Showing posts with label Nails Inc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nails Inc. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

A little bit cool, a little bit nan

My last pressing book review is done and dusted - so now I can’t wait to get down to some pre-Christmas reading of my own. Top of my list are two treats I’ve been saving up. One is the just-completed manuscript of one of my best novelist friends, the other is Mutton by India Knight.

And it’s Knight who gave me the idea for this blog post. She wrote a laugh-out-loud funny piece in The Guardian at the weekend to promote her new book, explaining how, even at the advanced age of 46, she doesn’t feel like a grown-up. As the mother of an eight-year-old daughter and two grown-up sons, she explains: “… on the one hand you're the mother of adult men, and on the other you're the mother of a little child. You're both ‘the youngest mum of all my friends’ and among the oldest mothers in year 4. You're a bit cool, you're a bit nan.”

A little bit cool, a little bit nan – that just about sums it up. Apart from worsening eyesight and wrinkly skin, I don’t feel middle-aged in the slightest. I still shop at Topshop and River Island, still like Dizzee Rascal's music and still spend an inordinate amount of time pouring over the latest nail polish colours at Nails Inc. Actually, I’m half-hoping for their new leather and skulls varnish in black for Christmas, only the Oxford branch says they aren’t getting any till January.

On the other hand, I’m definitely a bit nan in lots of ways. The idea of staying out till 6am makes me feel ill, I can’t face loud music first thing in the morning and when I put sugar in someone’s coffee I still use a teaspoon. I still wear a watch, still send Christmas cards (no round robins!), still walk to the shops every morning to buy a newspaper and can’t go to bed before clearing up the chaos in the kitchen first.

My son definitely doesn’t think I’m cool though. I was telling him the other day that I quite like James Blake’s music. “James Blake?” he said crushingly. “Don’t you mean James Blunt?”

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Nails Inc and the rise of the nail bar

It's not just the weather that's chilly right now. The economic climate is bleak too, and shopkeepers are struggling to make a living.

But there’s one bright spot on the horizon – and that’s nail bars. Apparently we can’t get enough of them.

Up and down the country they’re among the fastest-growing businesses on the high street. Sales of nail varnish soared to a staggering £179 million in 2010, while in the last three years nail bars have accounted for a sixth of all new retail outlets. Actually, I can vouch for that. A local town near us boasts four nail bars in one short street!

Former Tatler fashion editor Thea Green spotted the trend way ahead of the crowd. She set up Nails Inc in 1999 after visiting nail bars in New York and realising that customers on this side of the Atlantic would love them too. Nails Inc now has 59 stores across the UK and is making plans to expand abroad.

I’m a big fan of Nails Inc (especially the witty London-themed names of their polishes). My idea of a real treat is to walk into Oxford, sit at the sleek white Nails Inc desk on the first floor at Debenhams and have my nails painted a chic grey shade called Porchester Square. For next time I’ve got my eye on a silver-blue glittery one called Maida Vale or Portobello Polish, which is bright orange. You can even buy an aptly-named base coat called Harley Street and hand cream called Kensington Caviar.

I was a nail-biter as a child and even now, seeing my nails buffed to perfection and expertly polished feels special. Even better, it doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, fat or thin. You can still have style at your fingertips for a fraction of the cost of a new outfit or hamdbag.

PS. If having your nails painted one colour is old hat, try Wah Nails. Founded in London’s East End in 2008 by Sharmadean Reid (who wanted to open a salon where you could have “whatever you wanted on your fingertips”), it turns nails into work of art. You can have everything from gold glittery leopard print nails to miniature stars and stripes. I might just give it a go…

Picture:  SFriedbergPhoto on Flickr (Creative Commons)

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Forget happiness lessons - five things that make me happy

The news that children are being taught how to be happy made me unutterably depressed. Lots of schools across the country (Wellington College in Berkshire for one) are already giving happiness lessons – to help pupils banish pessimistic thoughts and cope with whatever life throws at them.

I know the summer's nearly over (apart from the current mini heatwave) and the economy's a mess – but surely things aren’t so dire that we need happiness lessons? At the risk of sounding like Pollyanna, the little girl in the children’s story who melted the heart of her embittered old aunt by finding a silver lining in every cloud, I’ve come up with a list of five things that have made me smile recently:

1. My daughter’s face when the publicists at Lauren Kate’s book launch asked her to pose with two bare-chested waiters wearing bow-ties and wings.

2. My son’s face when I promised to take him biking again in Gloucestershire at the weekend. The downside is that while he leaps off sky-high ramps, I’ll sit in the car and try not to look.

3. Nails Inc's divine Porchester Square nail polish. It's a sort of beigy grey and makes even my nails look good. Which after a lifetime of typing is quite a feat.

4. The prospect of reading The Affair, Lee Child’s new Jack Reacher book. It’s out tomorrow (Thursday September 29) and I can’t wait... By the way, can you believe that Tom Cruise is going to be playing the maverick ex-army cop in One Shot, the forthcoming movie of the ninth Jack Reacher novel? No, me neither.

5. The news that House With No Name has been nominated for the Cosmo Blog Awards 2011. There’s still time to vote here – and I’d be thrilled if you would. Enter your email address and then select the Lifestyle Blog with Handpicked Media category. Click on House With No Name, then on Vote. Thank you so so much.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...