Tag Archives: Manicure

Celebration for nails too!



When Kensington Town Hall hosted an inspirational Cancer Well-Being Event, this incorporated a mixture of information and hands on therapy sessions. This event was a celebration of life, with those attending delivering a pro life message in a big way.

As part of the relaxing therapy zone sessions, nailtiques’ mini manicures; targeting the adverse effects of intensive medication such as dry, brittle nails had people flooding to the stall, technicians suggested the perfect balance of proteins and conditioners to improve nail quality.

For over 20 years nailtiques has been providing treatments for those with problem nails caused not only by prolonged illness but also ageing and negligent care. For the majority of females visiting the stall it was about regaining their femininity, no more seeing life’s little luxuries as an indulgence but a necessity to their well-being.

Guest’s were very excited to find nailtiques samples in their goodie bags. A range of treatments were advised to them during an individual consultation and guests found samples to suit and take home.

All Formulas were recommend on a personal basis

  • Formula 1 advised to those looking to maintain a healthy nail building upon its already present strength
  • Formula 2 specially developed to improve soft, peeling and weak nails, stimulating rapid growth
  • Formula 3, getting results for hard, dry or ridged nails.

The day was a great success with nailtiques coming prepared with product and expert advice on nail care. Event organiser, Ijeoma Igwume said “I am overwhelmed by the fun that was had at the nailtiques stall. The consultations were a genuine opportunity to indulge these highly courageous individuals. It’s been a roaring success, we were busy all afternoon and it was a huge bonus to have nailtiques involved with fab treatments.”

Liz Kilpatrick, Educator and nailtiques specialist, was hard at work in her tiny corner.  The organisers wanted to offer lots of room, but the event was so popular that Liz and the other therapists were crowded in their corner, to fit everyone in.

But Liz carried on without a break, commenting, “I’m so proud that nailtiques were able to be involved; it’s such a worthwhile cause. There was a real sense of living for the here and now, when life threw them a curve ball they grabbed it with both hands.”

The timetable included humorous speeches as well as a vibrant display of African Dance- so associated with the bustling carnivals and a natural beauty perfectly setting the tone of such as inspiring event.

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Pay attention to Hands and Nails in Winter

An example of a French Manicure, acrylic nails...
Image via Wikipedia


If your nails keep catching in your clothes, and you find it is painful to get dressed, shake hands, etc. you are not alone. And winter winds just leach moisture out of your hands.

After Chemo or radiotherapy, or when you start on hormonal drugs, you might suddenly find your hands and feet develop horrid horny nails, and / or splitting skin, and you can almost see your fingernails disintegrating as you use them.

You may even develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS), a side effect of the Anastrazole drug, Aramidex.

When I developed CTS doctors told me this was caused by RSI (repetitive strain injury) and to stop using my computer.  I couldn’t work for three months, but it was still as bad.  So I had a procedure which sounds horrible – they inject you in your wrist with a long needle – but was actually genuinely painless for me.

This cleared it up, but it wasn’t until a year later I discovered that CTS was a side effect of Aramidex, and got the makers to include this information in the information sheet.  I was also very annoyed that I missed out on three month’s work, all because the doctors hadn’t know that the drug they had put me on could cause CTS.

We can feel stupid asking for help;  we see nail problems as minor, and believe doctors will think we are vain if we ask for assistance.   Well don’t.  Nails are an  important part of our body, are there to protect our hands, and wouldn’t be there if they were just for decoration.

Of course you WILL use rubber glovers – won’t you? !!! That is probably the single most important facet of hand care.  Having said that, you will find that drugs make your hands incredibly rough – but products that are really helpful are:

Clarins Hand Cream – There is a lovely story about their hand cream.  After her last visit to Australia, H. M. The Queen insisted she had to get off the plane at Singapore as one of her Ladies in Waiting had told her to buy this wonderful hand cream made by Clarins.

At the Duty Free Shop, Her Majesty, unlike a certain ex-Prime Minister’s wife, believes it is sensible to save money where you can, and bought her own.  The shop assistant was very happy to give it to her, but she insisted that it was paid for – by her Lady in Waiting (The Queen never carries money).  So even The Queen agrees that Clarins hand cream is one of the best on the market!

After radiotherapy I noticed that age spots on my hands were much more noticeable, so recently I have been using Clinique’s Dark Spot Corrector.  It hasn’t got rid of them, but they are much less noticeable – on one hand they have almost disappeared, and on the other hand some of the bigger spots have faded away.

Nails You may find your nails have split down to the bed, and you are having to file them three times a day; this is because the hormonal drugs have removed the top layer of your nail. Cancer drugs often cause the top layer of nails to flake off, which can be painful as nails catch in clothes.

The Royal Marsden Hospital used to have a manicurist, Francesca Manning, who was very helpful and supportive, and made me realise that many others suffer – usually in silence. One thing Francesca recommended was NailTek products, made in the States for cancer patients. They have Crystal Glass Files, soft and gentle and so good I have one by the bed, in my handbag and on my desk – all places where the horrid little hangnails catch. They are also coming into shops, so look out for them at chemists.

NailTek make special base coats; best one for splitting and hang nails is Hydration Therapy II (a nail varnish). If you have horrid thick, horny nails (rather like horses) then their Hydration Therapy III is the right product. They also make a cuticle cream and an oil:  products which feed the nails, and really help them grow again.  Use the oil or cream every day on the nail bed and around the edge, then every day re-apply another coat of the Hydration Therapy, taking it off once a week.

Use their Hydration Therapy clear nail varnish every day, and their cuticle creams at night, and this will help nails develop a white edge – before they become like a serrated saw.

In France they take nail care seriously, and at a recent conference for Oncologists I heard a brilliant dermatologist discuss how effective Evonail was at treating cancer patients’ nail problems.  If you go to article on How the French treat nail problems, this gives more details.  You can order in UK from contact@feelbetterduringchemo.com

You may find that due to a low immune system, you develop a fungal infection under your nails. SkinSure Plus is recommended for this; put a large drop into the palm of your hand, rub palms together then scrape nails across the palms so the lotion gets under the nails. 0800 107 1053. However, my fungal infection was so gross that the only thing that finally worked was Loceryl. This costs around £40 a tiny bottle, but thanks to Dr. Nerys Roberts at my local hospital, I managed to get this on the NHS.

And you are not alone.  In the USA they take these nail problems seriously, and an article in Supportive Oncology March/April 2009 issue on Dermatotoxicity linked to targeted Biological Agents tells you lots more – and proves you are not making a fuss.  See rest of article


Now I am on Omeprazole (don’t ask – it is to treat after effects from one of the drugs).  However, side effects – split nails, blood blisters, chalky surface, etc. are so painful I am off to see Prof. Johnston to get it changed.  I had almost given up, and was resigned to having split, flaking nails for ever – but had Wahanda MobDeal at Saasha Hair and Beauty Clinic, 59b Crawford Street, London W1.   020 7723 1985.  I bought this for the massage, which was brilliant, but included in the deal was a manicure – so thought I might as well take advantage.

At Saasha, Nishta took my hands in hers, filed the nails right down, and pampered them and painted the nails carefuly so that they looked really glam.

Then she sat me down under a special table lamp, and made me sit there for 15 minutes drying the nails.  I don’t know what was in the lamp’s rays, but my nails stayed ‘put’ for seven days – no flaking – no bits coming off – no nail polish peeling.  They were really brilliant.  I shall definitely be back when I need glam nails for a special occasion.

Now, I feel confident enough to actually give myself a weekly manicure, and a kind friend has given me a box of gorgeous nail colours.  Looking round in waiting rooms, blue, black and dark burgundy colours seem a no-no.  They look gloomy, and when it’s cold make your hands look really ‘grey’.  This friends said what I needed was Flame, coral and bright pink and red colours – and up came a box filled with gorgeous colours such as Orange Squash (a zingy coral), Hot Pink (does what is says on label), etc., made by GLEE and Famous Nails.                                                                                      ..
I like  their colours because they are bright and happy – just the boost we need.  And don’t forget to paint your toe-nails to match – it is a tremendous morale booster! Even the nurses have commented, and although my nails are still short, having such lovely colours with a bright gloss top coat makes me feel so much more glam!

Famous by Sue Moxley Nail Varnishes, £4.50 at superdrugs nationwide

Glee Diva’s Free Your Glee Nail Set is £4.99 at Sainsbury’s

More Tips

QVC, the shopping TVchannel, invited me along one day to view their winter promotions, and incidentally, “would I like a manicure?”  Lovely people!  And Sue gave me a lovely manicure, using OPI products.  Five days, later, even with my horrible flaking nails, only one nail has a tiny chip.

Sue gave me a tip – WAIT and let your nails dry.  At the QVC day they had a clever set-up;  Sue gave one a superb manicure, then passed you over immediately to Louise from Elemis, who sat me down in an Elemis massage chair, and gave me a lovely long facial.  So I lay there with my nails drying harder and harder – and made a vow that I would really make sure I let my nails dry next time I gave myself a manicure – no ‘fiddling’ around!

OPI produces gorgeous cheerful colours that make your hands look so much better, and it has been lovely having bright coral fingertips to cheer me up!  Incidentally, I know many people can’t face going out shopping when having treatment, or when fatigue rears its ugly head, so I will ask QVC to let us know when they have special promotions of suitable things.

How to have fabulous massage without paying the earth

Image representing Wahanda as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Massage is good for you post cancer

In Europe, massage is accepted as part of the deal to help you recover from cancer.  In some countries you can even get treatments on their health service, and every oncologist expects you to have this included as part of your recovery programme, for as long as you are on hormonal drugs.

Even in Britain, where the parsimonious NHS wouldn’t dream of advocating anything so nice as part of a medical recovery programme, a Macmillan survey proved that massage is good for you.

If you are lucky you can get some massages for free offered by charities – then you are on your own, and have to pay from £50 – £90 each time you want a treatment.

Once you have realised the benefits of massage – helping you relax, possibly sleep better, and definitely improve  ‘drug-stressed’ skin, most of us just coudn’t face the cost, even though we knew the benefits.  Until along came Wahanda.

Wahanda is like a free club, whose members gain benefits with low-cost treatments.  Once you sign up, you receive almost daily emails with the latest offers, known as MobDeals, which range from massage to spa breaks, and all at a much lower price than if you walked in off the street.  And these aren’t only in London – they have deals all over the UK:  Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham, etc.  See www.wahanda.com for more deals.

What’s it like to have a MobDeal?

Into my Inbox popped the Wahanda Newsletter with a deal for £20.  If I paid Wahanda this by credit card, I would get a massage, hair treatment for my horrible dry hair, manicure and pedicure.  This seemed too good to be true, but I paid up, printed out the voucher that came back, and made an appointment with Kuno Tierra Boutique Urban Spa.  They have two spas, one in Mayfair, but I chose the one in King’s Road, Chelsea.

Stepping inside the salon, I was greated by Laureen, French – and professional to her finger-tips  She showed me into a treatment room, and proceeded to give me a fantastic Back, Neck and Shoulder massage.  Whenever I have a good massage, this helps restore my energy levels – and boy, I have been zinging around ever since.  Laureen was incredibly relaxing yet thorough, and at no time did I feel I was getting something on the cheap – all the time I was pampered and cosseted.  Bliss.

Eventually I had to snap out of my trance, and Laureen then gave me an excellent pedicure, and a manicure.  Well, my split ‘druggie’ nails are a sore test of any manicure – but with this one the polish stayed on my finger nails for six days – twice as long as normal.

After my hair treatment, I was offered a wash and blow dry for £25 – and I would have done anything to stay around in the atmosphere, so I went upstairs to Lockonego, the sister hairdressers, and Sophie gave me a fantastic hair-do.

I knew I would be back, and found that once a customer, you get offered fantastijiuuc deals:  the current one is for three Express treatments from the menu of Facial, Manicure, Pedicure, Nourishing Hand and Feet Treatment, the massage I had – and beauty treatments including Spray Tanning and Body Polish.  Cost for three treatments is £60.

Tel: 020 7795-1798   www.Lockonego.com

And if you sign up to Wahanda’s newsletter, telling you about MoibDeals, they have kindly said if you buy anything, you can have £5 off your first purchase.  http://www.wahanda.com/mobdeal/uk/

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Get rid of hang nails!


They are not normally a treat, unless they are Nail Tek files, specially developed for soft ‘cancer hit’ nails.

At the Royal Marsden they used to have a manicurist, Francesca, who introduced me to this brand.  Yesterday, a friend sent me their latest file – in a smart red case with glittery crystals on the handle.  Now when I take it out (three times a day!) to file down hang nails, I don’t feel I have to hide the file!


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