Annabel Maginnis may have become the pink princess of the nail industry, with a multimillion pound business, but sitting in the Glitterbels warehouse covered in nail dust, where we managed to grab her for a quick catch up, it’s apparent she’s still the same down-to-earth nail tech from Stoke-on-Trent that she’s always been. We spoke about Glitterbels’s international plans for 2024 and some of Maginnis’s top trend predictions.
Annabel will be bringing Glitterbels to PB London taking place on 3rd and 4th March 2024 at ExCel. Not only will the brand be bringing back its iconic stand but will also be hosting two days of workshops... Elevate your nail skills and improve your salon's offering with in-depth application demonstrations and nail art masterclasses. Register and book here...
Kezia: You're about to open on office in the US. What are your plans and how is the market different there?
Annabel: “It’s been a long process. We have been planning all the elements for around a year – finding the warehouse and the right position – because the industry and the market are very different over there.
“For example, in the US, where tipping culture is huge, people are a lot more comfortable about discussing pricing and putting their prices up to reflect their worth, which is something that I think we in the UK can really learn from them.
“Right now, there’s a big focus on builder gel and gel polish in the UK and I think this was a result of Covid-19, because I was still mainly doing acrylic in my own salon until 2021.
“When I went to the US recently to train techs, everyone over there was saying there’s still more acrylic – even the very long acrylic extensions that we see less of here – and hardly any natural nail treatments like builder gels or gel polishes.
“Glitterbels is really aiming to help bring more of these treatments to the US market and will be exhibiting at lots of trade shows in the US.”
Kezia: Do you think acrylic is due a comeback in the UK?
Annabel: “Yes, 100%. I started out doing acrylic and I love it. I think a lot of acrylic techs are getting overlooked now because builder gel and gel polish have become so popular but I definitely think it’s due a comeback.
“We have a hema-free monomer, as well as our hema-free gels, hema-free builder-bel gels and of course our glitter range.
“You can really do so much with acrylic; you can sculpt, and create amazing 3D shapes and the most incredible nail art. I like to use a form for sculpting. You can create literally anything you want on it, let it dry, pick it off and stick it on a nail.”
Kezia: What about in the UK; is there anything exciting coming from Glitterbels in 2024?
Annabel: “I did this when I started out and would think ‘Oh, I’m never going to be that good,’ or ‘I wish I could do that’. But skill comes with time. You’ve got to keep practising and putting the hours in and you will get there.”
Kezia: What is one thing that you wish more people knew about you?
Annabel: “I still get nervous – but I think it’s OK to get nervous. When I have a new client, I worry about whether they will like me and if they want to talk or not. I blurt out random things like ‘Do you like sushi?’ if I’m feeling awkward. It can still be hard to put yourself out there.”
“Of course! We will be at all of the Professional Beauty trade shows throughout the year including the new Glasgow show in June and Salon Beauty in October, where we will be hosting some exciting education events and meet-and-greets.
“We also have a bunch of new products coming out. We’re releasing lots of new gels in the near future. We’re releasing chromes as well, which I’m excited for – I’m chrome obsessed so it’s about time.
“Our new lamp should be launching early next year, alongside a matching e-file. Of course, the prototype is Glitterbels pink but we are doing other colours too to have options that will look great in all salons.
“We also have a new HQ. I think everyone in town is worried we are going to paint it pink!”
Glitterbels' dreamy pink warehouse in Stoke-on-Trent
Kezia: What do you think will be the hottest nail trends of 2024?
Annabel: "Chrome, for sure, as well as minimal nail art because the whole ‘clean girl’ aesthetic has been getting bigger and bigger. I also think abstract nail art is coming back a bit, with things like silhouettes.”
Kezia: How do you like to wear your nails at the moment?
Annabel: “I feel like I'm two people because I love the minimal stuff but also the more crazy nail art. When it comes to what I wear though, it’s always very natural and simple. I just have my natural nails grown out with builder gel – I’m wearing our shade Ruthless from our Hema Free Builderbel Gel range at the moment. I haven’t always been this way, I used to wear super-long acrylics.”
Kezia: What do you love about the nail industry and what would you like to change?
Annabel: “I really love the community, especially the Glitterbels community. All our customers are so nice and supportive of each other and happy to see each other win when we do giveaways on live videos, for example, which can be quite rare nowadays.
“What I would change would be the comparison that a lot of us can be guilty of. We all need to stop comparing ourselves to other nail techs who may have been in the industry a lot longer – it can almost make you give up.