Calling all ladies (and men) with a penchant for pampering, fashion, glamour and glitter:

This weekend, Dead Curious got down to Ilford, Essex to check out the UK’s first Nail Art Festival! “Amazing!!!!” I hear you cry. Well, yes it was! This West-Country babette was pretty excited about my first trip to Essex, especially for a Nail Art Convention, and it lived up to my dreams of glamming it girls in Essex!


This cute festival has been established for those of us who love to splash out on doing our nails or just about anyone who likes to dress up with and original and creative twist… So, that means at least half the populous and probably more. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when the event organisers, Ilford Exchange Shopping Centre, told Dead Curious that queues had been out the door and  people had actually booked to come back the next day to get a nail fix! I believe it…my manicure expenses have already gone up 399% this month after I bought about 399 new nail polishes in Boots yesterday.

This is the UK’s first event for the industry, which specialises in the area of Nail Art. Nail Art is simply the practice of creating design for your nails – no longer just a simple polish or a French manicure, this year styles can match your outfit with multi-coloured, multi-textured designs! This year’s styles are way out there: psychedelic colours, glitter and twinkles with those polished tips….

And, if all this sounds like another hype check out my nails, designed by Sam Biddle of Original Sugar! Check out their website for latest trends and technology in glamming it up. These guys were so friendly!!

Nail art Original Sugar

I can’t admit to being a total glamour puss or a regular manicure goer, but I can tell you how special and feminine getting your nails done like this really feels! Even better than a single colour gloss, Sam paired three colours and three textures with my outfit and earrings for bespoke and original nails – my inner goddess was set free and I’ve been blinging those nails ever since! I also chatted to some of the UK’s best nail artists, including Original Sugar, Linda Lousie Burrell from Nail Girls in Islington and Neringa from Sophy Robson Nails, who caters for Kate Moss, Lily Allen, Paloma Faith ,Pixie Geldof and even more fashionable celebs. Original Sugar designed nails for Made in Chelsea’s Cheska, who went for three different colours on one hand and had them dipped in sugar and bright glitter!! Cute ladies, very cute…

cheska and gabby nails

Trends include include texturizing your nails with different substances to get a unique look, as well as shaking things up with different patterns and colours on the same hand. The point is, ladies, this year you can do more than ever before. Get crazy with your nails!! There’s loads of insipiration on the web, so type ‘Nail Art’ into Google, check out PinterestEmerald Street or zip through any of the linked sites in this article. Nail Art has been on the rise for about two or three years and hails predominantly from America – did you see Serena’s Nails at Wimbledon?

Serena Williams Nails at Wibledon

Yeah Girlfriend!!


The average price on the street for professional nail art is around thirty pounds and upwards, especially if you go to trend leaders Sophy Robson (catering to the celebs above) or Nail Girls in Islington (shhhh they wouldn’t give those secrets away about who their home visit celebs are).  This is a fabulous way to treat yourself for a night out, a special occasion or because you damn well deserve a pamper.

my manicure

You can do it yourself, no need to drain the bank account.

However, if your bank account isn’t down with being miss money bags, Original Sugar have got gorgeous and daring options for you ladies at home. The best part about it is how simple these nails are to create. Check out their online tutorials for bedecking your nails with billion dollar nail caviar and multi-coloured glitter!! Also, if playing Origami with your nails, having your nails under a microscope whilst trying not to shake and ruin that last nail doesn’t sound like much fun, this year new nib pens and paint make it much easier to design your nails a lot easier. Have fun, get daring, and don’t forget to visit the Nail Art Festival next year!