You don’t need brains to do Beauty!

Ah that age-old myth that you’re not that clever so you’re a beautician, right? Wrong Hun! This month I will be creating a series of blogs to showcase amazing women within the beauty industry to show that the beauty industry is one of the most exciting and rapidly growing industries to be in and to dispel the myth that the only reason people do beauty is because they have no brains…Major eyeroll!

It’s amazing the amount of times I have heard people say, ‘it’s not a proper job’…err Hun and what exactly is a ‘proper job’??? I actually got asked this years ago when I was filing someone’s nails and she looked at me and said “did you not do well in school, did you not want a proper job?”…no I just fancied sitting here and listening to you waffle complete rubbish Janice but thanks for asking!

So, when I think of amazingly successful girl bosses within this industry, I think of my beautiful friend Annabel! We both started in the industry at the same time around 6+ years ago and she loved (and very much still does) sparkle! Every set of nails she created were adorned in crystals, long enough to poke your eye out and probably took about 6 hours to do each set. I also remember girls saying that no one would ever have nails like that, they aren’t wearable, and they weren’t what women wanted. Annabel never once strayed away from this style of nails and instead honed her craft and her niche, to the point that you could see a picture online and instantly know who created these nails.

Consistency was her key and so was believing in what she did!

Fast forward 6 years later and this little queen now has her own empire, nearly half a million followers on Instagram, THE most beautiful salon you have ever seen, her own nail brand, training school and has a two hour long que to buy her products at the trade shows! (You go Hun!)

So, I decided to chat to this amazingly talented boss lady to see exactly what it takes to be a boss bitch in an industry deemed only suitable for brain dead bimbos (FYI I will choke anyone that I ever hear says that).

So, if you’re in this industry, wanting to get into beauty or nails or simply want to know what its like being an amazingly successful female entrepreneur then read on babes…

Nails by annabel salon
The Salon Of Dreams!

So, Hun, what did you want to do when you were growing up?

“Well funnily enough actually there was 3 main things I wanted to do, first it was I wanted to work for NASA (still obsessed with this now!) I also considered going to university to do fashion design and marketing, then also I considered drum teaching!”

Not all of us have an idea of what we want to do when we ‘grow up’ (I’m 31 and still waiting to be a grown up). You shouldn’t feel pressured into doing anything you don’t want to do, and you also shouldn’t have to know when your only 16! J.K Rowling didn’t publish Harry Potter until she was 32! So, don’t feel pressured into having your life planned at 16 babe!

How did you end up working in beauty?

“Straight from school I went to London and did the 6 week Jemma Kidd makeup course, then I did mobile bridal makeup, I then worked on the Illamasqua counter in Selfridges Birmingham for some time! but I really enjoyed getting my nails done with Kirsty Meakin (an award winner nail technician) and planning our designs, mainly trying to get 10,000,000 glitters into one set! that was really made me want to get trained by Kirsty!”

Did anyone have any preconceptions of what working in beauty meant? (Did they feel like it wasn’t a ‘proper job’)

“I have had this said to me a few times “what do you do for your real job” “what else do you do” sadly it seems a lot of people can see it as solely a hobby not a job, in my opinion from all nail techs I’ve met, known or speak to, it’s not just a hobby or a job it is a passion! 

I think though, anyone who thinks it’s not a “real” job or that it’s easy (because sometimes in honesty it can look easier than it is) give them a brush and tell them to try on a demo tip and their whole perception changes!!!”

nails by annabel
Nails By Annabel – Glittery and Gorgeous!

Who inspired you to get into beauty?

“When I was starting in makeup my inspiration was always Alex Box (creative director for makeup brand Illamasqua), I think her work is amazing it’s pure art, and when I transitioned into nails it was Kirsty Meakin that inspired me as I was a client of Kirsty’s first and I got so excited for my appointments every time I just loved every minute!!!!!”

Alex Box’s creativity also shows in her looks with her two-tone beautiful hair and eccentric looks – not your typical insta mua. Whilst she is immensely talented in her field, she is also an amazing advocator in creative talent and not conforming to society. Not that looks should play a part in how talented you are. How “clever” you are is not defined by looks! Does Lip filler and hair extensions make your brain any less beautiful? I think not babes! Be you for you or as I say, ‘Be your own kind of Beautyful’.

Did you come across anyone that thought you didn’t have brains and that’s why you chose beauty?

“Absolutely! Even recently I met someone who found it hilarious that “I do nails” they said what? You paint nails? Which you can count on me, I explained in detail what it entails and instantly pulled out my phone to show the evidence! Unfortunately, I think many will not realise unless they try it them self!”

How did you do in high school?

“I did well in Art and Music, and English literature, but apart from that, not brilliant! 

I am dyslexic, but if I’m not interested in something then I struggle to stay focused for too long! I loved physics and chemistry but sadly I wasn’t great enough to keep up with it all!”

annabel painting
Annabel decorating her Salon

What do you think when you tell people you do nails?

“I think it’s so hard to explain to someone what we mean by I do nails, I think the best way is to maybe show them a set and say I do nails, like these I did 🙂 “

How did you get to where you are now?

“A lot of work! Being willing to work 12 hours + a day and allocating time to social media to stay as active as possible to keep it alive! 

One of the greatest decisions was listening to my husband! It was his suggestion to go on to get a salon, whilst I was still renting a room, the idea terrified me I didn’t think it would work, so I’m glad I gave in and listened!”

Is being in this industry easy? 

“I think every industry has its ups and downs, it is and it isn’t, it can be the most supportive, but sadly there can be a minority of not so supportive but if anyone is being negative and putting you down just don’t answer, remove them and stay positive don’t let anyone change your mindset.”

Annabel and Chaun Legend
Annabel hosting a training day with Kylie Jenner’s Celebrity Nail Tech Chaun Legend

What advice would you give to anyone that wants to join this industry and How long did it take you to get where you are?

“I would say DO IT DO IT!!!!! 

It has taken many years, gradually going from kitchen tables, renting rooms, to our first salon, now this salon, being patient is essential, and practise…as much as is possible! I’m terrible at knowing exactly how long but I’m sure I’ve been in the industry now around nearly 8 years, sometimes I post past work, next to present, I will do this again soon.

Never compare yourself to anyone else either. Compare your work each year to last and you will see improvements every year, and never be afraid to try new things! Experiment, try, try until your happy with it! And never give up EVER!!!!!”

What has it taken to get here?

“It has taken a lot, many many working hours, I would work any hours, days, anything that I could no lunch breaks, just coffee all day!!! Everything I earn I put into buying more glitters/products/advertising. I did this for years! “

Unfortunately, in this industry – as I’m sure like many others the market is saturated with non-professionals doing nails for fun and charging next to nothing, so when you charge more than £15 for a gel polish manicure people think your ripping them off!

Did you know that Tiffany’s sell a silver paperclip (yes, a paperclip) for $165?! Say Whaaa…are they bothered? No and I’m pretty sure they sell a bucket load of them to people that know how much time and craft has gone into making that said paperclip.

So when you’re thinking about getting your nails done, think about how many years the technician has been doing it for, how many courses they have been on, how many products they have to buy to create these nails, the hourly wage they need to be paid and know their worth! These “proper job” Pauline’s don’t realise not only how much time goes into learning nails but how much money goes into buying products! Not so brain dead are we now Hun?!

annabel in her salon
Annabel inside her salon

Do you see yourself doing what you do forever?

“Absolutely I couldn’t imagine anything else! I am totally involved in everything Glitterbels,(Anabelle’s own brand) but no matter how busy I get, I always make sure I make time to do nails still as much as possible because I love it and I’m always planning our designs in my head I want to try!”

Do you think the industry has changed much since you started? 

“I’m not totally sure if it has or not to be honest, I kinda stayed out of it a lot when I started, I wasn’t even aware of Facebook nail groups until I made one!”

What are your future goals and plans? 

“I want to carry on trying to grow Glitterbels as much as possible and throw sparkle at everything!!!”

a picture of Annabel
The Gorgeous Annabel

A huge thank you to Annabel for answering all my questions (there were a few Hun, sorry!). Everything having in life is worth fighting for and regardless of what people think, you be and do whatever you want to do! Put those sunglasses on and block out those haters! So, for anyone that ever doubts your dreams or your passions, prove them wrong and take pictures during the process! People only doubt your dreams because they doubt theirs!

So, go on Hun! You take over the world and don’t be afraid to Dream, believe and achieve!

Thanks for reading Hun!

Take Care

Stay Safe

Lauren Lily Lea xxx

If you are interested in Training with Annabel then you can find all training information on her website, Nails By Annabel


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