Caitlin Iley

Seeking a removable alternative to nails? Check out Karen Boyle’s press-on nail rings

By Callie Iley | 28 July 2023 | Business, Feature

July Ring Feature Web

Managing her nail career alongside a full-time IT job of 34 years, Bolton-based nail tech & press-on nail artist, Karen Boyle of Gel A Licious, shares her venture into the removable nail realm…

Karen Boyle

Karen Boyle wouldn’t have described herself as artistic, so was surprised to discover her passion for nail art when she began learning to do her own nails during lockdown.

“I loved doing nails straight away and was instantly drawn to the more artistic elements of the industry. I wondered why I’d never tried it before,” Karen remembers.

As a long-time beauty lover, Karen had been a regular visitor to nail salons prior to 2020 but found once restrictions eased that she wanted to continue doing her own nails. Enrolling on a gel polish course before she eagerly began accepting clients, Karen quickly began building close client relationships, noting that they’ve become her favourite part of the job.

“I feel like I’m spending time with friends. I have the best clients as they trust me with their nails and their secrets,” she smiles. “I love being able to offer them a safe place to come and chat about their lives, whether good or bad, without judgement.”

With a belief that everyone should be able to enjoy nails, regardless of allergies, cultural or religious obligations, work restrictions, financial status, or daily activities, Karen branched out into offering luxury yet cost-effective custom press-on nails, which she retails via her website.

This belief was piqued further when Karen was approached by a client, armed with a viral TikTok about press-on nail rings.

Press-on nails by Karen Boyle

Upon realising that options for nail rings in the UK were severely limited, with all the available nail rings at the time coming with high shipping costs from abroad, Karen began handmaking nail rings to sell alongside her press-on nails on her website. An easily removable alternative to traditional nail enhancements, the nail rings offer a fully customisable and damage-free solution to clients who are unable to commit to an overlay on their natural nails.

“It’s a pretty new concept in the UK, I hope to increase the options for those in the Asian community who are unable to wear enhancements due to prayer restrictions predominantly, but the nail rings are equally as appealing to those who are unable to wear nails full time.”

Karen Boyle’s full package with glue, nail, rings & nail tabs

Karen’s nail rings are worn around the cuticle area on the finger, with a press-on nail matching the size of the natural nail attached to the ring using either glue for a permanent fixture or tabs to allow nail design customisation. She creates the nails using soft gel tips and gel polish, with unique design options for colour and nail art available.

The rings are made using copper and brass wire, which Karen cuts to size and bends into shape. The rings are offered in a range of sizes from small to large, with a selection between non-tarnish gold and silver colourways for full customisation.

Gold nail ring

“I would love for the nail rings to be successful so that more people can join in with the fabulous nail world,” Karen beams. “In the future, I’d love to have a full-time career in nails.

“Having the three streams of clients from in-salon services, press-on nails and nail rings would ensure I never became bored and get to live a life doing what I love most, which not many people get to do. It really would be a dream come true.”


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