Meet Preston's award-winning nail technician looking to educate, create and inspire a new generation
As an award-winning nail technician Carrie-Leigh Allan is used to going that extra mile to give her clients that highly polished finish.
But so sought after are her sculpting talents, it is more often her customers willing to travel that little bit further for her unique artistic designs.
Carrie-Leigh, from Bamber Bridge, who is a specialist in bespoke hand painted nail art, says: “I have loyal clients who have been coming to me since I first began my business.
“Mostly they are from the local area and have learned about me by word of mouth.
“But I also have a client who drives 127 miles to have her nails done and I used to have a client who flew over from Tenerife to get her nails done.”
From the traditional manicure to brightly coloured talons favoured by stars such as Rhianna, nails are big business.
So much so Carrie-Leigh’s list of services range from acrylic and gel nail extensions, gel polish, nail art and manicure and pedicure to her speciality sculptured acrylics and hand painted nail art.
Former Wellfield High School pupil Carrie-Leigh started out her training with an NVQ in beauty therapy before pursuing her passion for nails with an NVQ level 3 in nail technology.
She says: “I feel truly blessed to be in the nail industry and I encourage anyone interested in a career in nails to go for it, It’s an exciting, colourful and creative career.”
“I have been actively in the nail industry since 1995. During that time my career path has taken a diverse route, from salon owner, mobile technician and college lecturer, to where I am now as a private educator and self-employed nail technician.
“I educate for an American brand called artistic nail design. The brand is distributed by Louella Belle, a Herefordshire based beauty suppliers.”
Carrie-Leigh now offers courses to training technicians all over the north west and regularly attends master classes to add to her unique brand.
She adds: “I attend many courses each year to keep my skills up to date and learn new art techniques. I believe this is the key to my success.
It is important to continue to educate yourself in order to be confident you are offering your clients the best services.
“As an educator, I teach beginners to advanced courses in all aspects of nail technology.
“I believe it is now my turn to inspire and mentor my students to help them to develop their skills and businesses.”
As well as group courses carrie-Leigh also offers one-to-one tuition and tailors all her sessions to an individual’s level of expertise.
“Whether it’s someone new to the nail industry, or an experienced technician looking to extend their salon services and get their creative juices flowing, there are classes to suit.”
In between honing her own skills, teaching and managing a packed diary of clients, she also competes in professional nail beauty competitions across the country.
Most recently making the finals for the prestigious nail industry awards hosted by Scratch magazine.
She says competing has only helped advance her skills as a nail technician introducing her to a wealth of experienced industry professionals “they have encouraged and mentored me to become the nail artist and educator I am today.”
“I have been competing in national nail competitions since 2008. The competitions are held at Professional Beauty and Beauty UK trade shows across the UK.
They are a fantastic way to meet like minded nail enthusiasts and discover new products.”
“The nail industry has grown enormously in recent years and is a fantastic career to be in, especially if you have a creative streak.”