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Welcome to our beauty webchat with Sophy Robson

Hi everyone

Welcome to our beauty webchat with expert manicurist Sophy Robson. Make sure you know how to make your nails look FAB so you can show off your new wedding ring!

Sophy has just joined forces with Sally Hansen to promote healthy nails and problem solving beauty solutions - so she's got everything you need to know so those little details can look stunning on your wedding day!

If you'd like to ask Sophy a question, simply click "post reply" in this thread and type your question into the box. Her reply will appear in the same thread (but please bear with us if we get busy, your question will be answered as soon as we can!)

Enjoy yourselves




  • annaoj3001annaoj3001 Posts: 209
    Hi Sophy, I am in a bit of muddle about my make up on the day. I have had make up done by others before and to be honest have never been bowled over by the results! I always feel better having done my own make up, however I am worried about being photographed most of the day and not being shiny, or make up not lasting! What do you think I should do? Go for a professional or do it myself?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!


    [Modified by: JoRennie2b on May 13, 2008 04:01 PM]
  • emmaruthvenemmaruthven Posts: 384
    io have a broken thumb nail from a childhood accident and find nail glue leaves an infection.....

    is there anything i can do to make this nail presentble on my wedding day?
  • Hopes_MammyHopes_Mammy Posts: 5,839
    Hi Sophy,

    Thank you for taking the time to talk to us this afternoon!

    Im desperate for some advice! I recently got married and had acryllic nails on for my big day! Now theyve come off and my nails are a mess! Theyre all splitting and very very soft! Ive put OPI nail envy on my nails, but Im wodering if you can recommend something better for a quick picke me up for my battered nails?



  • annaoj3001annaoj3001 Posts: 209
    ooopsss just about nails then?? sorry xxx
  • adelesarahadelesarah Posts: 1,981
    Hi Sophy! I have awful toenails, where there hardly is any nail whatsoever on my smaller toes. I have to grow them quite long, for there to be a nail, and then it lifts up quite easily! Sorry, it sounds so minging!!! Would gel nails be suitable for them? I'm embarressed to go get a pedicure cause they're that awful!
  • Hi Sophy,

    I find I have problems with my cuticles. I am constantly pushing them back but I am tempted to cut the skin that piles up at the bottom of the nail.

    What is the best way to remove cuticles?


    - Steph
  • nuttymixnuttymix Posts: 163
    Hi Sophy

    My nails are very soft and bendy all the time and I can never seem to grow them to any nice length. When I do manage to get a little bit of length they peel away in layers form the edges. I did bite my nails when I was younger and i know this has had an effect but I would love to be able to grow them myself for my wedding next year is there anything you can suggest to strengthen them or even stop them peeling away.

    Many thanks

  • emmacoulbyemmacoulby Posts: 251
    Hiya Sophy

    I have occassionally used acrylic nails - do you suggest it is better to try to have my own nails grow and manicured rather than using these for the wedding day? I want to make sure they look natural.

    Thanks so much!

    Em xxx
  • lakarakalakaraka Posts: 3,628
    Hi Sophie

    I just have a quick question regarding timings. When is the best time to put the acrylic nails before the wedding, my nails grow quite fast so I don't want to put the acrylic nails around 1-2 weeks before the wedding and on the day looking messy or even loose but also I don't want to put them at the last minute as I need to get used to long nails. Any advice?

    Also I want to convince h2b to go and have a manicure before the big day as he works on a building site and I want his hands to look nice but he thinks it is a girly thing to do... How on earth I can convince him to get a manicure or get his hands sorted for the day, maybe I could attempt this at home?

    Thanks xxxx
  • cmcgowanukcmcgowanuk Posts: 262
    I again would be grateful for any tips on treating nails once acrylics have been removed.

    Also I often suffer from ingrown toenails - I got to a chiropodist and get this treated but I had planned to have gel tips put on my toes for the wedding. Is this suitable for someone who has problems with ingrown toenails and is there perhaps some alternative?

  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Jo....

    I dont know where you live but you could try a trained makeup artist from a reputable brand such as Mac or Bobbi Brown and they will give you a demo of what you want for the big day....Take a reference photo from a magazine or book so they get a good idea of how you want the makeup. I work with alot of makeup artists and whenever they have done something on me it always looks a million times better than I could do myself!!

    Sophie the beauty editor may be able to give you more advice! Good luck I am sure you will look gorgeous!!
  • salsaspinsalsaspin Posts: 4,098
    Hi Sophy

    I have a real problem stopping my nail varnish from chipping. Even so-called "chip-resistent" polish doesn't last more than a few hours with me!

    I had a mini-french manicure done at a spa on Saturday (using OPI polish, so not the cheap stuff!) and already my nails look a complete mess.

    I'm not hard on my hands (wear rubber gloves when washing up and cleaning) and work in an office so am not exposed to the elements.

    Any tips/advice?!
  • vicki2323vicki2323 Posts: 2,451
    Hi sophie, i am getting married in cyprus and am not sure what to do with regards to my nails, should i have them done before i leave (will be in cyprus for a week before wedding) or should i just take a pack of false nails with me and do on the day? I have only ever done my nails myself so don't know how well getting them done would hold up against the sun and swimming.

  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    To emma with broken thumb nail....

    I have always used acrylic to sculpt over any deformed nails without any bad after effects whatsoever. I find it is the most effective way to allieviate the problem as with an acrylic overlay I can create a really natural nail..

    See if you can find a salon that specialises in this technique and ask them if they have experienced this before. If you are worried about infection, remove the enhancement a.s.a.p. after the big day by dissolving in acetone, but with a good technician this should not happen at all...

    Good luck.
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Paula, Thanks its a pleasure for me to be able to help!!

    I am sorry your nails have taken a battering after having the extensions removed - if the natural nail has been damaged it is usually been caused by over filing which makes them really thin. Don't worry they will grow back perfectly healthy! You have been using Nail Envy but if that product is not working for you, Sally Hansen has a fantastic range of nail strengtheners you can use to restore the nails to former glory.. If they are really weak, you should probably keep applying the protein every couple of days to protect them from wear and tear. I would recommend that you file your nails at least once a week until they are strong enough to grow longer, and keep them neat and short for as long as possible. Also remove the strengthener with a gentle polish remover once a week and start aftresh. Also it is very important to moisturise the nails and cuticles with a good cuticle creme or oil every day to make them healthy, after the protein/strengthener is dry. Good luck...They just need some tlc and they'll be fine....
  • Hopes_MammyHopes_Mammy Posts: 5,839
    Thanks Sophy, I need to do something quickly as they look and feel horrible! Will pop down to boots on my way home and buy some Sally Hansen goodies!!

    I had visions of them falling off so its good to have some reassurance!

  • flutterbunnieflutterbunnie Posts: 234
    Hi Sophy,

    Like MrsBaker2b, I too have issues with soft, peeling nails and I too bit mine when I was younger - til I was about 21!

    I really don't want to use acrylics for my wedding, any tips on strengthening them up for the big day?

    Fi x
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    To Princess Geneva.

    As an experienced pedicurist I can assure you there is no need to be embarassed about your toenails and call them minging! I am sure they are not that bad and any good manicurist will think the same way - it is our job to make them look more presentable after all....

    It is possible to have false nails applied to toenails but make sure you research the salon you are going to use to find out if they are good at that technique. Try to use a nail salon that specialises in sculpted nails rather than a general beauty therapist who will not be so experienced. and see if you can look at their other clients feet while you are there to see if they do a good job or not. Personal recommendation is always a good idea if you are trying a new technique for the first time.

    Maybe get into the habit of having regular pedicures now, and by the time it is your wedding you may find the nails are in a better state and there is no need to have extensions applied....Good luck
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Steph. I find it very difficult to recommend cutting cuticles. They are there for a reason to prevent bacteria entering the "live or growing" section of the nail

    under the skin. Softening them by regularly massaging a good cuticle creme such as Sally Hansen Nail Quencher Hydrating Cuticle Creme or nail oil is much more effective as they will be in better condition and look more attractive. Also cutting the skin will make them ragged and encourages the skin to grow back harder. However if you are talking about the debris of dead skin that builds up on the nail plate itself, this can be softened by soaking in water and then removing by scraping off with a wooden stick or metal cuticle pusher. I hope this helps....
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Anna-marie,

    There are specific nail strengtheners for soft, weak,peeling nails which sounds like what you are describing...

    I would recommend Sally Hansen Diamond Strength or Miracle Cure as apply two coats and leave for a few days or until they start flaking. Then remove with a gentle polish remover and apply a fresh coat. You should notice an improvement within a week and if you keep going the nails will not flake so much and you won't have to re-apply so often. It is also vital that you moisturise around the nail with oil or a cuticle creme such as Nail Quencher Hydrating Creme which will add moisture to the nail and stop them flaking. Do this when the polish is dry. Good luck and keep believing you will have nice nails and it will happen!
  • MrsQM2MrsQM2 Posts: 3,723
    Hi Sophy,

    I tend to get white bits on my nail beds - is there anything you can suggest I do to get rid of them? Is it an old wives' tale that it is a calcium difficiency?

    Also what hand cream would you say is the best for long lasting softness? I really dont like having dry hands, I currently use Nivea Hand Nourishing Cream and whilst this is good, I do need to reapply after washing my hands. I would preferably like a hand cream which willl stay on for the day, so that I dont need to put something else in my little bag of necessities!!

    Thank you!

  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Anna-marie one last thing - also keep your nails protected at all times by wearing gloves to do washing up or housework!!
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Em,

    If you want your nails to look natural on the wedding day then I would definitely recommend you take care of them regularly now until then, and it will not be necessary to have extensions applied. I don't know if you have a good manicurist to go to or you are going to do it yourself, but do a manicure every week to keep the nails healthy, and they will grow long and strong. Concentrate on keeping them filed to a uniform length and moisturise them with oil or cuticle cream every day. If you are going to use polish make sure you remove it as soon as it starts to chip as chipping polish will encourage the nails to dehydrate and flake, which makes them weak. Use a good nail treatment such as Natural Shine or Age Correct Strength by Sally Hansen to protect them until the big day.....
  • emmacoulbyemmacoulby Posts: 251
    Thank you Sophy!
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    To voprosiks.

    Firstly lets deal with the man in your life - he really needs to get with the times as these days it is quite normal for men and straight men to have a regular manicure! If he is embarassed to go to a salon there are lots of male grooming salons or barbershops that offer that service now and I'm sure you can find one on the internet in your area.

    I would recommend you to get your nails done a couple of days before the big day as that way they will look freshly done but it will give you a chance to get used to the extra length. You can use the perfect excuse "I dont want to ruin my nails" for a few days to avoid doing anything risky.....

    .Hope it all goes well. Sophy
  • lakarakalakaraka Posts: 3,628
    Men sometimes can be so childish... image Thanks for your advice xxxx
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear My fairy tale,

    Ingrown toenails tend to be caused by tight or too small footwear so I suggest you maybe make some changes to what shoes you wear. You should keep the toenails short and always moisturise with a cuticle oil or cream such as Nail Quencher Hydrating Cuticle Creme to keep the skin at the edge of the toenail as soft as possible. Pressure from footwear causes the skin to harden at the side of the nail which is what causes the pain.

    As far as I know you can still have toe nail extensions applied but just be careful not to have them too long in length or keep them on the nails for too long after the big day.

    After nail extensions have been removed you can use a nail strengthener such as Sally Hansen Diamond Strength or Age Correct Strength to protect them and always moisturise them with oil or creme as often as possible (at least every day) to stop them getting dry...
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Salsaspin,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your problems with polish chipping especially when you had paid for a manicure.

    I have always maintained that good polishing is all in the application and not necessarily down to the brand you use. You should always start by degreasing the nail plate with cottonwool dipped in polish remover, and then apply a THIN layer of base coat. Next whatever colour you are using, try to apply it thinly so it dries quickly and you can put on another coat. Also even I sometimes struggle to paint my own nails under pressure so TAKE YOUR TIME. When the colour is touch dry ALWAYS use a quick drying topcoat such as MEGAshine by Sally Hansen and I use a hairdryer on a cool setting to dry them off or you can use Sally Hansen quick drying spray
  • sophyrobsonsophyrobson Posts: 15
    Dear Vicki,

    I would only get false nails applied in Cyprus if you are sure the hotel has a brilliant manicurist or you know of one in the area otherwise I would not take the risk of having them done there. A really good set of nail extension should last more than a week so if you had them done before you go then that could be ok, but swimming pool and sea water do tend to mess them up quicker so you might have to avoid swimming! Otherwise you might have to go with the stick on nail option. I would contact your hotel and find out where other brides get their nails done in the area just to check....

    Hope it goes well. Sophy
  • webmaster01ukwebmaster01uk Posts: 737
    Hi Everyone

    Thanks for all your great questions and thank you to Sophy for sharing her expertise with you all...

    Don;t forget next week's webchat with MPA photography winner Jo Tennant

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