Living with a skin condition

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Living with a skin condition

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img_4780-1.jpgThe first sign of psoriasis on my body was when I hit puberty. My mum took me to a dermatologist that first thought I had ringworm.

It spread like wildfire covering my elbows, knees and scalp. Like my changing body wasn’t enough to cope with I was now covered in silver scales and sore, red patches. Add to that the constant taunts from school kids and I felt pretty shit throughout my teenage years. Actually, often adults were the worst with their stares and grimacing.

Normal things like swimming and choosing an outfit to hide my scaly skin became a nightmare. People would glare, some would ask if I’d been burnt, literally hundreds would tell me their tales of someone they knew who had it and what they’d used to clear it up. Fast forward 35 years and I’ve had pretty much every topical treatment on the planet but now add to that the arthritis and rosacea that came to join the party! Oh the joys of auto-immune disease.

My nose is constantly red with rosacea. If one more person asks me if I’ve burnt it, I won’t be responsible for my actions. Some days (especially in winter) my face feels like it’s on fire if I even put moisturiser on it. Some days I can barely sit still because the arthritis burning deep in my hips hurts so much. Who would have thought my psoriasis, rosacea and arthritis could all be linked? But they are. So do you know what I do? I wear fabulous foundation to hide the redness (Clarins Everlasting foundation to be exact), take pain relief when I need to, ignore stupid comments and wear what the hell I like and it’s working a treat!

Sufferers – I share your pain!

Love Julie

No gimmicks, no nonsense, just beautiful, bespoke treatments.’

Lash Growth Myths

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I’m seeing so many people on social media asking if there is anything to make their lashes grow faster. This is often after they’ve taken their semi-permanent lashes out.

Before we start, we need to address this. Semi permanent lashes don’t ruin your natural lashes. Pulling them out does. Having ones that are way too long for your own lashes to handle does. Having ones that are too ‘heavy’ for your natural lash to carry does. 

Lashes are essential hair. They go through a 3 phase growth cycle like the rest of the hair on your body. By rights, your semi permanent lash should shed naturally with your own lash (if it’s been attached properly) with a new, healthy lash right behind it. This is the natural growth pattern. They fall out, they grow, they rest, they fall out. Over and over again. Renewing all the time. You also have a set amount of hair follicles. 

I for one look almost foetal without my lashes. Blank, soulless, empty, piggy, ugly eyes. Ok, so I’m being a touch dramatic but those that have experienced this trauma will know exactly what I’m talking about! I put this down to the fact that my once dark, beautiful, voluptuous, long (fake) lashes are no longer and I’m back to the fine, spindly, pale ones that I was born with. Nothing to do with the lashes ruining my own. 

So I read with interest internet suggestions of how to grow your lashes. Better still, advice on posts given by Susan up the road or Carol who’s married to your milkman recommending everything from duck fat to petroleum jelly, castor oil to cod liver oil and everything in between!

So here are the most common miracle lash growing recommendations:

Coconut Oil/Castor Oil– people swear by oiling their  lashes. There is nothing at all to prove using oil will make lashes longer. I agree it can condition them, which will help with breakage, but make them grow longer? Seriously? Plus an absolute no-no if you’re wearing contact lenses or have sensitive eyes. 

Serums/Conditioners – again, these will condition your lashes and are highly recommended after a lash lift or tint of any sort (just imagine having your hair tinted or permed and then not using conditioner!) But do they make lashes grow faster or longer? Sorry, no. How COULD they? 

Petroleum Jelly – Nope. Still doesn’t make them longer!

If any of these ‘miracle hair growth cures’ actually worked – there wouldn’t be any bald people on the planet or people with short hair that wanted it longer. They’d just rub a bit of coconut oil on their bald patch or a dab of Vaseline on their short hair and hey-presto! If only. 

As far as I know, there is nothing (apart from some medicines) that can have any effect on the length or growth of your hair at all. If Susan, Carol or any companies out there would like to prove me wrong, please get in touch and I’ll gladly provide a balding friend or my own fine, whispy horsehair for your trials. 

In the meantime, beware of any products that claim to lengthen, thicken or grow your lashes. It’s nonsense.

If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is! 

Just don’t forget to condition your lashes. Daily!

Love Julie x

The Nail & Beauty Lounge

‘No gimmicks, no nonsense, just beautiful bespoke treatments’ 

The Humble Manicure

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I fear for the humble manicure. In a world obsessed with decorating and embellishing their acrylic and gel extensions, I worry that the basic manicure is being left behind. Care and knowledge of the natural nail should be paramount to any tech offering nail services, but while everyone is racing off to learn the latest technique in embedding, 3D art and paint techniques, the little old manicure is left trailing behind. Now don’t get me wrong, I love all things nails and avidly watch my nail heroes creating talons that were the stuff of dreams 10 years ago. But what about in-depth knowledge of the natural nail, it’s structure, function and anatomy? Surely this should be the first building block in any nail career before diving into the latest fancypants technique? The only answer as far as I can see is a manicure course as a pre requisite to ANY other nail course. In an un-governed industry such as ours. I doubt this will ever happen, so it’s up to us as nail professionals to take responsibility for our own training, keep up to date with advances in our field and go back to basics to discover newfound knowledge and skills. Pass that knowledge on to your clients, treat their natural nails with care and respect, (whatever nail treatment they’re having) and they’ll hopefully keep coming back for years.