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BECCA London’s Nail Masterclass

As a make up artist, I am often required to do a model’s nails – although I feel I can paint my own nails well, painting someone elses nails is quite a different story! I haven’t had any training, and although I always do the best I can, I’ve often thought it would be great to have someone who actually knows to show me if I’m doing things right, and some tips and tricks as well as general nail etiquette on shoots.

BECCA London are running some nail masterclasses taught by manicure queen Katie Jane Hughes – one is the ‘Pro Nail Masterclass’, aimed at make up artists wanting to add another string to their bow and give them the confidence to be able to say “I can do nails too!”. The other is aimed at non make-up artists – teaching them how to master the DIY manicure – how to make it look professional, working with light and dark colours, nail art and nail trends.

BECCA invited me along to experience the Pro Nail Masterclass on a one to one basis before the real deal kicks off on 16th May, so on Tuesday, off I went to BECCA’s flagship store in South Kensington to add that string to my bow!

Katie started by whipping off my nail varnish, then showed me on one of my hands, the correct way to do a manicure. Although I had been doing this to myself for years, evidently I hadn’t been doing it quite right. As she prepped my nails, we chatted about the tools she was using and her technique – it was very useful to be able to feel the pressure that she used for shaping, cuticle removal and buffing.

Once the nails had been prepped, Katie proceeded to paint them – again, I’d been holding the brush at the wrong angle all these years! She decided to work in red as it’s one of the harder colours to paint with – to remove the colour if you get it on the skin. When the topcoat was on and they were done, it was my turn. I worked on the other hand, under Katie’s guidance – I think it was the best paint job I’d ever done on myself! She then got me to do one of my nails in an accent colour of white, again, a hard colour to paint with.

Katie then showed me how to do some basic nail art on one of my hands – using a dotting tool, a nail art brush and acrylic paints. I’ve never used any of these on nails before so it was a real eye opener to me! I learned how to do bow ties, polka dots, leopard print, hearts and lips – here are some of my nails that I did.

Then it was my turn to do Katie’s nails! As I was doing them, I asked questions – Katie was a fab teacher – she didn’t make me feel stupid for asking how to do things, and was very patient with me. She showed me on one of her hands how to do a double mani, which I copied on her other – she said was very good going for my first attempt!

At that point I felt my head was well and truly jammed with new-found knowledge – Katie gave me a list of tools that I would need to make up my basic nail kit and did this amazing piece of handiwork on my nails before I left…

Now that I know the correct way of doing things, and knowing the fact that I can do it, I am going to practice on as many different people as I can (free manicures going at my house peeps!) and next time I’m on a shoot I will definitely offer my services to nails. I really feel the masterclass taught me loads, and filled me with a huge amount of confidence – thank you so much to BECCA and of course my wonderful teacher, Katie!

The Pro Nail Masterclass runs next Wednesday 16th May 10am-6pm priced at  £150.

The two non-professional masterclasses run on Saturday 19th May at 10am-2pm or  3pm-7pm for £85 which includes a free BECCA polish. Email joanne@beccacosmetics.com for more info.


  1. May 10, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    Your nails look great, both the ones you did yourself, and the ones Becca did! I wish I lived close enough to go to the non-pro one xoxo

  2. Anonymous
    May 10, 2012 / 6:45 pm

    I'm so envious of your job! I love doing make up and nails, but I'm not sure my hands are steady enough to do it professionally.

    I loved the red with kisses, and the polka dots. Again, though I could practically paint my nails with my eyes closed, my hands aren't steady enough to do the nail art.

  3. May 10, 2012 / 7:17 pm

    This sounds like an amazing class & something I would love to do! You did an awesome job hun, adore the nail art 🙂

    Love Aysh xoxo

  4. May 11, 2012 / 8:03 am

    Eeekk thanks so much for posting this.. I am definitely going to book up for the class!! Becca rocks!!

  5. May 28, 2012 / 2:46 am

    It sounded like a really nice experience and your attempt on the double mani is really lovely! 🙂

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