Nail Tech Spotlight: Sophie Burley

Introducing Sophie Burley (, this month's shining star in our Nail Tech Spotlight. Sophie is a passionate and skilled nail technician, who has shared some of her favourite nail designs, her journey, experiences, and aspirations with us. 

Mixed/Alternative French

Alternative french designs like this are a year-round staple. No matter the season you can change up the shade and make it very on trend. What Sophie has done here is pair the french with full coverage while alternating the colours. This give it a winter season twist she has used cool blues and iridescent glitter to give an a subtle aurora borealis effect. The look was achieved using:

Sophie clearly has mastered the french tip technique and is something all nail techs should get to grips with as it is one of the most requested nail art designs. Check out this step by step french tip tutorial that will get you recreating this look in no time 


Summer Abstract Flowers 

The "Abstract Summer Flowers" nail art design, inspired by the talented Nails By Katie Dutra, is a vivid and playful celebration of the spring and summer seasons. This design stands out for its bright, lively colours and intricate details, showcasing the expertise and creativity involved in its creation.

At the heart of this design is the soft peach base, achieved using the Purebuild Squeak product. This choice of base colour is strategic; the gentle, warm peach tone acts as an ideal canvas, enhancing the vibrancy of the flowers and making them truly pop. The abstract floral patterns are a kaleidoscope of custom-mixed hues, demonstrating the use of our highly pigmented detail paints. The mixing of colours to create unique shades not only adds a personal touch but also offers an exclusive, premium experience for clients.

What sets this design apart is the intricate line work that defines and shapes the abstract flowers. These lines add depth and dimension, making the design more dynamic and visually captivating. While the complexity of the flowers and line work might initially appear daunting, a methodical approach to the design simplifies the process, allowing for efficient and beautiful execution.

This nail art design is more than just a visual treat; it's a showcase of several advanced nail art skills, including colour mixing, detailed brushwork, and design composition. Such a combination of techniques warrants a premium charge, reflecting the value of the custom colours and the skill level required. Nail artists are encouraged to recognise the worth of their artistry and expertise when pricing this intricate and custom design.The look was achieved using:


'Dark & Stormy'

The "Dark & Stormy" nail art design is an great example of balance and elegance, combining glitter and gel polish in a sophisticated manner. This design is all about finding the perfect harmony between colour and sparkle, ensuring that each element complements the other without overwhelming it.

Sophie has wisely chosen to split the design evenly between two standout shades: 'Moonbeam' and 'Moonlight'. 'Moonbeam' is a lively and reflective aqua detail paint, bursting with shimmer and life. It's like capturing the essence of a twinkling starry night within a polish. On the other hand, 'Moonlight' is a deep navy gel polish that exudes sophistication and depth. This dark, rich hue serves as the perfect counterbalance to the bright vivacity of 'Moonbeam'.

The combination of these two shades gives the 'Dark & Stormy' design a unique aesthetic that is both festive and winter-appropriate. It's a design that not only fits the celebratory mood of the holiday season but also transitions smoothly into January, often referred to as 'the blue month', due to its association with cooler, more subdued tones.

The key to the success of this design lies in the use of glitter gel polish that belongs to the blue colour family. By pairing it with the dark navy polish, Sophie ensures that the glitter is prominent without being overbearing. This approach allows for a nail art design that is glittery and eye-catching yet tastefully restrained. The overall effect is one of understated glamour, making it an ideal choice for clients seeking a design that's both dazzling and refined. See other deisgns using these shades by clicking the links below

Retro Swirls

This nail art design, aptly named "Retro Swirls," is a nostalgic nod to the groovy aesthetics of the past. It ingeniously combines contrasting colours to create a look that's reminiscent of the iconic Dairy Milk Marble, evoking a sense of playful yet sophisticated charm. The design primarily features swirls that meld together warm, autumnal shades in a harmonious dance of colour.

The base colour of the design is a alternates between a nude (Cashew) and a gorgeous chocolate brown (Cocoa). The nude, which serves as a perfect canvas for the more dramatic elements. Swirling atop this neutral backdrop are ribbons of rich chocolate brown, their organic, fluid shapes weaving across each nail. This chocolate hue is not just a single flat colour; it has depth, much like the swirls in marble, giving the design an almost tactile quality.

What makes this design particularly striking is the contrast between the nude and the chocolate brown. The nude, with its warm, skin-like tone, complements the deeper, luxurious brown, allowing it to stand out while also blending seamlessly. This colour combination is reminiscent of cozy autumn and winter themes, bringing to mind the warmth of hot chocolate or the comforting shades of fallen leaves.

Overall, the "Retro Swirls" nail art is a stylish and modern take on retro themes. It's a design that's not just visually appealing but also evokes a sense of warmth and comfort, making it especially suitable for the cooler months.

While this design is not everyones cup of tea showing this type of nail art is good to show potential clients the skills you have.

To try this look yourself you'll need :

Both of these shades can be found in the Everyday Nudes gel polish collection which is our best selling collection. It is a collection of 10 neutral gel polish shades that have been designed to suit any skin type. Well worth a look at.

Q&A With Sophie 

What Inspired You to Become a Nail Tech?

"Having my own nails done!" Sophie exclaims. Her fascination with the nail art process began as a client. She was always inquisitive, peppering her technician with questions, which led to an epiphany: “Omg, I could do this as a job too!” Fast forward a year, and Sophie has not only mastered the craft but also cherishes every moment of it.

Why Did You Choose HONA?

Sophie's choice of HONA was born out of a personal ordeal. She suffered from overfilling – a common but painful experience for many in the nail tech world. This incident led to cracks in her nail plate, exposing the nail bed and causing immense discomfort. During this period, she discovered she had nail allergies, which, although not severe, caused her four months of pain and discomfort. This experience was a turning point, setting her on a mission to find the safest brand for both her and her clients – HONA.

Three Things You Can’t Live Without

Sophie's life isn't all about nails. She shares three things she can't live without:

  1. Cereal: She never skips breakfast.
  2. Hair Brush: Tangled hair is a big no for her.
  3. Perfume: Feeling good is as important as looking good, even for a quick milk run!

Vision for the Next 5 Years

Sophie's ambitions are as vivid as her nail designs. In five years, she envisions herself owning a salon, bustling with employees, trainees, and self-employed beauticians. She aims to create a haven that caters to various therapists while offering clients an unparalleled experience. Beyond nails, Sophie aspires to be an educator and expand her repertoire of beauty services.

Sophie's story is a blend of passion, resilience, and ambition. Her journey from a nail art enthusiast to a visionary is inspiring. Keep an eye on Sophie Burley at 

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