A French manicure; a bright, bold colour; some funky nail art… I love treating my nails to a nice polish and treatment every so often.
Well, more often than not, to be honest, but there is something about the whole experience that makes me feel better.
Pre-Covid, when normal times allowed, I also enjoyed being able to sit down with my nail technician. We would chat, laugh, and generally try to put the world to rights – the time always felt like two friends catching up, rather than a nail tech and her client – and a nice bonus was that I’d also come away from the appointment with a set of really pretty nails.
And nails don’t come any prettier than those from Nailed By Lou.
Based in Lisburn, Lou has been a fully qualified nail tech for the past eight years. She initially started her career working from home before she was approached by a salon owner who was hiring for nail techs. Lou subsequently worked at the salon for around four years when she decided it was time to go out on her own and she now rents her own station in another salon in the city.
Over the years Lou has made her mark in the beauty sector by delivering amazing nails. We’re not talking about a normal set of nicely painted nails, by the way, but rather some incredibly impressive nail art. In fact, her work is so impressive that she was crowned Creative Nail Stylist of the Year two years ago and was a Nail Tech of the Year finalist in both 2019 and 2020.
“Being crowned Creative Nail Stylist of the Year in 2018 at the Hair & Beauty Awards is definitely the highlight of my career,” Lou admits modestly. “It was the biggest shock, but an amazing experience.”
The accolade may have been a surprise for Lou at the time but a quick look at her portfolio – as well as the positive reviews from her clients – reveals that there could have been no other winner.
Art itself has always come naturally to Lou and while she says inspiration for her work can strike from anywhere, she also “likes to put my own twist on things.”
This was the case recently when Lou unleashed her skills to welcome the Christmas season… by creating a 3D set of Grinch nails. “I challenged myself to try it [3D] with my new nail art products and it turned out really well. I’m proud of this set.”
Other Christmas nails Lou has designed over the past few weeks include gonks, penguins, and snowmen; but there are other holidays, as well as custom requests from clients, that Lou will happily cater for. Again, in normal times, Lou has a regular busy and full schedule with clients looking gorgeous nails, but it isn’t all about the work. A lot of the enjoyment in the job also comes courtesy of those who come into the salon.
“I’ve met some awesome people through my career,” Lou says, “and I have made really good friends with other nail techs. I also have the best clients that spoil me rotten. It is more than just a job, and I’ve really missed the interaction with all the lockdowns during the pandemic.”
The pandemic has affected the beauty industry over the past number of months, and while we do hope for some normality in 2021, there is currently some uncertainty around opening in the new year. Let’s keep our fingers (and pretty nails) crossed that we’ll be back to our salons and catching up with our nail techs again soon.
A small selection of Lou’s work can be viewed below…
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