How to perfect nail art in lockdown with exclusive tips from Sunderland nail technician

Nail art is one of the most expressive, experimental and exciting facets of the beauty world. The latest beauty trend we are loving at Fashion North is ‘barely there’ nails, which include delicate brushstrokes that could easily be mistaken as a trick of the light and involves all your perfect nude and peachy shades you have in your collection. 

As we are now into the second lockdown, we have been becoming our own nail technician at home. Not only does doing our nails make us feel pampered but it showcases healthy, clean and cared for nails. 

We tested out our very own barely-there nails with a step by step tutorial to show you how to get the prettiest nails in your household. 

Here at Fashion North, we spoke to local nail technician Ellie Henderson who has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and she shares her top five tips on how to get perfectly manicured nails at home.

Ellie Henderson, 18, from Sunderland worked as a mobile nail technician before losing her full-time job due to the Covid 19 pandemic but now works full-time in Amy Bam Studio in Sunderland as a nail technician where she rents a chair in the salon. 

“Being self-employed during the pandemic has been stressful,” said Ellie. “Not knowing when I could go back to work. No income, I wasn’t even able to get the self-employment grant as I had not been working self-employed for more than what was required. I had bills to pay, people have families to care for. If I did not have such a supportive family I don’t know what I would have done.”

Photo credit: Ellie Henderson

This is some of the nail art designs Ellie has done on her clients

Ellie said: “Clients come to receive treatments, but they are not just treatments. It’s a chance to relax, a time where you can go and talk to someone even if it’s just a small conversation. Some clients love to tell you everything, you’re like a therapist! Having your nails, lashes, hair done makes you feel so much better about yourself. It gives people confidence.” 

“This second lockdown is worrying for the industry because we know what happened last time. We were the last to open up, will it be the same this time?”

The beauty industry has had a huge impact by the pandemic with having to close all their doors to the public due to government guidelines. However, Coronavirus has changed the way we receive our treatments now. 

“Working through a global pandemic is not what I expected to be doing at all, “ Ellie added. “Sometimes I feel like I am about to go into surgery with my mask, visor and gloves on. I also have a screen in place to protect me and my client. Normally a nail technician would only wear a mask and/or gloves. So, PPE costs have had a big impact on us.“

Photo credit: Ellie Henderson 

A cow and leopard print nail design Ellie has done on her clients 

The Covid-19 outbreak will drive significant loss in value for the beauty market in 2020 as the lockdown period has not only limited sales, but has also affected usage habits such as hair and nail appointments. Many salons are having to increase the amount of health and safety measures they have put in place for their clients to ensure they are safe.

“Cleaning products are my new best friend. I wipe down everything after each client with disinfectant and use barbicide for my tools. This also means having longer appointment slots to make sure I have time to clean everything, meaning I have to work longer hours. In the salon, we take clients temperature upon entering and we ask them to sanitise their hands.”

“In my opinion, I feel it’s safer with all the equipment and I will be keeping most of these measures after this anyway. Clients feel safe coming somewhere clean, especially in these times. All of this shows that we are capable of protecting our clients.”

Ellie Henderson’s top 5 tips to try nail art at home

1.) In my opinion, the most simple nail art to do at home is polka dots using a hair grip/bobbie pin. Just dip the end in the polish and dot it on the nail, then topcoat when dry! 

2.) You can do cow print, just use a reference picture to draw the print.

3.) Use, cuticle oil. This will strengthen and condition the nails, making your mani last longer.

4.) However, if you want to try something more adventurous, try leopard print. I have a tutorial on my Instagram, along with other ones if you’re up for a challenge. You can buy dotting tools and nail art brushes on Amazon that aren’t expensive.

 5.) Use Peacci nail polish. It is the perfect brand for your at-home mani and I have a 10% off code- ELLIE89 to use at checkout. It is the sister brand to The Gel Bottle, which is what I use and a lot of other nail techs use. 

Why not become your own nail technician until the salons open again?

Check out Ellie Henderson on Instagram here

Tweet us your favourite nails you have had done before @Fashion_North!


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