NCE Magazine June 2019Presented by Suzie

Table of Contents

  1. Behind the Coverby Suzie
  2. Storytime with Suzieby Suzie
  3. 3 Nail Art Designs for Kidsby Suzie
  4. 10 Questions with the King of Nailswith Max Estrada
  5. Quiz: What's your Nail Style?by Team NCE
  6. My Social Media Storyby Celina Rydén
  7. Your Zero Waste Starter Kitby Naturally Cadie
  8. The Wedding Nailby Suzie
  9. Suzie Submissionsby Team NCE

Behind the Coverby Suzie

I have always loved the Victorian era!

From its detailed architecture to its delicate lacey apparel… It just speaks to me! That’s probably why my own wedding dress reflected the style. The Victorian esthetic inspired me to collaborate with Clear Jelly Stamper to design this stamping plate, reflective of the time. It features cameos, antique items and patterns in floral and lace, allowing us to revisit the era! And with Koko and Claire gel nail polish designed to have a vintage look, we can create a truly timeless masterpiece.

Although I can’t fit back into my wedding dress thirty-seven years later... the hat still happens to be in my size!

photo of suzie wearing her fancy wedding hat

All these amazing products got me thinking of what kind of nails I would have worn if I had access to them years ago… After my fair share of playing around with them, I think I’ve come up with my dream wedding nails!

photo of nail products on suzie's table

Products Used:

  • Suzie’s Victorian plate from Clear Jelly Stamper
  • Koko and Claire gel polishes Vintage Linen #057 and Blanket Blue #079
  • CJS high pigment stamping polish #’s 084, 042 and 069.
  • CJS scraper
  1. Before beginning my stamping designs, I prepped my nails with two layers of Vintage Linen #057 and Blanket Blue #079, alternating between the colours in a pattern I liked.

  2. For each of my stamping designs, I start by painting on the colour I want for the specific part of the design I’m doing. Here I’m painting on CJS’s stamping polish #069 for an intricate pattern on my pinky finger.

  3. Then gently using my scraper, I clear away the excess polish from the design.

  4. Using care, I pick up my design with my stamper.

  5. Be sure to line up your design the way you want it on the nail by looking through your clear jelly to check the placement!

  6. Continuing transferring the design, I press the stamper onto my nail gently.

  7. And voila- lift to reveal your design!

Use these stamping steps for each plate design you choose. You can keep it simple or get as creative and detailed as you want, using different polish colours for different parts of a piece or layering plate designs. For example, on my ring finger I used CJS’s stamping polish #067, which is less of an off-white, to make it stand out from the nail.

Here are some adorable designs from the Victorian plate that I didn’t end up using for my wedding nails, but that I have to mention...

  1. Adorable chair!

  2. Doves in flight, carrying key

  3. Birdcage

  4. It’s normal for your stamping to go over the edges of your nails. Just clean them up with nail polish remover when you’re finished.

  5. All cleaned up and ready to shoot!

  6. I still have my wedding dress, which was a major inspiration for these nails. So, we used the laciest bits for the backdrop of this cover.

  7. You can be in front of the camera and behind it at the same time! We have a tablet connected to our camera, so that I can hand model and still contribute to the direction behind the scenes.

  8. Such a fun cover to shoot- and full of nostalgia!

Storytime with Suzieby Suzie

“I had no idea how awesome a nail career would be for raising children…”

When I started doing nails in my early twenties, I wasn’t thinking about children at all. It wasn’t until I was twenty-eight and became pregnant with my first that I ended up learning how great this career is for being a stay-at-home parent.

At this time, I had a full clientele and was the owner of the most popular salon in my city. I was having a blast! Although I was throwing up literally every single day- pregnancy did not agree with me- I was so excited to be having a baby!

I’m not one to plan much of anything in my life. I’m someone who flies by the seat of their pants- which has actually worked out rather well for me. When my first baby did arrive though, I found myself having to be a bit more organized. Running a salon while raising a baby seemed doable at first. My first baby was very chill and easy-going and fit right into the rhythm. But, if you’ve had a baby, you know that at about four months they become more active and need more attention. It was then that I realized I needed to make a change. To boot, just a few months later, I became pregnant with my second. I knew that managing a salon and taking clients on a full-time basis while raising a two year old and a newborn was just not realistic for me. So, it was settled. I was going to move my nail business to my home.

black-and-white photo of suzie holding her two babies

Making this move was a whole new chapter for me, and it was also uncharted territory. There was a lot about the change that I was unsure of and didn’t know about yet. I was moving from an upscaled downtown store location to a room in my suburban home located 45 minutes away. I was worried about it not being as professional. But, I was a mom now and that was my #1 priority. Everything would work around my kids. And so, they did just that…

“Instead of catering to busy city-goers on their lunch breaks, my appointments at home much of the time were with fellow moms.”

Although I lost much of my clientele (I knew I would lose the majority due to the commute) as well as aspects of the work environment from before that I liked, I ended up gaining a different kind of clientele and a situation that worked much better and suited me now as a mom. Instead of catering to busy city-goers on their lunch breaks, my appointments at home much of the time were with fellow moms. I was now located in a neighborhood community that was family focused. There were many people within the community that were looking for services closeby. Many had children of their own and were able to come to me for their nails without needing to hire a babysitter. I also learned that my new clients from the community did not expect a fancy salon experience at all and actually preferred the comforts of a more casual home environment. So, despite my worries and reservations, I was able to build back my clientele quite quickly and I was enjoying the many advantages of working at home.

Of course, my main advantage of working from home was being there for my kids. At first, when I would need to interrupt an appointment to tend to my children, I would feel guilty about it. But then I remembered that even at the salon, I would often have to get up to answer the phone or address a customer at the door while doing a set. So really, what was the difference? The interruptions were of a different nature, but they were equally circumstantial. I found that my clients were very understanding- many being parents themselves- and even more, they admired that I was maintaining my career while still looking after my children. And besides, my kids came first. The clients that didn’t appreciate this would simply go somewhere else. This was absolutely fine with me, because my children were the reason why I worked, not the other way around.

“… my children were the reason why I worked, not the other way around.”

When my kids were starting school, I seriously considered opening up a salon again. It remained in the back of my mind that I would always get back to it. But, weighing the options, I decided that the at-home situation I had built over those few years would transition perfectly to being worked around my kids’ school schedules. And again, being there for them was my top priority. For the next eighteen years, I was able to spend the mornings with my kids and drive them to school. During their grade school days, I was able to do clients in the morning and have lunch off to bring them home. We had the afternoons, and as they got older and didn’t need me around after school, I was able to take a couple clients before dinner. Even on the weekends, when they would sleep in as teenagers, I could fit in a few appointments before the afternoon when we would do things together. It was the perfect set up.

photo of suzie with her 20-year-old children

That’s one thing that I love about being a nail tech- it is so adaptable! I drastically changed my schedule and my location, and I was still able to continue my nail career- without skipping a beat, really. If you’re a good technician, you will be able to find a clientele that will blend with whatever your lifestyle is otherwise. For me- and I know for many- that lifestyle is parenthood.

“I also never anticipated how much I would learn about parenting from my clients who were also moms. Grandmothers, mothers, new mothers… I gained an absolute wealth of knowledge!”

One more aspect I found from doing nails at home that I didn’t expect was how much more friendly and intimate my relationships with my clients were. I was inviting them into my home. They would often meet my children and even chat with them. Many of my clients lived within my community, so we were also neighbours and often times I would have met their children as well. Sure, I made friends with clients from my salon, but I would say the types of relationships I had with my neighborhood clientele was very different. I also never anticipated how much I would learn about parenting from my clients who were also moms. Grandmothers, mothers, new mothers… I gained an absolute wealth of knowledge! It helped me become a better parent.

All in all, I can’t recommend this career enough for parents who want to work from home. Mother or father- this is a fantastic career! It has been extremely valuable for myself as a mom.

3 Nail Art Designs for Kidsby Suzie

Meet Blaiklee!
She is five years old, and believe it or not, I’ve had younger clients

photo of five-year-old blaiklee with pink nails!

For this age group, getting their nails done is more about the experience and fun of it, rather than the longevity and wearability of the design. Kids’ attention spans are a lot shorter than adults’. So, when thinking up a design for the little ones, keeping it quick can prove to be key. Using as few steps as possible will make the experience enjoyable and avoid it from becoming boring for them and tedious for the tech- or whoever gets to glam them up!

Here are three quick and easy nail art designs for kids!

First, let's do some preparation

If you’ve ever polished nails without doing a manicure first, you’ve probably realized how important cleaning up them up before you begin truly is. The cuticles can get in the way of your “nail estate.” Even if the cuticle is just uneven, it can still interfere with your design. And when working with kids, you don’t want to have to spend extra time fussing and fixing, so it is best to set it up right from the get go to avoid this. Having said that, do consider how the child takes to having their cuticles pushed back. Some kids really don’t like it, and it’s not worth making the experience unpleasant for them in order to have the design done properly. Like I said, for kids, it’s for the fun of it- not to have pristine nails. Alternatively, try applying a good amount of cuticle softener and gently pushing the cuticles back.

Keep the prep for children at a simple manicure to clean up the hands and nails as long as they are comfortable. I DO NOT recommend filing the nails or using nail dehydrators or primers. While we normally prep the nail bed this way for adults, for kids, these steps can be invasive and time consuming. For a child who is likely to become bored with their design and want them off in a few days anyway, it’s just not worth the fuss.

We will be using gel products for these nail art designs. Gel is fantastic for kids’ nails because it dries (cures) in seconds! Regular polish requires more patience with longer drying time, which most kids don’t have. Plus, curing the gel under the lamp allows them to have their own part in the process, which they love!

Before beginning your design, apply a layer of no wipe gel top coat and cure under the lamp for 30 seconds.

You don’t want the child to look directly into the LED bulb of the gel lamp. Instead of telling them not to, opt to distract them from it instead. Often telling them to not look at it will only interest them more. So, simply keep up the conversation and keep them involved in what you are doing. Having them look at colour swatches or stamping plates is a good idea.

Design 1: Chrome

  1. So easy and simple! Kids love chrome because it’s such an intense colour.

  2. Use a sponge applicator and massage the chrome onto the nail. Don’t worry about going over the edges of the nail. We’ll clean this up after.

  3. The result is immediate and so shiny!

  4. Once finished applying the chrome, add a clear top coat and nuke (cure) for 30!

  5. Now, use a cotton pad folded in half with a bit of polish remover to clean up the edges of the nail where the chrome went over. If it’s difficult to get off, having them wash their hands will also remove the chrome dust.

  6. Kids love the part of unveiling the transformation!

    If the child is interested in helping, have them rub the chrome onto their own nail or even use a duster to dust away the excess chrome.

Design 2: Daisies

  1. Use a dotting tool and two colours of regular polish or gel polish to create these little flowers. Again, gel polish just dries quicker, but either is fine!

  2. We chose classic daisy colours, yellow for the centre and white for the petals, but feel free to mix it up!

    Start by dotting one colour in a circle for your petals- not touching each other.

  3. Then fill in the centres with your second colour. It’s as easy as that!

  4. Looks like Blaiklee knows the routine by now...

Cure when you’ve finished all your daisies, add a top coat, cure once more and you’re done!

So simple and versatile when you switch up the colours!

If your base colour has a cured gel top coat, then you can wipe your daisies off at any point and redo them if you need, without having to start all over again. This is very handy as kids can get fidgety.

Design 3: Stamping

I love stamping, especially for kids. It’s quick and easy and it’s so fun having them pick out which designs they like from the plate.

Remember that kids fingers are tiny! So choose the small designs.

We are stamping on Blaiklee’s pink chrome as the background, but you can also stamp directly onto natural nails.

Play around with using different colours for details of the stamping design.

Blaiklee loved this cameo, so on it went!

Once again, top coat when you’ve finished designing and nuke ‘em!

Here you see some of Blaiklee’s nails stamped and some with daisies, all on the pink chrome, which is her favourite colour. She was so patient for me to do three designs on her, so I decided to leave some nails with daisies and finish the rest off with the stamping.

That’s another fun thing about kids’ designs though, you can mix and match. They love it! There really are no wrong ways to do it... As long as they’re having fun, you’re doing it right!

You always want to be mindful of kids’ attention spans when doing their nails, because you don’t want to get to the point where you’re trying to convince them to stay still. It can really take the fun out of it.

For Blaiklee, she was happy to have just one of her hands done because she had two new pets- two mini hamsters named Daisy and Lolli. She told me that they like polish on one hand, but not on the other hand and that they were waiting for her at home.

Kids, huh? Gotta love ‘em!

10 Questions with the King of Nailswith Max Estrada

Max Estrada

Max Estrada is the Founder, CEO and International Master Director of Global Education for his nail product line Exclusive Nail Couture. Being immersed in the nail industry from a very young age, Max found his passion for nail mastery very early on. He attended his first trade show at age five and began competing in nail competitions at age sixteen, placing within the top ten of his category and division. Being the trend-setter that he is, Max says, “The nail industry is not about where it is, but where it is going.” Solidifying this motto and fulfilling his ultimate dream in 2014, Max began Exclusive Nail Couture, bringing new products to nail techs everywhere and complementing his nail care education. Max competes in nail competitions to this day, sharing his true passion for the craft.

“I grew up in the industry. My mom is still a nail tech. At the time she had her own salon and I would go every day after school to watch her do nails.”

  1. When did you begin your nail career?

    I grew up in the industry. My mom is still a nail tech. At the time she had her own salon and I would go every day after school to watch her do nails. At about thirteen/fourteen, I had a serious interest in the industry. I got my license as soon as I finished high school.

  2. What is it about nails that you love?

    I love the challenge and the technical aspect of it. I had training in Russia and my mentor was a two-time world champion nail technician. So, I love the rigid structure of nails. Now, as a manufacturer, I love seeing people create with my products. It’s bigger than just making nails themselves. Now, I get to make a difference in people’s lives on a different level.

  3. What inspired you to create your own product line?

    I had worked in Research and Development for a big company for nine years. After that, I worked in R&D for a different company for another two years. But, I felt like my career was at a stand still. I had a background in manufacturing, so I wanted to bring all of my knowledge and my esthetic into it. I wanted to bring the fun back to nails!

  4. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve had to face in your career?

    I have faced different struggled at all stages of my nail career. Early on, it was timing and application. Then, it was building my salon. Nails itself is a challenge, as I always have a vision in my head that I want to execute and have look a certain way. That’s the great thing about this industry though. It’s always a challenge. Which works for me, because I have a competitive nature!

“I wanted to bring the fun back to nails!”

  1. Is there a product of yours that you’re most proud of creating?

    Everything that I make, I put my love and energy into! Not all products are hits, but they’re still something that I’m proud of. But in my heart, my acrylic line is so special because it’s so advanced and unique. Also, my upcoming pink monomer is for sure going to be a home run!

  2. You travel all around the world for your career. What are your top three favourite places and why?

    South Korea is my #1! It was the first place I travelled to for work, so it has a special place in my heart. Ever since, I have gone back a few times a year just for fun! I love K-pop and have made really good friends there. The US is #2. I’ve been able to visit many places in America and I love all things there and being able to meet fans and techs who use Enailcouture. #3 is hard, but because I feel so humbled to have traveled everywhere and be able to share my love for nails, I will choose China for the simple fact that they have the best food in the world!

  3. What’s your all time favourite nail event you’ve attended?

    I think the ISSE show in Long Beach is one of my favourite beauty shows. It was the first place I was able to exhibit. Plus Disneyland is my birth place... so the show has a special place in my heart!

  4. You speak several languages. Which ones and how did you do it?!

    I speak four languages, but I know a few phrases in many. I love music in various languages, so that’s how I pick up the pronunciation quickly. I speak English, Spanish, Japanese and Russian. I learned Japanese when I attended private language school when I was eight and Russian I picked up while training their for nails.

  5. Any passions or hobbies outside of nails?

    I don’t have too many since I work 24/7, 365 days! But, clothes and fashion would have to be a big one. I love Gucci in particular. When I was a small child, my mom would dress me up. As a little sailor, a race car driver, a cowboy, you name it! I always remember all of my clothes to have a “costume” like feel. As a young man, I still love that esthetic: clothes themed and full of colour. It’s fun to dress up and enjoy a different look every day!

“I enjoy my nail friends who I don’t always just talk nails with.”

  1. With traveling so extensively and attending so many events, you must have met some cool people along the way. Can you share a few of your favourites?

    Probably the two with the most impact for me would be my teachers. Trang Ngyuen, who is the two-time world champion and trained me for almost ten years, and Elena Shankaya, my nail art teacher from Russia. Also, Suzie from Nail Career Education is a close personal friend of mine. I can speak with her about anything! I enjoy my nail friends who I don’t always just talk nails with.

Keep up with Max and all his latest products at as well as on his Instagram and YouTube Channel.

Quiz: What's your Nail Style?by Team NCE

What nail style suits your personality?

Answer these questions!

What does your ideal Saturday night out look like?

Movie night with friends All dressed up for a fancy dinner Dancing the night away!

What's your kind of weekend getaway?

A trip with friends somewhere new Sightseeing and shopping in the city A quiet and cozy cabin on the beach

What's your drink of choice?

Frappucino, or iced tea lemonade Tea, brewed coffee, or a latte Anything strong!

What’s your dream car?

A flashy sports convertible A fully loaded luxury car A reliable vehicle with a great warranty

What’s your makeup routine like?

Shimmer eyeshadow and highlights Au naturale, or a little bit of mascara and some lip gloss Bold lip and long, thick lashes

What’s your interior aesthetic?

Simple, functional and cozy Monochrome with a pastel accent, lots of fur throws and some shine Bold accenting colours with my favourite artwork and photos on display

What music do you listen to?

Hip Hop and R&B Easy listening and Singer/Songwriter Pop and Rock

What's a typical morning for you?

Up with enough time to meditate and read Hit the gym early and have lots of time to get ready Snooze and breakfast to go!

What do you carry your stuff in?

A clutch or purse A simple bag with a side strap or even a backpack It changes daily with my outfit!

What’s your life motto?

“Be fearless.” “Carpe diem (Seize the day).” “Life is what you make it.”

Your nail style is Sparkle and Shimmer (anything Bling)!

You love the finer things in life and your nails are no exception! A sparkling nail with some encrusted diamonds would not be out of place on you. You love dressing up and looking polished. Your nails are the icing on the cake!

Your nail style is Simple and Natural!

You like to keep things simple and functional. A classic nude nail and a clean french design are favourites of yours as you know they will suit any outfit or situation. For special occasions, you like pairing muted tones or pastel colours with your outfits!

Your nail style is Daring and Bold!

You love to make a statement and your nails are the perfect backdrop for this! You do not shy away from dramatic designs, contrasting colours and bold looks. Experimenting with different nail shapes is fun for you and you’re always changing it up!

My Social Media Storyby Celina Rydén

Photos by Richard Frantzén

“Social media has helped me reach places with my nail career that I never thought possible.”

With the invention of social media and the ever-growing role that it plays in people’s personal and professional lives, the opportunity for artists to gain exposure for their work is so much more achievable than it ever has been before. Social media has helped me reach places with my nail career that I never thought possible. I feel absolutely blessed to have the opportunity to reach out to the entire world. While it’s true that the opportunity to forge your own way in this world with whatever it is that you want to bring to it is more possible, that doesn’t mean that it’s not without hard work, consistency and a bit of boldness to lift you up out from the crowd.

Here’s my story with social media and how I have used it to build my brand and career.

Before my presence online, I worked multiple jobs. One was being a full-time nail tech, another was professional dancing and choreographing- I even worked as a magician’s assistant for about eight years. Eventually, and after having a lot of fun working these gigs amongst each other, I decided it was time for me to settle into one thing. While I was going to retire from the dance/entertainment industry, nails was still left on the table.

I began doing nails when I was only nineteen, but didn’t pursue it alone as a career because I was disappointed with the lack of interest at the time in nail art- which I loved. While I kept taking clients to pay the bills, I only ever got to do classic french or one solid colour, which didn’t hold my interest as a sole focus. However, fully re-entering the nail world just a few years later, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new interest from people in nail art. Clients were becoming interested in trying new things and I was 100% there for it! Another huge difference re-entering the nail game then was this thing called “social media”...

“I utilized both nail art and social media in a marriage that together propelled my new-found nail career.”

I utilized both nail art and social media in a marriage that together propelled my new-found nail career. I started by posting nails with different designs on each finger. This really got people’s attention. Albeit they thought I was mad, but they were viewing my posts! I created ballerina shapes and got slaughtered in the comments section. But, again, I got the attention I was looking for. I happened to know a lot of “famous” friends from my dancing days and decided to use them as my nail models and promote the posts on Instagram, which was a brand new social media platform at the time. It only took six months of this till I received a call from Sony Music wanting me to do Kesha’s nails for the show X Factor in Sweden! And the calls kept coming in with more requests to do celebrities nails. Talk about exposure! And all from posting online.

Still, even with a now A-list clientele, I searched for more opportunities to continue building my reputation and career. I applied for Nails Magazine’s Next Top Nail Artist and was accepted into the competition. I competed every week for nearly a year, which gave me great exposure. At the same time, I had been using Light Elegance nail products and fell in love with the brand. So, I approached LE while competing in the NTNA competition with the idea of becoming their “brand ambassador,” which they loved and it gave both their brand and myself even more exposure.

A lot of people who enter into competitions, for whatever their craft is, tend to think that once they’ve placed high or have been awarded “the crown,” have made it, so to speak, and they don’t have any more work to do. This could not be further from the truth! On the contrary, it is then when the real hard work truly begins. After NTNA was over and I snagged first runner up, I worked even harder on my social media presence than I ever had before. I knew I had to keep the momentum going that I had gained- from the show and from all of my exposures before. Without adding fuel to the fire, it will die.

I made the leap over to YouTube when I began to notice how the Instagram algorithms were changing. The work I was posting was better than ever, but my engagement was dropping. I knew very well at that point how to cultivate engagement- it’s what I built my career on! But, Instagram had changed. Realizing that it had become more or less impossible to focus on one platform, I branched out and created my YouTube channel.

“Without adding fuel to the fire, it will die.”

Luckily, at this time, nails on YouTube still wasn’t very popular. There was really only Suzie, Naio Nails and Simply Nailogical to contend with. Knowing that I owed a lot of my success on Instagram to being one of the first nail artists to be on the platform, I wanted to replicate that on YouTube, before it became flooded with other nail techs trying to do the same thing. I threw myself into video making, learning Final Cut Pro, and I found out how much I loved the process. My experience as a professional performer certainly helped me with being comfortable in front of the camera. From being on stage to choreography in video shoots, I knew what to think about both in front of and behind the lens. I will say that it is still difficult, but it would be a lot harder if I had not had this type of “training” already.

I keep evolving with every single video that I create. The same way that I continued to search for more success after each one I found through social media before, and from other exposure opportunities, is how I run my channel. Each video counts and builds from the last. I’m close to reaching 100,000 subscribers on my channel, which is very exciting! However, I am even more excited for how much further I can take it as well as where I will be able to go in terms of topic on my channel. I would like to be able to branch out from nails, while inspiring people and sharing my passions remains my ultimate goal. This way, I let time reveal what that might look like while my videos and myself evolve together.

“My favourite part about what I do is being able to interact with, contribute to and grow a community of like minded people.”

Pursuing my career, in a lot of ways, through the means of social media, as you can see is an ever-changing, ever-evolving feat. It is so much about staying on your toes, making yourself relevant and being adaptable. It is also extremely rewarding and exciting! I say rewarding because of the community you are able to create. My favourite part about what I do is being able to interact with, contribute to and grow a community of like minded people.

The most touching moments for me are when I see my followers making friends with each other. Ever since teaching dance back in the day, I’ve had the tendency to take younger kids under my wing; to try to protect them from what can be a tough, superficial world to have to grow up in. Creating an online community feels like doing this, on a larger scale. I have the chance to bring a kind of comfort to people, a “safe place,” to whoever taps in.

Ironically, social media itself can be the type of environment I wish to shield people from. But, I believe it is all in how this virtual world is used. And I wish to use it as the shield; for the good.

Celina Rydén

Celina Rydén is a world traveling entrepreneur. She has made a name for herself in the nail and beauty world through social media, brand collaborations and nail competitions. She teaches workshops globally and can be found working the biggest beauty trade shows today. Celina has also hosted two podcasts discussing nails and beauty and currently runs which focuses on e-commerce, education and nail art product sales. Not only is Celina driven in the nail world, but she has made her mark in the entertainment industry as well, working as a dancer and choreographer for nearly a decade. She also sings and writes music in an 80’s inspired synthwave band with her boyfriend Christian called Star Cassette. Celina lives in Stockholm, Sweden with Christian and their Jack Russell, Martin.

Find Celina on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and her website

You Zero Waste Starter Kitby Naturally Cadie

photo of various self-care products and household items, exfoliation sponges, reusable bags, wooden spoons, mason jars

Now, more than ever, we are becoming more aware of the effects our human footprints have on the planet. Things that we do every single day and don’t think twice about have a huge impact on the earth. Luckily, in today’s world, many of us are waking up to this fact and are spreading information on how to live more sustainably.

You have probably heard of the term, “zero waste,” but maybe you’ve wondered what a zero waste lifestyle actually looks like. In reality, a zero waste lifestyle can look different from person to person. Those who are new to sustainable living compared with people who have adopted this mindset much earlier on will be at different stages, and that’s okay. Rather than producing absolutely no waste at all, the core idea is to minimize the amount you produce as much as you can, and to keep improving on that. It’s all about being creative and thinking outside of the box- or better yet- no box at all!

Here are some easy everyday swaps you can make today to start your zero waste journey!

  1. Bamboo Toothbrush

    Instead of using a plastic toothbrush, which will end up in a landfill or our oceans and beaches, leak toxins into the environment and take over 400 years to decompose, swap it out for a toothbrush made from bamboo! Bamboo is 100% biodegradable as well as antimicrobial. This means that not only is it safe for the environment, but it’s safe for our bodies! Bamboo contains antimicrobial agents which stop bacteria from growing. Now, that’s a clean brushing!

  2. Mason Jars

    Not only are mason jars adorable for decorating and storage: think vases for flowers, planters, pantry storage, a holder for toothbrushes or pens, places for odds and ends, and the list goes on... But, have you ever thought to bring mason jars with you to the grocery store? Eliminating the use of plastic is pretty much #1 when thinking zero waste as plastic pollution affects not only our earth but many of the animals living on it. So, when making your grocery run, use glass jars to buy in bulk. This not only swaps the use of plastic bags, but also skips many pre-packaged foods that you might buy off the shelf instead.

  3. DIY Beauty Products

    This swap certainly calls for the most creativity, but it’s honestly one of the most rewarding ones on this list! Making your own beauty products at home will save you money as well as eliminate a lot of plastic from your consumption. Did you know that 40% of all plastic that is produced is made for packaging? The packaging that goes into beauty products, while it can be beautiful, is also damaging to our planet. Thankfully though, many of the beauty products that we use on a daily basis can be swapped for easy to make, at home cosmetics. There are countless recipes you can find online for anything from moisturizers, hair masks, lip balms, sugar scrubs to even toothpaste, shampoo and deodorant! Another bonus with this one is that you will also know exactly what goes into the products that you are using on your body. Plus, it gives another use for your mason jars!

  4. Reusable Bags

    I for one have been impressed with the amount of people I’ve seen shopping with their reusable bags! While this swap is a bit of a no-brainer, it’s also one that can be easily forgotten. Make sure to keep your reusable bags somewhere in your home where you will see them on your way out the door. If you drive, keep your car equipped with a few. Even if you’re not making a shopping trip that day, you never know when you might need one for something, and this way, you have an earth-friendly alternative to their plastic counterpart. Did you know that the average American family takes home almost 1,500 plastic shopping bags each year? BYOB! Bring your own bags!

  5. Second-Hand Shopping

    Second-hand shopping or “thrifting,” as the kids call it, has become quite popular over the past few years. The zero waste community is very happy about this! Shopping second hand not only helps fight against fast fashion demands, but it salvages otherwise land-fillable items. So, not only is shopping second-hand great for the environment, but making sure to donate any of your used clothing that you’re ready to part with is important too. The average American will throw away approximately 80 pounds of clothing each year! That’s a lot of clothing that somebody else could have made use of.

Naturally Cadie

Cadie is the creator and curator of Naturally Cadie on Instagram. There she shares zero waste, plant based and natural living lifestyle tips and tricks, as well as mindfulness techniques. Growing up, Cadie struggled with her health until she learned of her multiple allergies, including now very commonly known allergens, gluten and dairy. Due to this, she altered her eating habits dramatically and began her journey towards her personal optimum health. Feeling the amazingly positive effects of this new lifestyle, Cadie fully embraced it and delved even further into exploring natural alternatives for every part of her lifestyle. Now, Cadie is able to share all that she has learned over this time with her growing online community. Her goal is to be able to help those on their own journeys towards their truly healthiest and happiest lives!

Use the code CADIE10 at for a 10% discount!

Follow Cadie on Instagram for more easy everyday eco friendly swaps and sustainable living tips!

The Wedding Nailby Suzie

Six Nail Tips for your Big Day!

Every set of nails a nail technician creates is special, but… nails for a wedding are extra special! They will be, after all, the backdrop for the very wedding ring itself! The bride and the ring are the stars of the show – and the bride’s nails are the supporting actors.

photo of a newlywed couple hugging, her beautiful nails clearly visible

Whether you’ve never had nails done before or you’ve been a client for years, here are some tips every bride should keep in mind for their nails on their big day!

OWN your style

For your big day, you want to choose a nail design that you can look back on for years to come and still appreciate. Only you really know what this is for you. Do you like being bold? Are you constantly trying new looks and loving it? If so, going for a trendy design might be right up your alley and still bring a smile to your face when looking back on the day. However, if you are someone who prefers a particular personal style that you’ve honed or just want to keep your nails simple and clean on your day of days, then choosing a more timeless design will probably be your best bet. Either way, know which type you are and OWN IT.

Talk with your tech

Even if your wedding nails will be done by your regular nail tech, you will want to have a conversation with them ahead of time about what you’re wanting to get done for the big day. They will need to gather some important intel beforehand in order to give you what you’re looking for. Some of these include: the wedding dress style and colour, the season the wedding is taking place, the type of theme of the wedding, etc… Also, it is a very good idea to get your wedding nails done a few days before the actual day. Leaving it till the day before or the day of leaves you with no wiggle room if something does go wrong- like your tech ends up sick or there is a misbooking. You do not want to miss getting your nails done- especially if it’s a fill that you need.

Consider your dress

If you want to opt for some embellishments, like diamonds, jewels or accessories on your nails, just keep in mind that any of these items could pull a thread or snag the fabric of your dress accidentally. Keep under consideration the materials of your dress and avoid any possible disasters by using a top coat over the final design to soften any sharp edges. When choosing your nail colour, make sure to pair with the hue of your dress. You might think you want pure white nails for a clean look, but when placed next to an off-white or cream dress for example, it can actually make the dress look dirty in comparison. Be sure to test out your desired nail colour with your dress, in person.

Stick with your length

If you don’t normally have your nails done with some length, it is not wise to try it for the first time before an important event like your wedding! The reason why is that the chance of nail breakage becomes much higher when going from short to long in one appointment. Long nails take some getting used to and it’s during this stage where the possibility of nail breaks are particularly heightened. The last thing you want to have to worry about or deal with is a broken nail! Also, consider your honeymoon. If you’re traveling right after the wedding for a long getaway, you may need to find a nail salon on your trip for a fill, or take a file with you to shorten them as they grow. If they grow too long unattended, they may break, which is a hassle you really don’t want to deal with while you’re away.

Complete your look!

You’re going to look stunning on your wedding day- hair done, makeup, nails, dress- you’ll feel like a million dollars! Why not go all out and complete the look from top to bottom by adding a pedicure to your wedding nail service? Whether it’s on the dance floor or from your feet being sore from wearing those heels- or later at the hotel on your wedding night- your shoes may come off at some point. If your toes will be on display, why not show them the love too? Matching your tootsies with your ensemble will polish you off perfectly!

Your wedding day will be one of the most exciting, memorable, amazing- and busy- days of your life! Keep all of these tips in mind to take care of your nails well before your big day. Every time you look down at your ring, you’ll be so happy you did!

Suzie Submissionsby Team NCE

Suzie’s picks from YOUR nail photos tagged online!

Use the hashtag #suziesubmissions on your best nail photos on Instagram for a chance to be featured in the next issue of NCE Magazine!

Our next issue will be Fall, so include your autumn inspired designs!

  1. “I adore the spring spirit here! Reminds me of a painting. The flowers seem to just pop out from the nails! Love it.”

  2. “I love this frosted and matte look. The frost is just enough to see through. It’s like looking through a frosted window. Beautifully finished with the organic looking flowers. And the blue-green shade in matte complements this design so well.”

  3. “Bold and beautiful! Different designs on each nail while still maintaining incredible harmony. Stunning. And love the touches of gold.”

  4. “Loving the delicate shade of pink, and I never tire of the tiny Swarovski pixie crystals. This artist and I share a love of almond and sparkle mixed!”

  5. “Green is a colour that’s not used as often as others on nails. But, as you can see, this artist has created five gorgeous designs with various shades of it. So pretty!”

  6. “These are just adorable! Yellow is not a commonly chosen colour to work with for nails as it can clash with many skin tones. But this artist chose a perfect yellow for these hands. And those bees are so plump and cute!”

  7. “Look at the dimension here! These deep rich red tones are gorgeous. Each nail is different, but they all go together so nicely.”

  8. “This artist is not forgetting those adorable toes! Even though clients don’t usually view toes up close, with this design you would want to! Wonderful detail. Also a good choice accenting the big toe and leaving the rest with just the colour.”

  9. “What beautiful harmony shown on these nails. The contrast between simple and glam play off of each other, making them sure to bring a spring to anyone’s step!”

  10. “Just adorable! So soft, and the gold swirl adds such a classy touch. Love how delicate this is; like an english teacup!”