Jul 3rd, 2012
Something from Pinterest we thought you might like! All beauty DIY! Start raiding your cupboards!
Jul 3rd, 2012
Diseases and dis-orders of the nail - Gross yes, but important info!

Nail Diseases & Infection

Our bodies host 1000’s of micro organisms, some of which are good for us, heavily promoted in yoghurt drink adverts. These micro organisms include bacteria and fungi.

What is a fungal infection?

Fungal infections are caused by microscopic plants that live on our skin and on the dead tissue of our hair and nails. Below we have listed some of the common diseases and disorders associated with nails.

Always remember “Nail Technicians” are only qualified (make sure your nail technician is qualified) in identifying a problem, and not to diagnose or treat nail diseases and disorders. If you suspect a problem ask you nail technician or seek advice from your GP and possible medical treatment.

Description:  Fungal or Yeast Infection

A fungal or yeast infection which results in Onychomycosis, can invade through a tear in the proximal and lateral nail folds as well as the Eponychium. This type of infection is characterized by Onycholysis (nail plate separation) with evident debris under the nail plate. It normally appears white or yellowish in colour, and may also change the texture and shape of the nail. The fungus digests the keratin protein of which the nail plate is comprised. As the infection progresses, organic debris accumulates under the nail plate often discolouring it. Other infectious organisms may be involved, and if left untreated, the nail plate may separate from the nail bed and crumble off.

Description:  Paronychia (Nail Infection)

Paronychia disease is an infection of the inflammation skin and soft tissue infections that surrounds a toenail or fingernail. It can start suddenly (acute Paronychia) or gradually (chronic Paronychia).

The etiology, infectious agent, and treatment are usually different for each form, and the 2 forms are often considered separate entities. Acute Paronychia develops over a few hours when a nail fold becomes painful, red and swollen. It is one of the most common hand infections.

Symptoms of Paronychia

A small collection of pus forms under the skin next to the nail, or underneath the nail itself. The area around the nail is tender, red and mildly swollen the cuticle is missing; and the skin around the nail feels moist or “boggy.” Often, only one nail is affected. Acute Paronychia starts as a red, warm, painful swelling of the skin around the nail. In chronic Paronychia, the redness and tenderness are less noticeable than the acute infection. The nail may have a green discoloration due to Pseudomonas infection. It mainly occurs in people who have constantly wet hands, such as hairdressers, nurses, and bartender’s e.t.c.

Description:  Pseudomonas (The Greenies)

Pseudomonas bacterial infection can occur between the natural nail plate and the nail bed, and/or between an artificial nail coating and the natural nail plate. Many people have been led to believe that the classic ‘green’ discoloration of this type of infection is some type of mold. In actuality, mold is not a human pathogen. The discoloration is simply a by-product of the infection and is caused primarily by iron compounds. Pseudomonas thrives in moist places; it feeds off the dead tissue and bacteria in the nail plate, while the moisture levels allow it to grow.

The after effects of this infection will cause the nail plate to darken and soften underneath an artificial coating. The darker the discoloration, the deeper into the nail plate layers the bacteria has travelled. If the bacteria have entered between the nail plate and the nail bed, it will cause the same discolorations and may also cause the nail plate to lift from the nail bed.

Description:  Tinea Unguis

The symptoms of Tinea include itchiness and foot odour. Sweat and water make the epidermis white and soggy, resulting in Tinea. There often is scaling, maceration and fissuring of the skin between the third and fourth toes.

Tinea or ringworm is caused mainly by Trichophyton rubum and is the commonest type of fungal infection.

Tea Tree Ointment is an antiseptic and soothing ointment which contains tea tree and lavender essential oils blended with infused calendula oil. It is ideal for the healing of Tinea wounds, cuts rashes and for soothing insect bites. May also be used to alleviate Tinea and fungal infections.

Prevention of Tinea
1. Keep feet as clean and dry as possible. 2. Carefully dry feet, especially between the toes. 3. Remove flaky skin from beneath the toes each day with dry tissue paper or gauze. 4. Wearing light socks made of absorbent fibres, such as cotton and wool, to allow better circulation of air and to reduce sweating. 5. Avoid socks made with synthetic fibres. 6. Wearing open sandals or shoes with porous soles and uppers 7. Going barefoot whenever possible.



Onychatrophia is an atrophy or wasting away of the nail plate which causes it to lose its lustre, become smaller and sometimes shed entirely. Injury or disease may account for this irregularity.
Nail Atrophy

Description:  Hematoma

A Haematoma is the result of trauma (injury) to the nail plate. It can happen from simply trapping your finger or toe in the door, banging it and even from improperly fitting or ‘too-tight’ shoes.

The nail bed will bleed due to this trauma, and the blood is trapped between the nail bed and the nail plate. Sometime a haematoma may also indicate a fractured bone. It is common for sports men and women to experience haematoma because of the constant friction from the shoes against the toenails.

Haematoma may result in nail plate separation and infection because the blood can attract fungi and bacteria. If several days have passed and the blood clot becomes painful, the nail plate may require removal so the nail bed can be cleansed.

Description:  Leuconychia

Leuconychia is evident as white lines or spots in the nail plate and may be caused by tiny bubbles of air that are trapped in the nail plate layers due to trauma. This condition may be hereditary and no treatment is required as the spots will grow out with the nail plate.

Description:  Vertical Ridges

These can also be characteristic of aging, this does not men it is only limited to the aged or elderly. The nail plate grows forward on the nail bed in a ‘rail and groove’ effect, much like a train rides on its’ tracks.

What can we do, well actually you can correct it but it is possible to reduce the appearance. As we age, the natural oil and moisture levels drop in the nail plate, and this rail and groove effect becomes apparent. Ridged nails can improve through re-hydration of the nail plate with once or twice daily applications of good quality nail and cuticle oil containing Jojoba and Vitamin E.

Description:  Melanonychia

Is a vertical pigmented band or bands, also known as “nail moles”, which usually form in the nail matrix? If you suddenly notice these or see a change in the nail plate then you should see a GP or dermatologist immediately. Not always but it sometimes can be a malignant melanoma (cancer) or lesion. Dark streaks may be a normal occurrence in dark-skinned people.

Description:  Other Nails Disorders & Infections

Onychogryposis are claw-type nails that are characterized by a thickened nail plate and are often the result of trauma. This type of nail plate will curve inward, pinching the nail bed and sometimes require surgical intervention to relieve the pain.

Onychorrhexis are brittle nails which often split vertically, peel and/or have vertical ridges. This irregularity can be the result of heredity, the use of strong solvents in the workplace or the home, including household cleaning solutions. Although oil or paraffin treatments will re-hydrate the nail plate, one may wish to confer with a physician to rule out disease.

Onychauxis is evidenced by over-thickening of the nail plate and may be the result of internal disorders — seek medical advice.

Beau’s Lines are nails that are characterized by horizontal lines of darkened cells and linear depressions. This disorder may be caused by trauma, illness, malnutrition or any major metabolic condition, chemotherapy or other damaging event, and is the result of any interruption in the protein formation of the nail plate. Seek a physician’s diagnosis.

Koilonychias is usually caused through iron deficiency anaemia. These nails show raised ridges and are thin and concave. Seek a physician’s advice and treatment.

Melanonychia are vertical pigmented bands, often described as nail ‘moles’, which usually form in the nail matrix. Seek a physician’s care should you suddenly see this change in the nail plate. It could signify a malignant melanoma or lesion. Dark streaks may be a normal occurrence in dark-skinned individuals, and are fairly common.

Pterygium is the inward advance of skin over the nail plate, usually the result of trauma to the matrix due to a surgical procedure or by a deep cut to the nail plate. Pterygium results in the loss of the nail plate due to the development of scar tissue. Cortisone is used to prevent the advancement of scar tissue. Never attempt to remove Pterygium -instead, consult a physician for advice and treatment.

NOTE: The ‘true cuticle’ is often referred to as Pterygium. If you have Pterygium, it can only be treated by a physician and should never be removed by a nail technician.

Pterygium Inversum Unguis is an acquired condition characterized by a forward growth of the hyponychium characterized by live tissue firmly attached to the underside of the nail plate, which contains a blood supply and nerves. Possible causes are systemic, hereditary, or from an allergic reaction to acrylics or solvents. Never use force to ‘push back’ the advancing hyponychium — it is an extremely painful approach, and will result in a blood flow. Consult a physician for diagnosis and treatment.

Psoriasis of the nails is characterized by raw, scaly skin and is sometimes confused with eczema. When it attacks the nail plate, it will leave it pitted, dry, and it will often crumble. The plate may separate from the nail bed and may also appear red, orange or brown, with red spots in the lunula. Do not attempt salon treatments on a client with Nail Psoriasis. Consult with a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.

Brittle Nails are characterized by a vertical splitting or separation of the nail plate layers at the distal (free) edge of the nail plate. In most cases, nail splitting and vertical ridges are characteristic of the natural aging process. This nail problem is also the result of overexposure to water and chemical solvents such as household cleaning solutions. As we age, the nail bed’s natural flow of oils and moisture is greatly reduced. This oil and moisture is the cement that holds the nail plate layers together and gives the plate its inherent flexibility. At the first signs of splitting or peeling, re-hydrate the nail plate layers with a good quality cuticle and nail oil that contains Jojoba and Vitamin E as two of the botanical oils. Jojoba oil has a very tiny molecule which can penetrate the nail plate surface, open up the layers and draw the Vitamin E in after it. The molecular structure of Vitamin E is too large to penetrate the nail plate layers or the surface layer of the skin without the benefits of Jojoba oil. Oil the nail plate and surrounding cuticle at least twice daily; more if you have your hands in water a lot. Wear gloves whenever working with household cleaning solutions, and remember: water is considered the ‘universal solvent’, and is indeed a ‘chemical’.

May 7th, 2012
New stuff for reviews!
May 7th, 2012
Was given these two beauties, got the mask on right now (right one) not sure how am meant to take off as wasn’t given directions lol! Not sure if supposed to just wipe off with cotton pad or wash off lol! Never mind! Expect a review soon… And lots more as have got lots of new bits! (will post a pic of new goodies!) 

Featured in the pic are dr Pierre ricaud (from left) ultra smoothing mask & energy revival mask

Francesca x
Jan 24th, 2012
The Importance Of Toner

Many women don’t use toner as it’s seen as something unnecessary and useless… but is that really true?

Toner is designed to restore your skin’s natural pH balance after cleansing. Each time you have washed your face you are upsetting your natural pH balance. Most cleansers may minimise the amount of oil on your skin but you are also robbing your skin of moisture. Your skins pH balance will become too high which results in dry skin. Your skin is naturally more acidic than alkaline (pH scale is 0-14 your skin is around 5.5 …4.5-6.0 is the optimum range for healthy skin). Toner IMMEDIATELY restores your pH level to the optimum range. Using toner actually helps your skin absorb your moisturisers and serums better than when it is dry. 

Other benefits of toners include:

  •  Removing dirt, dead skin, impurities and toxins
  • Reducing excess oil from the skin
  • Speeding up cell turnover

Liz Earle Toner

My current toner is by Liz Earle, I got it for Christmas and I LOVE it.. I actually don’t even feel the need to moisturise after using it and it smells like the most beautiful thing I’ve ever smelt. Just a quick application to my face after washing it and it feels wonderful and is such a lovely experience, I actually bother to take off my make up (I know I should) before bed because I love using it so much. 

Jan 11th, 2012
Seven Deadly Beauty Sins (Okay, not so ‘deadly’ but you get the idea!)
Not taking your make up off before bed!We’ve all done it! I’ve been the worlds worst for this, but here’s the stuff you didn’t know…  Not taking your make up off before bed doesn’t just mean your skin doesn’t have a chance to breathe.. it’s also ”marinating” in a days worth of oil and debris overnight (Gross huh?) You’re skin is unable to not only breathe but regenerate tissue,exfoliate dead surface cells and heal itself. If you’re especially forgetful what I do is keep some face wipes (not the same as doing it properly but better than nothing at all!) in my bedside table just in case. You can even use extra virgin olive oil on a cotton pad to remove tough eye make up. Don’t be afraid to use the olive oil, its not only good for your hair but your skin also.  
Wearing your pony tail too tightlyToo much pull on your hair can cause traction alopecia (your hair will fall out) however luckily this is unlikely to be permanent. 
MoisturiserWearing too much can have a reverse effect. The excess cream will not be able to absorb deeply enough into your cellular tissue. This means that your pores can become clogged and your skin will be unable to breathe. This can even result in dryness! Don’t skip the moisturiser all together though, your skin needs moisture to look its best. This means inside AND out, eight glasses of water a day is what the doctor recommends - fizzy drinks do not count (and they are so bad for your teeth!)Make sure you use a good moisturiser that’s suited to your skin type, and don’t be afraid to use one if you have oily skin. The more you dry out your skin the worse it’s going to be!
Washing your face before your hairI’m betting this is a new one to you? If you have sensitive skin washing your face first can lead to your pores becoming clogged and your skin becoming covered with all the debris and oil you’re washing out of your hair. Make sure you thoroughly cleanse away the residue on your face after rinsing your hair.
Using bar soap & body wash on your faceYour skin is more sensitive and delicate than the rest of your body, so  its understandable that it requires a different cleanser. Bar soap is the worst offender being not only drying but an irritant to the delicate skin on your face. Bar soap actually takes the moisture from your face, that tight feeling you get after using it is actually dry skin. All the anti aging products in the world can’t fight against that. Bar soaps are also abrasive and contain high amounts of salt. That salt irritates your skin and causes lots of problems. You’re a lot more likely to experience break outs after using bar soap, that’s your skin telling you that its not happy with what your putting on it!  Body wash isn’t as bad as bar soap, but still its normally heavily perfumed and not designed to have a low pH like facial cleansers. Body wash will not only once again dry out your skin but irritate it also.  Also a hot shower might be a nice experience but its terrible for your skin! The hot water washes away all your skins protective oils which will leave it dry, tight and itchy - imagine the combined damage with your harsh soaps!The hot water and harsh soap liquefy and wash away the stratum corneum the outer most layer of skin cells and sebum which protects the under lying tissue from infection, dehydration, chemicals and mechanical stress (ouch!!)The skin is the body’s largest organ, you should take care of it by having luke warm showers this will help keep you from washing away your skins protective barrier. 
ProtectionPrevention is better than cure. Using sunscreen can not only protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.. but protect against wrinkles! Anti aging creams may slightly reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but once you’ve got them they aren’t going anywhere.  The sun can also cause a whole range of problems for you and your skin, we all know about cancer, but even if you find you bruise easily that can actually be due to prolonged exposure to UV rays! Buy a foundation that has an SPF, but in summer its better to use a sunscreen as your foundation isn’t likely to have a particularly high SPF which is what you will need when the sun is beating down on you all day. 
Touching your face Would you put your fingers in your mouth after using public transport or going grocery shopping etc? No? So why would you put your skin through that? Touching your face with dirty hands will only transfer the dirt.. leading to breakouts! Wash your hands before you touch your face.  
Jan 3rd, 2012
Top 5 foods for healthy skin! Personally I cannot wait to get stuck into these! I much prefer healthy fresh tasting food to junk food. Not only makes you look better, but inside you feel so much better. Junk food not only affects your health and appearance but your mood, eat bad food and feel bad, eat good food and feel full of vitality! Its a no brainer really!
Oysters (I find they are nice with some freshly squeezed lemon!)
Eating fish is excellent for our health, but many types of fish and shellfish are also great for our skin, especially oysters and salmon. This is because they are rich in  Omega 3 fatty acids and zinc. Increasing your intake of Omega 3 can reduce dryness and inflammation. It can also keep your hearts arteries clear and improve circulation. Good circulation is key to healthy skin.Zinc fights acne as it’s involved in metabolizing testosterone, this affects the production of sebum oil (good for your hair though!) a primary cause of acne! Zinc also helps your skin regenerate faster and getting off the dead skin (which can also clog pores!). 
Citrus fruits (Another of my faves! I love oranges!)Vitamin C is also key for healthy looking skin. It aids in the production of collagen, this keeps your skin looking plump and taut. After around 35 years old breakdown in collagen can speed up significantly, so be sure to eat lots of citrus fruits like  oranges, grapefruits, hot peppers, bell peppers, sprouts, Acerola cherries (a single Acerola has 100 percent of your vitamin C for the day) and tomatoes (another favorite!)  can help tighten the skin and prevent wrinkles.
Eat your greens…and reds!  (you guessed it, I like these too!)Your skin is part of your body so obviously what is good for your body will also be good for your skin, and it doesn’t get much better than eating what your mother always told you to eat… your vegetables!! At the top of the list are things like carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach!Orange-red vegetables are full of beta-carotene, our bodies convert this into Vitamin A which acts as an antioxidant preventing aging and cell damage. Not only does it keep you looking youthful but it helps prevent acne, vitamin A is actually used in anti-acne medications. Spinach and other ‘leafy’ foods have lots of vitamin A too! Also mangos are a good source. Its best to get your vitamins from food and not supplements as too much can cause health problems. 
Nuts (I’m nuts for walnuts and pistachios!)Nuts are a great source of vitamin E. Vitamin E combats skin aging free radicals, especially from sun damage from UV sunlight generated free radicals. Vitamin E also helps your skin retain its moisture, keeping it appearing youthful. Vitamin E is great paired with selenium as it enhances its antioxidant abilities. Almonds and cottage cheese would be perfect treat for your skin, as cottage cheese is rich in selenium. Almonds, pistachios and walnuts also provide a nice supply of omega-3 fatty acids, another great skin nutrient.  
Whole grains (I’d be weird if I said I loved them, but they are very likeable!)Your body loves ‘whole food’ and so does your skin! Its basically unprocessed, so opt for the brown bread! Buckwheat is a great source of the  antioxidant rutin, this combats inflammation skin damage. Wheat germ provides the B-vitamin biotin, which assists cells in processing fats. If you don’t have enough biotin, your skin can become dry & scaly. (sounds scary!)If you’re not keen on the wheat, you can opt for avocados and mushrooms, they provide similar benefits. 
A healthy body means healthy skin, so you don’t need to be so specific with your diet, just eat healthily and get enough exercise, keep your stress levels down and you will notice the difference not only in the look but in the feel of your skin. 
Jan 2nd, 2012
Face Masks Tip!

  • If you have oily or acne-prone skin, mud or clay-based masks are great for balancing out your skin.
  • Dry skin will benefit from hydrating masks made from glycerin, honey and oils.
  • Ginseng or green tea masks are great for soothing sensitive skin.

 Masks (homemade or otherwise) should be applied to clean skin, stay on for 10-15 minutes and you should follow with a thin layer of moisturizer.

Jan 2nd, 2012
Get healthy!

Something, we ALL need to know.. even if your fit, slim and healthy.. after a few indulgent days.. it doesn’t take long for your skin to lack lustre & glow.. So back to getting some healthy food.. and purge out body’s from toxins, that our bodies are trying to remove in whatever way possible.. Today is a glorious day for a nice walk in the sun.. no gale force winds, to tangle hair, and dry skins.

Top 40 detox foods - click here to start your detox!

Dec 29th, 2011
Review - Simple pore minimising toning cleanserExcellent 5* So gentle yet really works, I had noticeable results from first use. I could see my pores getting smaller each time I used it. I found it best put on before I went to bed, I actually put it on quite thickly and let it soak in (just what I do personally).. the bottle lasts ages! Skin felt moisturised but not greasy and looked so healthy!This product has pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Chamomile, Geranium and Witch Hazel, helps to keep your skin toned, clarified and refreshed.  As always simple products have no perfume, colour or unnecessary ingredients.