your nail professional know?

Finally, there's an online quiz that can help you to determine the best services and products for your nails.  It's quick, fun and easy and best of all, you'll gain a better understanding of the recommended nail treatments that are prescribed especially for you!

Ready?  Let's go!  And when you're done, call me to book in for an appointment.  I am fully experienced with all of these products and services, and ready to transform your nails a little, or a lot!

 Go from this......           



...To This!



Thursday 26 September 2013

Why No-Shows Are Nasty

Any of you who've booked my time and services through my 'Book Now' button know that in order to secure an appointment with me, you will need to input your credit card details into my secure Genbook appointment scheduler.   I really hate that it's come to this.  I don't like being the bad guy, but let me share why this is so.
Before I had this wonderful automatic appointment scheduling system, I would schedule any client who called or emailed me into my old-school appointment book, take down their name and phone number and pray to the Nail Gods that they would show up when they were supposed to.
Many clients forgot about their appointments.  Many simply decided they didn't want to keep their appointment and that it wasn't necessary to let me know they weren't coming.
The problem with both scenarios is that it directly impacts my ability to continue to offer the premium nail services that my loyal clients depend on.  Without an income, I can't afford to stay in business.  This income pays my bills.  This is not my pocket change.  I don't do this as a hobby.
So I searched long and hard to figure out a way to eliminate both situations and I settled on Genbook.  My clients receive reminder emails 24 hours in advance of their appointments which they love.   And new clients (who are not referrals from existing clients) who book online will need to input their credit card information in order to secure an appointment.  Problem solved, right?
Well not exactly.  I have been known in the past to waver on my policy of requiring first-time clients who book with me by phone or email a credit card number in order to secure their appointment. 
Let me share with you a recent example of why I will no longer be so accommodating.
A lovely girl booked a set of extensions with me.  She was getting married in a month and wanted to get them done, then get them freshened up a few days prior to her wedding.  She called me on the phone and I took her booking without taking her credit card information.
The morning of her appointment, a busy Saturday mind you, she emailed me a few hours prior at 5 am, to let me know there had been a death in the family and that she wasn't coming, but she would be in touch to reschedule.
I emailed her back my condolences and that was that.
Several days later, she called to reschedule.  So we rescheduled her appointment.  Again, I did not ask for any credit card information to secure the appointment.  I figured the fact she called to rebook meant it was a sincere effort to make up for the missed appointment.
So, you all know where this is going, right?  She did not show up for the second appointment, nor did I get a phone call or email to advise she wasn't coming.  She would have received her reminder email 24 hours in advance. 
I normally wait until 15 minutes have passed then I call the contact number, which I did in this case.  A pleasant young man answered the phone - I am assuming this was her fiancĂ© - and I mentioned that she had missed her nail appointment and that I would not be able to accommodate her in the time remaining if she were still coming.  He didn't seem at all concerned  (I know, it's not HIS nails) so my reaction was that she never had any intention of coming, or letting me know.  For all I know this could have been a back-up appointment she made just in case her first option didn't work.  This is the part I don't like - left to my own devices I can pretty much conclude that you are a huge time-waster and that you are a horrible person. 
The problem with all this is that it affected my income, twice.  I have people who are waiting for appointments at certain times and I could have accommodated them if I'd had enough notice. 
So my point in this long drawn out saga is this:  All first time clients will be required to secure their appointment with a credit card (unless you are a referral from an existing client and then I know your friend or family member will kick your ass if you no-show me).   The majority of my first time clients have absolutely no issue with this.  Genbook is a secure website.  I will never see your information unless you don't show up and don't let me know you aren't coming.  You can book your appointment online yourself.  Or if you choose to call to book an appointment, I will be asking you for your credit card information which I will then input into Genbook to create your appointment.  If you don't want to provide it, that's your choice and there will be no hard feelings.  There are many walk-in nail salons around who will gladly accommodate you without an appointment. 
I really, really hate having to be the bad guy.  It's not in my character.  But I need to protect my income source.  After all, it's what buys all those neat colours, glitters, designs and products that you need and want on your nails ;) 

Friday 6 September 2013

Nail Polish - Not Just For Chipping Anymore.

Have you heard the exciting news about CND Vinylux?  This new weekly nail polish is taking the nail world by storm!   Achieve 7, that's right, SEVEN glorious days of chip-free, long lasting colour on your fingernails.
How is this possible you ask?  CND Vinylux provides week-long wear when used with the CND Vinylux Top Coat.   It dramatically improves adhesion to the natural nail, and lasts up to 4 times longer than traditional polishes.  Adhesion promoters completely eliminate the need for base coat!   The Top Coat is perfectly dry in 8.5 minutes AND with the Pro-Light technology,  it becomes more durable with exposure to ambient, natural light (as opposed to UV light - this product does not 'cure' in a lamp).  It completely removes with regular nail polish remover, so there is never any soaking. 
Want more?  As of this writing, CND Vinylux matches 47 CND Shellac Colours.  Yes my babies, this means you can have a matching shade of polish on your toes to go with your CND Shellac on your fingertips.  You can also use it to touch up the regrowth area of your CND Shellac Manicure.  Or for those of you who love the CND Shellac range of colours and have healthy natural nails, but wish to change up your mani on a more regular basis, Vinylux will satisfy that need!

CND Vinylux is available through your CND nail professional as a retail item or as part of your professional manicure or pedicure service.    There are 62 colours awaiting you, and for those of you who like your nail styles and statement nails, CND Additives work beautifully with Vinylux for many additional nail art options!
From left to right:  Forbidden Fantasy,
Lux Luv, and Your Name In Lights
I was pleased to participate in the official CND Vinylux launch for the Toronto Media at the Four Seasons Hotel on September 4th, 2013.  We showcased all 62 colours plus the 3 gorgeous 'looks' (above) and our guests were delighted. 

Please contact me to book your CND Vinylux manicure or pedicure today! 

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Brisa Lite - the Power Partner to Shellac!

Many clients have been enjoying the benefits of Shellac power polish for the past 3 years.  On like polish, wears like gel, off in minutes!   Shellac has boosted the staying power of polished nails like nothing else.  But Shellac works best on healthy natural nails. 
Some clients with naturally weak, peeling nails have not exactly enjoyed the same results as those who are blessed with naturally strong nails.  So CND has brilliantly launched Brisa Lite - the new power partner to Shellac.
Brisa Lite Smoothing Gel is a very thin layer of removable (soakable) clear gel that is applied on your natural nail under Shellac.  It adds no bulk to your nails.  What it does is provide a solution to the weak, bendy, peely nail situation by adding thin, flexible protection to perfect and smooth the surface of the natural nail.  Brisa Lite is easy on, easy off, exceptional wear! 
Best of all, there is no filing on the natural nail.  Nope - none!  No buffing allowed!  And it removes in the same way and about just as fast as Shellac does with the CND Remover Wraps and Nourishing Remover. 
Here are some before and after pictures of one of my actual clients who is wearing Brisa Lite Smoothing Gel under her Shellac power polish.  You can see for yourself how well her nails are doing after 14 days with this breakthrough combination treatment from CND.  She has been struggling for several months with her nails and we have finally found a solution that helps her continue to wear Shellac with the best results possible! 
Ring and pinky finger unwrapped after 10 minutes
 Middle finger unwrapped after 10 minutes

Index finger unwrapped and cleaned after 10 minutes
So if you are someone who has worn Shellac in the past but it just didn't work for you, now is the time to revisit it!  Shellac + Brisa Lite Smoothing gel is a service on my menu that takes an extra 2 minutes and ensures your manicure lasts the full 14 days as expected.  And for those of you who can wear Shellac with no problems, a layer of Brisa Lite Smoothing Gel can extend YOUR manicure to 3 weeks!


Thursday 24 January 2013

Thank You Dr. Oz :)

That wascally wabbit, Dr. Oz is back at it again.  Recently his show did another 'expose' on gel manicures, and how they are to be avoided like the plague.  This time he co-hosted the segment with an expert dermatologist.  We all remember last year when he used that popular nail goddess, Tabatha Coffey, to expound on the dangers of UV lamps.
Sad to say, he is more interested in creating fear in his audience, which I suspect strongly increases his ratings.  You know how the newsroom says "if it bleeds, it leads".  That apple doesn't fall far from the tree, here.
If you didn't see the episode I'm talking about, I'm not going to provide a link to it - you can find it at your leisure.   I'm not even going to tell you all the gory details because I'm over it.  But because some of my clients will have seen this shoddy excuse for journalism, I feel compelled to provide some balance here. 
First and foremost, there is no scientific evidence that using a UV light to cure gel manicures can cause cancer.  This issue has been reported to death and the studies are conclusive.  Dr. Sayre, the man who helped invent the SPF system  (Sun Protection Factor, anyone?) even says the amount of UV-A that your hands would be exposed to during a gel manicure is equivalent to 1 or 2 minutes of exposure to the sun daily.  You'll get more UV exposure driving in your car every day.  Funny, I've never seen Dr. Oz do a show about how driving your automobile is going to give you cancer, have you?    
So to continue on in this vein, the dermatologist suggests that if you are going to get a gel manicure, you need to find a salon that uses LED lights to cure the gel polishes, and if the salon doesn't have them then you need to leave.  Hello - LED lights emit UV-A as well.  Ooops
Now, I appreciate a good prop just like the rest of you, and Dr. Oz didn't disappoint!  He trotted out that oversized fingernail and oversized pusher and demonstrated to the audience (insert horrified gasps here) how all nail techs proceed to scrape the gel polish off the nail, thus thinning the natural nail by 50 percent.  Perhaps that's what they do where he gets his manicures done.  *Cough*   But most of the nail professionals I know have received the proper training for application and removal of the systems they use.  Why?  Because they are invested in their careers, and they want to learn how to properly perform a service.   If someone is SCRAPING the product off your nails, you need to tell them to STOP, re-wrap your nails and allow the remover solution to work.  There is a big difference between scraping product off your nail, and lightly tickling it with the end of a metal pusher. 

By the way, feel free to stop right now and read my blog entry entitled "Can We Talk About Removal" to see how it should be done (and how I do it). 
Now let's get serious for a moment.  Part of the segment discussed using dirty implements and giving clients infections.  I will not argue this point.  This can happen, unfortunately.   The onus is on the client to thoroughly check out the salon before they make an appointment.  Many times this is not possible, and many clients simply don't know what they should be looking for, what questions they need to ask.  If you are a reader of my blog, or my website, by now I think you know enough to make some informed decisions.
Anyway, I kind of like how the segment ended.  They understood that women were still going to get gel manicures, regardless, and that's where I swoop in.   Not to save you, but to let you know that the majority of professional nail techs love their career and their clients and would never do anything to harm them.  We follow all strict sanitation and disinfection (and sterilization where required) protocols.  We are highly educated and you might have to look hard to find us; we likely won't be in the strip mall discount nail salon down the street.  You might have to ask your friends or your family to refer you to their nail tech.  I won't repeat all that I do because you can easily find it on my website and some of my other blog posts if you want to poke around. 
So thank you, Dr. Oz for sending lots of women who want safe, healthy gel manicures my way.  I really appreciate it! 
Bottom line:  you get what you pay for, and sometimes you even get a whole lot more :(

Sunday 13 January 2013

A New Year ... A New Beginning

It turns out I am just as restless in my professional life as I am in my personal one (I am Sagittarius - it is a trait I come by honestly ;)   I am drawn to lifelong learning, so it is only natural that I continue to expand my mind.  I learned to scuba dive 7 years ago, and I'm no spring chicken.  The older I get the more I realize there are so many things I want to do, see and experience.  The only thing getting in the way of that is me. 

So on that note, I'd like to share a tiny little accomplishment.  I recently completed CND Education Ambassador Boot Camp.  Yes I am being facetious - tiny it was not.  Lots of reading and testing all throughout the month of December.  Seven full days of technical information, nail practice & assessment, plus presentation and facilitation skills that began a mere two days after New Years Day.   Not for the faint of heart.   I did things I never thought I could do because I pushed myself out of my comfort zone.  That's when the learning happens! 

The opportunity arose so quickly, I really didn't have time to think about it, and that was probably for the best!   I tend to be a bit of an over-analyzer, so it was now or never!  Sink or swim!   I first learned of CND 10 years ago when I started my nail technology training.  I've used all their products and followed the company closely ever since.  I've attended many Master classes along the way and received Grand Master status a few years ago.  But none of that truly prepared me for the onslaught of information I was about to receive.  Never mind that I'll never look at nails the same way again :) 

Passionate.  Principled.  Professional. Polished.  Bold.  These are the five attributes used to describe a CND Education Ambassador.  Throughout our training, we would visit and revisit these five key words.  Now I understand why every single EA I've ever met in person, or networked with online, displays these traits.   They are fundamental to the delivery of CND's education programs, and represent the 'face' of CND.   

So what does this mean to my clients?  Business as usual.  No change in my availability for the most part (though I will be travelling more, that tends to happen on the days my salon is closed anyway).  It means you'll have access to new products and techniques that I will gladly share with you!  You have all come to know me as an innovator, and an early adopter, and I promise that will continue.  CND is about to launch a new soakable gel product, and the season's new Shellac colours and Additives are on their way soon.

I'll continue to network with my nail tech colleagues on line and in person and hope to see some of you at my classes soon! 

Five new Canadian CND Education Ambassadors
Mississauga, ON  January 2013