Pro-Beauty Excel London

What an amazing day I had yesterday, I am fully and completely in love with the Nail industry after my downs and despairs of the last few weeks! I’m knackered and can only think of my bed while writing this, but I’m so excited after yesterdays events, I can’t wait to tell you about it

The 28th and 29th of February 2016 marked the return of Pro-Beauty London. A must have event for anyone in the nail & beauty industry.

My day started at 5.30am! On a Sunday!! I must have been excited as I only let my alarm go off twice before I got out of bed. Anyone who knows me, knows I am not good (or even considerably close to being human) before 9am. I am an awful morning person! As London is a good 2 1/2 hours from me though, I hit the road at just before 7am.

The drive there went amazingly smooth. I hit no traffic (the English expression for not being in a queue, not to be confused with me physically crashing into other vehicles!) and the weather was pretty decent apart from the few odd showers here and there once I hit the M25. The only queue I ended up in was the one on the entrance to Excel about 1/4 mile from the venue. Not bad for London.

Living so far from the venue I received an email a couple weeks ago offering me a complementary upgrade to the Executive Club. It meant having access to the executive lounges with complementary coffee and pastries in the morning and complimentary cream tea if the afternoon, plus a VIP Goody Bag!! An extra reason for leaving so early in the morning.

The OPI Stand

I didn’t actually enter the show floor until 9.50am where I instantly spotted the OPI stand at that moment any thoughts of coffee and pastry left my mind! As I approached the stand I was even more thrilled to discover the amazing Danny Phung was demonstrating the fabulous Spring/Summer New Orleans collection!! I have wanted to meet Danny for about 10 months now, not only does he work for the brand I love but what he creates too is just amazing. I watched him create 2 gorgeous designs before finally saying hello. Ooh actually I must mention before I did say hello, OPI put on a little show! Yes, Really! As their new collection is inspired by New Orleans they bought out a saxophonist! 


She was pretty amazing too and definitely pulled the crowd into the OPI stand, it was heaving!

Back to Danny….On introducing myself – and mentioning a mutual friend, the wonderful Seriously Nails – he instantly knew who I was! I can’t tell you how amazing that was for me! I know other people admire pop stars, footballers, movie stars but for me it’s those in the nail industry & Danny is up there!

I had pretty much booked a whole day of seminars but with a spare 30 minutes i took the opportunity to have Danny create a masterpiece on me. It was great to watch him and pick up tips on prep and application and spark up a conversation with another well-seasoned nail technician about the application routine. I mentioned last year that I took really well to the 1, 2, 3 Zone routine and that this year we were being taught a 2,3,1 Zone routine which I was really struggling with. I almost cried when both Danny and the Tech said do whats best and most comfortable for you. It was all i needed to hear, especially when I was watching Danny use a Nail Form and apply the product over zones 2 into 1 first! My preferred way. He just made it look so easy and took such care with my nails, It was the most relaxing nail enhancement treatment I have EVER had, honestly, even with the show being as busy as it was and the noise being generated I have never felt so relaxed! What I noticed too was Danny didn’t use anything less then a 180 grit file on my nails, both natural and the enhancement – that is definitely something I aspire to and can not wait to be that experienced. The nail art designed Danny did for me was ‘alligator tears’ It was a gorgeous/intricate design and I’ve had so many lovely comments at work about today, it is so easy to replicate too, I can’t wait to start trying it out for myself.   

Nail Design by Danny Phung


 Jennifer Young
My first seminar of the day was with Jennifer Young the founder of Beauty Despite Cancer having had a close friend go through breast cancer and a work mate, both my age I am on a mission to help all those going through the same thing to indulge in beauty treatments. When I first trained in beauty therapy many years ago, any clients with cancer was an immediate no! It would appear even now that is still the case, although there is some changes happening. The charity Look Good Feel Better is one movement created in helping the well being and confidence of those with cancer and asks for volunteer therapists to do this. There is still varying views on treating cancer patients even within the training I’ve had. One has said a simple polish application is acceptable as long as there are no other underlying contra-indications, although as Jennifer went on to mention in her seminar, many cancer patients become more aware of what ingredients are in products. Her rule of thumb when it comes to nail polish is if its smells, it has solvents, she also mentioned she had yet to come across a recommended polish. Another was a point blank no.The issue with the industry always seems to come down to the massage element of any treatment, I’ll be honest I still don’t understand the why’s or How’s but while my insurers say I’m not insured at the moment I guess a safe no is better then an uncertain yes.

Around the room was various stories too, Nail Enhancements and Gel Polish came up too both of which Jennifer advises against. Low immunity is a side effect of cancer treatment and with lifting being a increased possibility, the equivalent of a germ fest is created, not ideal. As expected, IBX also got a mention. For this technician her clients had gained some amazing results from using it. I really wanted to ask more on this as it involves the use of an LED lamp… I’d mentioned IBX a while back to my colleague at work and even she seemed apprehensive when I mentioned the use of the lamp and that her doctor had advised against all use?  I guess I just need to take all this information on board and do a bit more research. It was really informative to hear of the kind of things cancer patients go through. The seminar was good in that we concentrated more in the anatomy and physiology element; like the pain and sensitivity with the skin, dryness, varying damage that can happen to the nails, what can be worked on and what to avoid. I always worry when it comes to those kind of questions, so it was nice to be in an informal environment free to learn all about the possible effects caused by cancer treatment.

Jennifer also spent some time talking about the products she had created, and we were all given a free sample of her lip balm. Our gift packs also included some really informative leaflets too.

I haven’t opened it or tried it as I know where it would have a better home then with me, but one lady in the seminar did and was surprised it smelt of nothing. Apparently smell/fragrance sensitive nausea is a big thing with cancer patients so this lip balm was created to aliveate the dryness without affecting them. The whole talk was a great eye opener and I was really looking forward to here next talk later in the day. She finished with a great quote, which I think applies to all clients – regardless!

Don’t do anything to compromise the health of your client, immunity is often compromised – Jennifer Young, Beauty Despite Cancer

Laura Dicken

Next up was a talk from Laura Dicken, Owner of Podology.

 This was another amazing talk full of useful hints and tips. She started by making us understand what she did has a qualified podiatrist and then how with the additional manicure and pedicure training she did, how she can now offer a complete start to finish treatment for her expansive book of clients. She couldn’t stress enough how important it was to make relationships with the podiatrists in our local area. A. so we could have someone we recommended to refer our clients too and also B. For local clients to be referred back to us, such a minor tip but an ingenious one at that! She talked about the kind of things you can recognise in peoples feet but stressed we must never diagnose only advise, and if we are never sure to also recommend referral to a doctor.

An interesting thing came up about fungul infections especially when they reach the toe. Patience is the key when treating infection and with a toenail you have to ensure it is completely grown out, so that’s anytime from 4-6 months! The key thing is prevention, she couldn’t stress enough the importance of actually cleaning the feet and not just standing in water, simply having a shower is not enough.

What was interesting is her views on Gel Polish on the toes. She made a valid point which we all seem to have forgotten about – Polish on our toes lasts for months and months and months and months… so where has a sudden obsession come from Gel polish on our toes? I don’t know that answer but i’d love to hear yours if you do get Gel Polish on your toes? Considering many brands offer the Gel Finish look within their standard polish range I’m actually pretty stumped? Laura didn’t recommend it has it allows for no stretch of the toe nail, especially our big toe. She demonstrated exactly what happens from our hips down the the bones in our feet and how much stress and weight was bared down on the big toe through to the nail, after watching it, I’m not incredibly keen on ever offering a Gel Polish pedicure. As I’m planing on offering free standard Nail Lacquer finishes I’m hoping I may convert some clients too…

Lastly we were presented with the best invention I have so far come across The Orb.  

The Orb – Portable Wax unit


A portable (multi-use) wax unit!! Podology currently use them for their Paraffin wax treatments. I have to get one! Not only are the little cups placed inside disposable – so incredibly hygienic, but they are the cutest thing ever, and I’m completely sold on the cute element.

Gemma Lambert – Award Winning Nail Artist, Owner of The Nail Team

Following on from Laura, was award winning, 12 time UK Champion, Gemma Lambert Owner of The Nail Team . Her seminar was the creation of 2 gorgeous nail designs. I’m so glad I got a front row seat for this seminar has every seat was filled and being right in front of her I got to see exactly what she did.

Gemma is another one of my nail idols so I’m so glad to have got to see her in live action doing what she does best, creating outstanding nail art. I didn’t want to be rude and get my phone out but I took a cheeky shot of Gemma in action and then a close up of the work she created. 

Gemma Lambert at Work


Nail Art By Gemma Lambert

 Stunning it was, and looked so easy to create. Gemma and her team offer training for various nail art skills so I’m going to check out her website to see whats available. It was nice to hear she used various nail products too. I’ll admit I’m pretty brand loyal with Nail Polish but with nail art the possibilities are endless so I agree that you have to be more open minded it order to create what your imagination lets you.

Gemma is again another of my nail idols unfortunately her table got so busy at the end of her demonstration I didn’t get a chance to say hello🙁I’m just so glad I picked a seat when I sat down for Jennifer’s seminar that I got to be within feet of her and too watch her in action.


3d Wedding Nail Art by Gemma Lambert


Glitter Wedding Nail Art by Gemma Lambert


Wedding Nail Art By Gemma Lambert

The Show

One reason for not hanging round to meet with Gemma was I only had 50 minutes before having to go for my last seminar, again with Jennifer.

The first thing I did was head straight to the Pro Beauty desk to pick up my VIP goody bag. My contents included a show guide plus these…

 You wouldn’t believe my relief when they stuck a bottle of water in my bag too! To me at that moment the girls were gods! I had been parched since Laura’s talk and was dreading having to queue at the cafes as I was desperate to shop. Oh must point out that yes I hadn’t forgotten about my complimentary afternoon tea, unfortunately with only 10 minutes left of that option pretty much everything had been devoured. I have learnt one thing though, I’m glad I personally didn’t purchase the Executive Upgrade, I would not have benefited from it at all, but it was incredibly nice to have been given the chance to try it out.

After the Pro-beauty lounge I headed to the Magpie Glitter Stand – it took me forever to find it but OMG I was in heaven when I did! The just recently released the Fairytale collection but I plan to purchase that at a later date, its a gorgeous collection. There were 3 colors however I was extremely interested in buying, Elsa, Arial and my favorite Cindy and yes all look like the name they’ve been given.


Magpie Glitters

Another highlight and fan girl moment was meeting Anona Wright/Nona Philippa, I most likely freaked her out/or offended her by saying she looked so much younger in real life, I don’t know why but I always thought she was my age, nope, I expect shes about 10 years younger then me! Oops. Anyway she was lovely too but incredibly busy, everyone was just so excited about the glitters!

I’ll be honest by this point in the day I was lagging. A bad nights sleep, combined with an early morning, a long drive and lack of food had me all a bit disorientated! I didn’t go with the intention of spending, but there was some brands I did want to explore.

Lava Shells, to find out if they did a specific Manicure/Pedicure course/range of products.

Brillbird as I’ve seen some fab reviews on their brushes

Gell II, although I did do a very quick recce on the way to finding the Magpie Glitter stand and finally

All That Jazz has I was desperate to smell their newly revamped manicure/pedicure range specifically the Chocolate Orange scent!

I did stop by Magnetic Nail Design and was thrilled to see they sell an airbrush. I’ve been looking everywhere for a reputable brand that sells one, so knowing they do is a big advantage!

Also today I’m gutted to find out Mariam Newman was at the show yesterday, I’m not sure what stand but to know she was there and i missed her, as another of my Nail Idols it would have been amazing to have met her!!

I did also met the lovely Sophie Harris-Greenslade of The Illustrated nail – yes another idol – she was demonstrating the OPI Infinite Shine collection which is gorgeous and something I can’t wait to purchase. Unfortunately no picture as I was up against time and she was demoing colours.

Jennifer Young – Seminar 2

It was then onto the second of Jennifer’s Seminars and this one was about welcoming cancer patients into the salon. This talk was a lot more in depth and felt more serious then the previous, but I got the impression most people in the room were Salon Owners.

The best thing about this talk was her discussing the training they offer. The training is advertised as Post-Graduate training, me being me assumed you had to have been to university first before you could apply for these courses. Good thing to know on this occasion I was wrong. It simply refers to having completed your Nail Technician or Beauty Training. I am absolutely thrilled to learn I can attend the manicure/Pedicure course and then be able to go onto getting my insurance and being able to adapt a routine for cancer patients.

We also got another goody bag, this one contained a nail oil. 

again I haven’t tested it has i know it will have a better home else where but I will give feed back as soon as I can.

I highly recommend visiting Jennifer’s Website Beauty Despite Cancer, I couldn’t do it justice by talking about it, see for yourself just how amazing and informative it is.

And Lastly…

So having earlier in the day tweeted my lovely nail on twitter, Seriously nails asked where the photo of me & Danny was. So back to the OPI stand I went.

Danny was more then happy to pose with me, and my Fan Girl moment was complete!! 


Danny Phung & Elbie Nails

He was an absolute blast and completely made my day, he even gave me his card and said any questions, just ask! It has been an absolute pleasure to have met him and he really knows how to have a laugh.

I also sparked up a conversation with another member of the OPI team to find out she originates not more then 5 minutes from me! Small world eh! I’ve taken her details and really look forward to connecting with her really soon.

So that was my day. I truly loved every moment especially all the people I met and seen, I can not wait to get back into creating nails and nail art. Tomorrows the first day of a new month so no better time to turn over the leaf.

Thanks for reading xx



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