Saturday, 31 May 2014

Pearl Drops Everyday White Toothpaste

Today's post is about a toothpaste, I actually never thought I'd be talking about one on my blog but this one had to be featured.

I'm dubious of admitting that I'd noticed for a while that the middle of my lower teeth were looking pretty yellow.  Eeeee how horrible to admit that but I wouldn't exactly be purchasing a whitening product if I didn't have something to whiten eh?  As I'm not a tea of coffee drinker, I'm going to blame Pepsi Max for its delicious, yet staining formula.

 pearl drops everyday white toothpaste

Anyway, I bought the Pearl Drops Everyday White Toothpaste from Asda when I was in need of a new toothpaste (that sounds like a ridiculous sentence but what I mean is I noticed our usual Aquafresh was running low and the truth be known, this toothpaste was on offer for a £1 so I just had to try it.)  Honestly, I just bought it thinking if it remotely helps then I would be delighted.  

It's at this point that I wish I had a before and after photo to insert but firstly, I didn't think I'd be reviewing it.  Secondly, although I'm fortunate to have naturally straight teeth, I'm still not 100% happy of doing some crazy close up shots of my gnashers.  

Anyway, I've been using this toothpaste morning and night with my Oral-B Vitality Precision Clean Electric Toothbrush and it's been decent to use, just like any other toothpaste.  The taste is a nice mint, nothing too strong but the exciting bit is the result.

Honestly I wouldn't say I've brushed them for any longer a length of time than usual but one day I looked in the mirror whilst I was brushing them and noticed that the yellow staining has completely gone.  I'm a little shocked but this bad boy definitely works.  I couldn't be happier!  

Friday, 30 May 2014

Home Manicure & Desert Island Nails for Asda

I was delighted and honoured to be given the opportunity to film a video for the Asda You Tube Channel (Mum's Eye View.)  Currently it is along with videos from some fantastic huge You Tuber like Pixiwoo, Zoella, Sprinkle Of Glitter and Gossmakeupartist!  

I was asked to film a home manicure that mum's could do so I kept to a straight forward but affordable price with products that really do work.

professional home manicure video asda mumseyeview mums eye view

I'm really pleased with it I really hope that you enjoy watching it.


I was also asked to do a nail art video which is on my You Tube channel.  As I was in a really summery mood I came up with this Desert Island Nail Tutorial.

 

I really wanted to do something that would appeal to a lot of people so I thought I'd do a beach scene.  You could also add things like a boat and various other shipwrecked style items or into a full on beach scene with deck chairs, beach balls, etc.

Here is the Desert Island Nail Tutorial, I hope you like it!


Thursday, 29 May 2014

My Work: Ali's Birthday Nails (Mint Shellac, Dashing Diva & Foils)

Today I thought I'd share with you my latest work.  It's Ali's birthday tomorrow (happy birthday Ali!) and she wanted something to match her birthday meal outfit which was mint, silver and cream.

She decided on Shellac Mint Convertible with Silver Crome on the ring finger and Silver Starburst foil over it and Dashing Diva over her index finger.

shellac mint convertible nails  

I think it's such a clean and fresh colour combination and Ali kept looking at them.  

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot

Today's post is on Soap & Glory's One Heck Of A Blot.  I've heard everyone in the You Tube / blogging community rave about it for ages so I decided to jump onto the bandwagon. 


As someone with oily combination skin I definitely need to blot and repowder in the warmer months and when I've had a long day.  


This powder is incredibly smooth and finely milled and is translucent so it suits my skintone no matter what stage of my spray tan I am!


I love Soap & Glory's packaging and fun vintage style, they just always know how to get it so right.


I don't use this powder with its powderpuff unless it's a total emergency.  I find that powder puffs are at their best when used with a loose powder but with One Heck Of A Blot I just use a big powder brush.


I love how this powder sets my foundation, as it's so fine my skin is not left looking cakey at all and it seems to reduce shine a lot.  I find that my face is still fairly shine free even at the end of the day when I haven't reapplied which is amazing. 


Overall I love this powder.  It gives a slightly matte but not flat and lifeless finish which I love.  I have a long standing relationship with Rimmel Clear Complexion but I think I've just found its upgrade!

Sunday, 25 May 2014

I answer your questions! Part 1

So today I have been super busy with a project I'm working on and quite frankly, I did not have time to prepare a review.  I love doing different things on here so I decided to ask on my Facebook and Instagram for questions so here goes with the answers!

What's your favourite treatment to do and to have done to you?
I love to do anything on toes!  Does that surprise you?!  They're the biggest transformation because they're the hardest to reach so I love to shape them and add colour perfectly.  

As for treatments on me, it's rare that I get anything done.  I do my own fingers / toes and my husband does my spray time (free labour!)  I love to get a curly blow and have my hair put up in pin curls though. I currently have an arrangement with a hairdresser where as I do treatments for her and she gets my hair curly!

 

How do you decide what products to try out and then use on your blog?
I don't really, I will literally put up on here whatever I buy as long as it's easily accessible for people to buy if they want to.  Whatever I buy will eventually get it's own review on here, even if I couldn't stand it as I think that people need to know!

How do you eliminate fluff when doing shellac/ gel Nails?
Ahhh don't you just love fluff?  I'm kidding of course.  I use lint free pads however I do often still see the occasional odd bit of fluff.  To be honest, I'm not entirely sure there is a completely fluff free product out there but I just try and be super vigilant with removing them.  I find my clients will often tell me as they can see them against my black uniform.

What is the most shocking thing a client has ever told you?? 
HAAAA!!  When I read your question I literally laughed out loud.  Well it has to be between these two clients... One married lady with children happily told me about the one night stand she had had the previous week with a director of the company she works for on a team building trip (there's more to it but that's as far as I can go.)  

The other was a lady telling me that she had gotten herself a job doing nights.  I congratulated her as the last time I saw her she was saying how down she was about not working, then she told me it was on a late night chat line.  She then proceeded to tell me the type of things she says to the men that phone up, how she makes it sound like she's spanking herself and various things that I really, really can't say publicly.  

Who's your favourite nail guru?  and who inspires you the most? 
That's a difficult question.  Back in the day I used to watched You Tube videos and gain ideas and techniques from that.  Now I just don't have the time to watch nail videos although I still watch beauty videos while I get ready in the morning.  I'm going to name a few that I like the work of, although there are many more... Linda165 (You Tube) Pelorus_Pinkies (Instagram) therealmrsgrey (Instagram) jojosnails (Instagram) thenailboss (Instagram) leahlightnailsandbeauty (Instagram) There is a lot more but these are the first ones that I can think of.

Linda165 Simple but beautiful designs

ok.. I'll go with the traditional questions..that will spark the deeper questions. How old are you? How long have you been married? How was the proposal done? What does he do for a living?
I am 29 years young (clutching on my twenties like a cliffhanger moment!) I have been married for 6 years in October.  He took me to Paris when we had been together a year and proposed under the Eiffel Tower.  He works for a mobile phone network trying to save customers from cancelling their contracts which he's very good at but he wants to become part of management there.

When it comes to your makeup inspirations, what other You Tubers do really follow or get recommendations off?
I watch a lot of You Tubers that everyone will know.  I used to search around for the hidden gems as there are plenty of good channels with less subscribers, but I just don't have the time to do that anymore.  I like to watch the UK You Tubers as obviously they're going to talk about products I can get hold of but then as I typically go over to the States once a year, I will watch the US You Tubers and make a list of everything I want!  

Here's who I watch all of the time...

UK You Tubers:  Gh0stparties, Gemsmaquillage, Fleurdeforce, Tanyaburr, Essiebutton, Emma Pickles (excellent tutorials) Viviannadoesmakeup, Lilypebbles, Pixiwoo, Talkbeckytalk, Twinklelashes, Gossmakeupartist.

US You Tubers:  Amarixe (excellent tutorials) TiffanyD (great reviews) Kandee Johnson, Mrkongsmom (great, down to each all around channel) 

I actually can't think of any more right now but hopefully I've given you one or two ideas. 

What summery colours on acrylics do you recommend please? And patterns? 
Peaches, oranges and corals!  Probably with some floral designs, some sort of metallic design or chevrons in a striking white! ahhhh!!

What's the funniest/embarrassing mistake or experience you had as a new nail tech?
I'm trying to think of something, I know I would have had them!  I can't of one specifically but I'll run through a few things..

I did a few mobile appointments, one of which was Shellac toes where I turned up without nail clippers.  I felt like such an idiot.  I've also forgotten my Shellac Base Coat and Top Coat.  I have to take my hat off to all mobile therapists because the stuff that you are to constantly check you that you have with you is unreal,  although these were obvious!

Twice I have been mortified because I have been at two different brides houses doing their wedding nails.  Both times I had told them to open the window to get rid of the vapours of acrylic liquid.  The first time was when I was still a student and the bride's father came into the room and went mad at the smell.  The other time the bride's groom came stomping in and made a big scene shouting 'he couldn't have the kids sat in this stench' and stormed out with them.  I felt terrible although it was their choice to have a mobile service.  

What 5 beauty products could you not live without?
Ooooo tough one as there are quite a few loves!!  I do hate saying this one as it's Canadian only but I adore my Lise Watier Portfolio Professional Correction Wheel.  It's the perfect concealer and can be mixed together to get your exact shade.  I love my Maybelline Color Tattoos as I always wear eyeshadow and they act as a perfect base for them.  I love my Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer, beats the YSL Touche Eclait hands down.  Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil is the best brow product I've found which I use with my last favourite product, Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Mascara which helps keep them in place.

I hope you've enjoyed reading these answers!  Please follow me on facebook for your chance to ask questions next time!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

My Experience: My Thoughts On Special Offers

Today's post is another one from a series of advice posts that I have done to help new therapists and those who are trying to build their business.  I am adding them all to the advice tab at the top of this website so that they're easily found and all together.

I am trying to be incredible honest with each post, revealing a fair bit openly online about my own business and thought process to reach as many of you as possible.  I'm doing this because, as I advised in my 'building a client base' post, it's best to 'fake it until you make it' however for that reason, there's very few therapists willing to admit that their business has been a slow start.  I think that this also has a knock on effect as you look around you and everyone else appears to be mad busy but you so panic sets in.  What you don't know, of course, is that it's all a facade and you're probably doing roughly the same as everyone else.

When I started out I read a lot of salon management books (all the links are in the advice tab below the banner) that spoke about prices etc and how to value yourself and your services.  I have already posted my thoughts on judging your prices and valuing yourself (again, link is in the advice tab.) 

I had had my pricelist printed a few weeks before I left my full time job.  After an initial dilemma, I had chosen to put my proper full prices on because I didn't want to have to reprint them later on but I had a problem, I didn't think that my current level of skill was worth the price.  At that point you could go to another nail technician and receive perfect nails for less (if you've read my pricing post you'll know that I chose to go higher) or the same as what my pricelist said, so this presented me with a problem.



After a lot of thought, I decided to do a lot of special offers on nail enhancements at the start, just to get my experience up so that I could then charge my regular price.  This sort of worked for a while but believe me I actually didn't get the response I was expecting, even when I was virtually giving them away.

The biggest lesson to learn is more of something that you need to bear in mind.  Generally speaking a lot of people who take these appointments are not loyal clients.  I'm not saying that they're all the same but typically they are  people searching for the best deal, when your offer ends they will move onto the next therapist.  If I did the same offers now people would jump at the chance for the appointment as I have built myself a reputation but back then?! Not a chance - they just assume that your work may be a little dodgy and that's why you've devalued yourself.

I hope I'm not coming across as harsh, I just want to help you as much as I can.  I want to give you an example of that.  Two girls booked for my enhancements special offer of £15.  Most people happily had them done and headed for the hills without questioning it because they were getting a bargain, but these two particular girls asked me "why are you working for so little?"  I couldn't answer them.

I also noticed that I was getting a lot of 'no shows' as well but I think that this may come with the territory of them being unfamiliar with the salon so not being too bothered about messing you around and wasting your time.  Sidenote: the no shows that I had at the very beginning were ridiculous but I was reassured by the girl I worked alongside that this was normal and they would lessen over time as you build your client base.

If you are going to create a special offer then I would suggest to do it for a reasonably short amount of time and don't do it very often.  If you think about it, if you knew your local supermarket is going to have all of your favourite foods half price every other week, you'd just choose to shop then wouldn't you?  You truly are devaluing yourself and your work in the end as no one will want to pay full price.

I've heard of people doing promotions because somewhere nearby offers Shellac for a certain amount and my answer to that is 'let those people do that!'  They are the ones working for nothing, they will end up with a reputation of being cheap with therapists barely earning a wage.

A piece of advice given to me by the therapist I used to work with was to never do any offers in the summer or around Christmas because you just don't need to.   I stuck to this religiously when I started out and now I rarely put any of my services on offer.  I'd also say never to offer something for free (for example, Shellac on your fingers and get your toes free) because this is basically telling your client that you can actually afford to give this service away.  Instead perhaps opt for 'Shellac on your fingers and have your toes done too for £x'

To sum it up, my experience has taught me that special offers in this industry did not personally bring me more business.  Special offers can't buy you a good reputation which is ultimately what you need to bring new clients in.  It seems people would rather not book than take advantage of them but overall I just found I got a few appointments from it but it meant the small amount I did do, I worked for a far less wage for which equally meant I still struggled to pay the rent.  Obviously the plus side though, that I did gain a little more experience.  When you do have a client base however, they will help you to fill spaces as people already know your work which just proves what I think, it's your reputation and being recommended that brings you new clients, not special offer.   

I have some book recommendations with links in the main "advice" tab underneath the banner on here for you to check out.  They helped me a great deal with many of the basic principals and are an excellent source to refer back to if your mind goes blank.
 
Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest - search for 'liverpoollashes'  
My facebook page is always updated latest information, tutorials and reviews - click here.
If you want to see more videos from me, my You Tube Channel is here.
CND Five Point Polish Method (for CND Shellac & Vinylux) - click here
To see more of My Work click here and my Nail Of The Day - click here
If you want to read my 'Focusing On' blog posts - click here
Want to see more using Lecente glitter? - click here

Friday, 23 May 2014

Sleep In Rollers

It's well documented that I love big hair.  It's my current obsession and I know that it's going to continue for a long time.  Since I learnt how to do a wet set in college, I'm constantly putting my hair in rollers.  Unfortunately the traditional rollers with the bendy pins kill me from the tension they create and without my professional hood dryer (which shall arrive next week!) they're too much hassle to dry.

 

I received the Sleep In Rollers Mega Bounce Rollers as a free gift for a large order I placed with Lookfantastic.com.  My rollers are different looking to the usual ones (they're typically pink although you can get some limited edition glitter ones) as they were from a Glamour Kit edition which I can't seem to find online but they're exactly product.

I have twenty rollers in total which I find just about doesn't do the whole of my head.  This doesn't bother me too much as I don't really need lift at the nape of my neck anyway but I probably could do with around another 3 - 5 more rollers.

My routine that I find works the best is to blow dry my hair and whilst it's still warm, I will put my rollers in so that they can set my hair into that position.  I have tried them with cooled hair and they do work but I don't think that the results would last as long.  My friend has tried them in slightly damp hair and left hers in longer to dry which gave good volume but I would be worried that I would go to take them out before I went out and my hair still be slightly wet which would make it fall flat.


Lot's of people say to me that they couldn't put these in themselves but honestly, they are so easy to use!  If you start in the middle of your forehead and then one either side, you can then work out a brick formation so that when it is time to remove them you do not have any oddly separated areas.  It takes me between five and ten minutes to do (almost) my full head.  I can actually prove how easy they are to put in, I was telling my friend about them while I was applying Shellac to her toes in my home salon.  While it was curing, I nipped upstairs and brought my set down.  Minutes later, without a mirror or using them before she had most of them in!

I love how lightweight they feel on my head, I could easily forget that I even have them in.  I find that they stay in well as well without any additional clips which actually suprises me, I think the trick is not to try and wrap too much hair around each roller.  They don't give me a curl but are more for the volume with a slight curve to my hair which is exactly what I'm after.

Now for the biggest question, 'What's it like to sleep in Sleep In Rollers?'  Awful.  If you angle your pillow right then you can probably manage a few hours.  The best way that I found was to move your pillow down so that effectively it's under your neck and your head is hanging over the top.  I actually don't think it's needed to sleep in them unless you need big hair first thing the next morning.  I tend to wash my hair in the morning, wear them for a few hours or as long as I can and it does the job.

The bottom line is... I love these rollers and I will not be without them.  I love the volume and lift they give to my hair, I feel like they almost double the thickness and I love it.  It does drop hours later but it not completely flat and I definitely would add some hairspray for special occasions.  I love the ease of use and how lightweight they are!!  Definitely a thumbs up!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Moroccantan Spray Tan

It all started with an almost two and a half hour traffic jam, I'm talking about the day of course but this is relevant to the review so bear that in mind for later.


I was invited to try the new Moroccantan that is exclusive to Sweet Squared and available through Creative Academy Manchester in two ranges, their Original Collection and the Exotic Collection.  Being the beauty obsessed person that I am, I was more than happy to see if this new tan lives up to expectation.

 

My day started with a massive delay as my friend Emma and I found ourselves stuck in this huge queue because a lorry had spilt crates of chickens across the motorway (I couldn't make it up if I tried.)  I'd brought Emma with me as she has just come back from overseas and has a good tan already, so I figured that she could try their deeper Exotic Collection range to review it for you and little pale old me could try their lighter, Original Collection.  

 

Here's the information you need to know:
  • This formula is loaded with Organic goodness such as Argan Oil and Aloe Vera.  The Argan Oil is rich in antioxidants which help your skin retain it's youthful glow, reducing fine lines and providing a moisture to left your skin soft and smooth. (The Moroccan Exotic Collection also contains Rosehip Oil to deeply nourish and hydrate all skin types)
  • It's free from the bad stuff like sulphate and parabens.
  • Morrocantan dries fast without an oily or sticky feeling. 
  • Depending on the formula, they have an amazing wash off time of between an hour and four hours, there's no hanging around waiting!
  • It's the right type of colour, the green base in the Original Collection ensures that there is no orange tones whilst the violet base with deep ashy browns ensure a perfect bronzed shade.
Let's get into it...  
Emma was the first to get her tan and immediately I noticed was scent of honey.  I must say that I didn't notice the scent as much when it came to my tan.  I wasn't sure if that was just because I was used to it by then or it's just the difference in the collections but Emma also feels like it appeared to be less so I just wanted to point that out if you were wondering. 

 
Emma's tan line before wash off - MoroccantanDusk (11% DHA)

The guide colour is fairly dark on both of us which I actually prefer for spraying clients with.  I'm hesitant to use the word "dark" because this may sound like a negative thing and it really isn't (you can see for yourself on the photos I've provided) it's just definitely nice and clear.  This would be great for my home salon as my spotlights are directly above the client which can cause shadows, so I definitely need something I can see so I know where needs doing next.  

When my spray tan was done, I pretty much felt dry straight away without any stickiness, however I did take full advantage of the fancy kimonos that they had there and proceeded to prance around the room in it for fun.

On a random side note, I really liked the tan routine that they train out at Creative, it's different to how I was trained but really effective and thorough.  

 
 My tan line before wash off - Moroccantan Original (10% DHA)

Anyway, here's where that bit about the traffic jam comes into it.  I was on a tight schedule that day and I was meant to be there at 10am.  As Morrocantan has a maximum development time of four hours (depending on the formula) I worked it out to mean that I would be able to be clean and fresh as a daisy for college at 6pm with hours to spare.  Well thanks to the lorry/chicken situation on the motorway, we didn't arrive until close to 11.45 which really meant that if I had have been using my usual spray tan brand, I could wave goodbye to a fresh Karen arriving for my hairdressing course (it's an 8 hour develop time) but... The Moroccantan Original can be washed off in two hours!! Result!  Emma had to wait four hours for hers which even then is half of what my clients usually have to wait, so it still gave her enough time to shower and get herself into college too.  

Now the development times are ace but it's worth bearing in mind that it is going to still be working its magic after wash off for a good few hours.  The final result will not be visible immediately after the wash off because good things come to those who wait, right?  

I had Emma write her thoughts for you too:
"I thought it was applied really easily and it smelt lovely.  When it was hitting my skin there didn't seem to be a lot coming out and it wasn't sticky or tacky at all, drying almost immediately.  I loved the guide colour, it looked really natural on my skin.  A lot of the colour came off in the shower but I was delighted when I got out to get dry as I loved the colour that was developing.  I really felt glowing and looked really healthy.  Usually when I have any type of tan you can smell the developing smell all the time in the air around you but with MoroccantanDusk I could only smell it if I put my nose directly on my skin, but it was only very minimal.  I've had my hands in and out of water all day cleaning and it has made no difference to the tan which just shows the quality of the formula!  I'm really pleased with it and overall it lasted a week on me!"

  
Emma's tan line after wash off - MoroccantanDusk (11% DHA)

I must say that the wash off did appear to take a lot of colour away, I watching it swishing down the plug leaving initially a fairly light tan.  I washed mine off after 3 hours for reference.   However, by the time I was half way through my time at college though, my friends were commenting that the colour was now showing which at this point was around 6 hours post tan.  

 
My tan line before wash off - Moroccantan Original (10% DHA)

The overall colour is fantastic and it's really natural looking.  On Emma it's really enhanced the colour that she already had and actually literally just looks like she was abroad for longer than she was.  I would say the this spray tan lasted around 6 days on me before it started to break up and then it was the sad time where I had to exfoliate... ready for another one!

Alison used the Classic Glam spray tan machine on me which I have to admit I was dribbling over.  Firstly it's far more attractive than the one I have and I liked how light it all seemed.  It's not all about looks but I thought it deserved it's own photo, the little stunner.

 

It's worth noting that there are a full range of tan preserving and prolonging products too to retail to your clients.  Obviously, because your hands and face will fade quicker due to the amount of washing and removing make up, it's always good to be able to offer the corresponding product to keep their colour longer.

Moroccantan is actually finalist in Lifestyle Fashion & Beauty Awards.  If you want to try it out for yourself then you can either purchase a Sample Pack at Creative Academy Manchester.

 

The Original Collection Sample Pack contains MoroccantanGold (8% DHA) MoroccantanOriginal (10% DHA) and MoroccantanBronze (12% DHA) 

 








Their Exotic Collection Sample Pack contains MoroccanDusk (11% DHA) and MorrocanNights (15% DHA)

However if you would like to try a free sample then I would highly recommend you do so!


Don't forget to follow me on  http://facebook.com/liverpoollasheskaren


Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Simon's Cat Nail Tutorial

It's funny that you can take inspiration for a nail tutorial from the strangest places.  Okay in all fairness, Simon's Cat was an easy choice because I think it's a hilarious animation but the reason why it came into my mind was because I saw that Simon's Cat do a cat litter tray in Pet's At Home, it's as simple as that!

simon's cat nail tutorial nails  

I wanted to pick some of my favourite episodes so I did the classic Simon's Cat which is what he does in basically everyone where as he points to his mouth for food.   The other one I chose was the Valentine's episode here:


 

I just love the girly cat, she's so pretty with her little eyelashes and heart collar!!  Anyway, here is the nail tutorial.  I hope you enjoy it!!


Tuesday, 20 May 2014

My Experience: Setting Your Prices

Today's post is all about setting your prices and getting the balance right.  I literally can't tell you how many times I've spoken to therapists about each and every one of these topics that I'm talking about, it's probably hundreds of times.  This post is another from my series of advice for therapists and hairdressers (you should be able to see the rest in a tab below my banner.)

Deciding on your prices is a very important factor of your business for many reasons, probably more than you've even thought of.  It says a lot about your business which I will explain and when you're eventually mad busy you will use your prices to naturally balance out and calm down the rush (that will come!)

The first thing you need to do is to find out the cost to you per service.  Most good companies should be available to advise you the average cost per treatment.  Obviously this is the bare bones of the money you need to charge but then you also need to factor in a wage for yourself which is going to be over £7 as this is above the minimum wage in the UK.  On top of that you need to bear in mind that there will be a 20% deduction for tax per treatment as you are a self employed business.  I have a whole blog post coming about special offers but if and when you decide to have one, you need to take this figure into consideration.

Once you've worked those figures out, the thing I normally do is open up a spreadsheet on my computer and bring up yell.com.  Down the left hand side I will list all of my treatments and across the top I will input the salon name to remind myself.  I will then search for the salons in my area with websites and fill out my spreadsheet for the prices they charge per service.  Although I work from home I will look at salon prices and then a couple of mobile therapist's prices too as a guide.


So you've now got all of your facts and figures in a nice table so that you can quickly glance across the row.  Here's where you have your big decisions as you need to decide on what type of business that you want to be.  You could work out the average of all of the row and:

* set your prices a couple of pounds cheaper.  I hear this a lot when people start out because they think this is the only way to gain clients.  Trust me when I tell you it's not.  Clients want a good service and you'll soon learn that being a couple of pounds dearer will not deter a client who loves your work, they just see it as worth the extra.  Typically the lower priced salons will end up working for very little and can in some cases, less than minimum wage.  In the end it's likely you'll end up with the type of client who only focuses on the cost so as soon as another therapist decides to undercut you, you won't see them for dust.  

* set your prices somewhere in the middle of those.  This is a nice, safe bet if you're unsure.  It means you're amongst the rest and you've decided to leave the salons who like to undercut to it to earn less for the same amount of work as you.  

* set your prices higher.  If you think that you offer a service that's above and beyond the rest then go for it!  Does it sound like a scary idea if you're a newbie to the industry?  Of course it does!  If you believe that your work is of premium quality and your service is top notch then go higher with your prices.  If you knew you'd get good nails for a certain price or amazing service for £2, £3 or £4 or whatever extra, you'd pay it wouldn't you?!  I would!

Now prices say more than you probably think.  Lower prices can sometimes translate to potential clients as a therapist who uses budget products and perhaps doesn't provide a good level of service.  Higher prices can give the impression that a higher standard of product is used and a better result will be achieved.  Think about it, let's say that you go into your local supermarket and you look as lasagne for example.  You will have three options, their budget version, their own brand and then their preminium version.  You will instantly assume that the beef will be of a higher quality and that the ingredients will overall be a better standard in the preminium brand lasagne and that they go down from there to the low quality meat in the budget option. 

So what did I chose to do for my business?  I chose to go higher of course!!  I go above and beyond many therapists in my area to get my client what they want and they do pay the extra knowing they could go cheaper elsewhere.  I open my diary for appointments whenever and if they need a repair, I'll do everything I can to get them the first available appointment.  Last week I did two spray tans at 10pm because I knew the girls needed them for their holiday and couldn't do any other time, no salon is going to do that for them!  The gasps I hear from new clients when they realise that there are more than 10 Shellac shades exist, (I don't know of a salon locally that owns every single shade like I do) The amount of times that clients have told me that full salons don't have this much choice when they see every different colour glitters to chose from or all of the Shellac layering options all neatly swatched and labelled, this is why they book with me.

Whatever you decide you need to bear in mind that it's often difficult to raise prices at a later stage and you want to appear consistant.  Clients dont want to be told every couple of months that it's now going to be a £1 or two more.  It comes across pretty unprofessional and like you either didn't know what you were doing at the start or that you're trying to swindle an extra quid off them to pay for your Take A Break at lunchtime.  

This is going to sound like a 'toot your own horn' situation but I've been told by quite a few of my regulars to raise my prices.  Bearing in mind that I'm already more expensive, it's quite a funny thought to think that they are telling me they will pay me more but equally it shows you that you shouldn't be frightened of charging what you believe you're worth as they will pay it.

In my three years I have been told only once I was too expensive, that's literally what she said to me.  I wished her a good day and that was that.  I think that's how you have to be, I wasn't about to start haggling with her, you have to value yourself.  Also, if I had accepted the appointment at a lower cost, it's hardly fair to my loyal clients who happily pay my prices without question.

Eventually when your business is booming (and it will be if you work hard at it) then you can then rise your prices until fewer new enquiries come in and then stop rising them until you hit a balance with your existing clients.  

I have a whole post on my thoughts on special offers, if it's been posted when you're reading this it will be in the advice tab below the banner.

Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest - search for 'liverpoollashes'  
My facebook page is always updated latest information, tutorials and reviews - click here.
If you want to see more videos from me, my You Tube Channel is here.
CND Five Point Polish Method (for CND Shellac & Vinylux) - click here
To see more of My Work click here and my Nail Of The Day - click here
If you want to read my 'Focusing On' blog posts - click here
Want to see more using Lecente glitter? - click here

Monday, 19 May 2014

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara

After the revelations I had over my new love for Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil, I am super excited for talk to you about Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara.

 Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara

Ultimately this is a brown mascara designed to keep your brows in place.  My eyebrows are a little bit wiry no matter how much I try to tell myself they're not.  I try and give them a little trim but I needed something to keep them in place.  

I have previously purchased the Miss Sporty Just Clear Mascara which did give them a slight hold.  The only thing that put me off using it eventually was that I realised that using it alongside my Gosh Brow Pen was turning my skin an unattractive red colour.  I also wasn't a fan of the gel inside the packaging turning that same pinky/red shade when I put the wand back inside the packaging.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara

Anyway, back onto the Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara!  This stuff is really easy to use.  I worried that I would get it on my skin around my brows and was a little unsure of it at first.  I soon found out that if you just use the ball shaped bristles to sweep through your eyebrows, then it will only apply the formula to the hair, leaving your skin unmarked.  

 Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara

I always apply my Soap & Glory Archery Brow Tint and Pencil first and then my Maybelline Brow Drama Sculptured Mascara and I adore the result.  My eyebrows are left set in place without any weird crispness.  It just makes them look borderline perfect to me!

The bottom line is... I won't be without it now.  Originally I got it in a GlossyBox and I'm so happy I did or I may have never discovered it.  The colour is also perfect and keeps them in place without making them really dark.  This is a firm favourite for sure!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

My Experience: Where To Work? Salon, Mobile or at Home

Today I'm carrying on with my series of blog posts on my thoughts on various topics relating to being in the beauty and hair industry.  They are all being added to the advice tab directly below the banner.

I knew from September 2010 I would be leaving my full time job on 18th June 2011, this date will always be in my mind.  The odd thing is although I have a very serious side to my personality and my outlook on life, I hadn't thought very much on how I was actually going to work in the industry at this point but just that it was going to happen.

The long and short of it is that at the eleventh hour I found out that there was a room to rent in a salon which I then worked in for a year.  I have also worked as a mobile therapist and now I currently work from home in a custom built summerhouse, so I'm going to tell you the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision.  Let's get started!

You could work in a salon
The first obvious choice is to work in a salon.  This is going to give you the most amount of experience and is generally the best route to take for a new starter.  You can work for the salon directly but generally I hear that the wage is close to minimum wage, or you can rent a chair / desk / room on a self employed basis.  

 

Sidenote: if you work on a self employed basis in a salon then there are typically two ways they work.  You either pay a set agreed amount per week and then it's down to you to advertise and provide your own supplies but then you will keep 100% of your earnings.  The downside to this is that if you're at the start of building your client base then you may only be earning enough to pay the rent with no wage at the end of it until you have enough regular clients. 

The other option is to create an agreement with the salon owner to split your earnings into a percentage (usually 60% / 40% or 70% / 30% ratio depending on who provides the products.)  This is great for when you start off as if you're not earning, you're not having to pay anything out but as time goes on and you get busier you may come to regret giving that 30% or 40% away as you're working all of the hours for it.  

The pros of working in a salon:
  • Surrounded by colleagues
  • Professional atmosphere and setting with all of the suitable equipment around you, set up and waiting.
  • Guaranteed income (if employed by the salon)
  • Working for / in a large business may bring you more business than the other two options as are typically already established and therefore may have existing clients interested in coming to you.
The cons of working in a salon:
  • Fast paced and potentially stressful environment with a constant stream of appointments.
  • You could have a very demanding salon owner who will always strive for more from you.
  • The salon owner may try to treat you as an employee (if you are self employed) and forget that you are a separate business.
Also bear in mind that some salons that are seeking staff may insist on a Level 3 qualification and/or a certain number of years experience.

You could work as a mobile therapist
I hear a lot of people say that when they leave college they're "just going to do mobile as they already have a job."  To be honest most of these people that I know who said this don't do many if any mobile jobs now but that's another subject.  

The pros of working as a mobile therapist:
  • You can set your own hours.
  • Low  set up costs (no deposits required for premises, salon furniture, etc)
  • Low overheads (no utility bills, council tax etc)
The cons of working as a mobile therapist:
  • Clients will assume that your prices will be cheaper as you don't have the overheads associated with a salon.  They will forget that you still have to pay for fuel, to insure your car for business purposes, will be adding more mileage to your car and will not be paid for the half an hour traffic jam you sat in to get to them.
  • Carrying heavy equipment such as a massage bed on a regular basis.
  • Time wasted packing and unpacking your set up at every location that you are also not paid for.
  • Not ideal working conditions.  Typically if you're a nail technician you'll find yourself working at your clients dining room table and not at the right height or angle. 
  • If you start off with no experience and choose to be a mobile therapist, you will have no one to refer to if you come across an issue during the service.
  • It can be lonely not having the continuous company of work colleagues.
You could work in a home salon
This is my current situation but like the other two options, it definitely has it's pros and cons. 


 

The pros of working in a home salon:
  • Low overheads (no rent, only a slight different in utility bills, etc)
  • No travelling involved.
  • Flexible hours that can suit you and your client (if you're willing to work outside of usual salon hours.)
  • You can create a salon atmosphere with correct furniture and set up.
The cons of working in a home salon:
  • A potential of bringing strangers into your home (I do not and work on a recommendation only basis.)
  • No work colleagues or regular interaction with the same faces.  Of course you will have the company of the client in theory but not that regular, ongoing conversation that you would have with a colleague which also means you may miss out on the latest trends, styles and techniques in the industry too.
  • Constantly needing to keep your home in a pristine condition in the areas that the client may pass.  I'm not saying that it would be a pigsty otherwise but things that a normal household may have like underwear on the washing line etc is not appropriate so you have to think ahead with things like this.
  • As you're at home, clients may think that you're always available for a last minute appointment so this could disrupt family life. 
  • Just like the mobile option, if you're new to the role then you may come across an issue with a treatment and be unsure how to resolve it.
Whichever option is down to you and your circumstances.  I hope I've given you a few thoughts on each one that you may have perhaps not thought of.  

I have some book recommendations with links in the main "advice" tab underneath the banner on here for you to check out.  They helped me a great deal with many of the basic principals and are an excellent source to refer back to if your mind goes blank.
 
Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest - search for 'liverpoollashes'  
My facebook page is always updated latest information, tutorials and reviews - click here.
If you want to see more videos from me, my You Tube Channel is here.
CND Five Point Polish Method (for CND Shellac & Vinylux) - click here
To see more of My Work click here and my Nail Of The Day - click here
If you want to read my 'Focusing On' blog posts - click here
Want to see more using Lecente glitter? - click here