An Interview with Sophia - Bling Art Founder
BEAUTY/HAIR, INTERVIEW, REVIEWS
AN INTERVIEW WITH BLING ART
MAY 6, 2016 LINDA
Talking nails this week…false nails to be exact. I do love my nail enamels, but my nails are very short – not bitten – but short on purpose. I like to type and use my iPhone using the pads on the top of my fingers, and long nails just get in the way. I’ve tried growing them, and I did succeed. I have had the shellac treatment, and my nails looked lovely. However, I couldn’t use my phone properly, and besides, I prefer the convenience of having short stubby nails that I can paint on a whim. False nails never crossed my mind. I did try false nails once, in April 1988… they were long, awful looking and a relief when they fell off. So when my guest, Sophia of Bling Art, sent me some of her modern false nails to see if she could change my mind, I wasn’t very confident. I reasoned that stubby nails don’t look right on an evening out, so I agreed to give them a whirl.
I had three evenings out to try the new nails. The kits themselves are nicely packaged, and apart from nails, there’s a file and plenty of glue. Finding a false nail that corresponds to the width of my own nail, I applied a small blob of glue onto my clean nail and onto the false nail, and pressed them together, holding for a second or two to set. As easy as that. I was able to file the nails like you would do to give them a natural shape and look – these nails were a “medium” length – long enough to look elegant, short enough to look, dare I say it? ….Natural. The nail photos are all my own nails. What do you think? So was I converted? For a special evening out, I would definitely consider them. The nails stayed put – they last around five days, and are scratch resistant. No chipped nail polish!
Let’s welcome onto my blog Sophia ….
Hi! I am Sophia Aziz. I am a mother of 2, married 22 years. I have a passion for nails, and I am the founder of Bling Art. We are more than simply a seller of false nails, we not only design but manufacture our nails under our brand Bling Art.
What was the inspiration behind setting up Bling Art?
I have always loved nail art. As a child, I would play dress up with friends, and I would always know which colours or styles would suit who. Unfortunately, as I aged, I realised my hand-eye coordination was nowhere near as good as I needed to pursue my passion as a full-time career. At this time, false nails were only really available at salons, having your nails done was an “experience”, a chance to catch up with friends and unwind. However, over the years, I noticed not only more and cheaper Chinese imports of false nails being available in markets and on stalls but also exponential growth in the number of nail “booths” opening. The demand for nail art was growing, but the selection of false nails, particularly with regard to design and quality were few and far between. There were so many unanswerables, e.g. glue safety, staff training and qualifications and to be honest the booths made me feel like cattle, with rows of us sitting and waiting to be “processed”. So I decided, there must be more women like me, who loved nail art but didn’t have the time to maintain nails that would look glamorous with nail varnish and were not prepared to pay budget prices in salon booths. Instead, I took the view I would prefer to do my own nails and if only I could make designs that were not only amazing and appealing but could be perfectly reproduced so women like me could sit at home, enjoy “me” time and not worry about safety and quality, instead focus on adding the nails and recapturing the childhood girly innocence of enjoying the nail art experience. This time with a stunning design and made from superior quality.
Have you always had a passion for nails?
YES….always, from as far back as I could remember. I am the little girl who would be doing something to everybody else’s hands during sleepovers. I wish I could have been a nail technician with the skill to create what I see in my mind. True nail art is spectacular, and I believe the artists (yes, I see them as “artists” and not simply nail technicians) are not credited as much as they should be.
Why do you think false nails have come back into fashion?
Personally, I believe it is due to a number of factors:
the number 1 reason I think is the internet coupled with mobile phone photography technology, apps like Instagram, Facebook and social media, in general, have had a direct impact on what I call “social media friendly products”.
Nails are social media friendly, e.g., post a beautiful set of nails and the chances are people (women) will click more than if you showed a bottle of milk.
Nails have benefitted because they do not require a woman to “dress up” for her selfie or be conscious of what else is in the photo. She won’t be judged on her appearance, but rather she is complimented/critiqued on the nails she is showing. E.g., take a few minutes out from a busy day, apply nails in 'me time', simple to use, easy to follow instructions, quality, consistent and durable product. Take a pic on my phone, share with my friends and hey ho I feel good, and off I go J
Improved designs and production techniques. The quality of the nails has significantly improved over the last decade. All our nails are made from abs virgin plastic, and our products have been subjected to numerous tests and procedures before being classified as safe.
Price – The massive growth in booths in towns and cities across the UK and market nail salons has not only driven prices down, but by competing at the prices they do, but by dropping prices as aggressively as they have done, they unwittingly bridged pricing gulf that used to exist between false nails and professional salons.
I particularly like the Bling Art False Nails French Manicure Metallic Light Green. What nails are proving popular so far?
I am glad to know you love our Light Green. I LOVE our gel nails in particular, Athena, Valentina, Fuchsia and Andromeda. If anybody has shied away from false nails and preferred gel nails, then you must try our new ready-made selection. These nails are extremely glossy and to add the extra sparkle we have embedded glitter into the finishing process. This not only brings the nails to life but gives them an ultra-smooth finish. Our most popular nails are Red 4 Danger and Purple for Joy. These nails are gorgeous; it really has to be seen to be believed. My favourite is Our Matte Black Nail, this is the most popular nail globally, it is chic, elegant and I guess black is the universal colour.
I left my nails on until they dropped off naturally, but how best do you remove a nail if you cannot wait for it to drop off naturally?
There are a number of ways to remove the false nails; I prefer to soak them in hot water after five days or so and they gently come away. You can use any acetone based cleaner, and it will do pretty much the same thing, but given the number of other “removers” I have in my life, I am happy with soaking my hands in warm water as it feels good.
Can they be re-used?
Yes, but would I recommend it…NO, the time, energy and effort you expend to clean the old glue off etc. . I think it is more cost effective to purchase and wear a brand new set.
Hypothetically speaking, which famous person would you pick to be the “hands” of Bling Art nails?
I don’t have to do hypothetically, thank god Adele said “hello” after three years because if you watched the Brit awards, she was wearing the most spectacular stiletto nails! I choose Adele as our perfect role model because she loves nails and is amazing. You listen to Adele because her songs take you places, her voice is unbelievable, and everybody recognises it. She does not play up to the unattainable standards the media expects of women. She does not pretend she is super slim and always looks perfect unlike women like the Kardashians portray/ project. Instead, Adelle is a talented singer and songwriter, and she is respected for this. I think women like the Kardashians, the wags, the Instagram models and others are unhealthy for the girls of today, ladies of tomorrow. Adele gives girls/women who have not been blessed with today’s version of what beauty is, the confidence to pursue their dreams and see her as living proof that talent is what counts. Our nails, I hope, give women that same feeling, a way to express themselves and use a medium like social media in a positive woman-friendly way. They can simply apply them and if they feel like, take a picture and share (if they wish). No need to add makeup, pout like a goldfish, dress up and worry about everything else a visual selfie might entail.
Where can people buy your nails and do you deliver outside the UK?
Our Nails are available to buy online from our website as well as on Amazon and eBay. We have managed to amass a loyal following globally, and in order to improve service standards and particularly delivery times we have our nails in the Amazon depots in the US, UK, DE, FR, IT, and ES. Therefore any orders placed in these countries means women can enjoy the same delivery times as our UK customers enjoy. In time we hope to work with strategic partners and make them readily available in retail environments globally.
Any new nail ranges coming out soon?
We have a brand new selection of 25 + Stiletto Nails to our range. It has taken us years to perfect, and I am very excited as I know not only have we cracked it on the design and quality but the quality is out of this world. My only worry is getting our pictures to do the nails justice. I think for this collection we will need to show them using HD video.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I wear business attire during the day, smart black pants, white blouse topped off with a coat and boots. I know I should wear comfortable shoes, but boots do it for me (and I am the boss), so I wear black suede ankle boots.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I must confess I am lipstick mad and my favourite online store is Mac. I find the site so engaging, and the colours on offer are so rich and intense. If I have a busy day, I often find myself looking through their offerings and treating myself to the latest colour.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe/ bag wish list?
Most probably red boots with a shade of lipstick to match!
Boots or Shoes?
Boots most definitely. I am passionate about beautiful designer boots. Not the sky-high heels( I’d break my ankles and neck ) just the ones that at first you don’t notice but when you do you can’t take your eyes off of them. Beautiful boots complement most outfits, and if possible, I will wear them over shoes any day. They give me confidence, a little more height and are perfect for the British weather.
Links you would like to share:
Thank you for persuading me to give false nails a try Sophia! Dear readers, look out for the new nail styles coming out later this month – stiletto nails no less! Have you any nail tales to tell? Have you tried false nails or are you a proud owner of natural long nails? Do tell!
Photo Credits: Nail pics – Linda Hobden