Author: Nail Divas

Why do I need a pink screwdriver?

OK, this may be viewed by some as a highly controversial statement Screenshot_20190306-004237_Amazonbut seriously, why do women need pink screwdrivers?
In fact why do we need pink anything?
We’re told it’s all about equality of opportunity, women should be allowed to do anything men can… explain the pink to me because I really don’t get it. It’s not empowering, it’s patronising! Yet here we all are celebrating it like it’s some kind of epiphany! So next time you see a lovely pink product, designed especially for women (because of course we’d never be able to use the real thing now would we?), just remember that it’s a pile of disingenuous poop aimed at selling you something you already have.
So to all those people out there that still think I need help to be equal….I’ve had my own drill for a quarter of a century. In fact it’s one of the best presents I’ve ever had, but I DON’T NEED A PINK TOOLKIT.


UV Lamps Cause Skin Cancer…..says the Daily Mail….AGAIN

Once again the good old Daily Fail has published misleading and potentially worrying article about the dangers of painting the nails.

So, we thought we’d just clarify a few things for all of our clients.

1) We don’t use UV technology in the salon, we use LED. But even if we did we’d like to make it clear that a typical fluorescent ceiling light produces more than 200 times the UV that a UV nail lamp does! All UV lamps use UV-A not UV-B. Put simply, using a UV Lamp to cure your nails is the equivalent of standing in the sun for an extra 17 seconds once a fortnight!

2) Our lamps don’t ‘dry’ nails. If you don’t believe us try painting your nails with nail polish from Boots and see what happens! The lamps are designed to cure the gel (which is a chemical acrylate) through a process of polymerisation. The gel contains photo initiators which react with the wavelengths emitted by the light.

3) No polish in our salon contains formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate. Most nail polish brands ( with the exception of the cheap imported polishes on Ebay) stopped using these chemicals well over a decade ago.

4) Gel polishes don’t ruin your nails. Badly trained technicians who do not apply or remove the polish correctly ruin your nails. Acrylate allergy is very unpleasant but fortunately very rare. It can be avoided by using a trusted brand and following manufacturers instructions. Putting gel on your own nails at home without any training really isn’t a good idea. It may not look like rocket science, indeed it isn’t, but there is science involved and it’s crucial that you understand it.

5) At Nail Divas our technicians are properly trained and qualified before they are allowed to work on the public. Being a nail technician is a lot more difficult than it looks and requires plenty of scientific study and practice. Between us we have 40+ years of experience. We take customer safety very seriously and if we thought any product was potentially dangerous we wouldn’t use it….simplezzz.


The Under-representation of Women in Entrepreneurial Roles.

Well, I hate to say it but……I TOLD YOU SO!

Any of you who know me well will also know that I’ve been banging on about this for many years. I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has finally had the “balls” to admit this, if  not a little disappointed and frustrated that it has taken them so long to realise that over 50% of the workforce has been marginalised for decades.

It’s almost 50 years since The Equal Pay Act and the Dagenham womens strike and still women are under paid and massively under represented at senior management levels and above.


Pedicures made simple!

We bet you didn’t know that Ikea did pedicures. Well…to be honest they don’t really, but they do make some brilliant bits of kit that can be hacked to make a great pedicure station.

One rather cold and wet day in January, we sat at work looking at our rather forlorn old sofa and suddenly had a brainwave. “Why don’t we build ourselves a pedicure platform?”. It would save space and make it easier on our backs. Great idea, but where do we start, after all we’re nail technicians not carpenters…..(except Sian, who is actually a Technology Teacher!)

So Sian got the enviable job of working out how to create a platform suitable and strong enough for 2 or 3 clients.

We didn’t have the luxury of a huge space so whatever we built needed to be compact and provide storage space for all the pedicure kit.

Then Sian remembered that we had an old Ikea Expedit (now Kallax) cabinet sitting in the stock room. Out it came!

Perfect fit! Lightbulb moment….”maybe an Ikea Hack will do the job”

With a budget of under £100, this had to be good.

A trip to Ikea in Cardiff and a little bit of lateral thinking and some angle brackets to connect the units and we had the base.

We also reinforced the outside cubes with shelves and the inner ones with supports.

Like everything else at Nail Divas it needed to be monotone and we were lucky to find some great accessories!

Of course, anyone who has visited Nail Divas in Cardiff will already know that as well as being great at nails, we’re also damn good at design on a budget. Take a look at a few of these of Sian on one of her “design missions”…..

From this……

To this! With the help of the local charity shop.

Oh, and if you’d like to test out the pedicure station and our pedicures, or even take a class, here are the details.

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Can I do my own nails?

I’m sure you have all seen the cheap home UV gel polish kits available at Amazon and on Ebay, even Boots are selling a home kit. Many of you have probably considered buying one to save yourself time and money, especially at times when you’re strapped for cash (of course austerity is now officially over! I wish someone would tell my bank this!).

But, have you considered the potential problems as well as the advantages? We hear it regularly at the salon…”I’ve watched you do it, it can’t be that difficult can it?”. Unfortunately, the truth is that actually it’s much more difficult than it looks, and that’s just to get an acceptable finish. There are all sorts of other issues you need to consider first.

  1. Do you know how to correctly prepare the nail plate? If you don’t complete this stage thoroughly then your beautifully painted nails will last a day or two at best before they start peeling off
  2. Are you using the correct products? Believe it or not there is more than one type of nail polish remover. Use the wrong one and you’ll end up in all sorts of mess
  3. What type of light are you using? This makes a huge difference to the end result as some gel polishes will not polymerise in the wrong lamp
  4. ALLERGY! British Association of Dermatologists All nail enhancement systems contain Methacrylates, which are known allergens. Extreme care is needed when applying these to the nails in order to avoid over exposure. Gel polishes in particular need to be kept well away from the skin because they can easily cause allergic reactions, and the cheaper the system the more likely they are to cause problems.
  5. Cost….yes, doing your own nails is quite likely to cost you more. A good quality Gel polish system will set you back a minimum of £500 and that is just for the basic kit with one or two colours. Our full polish range at the salon cost well over £4,000 and that’s without the lamps, tools and removal products.

So….can you do your own nails? Well, the simple answer to this is yes, you can, but should you?