Guidance for Nail Professionals in England from 19 July 2021

Guidance for Nail Professionals in England from 19 July 2021








The announcement and guidance have, at last, been published. There have been some conversations with other associations in the hope that a similar message from all will make it stronger and more understandable.

· Face masks – no real change. They are strongly recommended for ‘close contact’ services

· ‘Close contact’ is what is relevant here regardless of what other sectors are doing eg shops, transport etc

· This is most relevant for face to face over an extended period of time ie more than 15mins

· The main things to remember here and what you must base your decisions on a robust risk assessment revisited for post 19th July

· Best practice. Every professional should understand ‘best practice’ for each individual service and client

· Duty of care. Every individual has a duty of care for themselves, their staff or colleagues and clients ie you must do you best to ensure everyone is a safe as possible

· Health & Safety at Work Act 1974. This does refer to salons with 5 or more employees but this, in these days of COVID and in general must apply to everyone

· The use of visors/goggles is dependent on your own risk assessment

· Good ventilation is key! If you don’t have a well-ventilated space, then consider if it is appropriate to carry out services

· Your existing hygiene protocols should remain the same

· Check with your insurer to see if they have added any caveats that you need to know about

· With no law in place for ‘close contact’ then general safety rules take precedence which are mentioned above

· If you decide clients must wear a mask, this must be clear in your RA’s as to why and they should be notified before or on booking so there are no surprises at the point of arrival

· If you decide clients do not have to wear a mask it must also be clear how every person is kept safe

· You should still have your basic COVID questionnaire as COVID will be around a long time

· Home salons and mobiles are the same as salons (remember RA’s!)

· You must abide by the Government rules on isolating whatever they are, and these are subject to change. It is your responsibility to keep up with current rules

· Don’t be scared of your clients! If you have done your ‘due diligence’ then you are doing the right thing. Just make sure they know and understand your safety measures in advance and not when they arrive for their appointment

· Discrimination is potentially an issue, but ‘safety’ takes precedence. Your safety statement and protocols will support this both for insurance and Local Authorities

If you are struggling with H&S, client safety, your safety, staff/colleague safety or how to deal with difficult clients then there are plenty of people willing to help. Either freely on social media or their specific groups on Facebook.

Our recommendations:

Sam Blake for H&S, Karl Hinder, Richard McCabe, Ryan Power or Liza Smith. All offer a wide variety of business coaching within our industry.

15/07/21 E&OE


The FNP Census of the Nail Industry  –  The Results Are in!

The FNP Census of the Nail Industry – The Results Are in!

The FNP census came to an end a short while ago and we are just analysing the results!!

Well my goodness! We had an average of around 800 responses. Thank you pro nail industry!!! The results are amazing!  I have to say the the respondents are probably those that are most connected with the industry! The results show that the industry is in SUCH a good place! The stats are fabulous to read.  However, we all know that there is a vast ‘underbelly’ or realism! Those that inhabit this area are very unlikely to give any of their time in responding to any census. 

BUT…. what is so great to read are these that take their career seriously and THESE are who we need to recognise and applaud! The greater the real pros become the more the ‘underbelly’ will be shown up for what it is.  As Chair of the FNP, I say it like it is. No marketing spins, no hiding the truth, no putting  a ‘gloss’ where it isn’t deserved.

We have some fascinating results on subjects like:

  • self employed vs employed
  • what qualifications held
  • who was the entry education provider
  • how first education was perceived
  • the level of skill updates and what they were
  • how much is spent on education
  • what business skills are needed
  • how does secondary education perceive the industry
  • how do we feel Government perceive us
  • what are the popular courses
  • where do nail pros get their qualifications
  • who wants business help
  • how do nail pros buy their products
  • what do they look for
  • what are the most popular subjects to upskill

Plus SO much more.

An 800 response rate is a good indication of what is going on in our industry. I wish we could attract the ‘other side’ but this is virtually impossible. Many working in the industry today absolutely know they are ‘below standard’ for a professional career so, who will admit that?

A full report on this unique census will be available to our Patrons only.  Little snippets will be published occasionally!  What I can tell you  is that this is an amazing in-depth look at our professional nail industry and what is happening in the good area of our sector.

I wonder if we can ‘bring up’ the accepted  and known ‘underbelly’? Join us and we will do our very best! 

Brand Educators – What Are The Expectations?

Brand Educators – What Are The Expectations?

Being an Educator or Teacher seems to be a bit of a ‘buzzword’ recently. Maybe it has been due to lockdowns and nail professionals thinking how they can develop their career or even pivot.

Donna Clayton has written a Blog for The FNP, and also Scratch, that gives LOTS of information on many different types of courses and also on qualifying as a teacher of adults.

As a quick recap:
– AET Award in Education and Training. This is the basic level and prepares the individual as it gives an insight into the roles and responsibilities along side the ability to assess and provide feedback. It is just the beginning at Level 3
– CET Certificate in Education and Training. This is a Level 4
– DET Diploma in Education and Training at Level 5

Teaching a professional skill such as Nail Services needs many different qualifications. Being a good nail professional doesn’t necessarily mean you are a good teacher and vice versa. You need to be good at everything!

What should a Brand expect of their Education Team Recruits?

– A minimum of 3 years (preferably 5 years+) working as a full time qualified nail professional
– Basic qualifications in manicure and pedicure with a very good knowledge of the theory of the subject and the health and safety and regulations of working with clients.
– A high level of skills and understanding of the system or systems you will be teaching.
– A good knowledge of the theory and chemistry of the systems (students ask the harder questions
– The ability to create lesson plans, learning plans, assessments and feedback as and when required.
– Be available for on-going student support.
– A classroom where students can be taught in a safe and appropriate environment
– Willingness to make available the minimum number of days per year as required
– Availability to attend teacher training on the Brand plus team meetings (travel and accommodation is rarely paid for when working as a self-employed educator)
– Complete required admin
– Promote their courses on their personal social media
– Be Brand loyal

Vocational Nail Training


What should an Educator expect from a Brand?

All Brands have their own specific arrangements but there are some basics that should be reasonable to expect.

– An exceptional Head of Education that the Team can rely on and have confidence in.
– Brand education! Every Brand should provide specific Brand characteristics, the science behind every product, USP’s (unique selling points), ‘manufacturers instructions’, troubleshooting help. This should be ‘in person’ and with documentary support
– A good support team in their head office with regards to booking, payments and supply of kits
– Provide ‘train the trainers’ classes in how the Brand wish to position their courses and how they expect delivery.
– Provide frequent team meetings to discuss new launches, new technology
– Provide personal feedback on Educator performance.
– A financial mechanism for purchasing kits for students or products for classroom or personal use
– The ability to create a Team atmosphere that means no one is working alone or without support
– Marketing material for promotion and a ‘branded’ classroom
For someone new to a career route of education, it is a very good way of starting the journey. A good Brand will provide students by way of their own promotions so a new Educator doesn’t have to start from scratch in finding students.

Accredited courses seem to be expected these days. But, good brand education provided by a reputable brand is sufficient for insurance purposes.

This blog isn’t a message to start with a brand and then leave them!!! A good brand will provide you with all you need for a long career in education. If it doesn’t then, at least, you will have a good start in understanding what is required and have completed the requirements for being a good teacher. Remember, they are two separate skill sets!

Evolution – Adapting Your Business For Success

Evolution – Adapting Your Business For Success

Evolution is probably the single most important factor for the continued success of your business. In this case I don’t mean Darwin’s theory, or finding the Missing Link (although anyone who has seen me before 6.30am and a strong coffee could probably make that claim!) I’m talking about how effectively adapting to wider circumstances can mean the difference between your business failing, surviving, or thriving.

As horrendous as the past year has been, it has taught us invaluable lessons if we chose to look at it as a learning curve. Many learned the value of the key word PIVOT, and adapted their businesses using their skills and knowledge to put in place alternative income streams and keep themselves afloat during the enforced closures. They can now continue these if they choose to, and have multiple sources of income, a key feature of improving your finances!

This is just one example, and the pandemic was a circumstance that hit us like a lightening bolt. But what about circumstances that are changing so subtly they are easy to miss? Humans have a natural urge to resist change. It is actually hardwired into our brains. Change makes people fearful, uncomfortable, and unsafe. But this is precisely what is holding many back, the known is safe, but it breeds complacency. Take for example the demise of many of the high street stalwarts like Top Shop and Debenhams. This could be blamed on the pandemic, but the truth is they were already in an irreversible decline long before it hit. And their issue?


Instead, they relied on the safe, tried and tested methods of old, and failed to see how the shopping habits of their customers were changing. They didn’t do enough research into consumers’ priorities. Many nail businesses won’t make the connection between themselves and retail outlets. ‘We aren’t shops!’ they might shout. But what are we doing, if not retailing services, experiences, and products? Personal care services yes, but this is still an industry that relies on paying customers.

In a recent BBC interview, Mary Portas, maven of the High Street, explained how the expectations and priorities of customers and clients have altered over time. Many salons make the mistake of ignoring the changing needs and wants of a new generation of clients, as their diaries may be full of regulars they have had for years. These will eventually dwindle and in the meantime, the salon owner has lost precious time learning how to appeal to new clients. Simply relying on your existing client base, no matter how large, is not a good way to future proof your business. Attracting new clients in this dynamic and fluid world is about observing changing habits and proactively adapting to ensure you meet their needs. Otherwise, they will simply go elsewhere.

Social awareness has arguably never been higher, and clients are actively seeking out eco-friendly, sustainable, and ethnically diverse businesses. This kind of ethical approach should not just be viewed as a marketing strategy; to be effective, it should be every business’ aim, and embedded in their ethos.

Studies have shown that consumers also want an experience, rather than just a product or the usual treatment. Think of ways to introduce this to your services; a hand massage with their favourite lotion while toes are soaking,  and a luxury hot chocolate in a beautiful cup during a pedicure are some of my clients’ favourites. Simple, low cost, but highly effective.  It makes them feel special, valued, and removed from the usual chaos of modern life. Talk to your clients, learn what makes them tick and make notes on their record cards of the treats they enjoy. This kind of personalised service ensures they always be eager to come back to you.

And what about technology? Now I was certainly no techno wizard – occasional Candy Crush does not count) But I have had to take the initiative to learn, and train my technophobic, 43-year-old brain to do what was required in order to adapt. Whether we like it or not, a  digital presence is now vital. Social Media and a website are crucial in a world where technology is king and if businesses don’t embrace this, they will rapidly be overtaken by those who do. A good case in point is the new salon recently opened in London by tech giant Amazon. How many would have foreseen that they would expand their reach into Personal Services? They have the technology, and investment capability to launch a huge effort into seizing a chunk of the Personal Care market. In this highly competitive environment, we need to ensure we can bring our services in line with our clients changing priorities. They will continue to expect more from us and if we don’t heed the call to change, we will be left behind.

To thrive in a saturated market, you can’t just be on the ball, you need to be six feet in front of it and with this in mind, the FNP will be running a weekly feature for its members to take some of the stress out of trying to stay ahead of the game. We will be keeping you updated with all the latest industry developments, innovations,  consumer trends and expectations, and discuss the possibilities of the future direction the industry will take. Outside, unpredictable influences such as the pandemic cannot be anticipated, but we can most definitely give you the tools and information you will need to weather any unexpected storms. Take the initiative, it’s in your hands!


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Education Defined

Education Defined


As a business owner, I love nothing more than planning my strategy for the year. This includes what educational gaps I may have that fulfil a need in my target market or purely out of interests and knowledge-sakes. When searching for courses we are welcomed with an endless amount available to us which can be overwhelming at times – but it is invigorating all the same!

A multitude of courses are available to those looking for a new profession, career, or upskilling. From the convenience of your phone, you can hop on and go through course offerings from all the education providers out there that suit both our interests and skillsets. But with so many choices out there it is hard to know where we should start!

It is a buyers’ market, right?

Wrong, it is an educator’s market, and here is why; there is an abundance of industry professionals looking for the next ‘thing’ to solve their cashflow problems or give them that edge over another establishment and more competitively, the price they are willing to pay.

Here is the thing, education has moved and morphed into something entirely different, and that has only accelerated over 2020 into 2021 through lockdowns. There are many mediums in which you can train in the modern world. The way in which we educate or receive education as we go forth into the future will be ever evolving, it should be embraced but structured, that is a conversation for another day.
One of the most important parts about education is knowing what type you are getting. There are many mediums in which to train, and they each have their differences; but it is not just that! You will want to know if your course has been accredited or is regulated by Ofqual before signing up.
But, and it is pretty big but, do you know the difference between an Ofqual regulated qualification, an Accredited qualification and a CPD course?? All three are quite different in approach and outcome, the outcome completely affects your insurance and more importantly your ability to make a successful claim should the worst occur.



When talking about education in the UK, you may have heard of OFQUAL and usually in the context of discussing, primary, secondary and college education. They are an independent government-approved auditing authority that ensures a balanced/ fair grading system, that standards are unilateral and adhered to amongst other duties.

At the top of our industry sector lies Habia.

Habia are our industry authority for the Hair and Beauty sectors and the only industry authority, so naturally sit at the top of our hierarchy of organisations within education.  Habia is the standard setting authority for our sector, right now the industry standards are being released after being in draft form and undergoing consultation and feedback from industry during quarter one. You can find the current National Occupational Standards (NOS) by clicking the link with the new ones being added currently.

The NOS is a critical aspect of education, these standards are written by industry professionals (Salon owners, therapists, technicians, stylists) detailing what should be expected from competent employees in the field and practice in a real working environment. These public documents are available for anyone to view and download; solo therapists/technicians, salon owners, educators, and colleges. We will come back to this element in a moment.

student reading

What Are You Signing Up For?

Awarding Organisations (Bodies) are the next section in that hierarchy under Habia.  Organisations such as VTCT, City & Guilds, ITEC, CIBTAC and CIDESCO, use the standardised course content of the NOS which is disseminated into their own unique structures and implementation strategies. What is important to remember is that whilst they are very individualistic in their approach, the course curriculum content (NOS) remains exactly same across all of them.

These qualifications are part of the framework under Ofqual and make up the formal qualifications you see in further education colleges and private centres. i.e., Level 2, Level 3 Nail services in the Award, Certificate and Diploma format.

Each body audits the centres who provide courses in their name, this is performed at least twice per academic year. The body has the right to prevent certification if the internal and external audit proves that the centre is not satisfactory and will strike off a centre if they fail to improve with an improvement plan and support.

CPD (Continued Professional Development) is a great way to expand knowledge and keep skills up to date. CPD helps you stay on top of the latest developments in your area or investigate new areas that may interest you. CPD can also help with career development.

For example, a Further Education Lecturer who assesses formal qualifications via an Awarding Organising (AO), must complete 30 hours of CPD pro rata per academic year to maintain their assessor’s status. Failing to do so could result in actions for the centre from the AO and invalid assessment judgements made.

The CPD can be in a variety of formats, such as practical skills – both short and long courses, whole qualifications, seminars, educational visits, the list goes on.

Equally industry associations may also require their members to maintain a level of CPD per year to retain the membership and comply with the code of ethics they agreed to upon sign up.

How much CPD is required for membership in industry associations? Associations may require their members to maintain a level of continuing professional development per year. They award points and often map out the hours that it takes each skill, such as 4 hours equals 4 points.

The one you have been waiting for.

Accreditation. This is where an insurance broker, supported by an underwriter, insures a course to run by the educator or training academy. Now, it is true that not that long ago we did not have this system, brand educational certificates were accepted by the insurance broker and we did not need accreditation, now you will struggle to get insured without it.

What the accreditation system has brought is a sense of validation and the ‘rubber stamp’ seal of approval to all courses advertised and approved as such. It started off incredibly well.

At the time of its inception, this accreditation system was a fantastic way to validate new course providers and legitimise their courses. This led to an incredibly successful boom in accredited courses with students from all over the country, sometimes the world signing up for these courses because they were seeing it as a valid alternative. As the system proved a profitable one and a source of validation, particularly for those who could not attend more formal qualifications or where the NOS does not yet exist for the skill, the sector boomed. Training and the opportunity to be an independent training academy was there and welcomed.

However, the unregulated part of the sector is an obstacle for professionals and newcomers alike. Each accreditation company hold their own unique criteria and standards, very few or neither directly correlates to the NOS. You will find a variation of courses available on the same subject, which differs from price-point, i.e., a basic manicure course that could be 2 hrs or 2 days in length.

Unfortunately, there are some amazing educators and academies who utilise the wonderful NOS resources that ensure their accredited courses match those criteria. Then there are others with identical credentials, but they do not use these same materials to educate students so it’s difficult to identify and compare. In the accreditation arena both sit as equal, one is not favoured over the other nor identified as such. 

One of the major drawbacks to the current system is that each company sets their own standards, some higher than others. This means that insurance brokers often do not insure other accreditors qualifications and can leave learners with an uninsurable qualification and having to seek alternative insurance, bolt-on’s or retrain at sometimes great expense.

Other issues arise when a claim is made against the professional. Every insurance claim is scrutinised by the underwriters and loss adjuster, who must ensure that it was a professional’s original teaching or training of their skill which caused them to make an error. The only standards in which they can compare any incidents comes from NOS (National Occupational Standards). Therefore, if the course is not deemed fit for purpose, the claimant/professional may become personally liable, the insurance will not pay out and they may need to pay from their own personal assets.

With all this in mind, is it any wonder why we are in such disarray when it comes to training?

So what can you do?
When searching for courses, it really helps if you set yourself some criteria before starting so that you do not find any unhelpful courses alongside potential gold mines!
Ask questions of providers, check to make sure they are listed as current with the awarding organisation or accreditation company, ask if they are mapped out to the NOS if it is an existing skill. Any provider worth their time will answer your questions without any qualms or hesitations. Right now you must take it upon yourself to check this information to protect your business and your clients.

One of the Federation’s projects is to raise the standards in education and celebrate those who go above and beyond, help us by joining as a supporter now and our membership when it launches.

Donna Clayton
Director of Education 

WGSN Predictions For The Future

WGSN Predictions For The Future

Nail Industry Future


I took part in a presentation by WGSN recently that was organised by the British Beauty Council. For those unfamiliar with WGSN this is how they describe themselves:

‘With unparalleled coverage and analysis into the world of consumers, WGSN Insight is our flagship trend product. Featuring original and thought-provoking content on consumer, marketing, retail and innovation trends, WGSN Insight helps the world’s most creative thinkers stay ahead.’

Many companies of all sizes use them as the trend predictors for consumers, marketing, retail and innovation. Always fascinating and always thought provoking.  This presentation was looking at the beauty market for 2023 and it really made me think.  They have broken it down into 5 main areas for consideration:

  • Push for progress
  • Embracing frugality
  • Wellbeing
  • Tech-ceptance
  • Intentional community

There is also a big focus on science & sustainability.

So how does this impact or affect the nail sector of the beauty industry?  Well there were a few ‘sound bites’ that caught my attention:

“Developing ‘multitaskers’ which can lead to frugality”
“Judicious choices therefore less waste”
“Smart decisions”
“Proven results” 

OK, so what?

There is clearly a LOT of research and development in the beauty industry both for professionals and the consumer. But does this apply to ‘nails’? All of our nail coatings are, basically, plastic!

But we do already have some great ‘multitaskers’!

Nail oil – This has got to be one of the very best! As long as it is suitable for the nail plate and surrounding skin it performs SO many tasks!! Do you know what they all are?
CND Plexigel  is another example. 4 products that perform the tasks of many more than that!
IBX – one of the ‘game changers’ and miracle workers for those that know how and when to use it.
Pigments – a few different pigments have the ability to alter colours in a huge number of ways (and they’re not plastic)
The clear UV gel +clear full cover tips – 3 products: a base coat, a clear UV gel + tips = beautiful enhancements

Just a very few and so many more!

Even during this time of a global pandemic and little to no income, so many nail pros are intent on buying several brands and stocking 100’s of colours, often with no concern of using the correct lamp for each. Why?

Judicious choices = less waste.

To finish I would like to give a word of warning on a situation that we are seeing all over and will only get worse with this move towards ‘sustainability’ and ‘wellbeing’.

So many nail polish brands are using misleading marketing to make consumers think that their nail polish is ‘safe’, ‘non-toxic’, ‘natural’, ‘organic’, ‘breathable’ and on and on.

Environmental Ecological Nail

Nail polish cannot be natural! It has always been non-toxic and all the other fear based marketing terms. As professionals, be aware of what all this actually means! Understand the myths. Nevermind what isn’t in a product but be aware of what IS in a  product! It may contain some lovely plant based ingredients but look at what else it contains. Nail polish is safe!

Plant based doesn’t mean ‘safe’! Hemlock, a plant in many gardens, will kill you. Cow dung is ‘organic’! Need I say more.

Do not be deceived.

Find your multitaskers, make judicious choices, be less wasteful with products and hard earned cash. Above all make smart decisions.

Marian Newman, BEM

Click Here To Join The Feds

Confessions of a Zoom Room Host

Confessions of a Zoom Room Host

Week six million of the lockdown and don’t know about you, but I’ve eaten my own body weight in Cathedral City (sans crackers – they just slow me down), and I’m pretty sure I now hold the world record for how many Cadbury’s chocolate fingers a human can consume in one sitting. I’m also not too sure how much Christmas gifted Shiraz I can drink without having to stand up and tell everyone my name and vices in some virtual support group for similarly lockdown fatigued, financially embarrassed homeschoolers (although I am hopeful they can explain to me what a subjective conjunctive is, please comment below – I still have no idea!) 

The point of my fridge raiding confession is that here at FNP HQ we personally understand the trauma and tedium that are the lovechildren of L3 and in that spirit, January saw us put our smart work tops back on over our PJs and monster slippers, and invite all you lovely people to join us on Zoom Rooms for some light relief. More importantly, it was an opportunity to hear from YOU. Your questions, concerns, fears, and suggestions were all welcomed and we had some great conversations. Zoom is the new normal but we understand not everyone is happy to come on camera, and that’s fine, we were just happy for you to be there with us and appreciate you taking the time to join us. I did get some fantastic questions about the FNP memberships, which I think everyone was curious about, and you can always submit your own via the online chat if you don’t want to speak live. 

A great deal of people are really struggling with L3 – even more so that the first two, and many have lost their creative mojo to Bojo in the daily briefing ether. I have noticed that many are not posting as much on their SM pages this time round, the anxiety and despondency is almost palpable. For my final room I wanted to try to rekindle the fires that make us all so passionate about our work of choice. 

nail art image

We had some very special guests, and I was fortunate to have the awesome force that is Tracey Lee join me for my final Zoom! After I’d finished fan-girling (sorry Tracey) our chat centred on joining the competition arena, specifically photographic. Everyone was so enthusiastic which was really wonderful to see. Tracey is a leading figure in the comps and her inspirational sheer passion shone through.  I think everyone felt pumped again after our chat, preparing and practicing for competitions is a great way to build motivation for dusting off the nail brushes again, I think everyone took some great tips tricks, and knowhow away with them. I can’t wait to see the entries of those who take the plunge! 

We would love to initiate the Zooms again, and hope more of you will join us, not only because you are currently my ONLY reason for putting on lipstick– but because the most important voices are YOURS!  

Ciao Alex 

Homecare Nail Advice From The Professionals

Homecare Nail Advice From The Professionals

The Federation of Nail Professionals is a not-for-profit organisation representing the UK nail industry.  We support good practice, professional conduct and aim to provide consumers with accurate information on all things nail related.

Consumer Safety – Use of Home Care Equipment and Products

The Federation were extremely concerned by This Morning’s recent beauty piece aimed at consumers on how to service their gel polished nails at home for removal and application.  This section of the popular morning programme caused a sharp intake of breath from the nail & beauty industry professionals watching at home.  If you follow the social media of This Morning, you may have seen many a professional publicly questioning this piece, and the sensibility of the producers in allowing its airing, due to the unprofessional recommendations being given by the journalist.

As part of our industry standards, nail professionals receive education and training in the science behind the products, anatomy & physiology, health & safety including product storage, ingredients, reporting of incidents, local and national regulations relating to the services we provide.  This level of education and training cannot be given over in a quick piece by a respected daily consumer programme.  It undermines the many years of experience it takes nail professionals to build their careers and develop their skills.

The information that was provided in this piece, and in the wider media from time to time, that it is safe for the public to remove and apply products in their own homes is irresponsible and could be deemed negligent.

The products use by nail professionals, such as acetone and gel polish, are potentially hazardous and, in untrained hands, the risks of damage or injury are highly elevated.

Two of our industry leaders, Suzanne Clayton & Sue Davies, have collaborated to write this article to help consumers understand the risks behind home use products and the use of tools that are safer in professional hands.  Many consumers regularly utilise the services of nail professionals and may have an idea of how they believe professional services are carried out.  However, this does not mean that there is always a clear enough understanding of what a professional does at their manicure desk and guessing can lead to short and/or long term damage.

The last year has been a challenge for both nail professionals and their clients due to the Covid-19 lockdowns, and whilst as professionals we understand the need for clients to remove product when they have had no choice, there are safer ways to do this than those promoted by some parts of the media.  

As an industry we cannot wait to be able to provide our services again, and rebuild our businesses doing what we love, and while we can’t do that let us help guide you towards safer methods of homecare.  If you are left with gel product on your nails, approach your nail professional and ask for help. 


Natural Nails

Professionals spend a large part of their foundation training learning about, and understanding, the structure of the nail, how it is formed, what supports it and how we can not only improve, benefit, but also damage it.  We learn this so we can ensure that our clients’ nails are maintained in a healthy way under any nail product or enhancement that is placed over it.

UV Gel Lamp - Homecare Advice From The Professionals

UV & UV LED Gel Lamps 

UV/UV LED Lights used to cure (harden) gel products should be used with a system for which it has been tested for compatibility.  Failure to use a “matched” lamp and inappropriate use of product can lead to uncured gel products being on the nail which can lead to allergy and skin conditions. 

It is an important point to note for checking your nail professional too.  They should also be using a “matched” lamp with their professional products and adhering to manufacturers’ instructions.

Use of Metal Tools

Metal tools used inappropriately may cause damage to your natural nail if used in an aggressive way.  Due to the structure of the nail plate, it does not take much for layers to be separated, shredded, lifted or damaged by a metal tool being scraped over the surface.  You can peel layers of your natural nail away by scraping the nail.  Even though it may not hurt, it may be cause damage (even long term) to your natural nail.

Metal tools may also damage the surrounding soft tissues and this could lead to infection if a wound is caused.

In untrained hands metal tools would NOT be advised by The Federation of Nail Professionals.  The tool best used at home for safe practice practice to aid gel removal would be an orangewood stick.

Gel Polish Removal - Homecare Nail Advice From The Professionals


Removal Products

These products will contain acetone which is a hazardous chemical.  In a professional environment these products are stored and used in accordance with Health & Safety regulations.  Removal products are highly flammable, and the vapours of these products need to be safely controlled.  Spillage of these products can lead to extensive damage to surfaces and if ingested would require medical assistance.

Gloved Nail Professional - Homecare Nail Advice From The ProfessionalsThe nail and beauty retail suppliers still provide the most amazing long wear regular nail polish which is easily available, and The Federation of Nail Professionals strongly suggest that this should be the product of choice for all consumers whilst they cannot attend their regular nail appointments.

The Federation of Nail Professionals aims to provide help and advice to all those interested in the nail industry; consumer, student, creative, professionals and educators. 


Thank you for reading and we hope that you have found this article informative and useful.  To hear more from The Federation on all things nails please sign up as a Supporter here.

Written by
Sue Davies – Deputy Chair, Federation of Nail Professionals
Suzanne Clayton – Founder, Nail Tech Awareness

The FNP Census of the Industry

The FNP Census of the Industry

Although our personal, business, and current economic world is challenging, and the fact that at the time of writing we are in Lockdown 3.0, these closed periods are what have allowed the FNP to come to fruition.  From the onset, one of our priorities was positioning the organisation that was developing as “The Voice of the Nail Industry”.  Throughout the history of nail services in the UK there have been several attempts to create a formal association that speaks for our sector of the industry.  What has always been clear is that it is needed, but what has always happened is that eventually they have, for many different reasons, not survived.  The FNP does not intend to become another faded association added to the pile.  We are working at the highest levels already to prove to our prospective members that we are a force to be reckoned with and that we will be YOUR voice, but we need your support in many ways to do this as we proceed.

How We Find Ourselves At This Turning Point
What we have seen over the last 10 or so years in the nail industry, but also within the beauty sector too, is the rise of gel polish and consequently a huge boom in nail service providers, we can’t call all those who provide nail services a professional, because, as we know, that just isn’t true currently.  When these products first launched, they were hailed as a near miracle for the professional, as well as for the client, as it meant perfect nails for 2-3 weeks, no smudges, no drying time, no chips!  Many of us remember the imagery used in Shellac’s first adverts with that beautiful high gloss nail with the key symbolising so much in that one image, but the message was clear – our world was about to change!  The industry was won over and virtually every nail pro fell in love with the variety of gel polishes introduced by the market leaders of time, and even Jessica the natural nail specialists brought out their own gel polish.  This was huge!

However, the reality of that magic bean was that it led to a belief that anyone can do nails as it is “just painting nails” – that’s a whole different conversation.  Those of us that were working in the nail industry prior to gel polish often shake our heads sadly at what has become of our professional status as our skills leaked into the wider industry and our sector diluted.  This is not to undermine the many amazing gel polish pros out there, but I know I speak for many when I refer to the consequent dumbing down of our industry and this impacts nails and the wider industry sectors where these often misunderstood chemicals are now used.  We now have our own epidemic of allergy amongst product users, be it as a provider or as a client, we have semi-skilled and under-skilled workers, who, perhaps through a lack of research or naivety, have entered an arena that they have not been taught well enough to become part of, as the true professional you need to be to work on the public.

Where does this backdrop lead us? 
The answer is to potentially a huge restructure of our industry – which will happen, maybe not this year, but it is on its way.  How can we know what it will mean?  Because we now have an opportunity to be heard!  We now have “The Feds”!  We now have a VOICE!  The Federation will be at the forefront engaging with the right people to ensure that the damage that has happened to our industry through poor quality, mass produced gel products, a growth in cheap and unsuitable education is halted.  We cannot change the past but we can aim to provide a better future for UK nail professionals.

How You Can Make A Difference
Here’s the kicker, the Voice of the Industry needs words, messages and information to be heard!  This is where the Census of the Nail Industry comes in.  It is a survey like no other.  All our industry trade bodies send out the odd survey from time to time to pinpoint and answer specific questions or situations that they need a quick dip test of where their members sit which is useful and through the pandemic has given fast information on adapting to difficult times.

The FNP Census of the Nail Industry something different from a straw poll or a take on a specific topic.  The Census is just that – a census.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines a census as ‘An official count or survey, especially of a population’.

The information we are requesting is to define our industry and provide the information we need to take to the tables of power where the discussions around regulation and licensing, amongst other things, will take place.  Our industry (that’s YOU) has been crying out to be regulated, licenced, and controlled in some way and now is the time, but we need to take you with us and to do this we need to understand who we are, how we work, what we do and what we need.   The Census will give us those answers.

Within the survey there are areas covering you as an individual, you as a worker, you as a business owner, you as an employee, you as a learner, you as a buyer, you as a professional, you as someone going through the pandemic and how you have dealt with the challenges.  All this information can be utilised to show how AMAZING you are!  The results will show how we have developed as an industry, where there are gaps and will also, give us, on the Board, the information to push the nail industry agenda to the places it needs to be seen and heard.

So please take time out to complete it.  It is essential in our work going forward.

How Do You Find The Census of the Nail Industry

There are two versions of The Census. They have similar veins but also sections that are specific to the intended respondent. We initially tried to keep as one document but it became too complicated and so it divided so that we could ask more directed questions of the people answering.  We want all sectors of our professional workforce represented in our data.  All responses are anonymous and we do not know who any one is, and neither can we find out so please answer some of the more difficult questions as honestly as you can.  There is no judgement just a reflection of the industry.  The forms are comprehensive, and we would recommend that you put 15-20 mins aside to complete with a cuppa or a glass of your favourite tipple.

The first is for Employed/Student/Apprentice Nail Pros. If you are one of these roles please complete this Census and if you are a business owner and have a team please ask them to complete it as something to help their careers going forward and to make a difference.  

The second is for Self Employed/Business Owners.  This is for any nail professional technician, educator, salon owner (unqualified) who is responsible for their own taxation in any way.  

Some nail professionals may find they fit both as they may go between being employed but also have their own mobile business, for example.  All we would ask is that you select which is more appropriate and both if necessary and answer as fully as you can.  There are no right or wrong answers, just authentic information on our industry.  

We cannot emphasise enough how important your answers are to give power to the Voice of the Industry.  You will be heard, but only if you contribute.




We are excited to see the responses so far and are looking forward to being able to report back once we have enough data.

Sue Davies
Deputy Chair

What Should Online Nail Education Look Like?

What Should Online Nail Education Look Like?

As the world changes and adapts to the “new normal”, with periods of lockdowns, travel restrictions and limitations, we see schools, colleges and universities moving education online. The FNP recognises the importance of embracing appropriate and effective online training within the nail industry. This is essential in order to continue driving our industry forward. It has been proven that excellent results can be achieved from online nail courses, whilst offering positive opportunities for people to focus on, throughout times of great uncertainty.  Online platforms offer a virtual classroom environment with excellent views of demonstrations and working areas, offering educators the opportunity to focus on their students’ work in great detail and also giving the students clear, close up views of all demonstrations.

Of course, as with any training, there are appropriate methods and inappropriate methods of online learning and there are many important factors to consider prior to embarking in online education. Here are some important things to look for an online class or course.

Beginners training or advanced new skills training

Practical aspects of the training should be carried out in a virtual classroom environment, on an online platform where the educator and students are visible on camera (for example Zoom or Microsoft Teams). All students must have a clear and close-up view of the Educator’s screen for practical demonstrations. The Educator must have a clear view of the student’s hands and working area whilst they are completing their practical. This gives the Educator the opportunity to view the student’s work closely, so that they can assist with brush angles and filing techniques throughout the course.

When selecting an educator, it’s important to feel comfortable with them. They should offer support throughout the duration of the course and ideally afterwards. It is so important that feedback is provided on the completion of all practical work and case studies, with clear direction on how to improve. Pre-recorded video demonstrations are a great aid for practicing and completing case studies, but they should not be used in place of the virtual classroom. Courses should all conclude with assessments, these can be carried out on submission of case studies, theory knowledge checks and in the virtual classroom. Check these things with your potential course provider before you book with them.

Nail art courses

This style of course is suitable for virtual classroom or for pre-recorded videos, as students would already have their underpinning/foundation knowledge. This is a great time for developing and furthering skills. 

Due Diligence

Prior to booking any training it is crucial to do your due diligence! Checking the course content, the delivery methods, the educator’s credentials, and the company that are offering the course. Also ensure that your insurance provider will accept online certification. Don’t book anything before you are sure that the course satisfies your requirements.

The Future of Online Education

We must continue to move our industry forward in a positive and proactive way. If correctly delivered this method of training can produce excellent results and will enable the nail industry to continue to grow, develop and move with the times. We find ourselves in unprecedented times, but it is important to come out of it better and stronger. Online training is not as simple as just pick up a course and move it online, but with the correct planning, equipment, and delivery methods it is a fabulous option for education within the nail industry. It is a great opportunity to use our time in lockdown in a constructive way.


To join The Federation of Nail Professionals click here

The Hair & Barber Council

The Hair & Barber Council

The Hair & Barber Council ‘Shaping the Future Together’

Who is the Hair and Barber Council?

The not for profit professional body, originally set up by the Hairdressing (Registration) Act 1964, has the mandate from Government to protect and develop the current voluntary register of professional hairdressers and barbers throughout the UK. We alone hold this Government mandate, and as such it is only the Hair and Barber Council, in conjunction with industry and stakeholders, that can challenge Government to amend this current voluntary Act to that of mandatory whilst adding beauty and nails into the body of the Act.

Why does the industry need to be regulated?

To be a successful, professional, competent and inspiring hairdresser, barber, beauty therapist or nail technician takes time, commitment, focus and passion to achieve that aim. Training, continual professional development and experience all play a part in creating true professionals that the general public should be able to have complete confidence in. Sadly, many practicing hairdressers, barbers, beauty therapists and nail technicians in the UK currently have had little or no form of training, are not qualified to practice their craft, and as current legislation allows anyone to practice without any form of training or qualification at all, this for many decades has hugely undervalued the industry, as a whole, as the true profession it is.

Political landscape:

The Hair and Barber Council has consistently campaigned to change the status of the Act from voluntary to mandatory and has taken many actions to support this aim, which includes;

  • Implementing a ‘Public Affairs and Influencing’ strategy
  • Meeting and lobbying MPs, AMs, MLAs and SMPs and other relevant senior political/policy officials.
  • Securing support from MPs in setting up an ‘All Party Parliamentary Group’ (APPG), for the hair and barber and cosmetology industries.
  • Establishing regional meetings with constituency members, employers and staff to raise awareness of the valuable contribution the industry makes to the UK economy.
  • Commissioning various industry reports to include the 2017 Data Survey the results of which stated that on average 80% to 90% of industry, stakeholders and the general public wanted the industry to be regulated, and the 2019 Economic Impact Assessment Report that stated that the hair and beauty industry contributed £6.6 billion a year to the UK economy.
  • Working closely with BEIS (The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to raise all issues and concerns within the industry whilst seeking to influence Government more definitively and specifically.

This political landscape has changed dramatically over the past five years! At last politicians from all parties are starting to take our industry seriously, with more and more of them supporting our campaign.

From a safety and hygiene perspective, during the current pandemic the industry has overwhelmingly proved that we are not responsible for the growth of coronavirus infections which has further strengthened the point of realigning the true status of the industry, so often totally undervalued by the public, parents, careers advisors and politicians alike.

For our industry to be able to lobby Government and to make representation to them on many issues surrounding our sector currently and in the future, we will never be taken seriously without regulation!


30 Sydenham Road, Croydon, CR0 2EF.
E: –   T: – 020 8760 7010
The statutory authority established by the Hairdressing (Registration) Act 1964

FNP Membership Criteria

FNP Membership Criteria

FNP Membership Criteria

Raising Standards Together

Since our soft launch we have been overwhelmed by the number of you that have signed up as supporters and it makes us incredibly excited for the future to know there are so many of you that share our passion to elevate the industry!

Okay, so how do we do that? Its undeniable we have a mountain to climb, BUT everyone has the power to do just that.  Here at FNP Headquarters (or Zoom for now!) we have spent months debating how to structure our membership to ensure that we can help you, to help us, reach our goal. With that in mind we had to make difficult decisions about the criteria to join the FNP in the various categories.  It makes no sense to try to raise standards by setting the bar too low. The criteria are pretty strict and with good reason.

As we all know over time standards have slipped in our industry. This hasn’t been a quick process, it’s been an insidious creeping malaise that we have unfortunately sleepwalked into, but it’s not all doom and gloom – nothing is irreversible with determination! We have had to identify where the problems have taken root and grown.

Education is a biggie.  Entrepreneurship is another if not undertaken with the right reasons, knowledge, sound foundations and ethics.

‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world’ – Nelson Mandela

Now Nelson Mandela was a pretty extraordinary fella and he hit the nail on the head – and this doesn’t just apply in the context of nation building!

Getting the right education is fundamental to setting yourself on the path to success. Finding education in the nail industry used to be very straightforward, your local college would offer the relevant courses regulated by Ofqual and well-respected brands could also be counted on for quality education and training. However, this situation has evolved over time and in some cases, the opportunity to make big quick bucks has created an influx of courses that are not always fit for purpose. I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of education here, my fellow Feds, Donna Clayton and Jennie Nippard, have both written fantastic blogs to help you negotiate the education minefield.

Suffice to say, some nail pros have found themselves thrust into the world of working on paying clients ill-prepared to deal with everything that entails, usually through inadequate training. Some will have gone for the cheapest, quickest option, others may not have known the difference. Some may not have had enough practice. (Would you be happy to drive through central London after just one or two driving lessons??) Some may just have taken their initial training and thought that was enough.

That brings us on to the next issue.

Being your own boss can be great, deciding your own hours and the lure of more money in your pocket, but many underestimate the challenges it can pose. In the rush to become entrepreneurs many don’t recognise that they are lacking the skills needed, or worse, they don’t care. This is another cause for standards to slip. The range of skills we need as Nail Professionals and business owners is vast. You might be able to knock out an incredible Russian Almond or some cracking one stroke, but if you are lacking in business skills, marketing, knowledge of your statutory requirements, Health & Safety, Product Chemistry, record keeping and tax, A&P knowledge (to name but a few), you are potentially setting yourself up for a fall. Having the correct business ethics is also essential – if you don’t it will most definitely come back to bite you! The arena of Social Media influencers would teach us that anyone can get famous and successful, but the quest for fame is empty without the qualities to back it up. The priority should be to get to the top of your game, this way you can avoid the pitfalls and enjoy a long and amazing career!

This is where our criteria come in. If you do not have the correct or adequate training for the services you provide, or if you are not working to the Code of Ethics, you will struggle to meet the criteria set by the FNP.  Now we are not here to bolt the door and say you are not good enough. That is the polar opposite of what we have set out to achieve. If you have applied to join the FNP, you already have the right mind set to do what it takes. We want to help you to help yourself. We want you to be successful, happy and an awesome member of the nail industry. The only way to do that is to be honest with yourself and to identify the areas where you can improve.  I could create a list for myself right now! We never stop learning. Good education and continued professional development are the cornerstones of any successful career and our commitment to you is to help you achieve this.  If you don’t meet the criteria straight away, we will guide you through the process of getting what you need and, in the meantime, you can still join us, either as a supporter or a student member. Just remember nothing worth having is easy, but we are here for YOU! We are only ever an email away.

Alex Cassells

Coronavirus & The Nail Industry – What does it mean going into 2021 and Lockdown 3.0?

Coronavirus & The Nail Industry – What does it mean going into 2021 and Lockdown 3.0?

Article by Peter Borg

Coronavirus & The Nail Industry

On Monday night (4th Jan 2021), pretty much the whole of the UK was glued to their television sets as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced a new national lockdown for England.

Since March 2020, the UK has been dealing with a pandemic no one could have ever predicted.  At the time, it actually felt like the lockdown in March was a bit of a dream. How could they close the country down? How can this pandemic do such a thing and of course what is going to happen to my life?

March turned into April, April into May, home schooling became a thing and Zoom became our way to communicate with the outside world. Then June came alone and rumours began to circulate about when our gorgeous industry would reopen.

Then on the 9th June it happened, Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, announced all non essential retailers in England could reopen from Monday 15th June! Excitement! Applause! Cheering!  But wait, close contact services had wait until the 4th July “at the earliest” and with many new practices to ensure they were Covid-secure.

So now we saw the light at the end of the tunnel, we knew we could reopen, salons began shouting from the rooftops that they would be reopening on the 4th and waiting lists began to populate – Euphoria began to hit the nail and beauty industry like never before and salon owners across the nation began to “PPE” their salons, prices of gloves and masks went through the roof and the new words on the street were Risk Assessments!  What was a risk assessment? What did we have to do? Most salons had never done one before?

Fortunately, Marian Newman and her band of merry men came to the rescue via her newly opened Facebook group, Madge’s Chat Show, a place to answer so many questions and to give an insight to what was happening. It became so popular that Marian was awarded the British Empire Medal for ‘services to the industry during COVID-19’. (And of course the reason we launched the FNP!)

So with risk assessments completed, masks, gloves and eye protection at the ready and waiting lists bursting at the seams, 3rd July arrived and the whole of the nail and beauty industry screamed. They had not read the sentence in full.   The 4th July “at the earliest”

We had to wait a little bit longer. There was uproar! There were petitions, we even had Members of Parliament standing up for us and then it happened. Our doors could reopen on the 14th July! Yes! We were back! Nail professionals up and down the country stood tall!

Social distancing and PPE still had to be adhered to and it became the norm for everyone. The numbers of new cases were slowly dropping, and positivity began to shine as bright as summer nails.

Christmas was coming and everyone was beginning to get ready for the biggest season of the year.  Then on the 31st October, Boris announced a second lockdown from the 4th November for all those in Tier 4. This was to be a shorter one-month lockdown as the NHS was weeks from being overwhelmed, and new cases were rising fast.

It was only a month, we could still have our crazy busy Christmas season, and we could still make it a great Christmas!  Sadly, the numbers of new cases were still rising and a new strain of Covid-19 emerged in the UK and on 19th December, Boris once again addressed the nation and announced that many areas throughout England would be entering Tier 4 and subsequently much of our industry would be closed.  This was also occurring throughout the other 3 UK nations in whole or in part.

For many their Christmas dreams were over. The busiest week of the year was upon us and some would miss it.  But it was for the best as the UK began to experience our biggest numbers of new cases ever. The new variant was out of control.

On Monday 4th January, on what was to be the first day back at work for many, Boris Johnson once again addressed the nation and announced another full national lockdown in England from midnight on Tuesday 5 January and this situation has been replicated in varying ways throughout the UK nations.  He called it a “pivotal moment,” he said “the Government is instructing everyone to stay at home” as hospitals had come under more pressure from Covid-19 than at any other time during the pandemic  Unlike the November lockdown, this time we have not been given an end date other than the Cabinet Office minister, Michael Gove, saying he hoped the gradual lifting of restrictions could begin in March, but what does that mean for our industry?

UK businesses have traded for just over 4 months in this fiscal year, by March 2021 we would have been closed for a total of 8 months.  So far nearly 5,000 UK salons have closed their doors for good since the pandemic began and many more will follow.  These figures only relate to businesses registered for either PAYE or VAT with HMRC so the full impact may be higher.  With so much uncertainty and many unanswered questions, we are now in limbo.

But there is support.  The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to cover 80% of the wages of those unable to work (up to the value of £2,500) while a business is closed, until April 2021. The Local Restrictions Support Grant, which was also available in lockdown in November, which gives you up to £3,000 per month, is also available. And now, Rishi Sunak has announced one-off lockdown grants of up to £9,000 for businesses, as well as a further £600 million in funding for local authorities.

Will it be enough? Only time will tell.



Here are the links to help guide you to the right channels

One Off/Business Grants for closed businesses

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LSRG) for open businesses 

Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) 

SEISS Grants 

Self Employment & Universal Credit

Difficulties paying HMRC

Reclaiming SSP paid to employees

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and the Government’s theory is that while lockdown is in place, it can vaccinate around 2 million people per week.

As an industry we need to stay positive, while it is a challenging time for everyone, now is the time to find your reset button once again. What training can you implement? What can you do as a business leader to be ready for when we do finally reopen? How will you support your team?

Make sure you become a supporter of The Federation of Nail Professionals for updates and stay safe.

Peter Borg
Treasurer & Financial Director

Peter Borg


Below is extra information on what is available to small businesses from the Government

  • Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property to help businesses (see below for values per property)
  • £594 million discretionary fund also made available to support other impacted businesses throughout the UK. Applications should be made to your local authority.
  • The funds are in addition to the LSRG (Local Restriction Support Grants that are currently available through local authorities
  • Furlough and the SEISS Grants have already been extended to April 2021
  • 100% busines rate relief for retail, hospitality and leisure continues
  • Government backed loans are now extended until March for application.

Further information

  • the one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
  • any business which is legally required to close, and which cannot operate effectively remotely, is eligible for a grant
  • business support is a devolved policy and therefore the responsibility of the devolved administrations, which will receive additional funding as a result of these announcements in the usual manner:
  • the Scottish Government will receive £375 million
  • the Welsh Government will receive £227 million
  • the Northern Ireland Executive will receive £127 million
  • this will contribute to the funding which has already been guaranteed by the UK Government, to continue to provide the devolved administrations the certainty they need to plan for their COVID-19 response in the months ahead
  • small businesses in the devolved administrations should also be able to benefit from other UK-wide measures in the government’s unprecedented package of support for business, including the various business lending schemes (where the repayment terms were made easier as part of the Winter Economy Plan), and the extension of the Self Employment Income Support Scheme

The Nail Industry and 2021.  Where is it going?

The Nail Industry and 2021. Where is it going?

from Marian Newman, BEM
The nail industry is unregulated. Indeed the beauty industry, in general, is unregulated! It is largely unlicensed too.
Many individuals, brands and industry bodies have called for regulation. The Government will not provide regulation as it believes industry sectors need to be self regulating first. Those sectors that do a good job at self regulation get a lot more support from the Government than those that aren’t!
My personal stance is that, it has always been clear that some level of regulation is needed and never more than now after the challenges we have had to face in 2020! However, I also believe in ‘be careful what you wish for!’ Any form of regulation or licensing needs to represent the nail sector, be sustainable, accessible, supportable and sensible.

So where is the sector right now?

Globally, it is in ‘disarray’. The UK is a good example of this ‘disarray’!
  • Allergies are on the increase
  • Cheap imports have been proved to be one of the main causes, in particular, where the SDS (or the outdated MSDS provided) are not truthful in their information
  • Allergy testing for specific ingredients has a massive wait time
  • Some brands are not taking responsibility for what they are selling, if they even understand what they are selling!
  • ‘Professional’ products are available to anyone via the internet
  • DIY learning is available on the internet
  • The ‘accreditation process’ is allowing ‘not fit for purpose’ training courses while giving the same stamp of approval to excellent courses so how can those new to the industry distinguish between the two?
  • Entry to, what should be, a professional industry has no clear path
  • The basic knowledge and understanding is, so often, missed out and, if it isn’t, students are not tested.
  • Courses that even require practical learning are not required to provide case studies bearing in mind that every individual client is different.
  • Maintenance in enhancements and UV GP is not covered so often. 5 hours ‘learning’ results in ‘fully qualified’
  • A huge percentage of nail professionals are individual ‘businesses’ but no teaching on running a business is provided in many instances

Need I go on? Many are aware of the ‘story’.



If we continue in this way will we have a nail industry in 10 years? Or even 5 years?


The higher levels of who governs our country are aware of the situation and so are the ‘enforcement agencies’. Several projects are underway to address this situation. We need to be recognised as a professional career and with a ‘higher skill level’. Not a sector of hobbyists and DIY’ers charging people money for sub standard services.  It has been noted during many meetings of the ‘task force’ dealing with this pandemic that the nail industry is under-represented. There are many great associations for hair and beauty but they put little or no focus on ‘us’.  These many issues ARE going to be addressed in 2021. Issues such as ‘regulation’, ‘licensing’, minimum education requirements. There is an Act of Parliament under review at the moment that will address a lot of these next year.

Here is where The Federation of Nail Professionals comes in. 
It has been incorporated (as a ‘not for profit’ organisation) that will have ‘front line’ access to these discussions and conversations.  Without us, the discussions and decisions WILL happen.  Do we want to be left out of this?? If we are then we will get diluted into ‘beauty’ and have NO say in what is right and appropriate for us!  As a sector, can we be happy with this? Surely, the answer is a resounding NO!!
The FNP has been created by a small group of passionate people. We have donated our time (and in several cases, finances) to get this initiative up and running before we have asked for Membership subscriptions. (Tough call!)

Before we launched (inviting Supporters only as a membership that is FOC but will have limited access to the website), we received the support and the start of amazing collaborative projects with Habia (the only ‘authority regulated by Government and THE standards setting body), the British Beauty Council (the innovative Council for the whole sector that is and continues to address ALL the major issues of the wider sector) and BABTAC (one of the most successful associations in the sector that is aligned with CIBTAC).

There is also a new affiliation to be announced shortly that will bring us into the essential ‘Act of Parliament’ discussions regarding regulations. It is now ‘hair, nails and beauty’ when it has NEVER been before! In so many areas the nail sector has not been recognised as separate from ‘beauty’! Amazing but true.
The full Membership for The FNP will be launched in early 2021 when we are confident we have got it RIGHT!!

We cannot survive without Membership subscriptions. (I will do another post to explain where subscriptions will be spent so you can see our Company ethos). 
We are not going to launch the full Membership with any major sponsorship from brands as this can change the ethos! ‘Deep pocket’ accusations, answerable to specific brands and losing our goals and mission are some of the reasons we have decided on this step.

It is YOUR voice that is needed! We need to hear from YOU! The Members. The essence of what this industry is. The ‘foundation’ of this industry i.e the Educators which is why we have created the Licence to Teach initiative. Ground breaking as we can’t fight the ‘not fit for purpose’ training courses but we CAN support, elevate and embrace the GREAT teachers that make this industry what it SHOULD be!

When we launch our Membership, please consider joining. We have kept the fees low but the criteria quite strict! We need to ‘elevate’ NOT dumb down.
Just remember, these decisions that will affect us all WILL happen. The FNP needs to be there with YOUR voice!

The Founding Board Members have give their all for the love of our industry. We will soon be inviting equally passionate people to our Advisory Board so we can fill up the gaps in our knowledge and skill set. 
We are in a position to change history for the ‘professional nail industry’ and make it a true career with clear pathways, routes and goals and provide the blueprint for the future so we do, actually, have a future!  We need your Membership and we will invite brands and suppliers to help support us with a minimal investment that will ensure our collective ‘voice’ is heard and major decisions will not made in our absence! 

Please support us. Keep an eye open for an article that explains where funds will be spent. Next year we will need more volunteers to help elevate this industry and promote its safety and degree of care to the consumer.

We have everything to gain and nothing to lose!
Marian Newman, BEM
#jointhefeds at
Complete the nail industry census

Are Your Products Compliant & Legal?

Are Your Products Compliant & Legal?

There are very strict laws governing all cosmetic products sold and, as it is a law, there are serious implications if products breach the rules. As a nail professional, it is your responsibility to ensure, as far as possible, that you only buy and use legal products. This is for your safety and the safety of your clients. Also, in the event of an insurance claim and your insurer found that the product used was illegal then the policy will be invalid. It’s all very well knowing that but how can you tell if a product is compliant and therefore legal? Here are some simple guidelines to help you:

1. The Label

There are a number of things that MUST be on the label of every product

  • The name and address of the ‘Responsible Person’ in the company selling the product
  • The country of origin. NB any product manufactured in any EU country has just needed ‘Made in the EU’. However, next year (2021) this will change. Only products made in the UK do not need the country of origin. Labels must state any country outside of the UK
  • The declared quantity of contents eg ml or gm
  • Date of minimum durability. This only applies to products with 30 months or less durability eg some oils and creams. This is in the shape of an hourglass. Most nail products have a long durability before opening
  • Period after opening. This is shown as an open jar with a number on it eg. 24. This shows it is usable for 24 months after opening
  • Warning statements. eg flammable. It may also have a statement such as ‘for professional use only’. NB from next year, 2021, all products containing HEMA and di-HEMA must have ‘for professional use only’ and ‘can cause an allergic reaction’. This is because products containing those ingredients will be banned from retail sales
  • Batch code. This is important if there should be a problem with the product. Every new batch made by the manufacturer must have a specific code so it can be traced. eg every colour of polish will have a different batch code and this will change when a new batch is made. this is often a telltale sign of non-compliance! eg everything will have the same code or there will be none at all
  • Declaration of ingredients. This is essential and must list every ingredient (unless the % is tiny) from the highest to the lowest. NB this is different from the SDS (see below). The ingredients must also use their correct INCI name (This is the International Nomenclature for Cosmetic Ingredients. This is so every country uses the same wording e.g., water is aqua.Safety Data Sheets (SDS)

2. The Safety Data Sheet

SDS have taken over from MSDS and become globally standardised in a 16-section format. It is not a legal requirement for cosmetic products to have an SDS. However, it is essential for those that have hazardous ingredients. Every nail professional should undertake a COSHH assessment and they are needed or this. They should also be available in case of a first aid emergency, fire, and info on storage.  SDS do not give a full list of ingredients but they do list the hazardous ingredients and the approximate percentage. NB be very wary of a supplier who does not have SDS available or even if they only have MSDS which are very outdated and often with random information.


3. Cosmetic Product Notification Portal (CPNP)

It is a legal requirement for ALL cosmetic products to be registered on the CPNP before putting them on the market! This is not information that is readily available except to the Competent Authority which in the UK is the Health & Safety Executive. The requirements for this registration are very specific and very strict. For example, there must be Product Information File that contains:

  • the product description
  • cosmetic product safety report
  • details of manufacture in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practice
  • proof of the effect claimed
  • data on animal testing (banned globally)

The product safety report must be carried out by a suitably qualified professional. This process is expensive for those selling and supplying products and, unfortunately, it is very clear that many don’t follow these rules! An individual cannot check if this has been done. However, there is no reason you cannot ask for a screenshot of products on the register as proof the supplier is legal! There are many, many more regulations but these mostly apply to the supplier or brand.

Again, for those that like reading the documents, here are some useful links: The ‘Brief Guide’ on this link is very useful  



Written by

Marian Newman, BEM


Changes to Product Regulations for 2021

Changes to Product Regulations for 2021

We will be seeing a lot of changes in 2021 with regards to cosmetic products including nail products.

This has some connection to the UK leaving the European Union but also in response to the allergies in evidence especially in the retail sector.

From next year, HEMA and di-MEMA will be banned from all retail products. As these are ingredients in the vast majority of retail UV gel polishes kits, the sale of which has proliferated over lockdown, will not be available.  These will not be banned in professional products but labels must have the wording ‘for professional use only’ and ‘can cause an allergic reaction’. This suggests that the products are in safer hands with professionals! But are they?

The incidence of allergies is an ever growing problem in the professional sector. There is a project well underway at Government level to discover if there is any problem with the products themselves. But we are all aware that part of the nail industry refuse to believe in the importance of using matching systems (i.e a UV nail lamp that has been tested by the UV gel manufacturers) and do not understand the importance in a ‘proper cure’. So many believe that a ‘proper cure’ can be checked by observation and that many years of use “with no problems” is good enough. Both incorrect!

Several global UV gel experts called for the total banning of these ingredients (and a few others) but the EU Commission were fearful that this blanket ban would lead to more monomers being banned that do not have such hazardous qualities.

This step is good to stop the retail sales but really doesn’t go far enough. HEMA and di-HEMA are not so bad when used in a small percentage but, as it is one of the cheapest, the percentages used in many products are dangerously high. Put this together with lack of education and understanding brings us to the situation we have today. There are other monomers that are as bad if not worse than HEMA but these haven’t been considered.

For those that like to see the legislation in black and white here is the link:

NB as this was published pre-Brexit it will be transferred to the new UK Regulations in January 2021 when they will come into force.

Other changes we will see post Brexit will affect labels and possible costs as so much is imported from the EU.

Up until the UK regulations come into force (and with time for manufacturers and brands to update their products) any product manufactured in the UK or EU just needed the country of origin as the EU. From next year any product not manufactured in the UK will need the country of origin.

Most of the cosmetic regulations will remain the same and just transferred to the new UK Regulations including a new UK notification portal which is mandatory before any cosmetic product can be placed on the market.

Relevant documents regarding Brexit advice

The CTPA, linked here, is a great resource for information on many subjects affecting this sector. There is a lot available to non-members.

Marian Newman BEM

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Guidance for Nail Professionals in England from 19 July 2021

Welcome to The Federation of Nail Professionals

Welcome to The Federation of Nail Professionals!

Myself and fellow founding Board Members are thrilled to see you here as, hopefully,  very valued Supporters and Members.  Our mission is to do our very best to be the ‘voice of the nail industry’; YOUR voice.  This sector of the whole professional beauty industry has long been under represented and this was never more evident during the challenges we have had to face in 2020.  2021 is going to be a much better year for us all. Many initiatives and ‘conversations’ will be important features. Major issues like ‘regulation’ and licensing, product safety, higher levels of education and much more.  These will be happening anyway but The Feds will now be there at every turn to ensure our sector, that we are so passionate about, will have input. We intend to make sure any new initiatives are sensible and sustainable and accurately reflect what is needed for us as part of the wider beauty industry.

We want to hear your opinions, worries and concerns so communicate with us. We will gather your opinions on important issues from time to time via polls to help us encourage what is right for the sector.  Our aim is to elevate the industry and make sure it is recognised in the ‘highly skilled’ category. Accordingly, our membership criteria is strict and with robust quality controls.  We will applaud, recognise and embrace high levels of learning and skills. As a community we must come together with courage, kindness, clarity and creativity.

Join us as a Supporter (open to all and free) but especially as a Member whatever your role in the nail industry is. We cannot function without you!  Together, let us make the professional nail industry a brighter and safer for us and all our clients.

Thank you

Marian Newman BEM

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