Caitlin Iley

#NOWTRENDING Lovely lilac abstract nails by Cat Upjohn

By Callie Iley | 20 October 2020 | Feature, Tech Talk

Cat Upjohn Feature Pic

Scratch catches up with Cat Upjohn of Blossom Nails Bristol about what motivates her to do well as a nail tech and her future goals…

My name is Cat Upjohn and I work as a nail technician on a part-time basis at Blossoms Nails Bristol. The name Blossom is an important part of my business, as it has a very personal meaning for me – it’s what my mum used to call me when I was little. I really wanted to have a meaningful name for my business, as well as having it be a part of who I am and my identity. I have also used it for my resin art also, as Blossoms Resin Art.

I have always been really interested in the nail industry and started experimenting with nail art and getting acrylic extensions when I was 16. I didn’t pursue it immediately which was always one of my regrets, so when my nail technician told me she was qualified to teach, I jumped at the chance! I qualified in January 2019 and have never looked back. I now work alongside the nail technician that trained me, in her gorgeous home salon, along with her adorable salon pup, Piper.

Style file

My signature style is anything involving nail art, particularly encapsulation! I absolutely love to create something that’s a bit different and my favourite things to use right now are dried flowers. I mainly use Glitterbels & Nail Artists UK acrylic powders which are fab and by far my favourite. I am also an ambassador for Sparkle Supplies UK, and I love to use the glitters within acrylic design! I have trialled several different gel brands, but always come back to The Gel Bottle Inc… In my opinion, the Builder in a Bottle from The Gel Bottle Inc is the best ever.

Design insight

This lilac abstract design was created using Builder in a Bottle 018 by The Gel Bottle Inc. My client was really nervous to come in as she has club thumb, so we talked a lot before her first appointment to help reassure her and she felt so much happier coming in.

Her first appointment was to have builder gel extensions to add some strength and length. My client sent me weekly updates of her nail journey and she decided to go for her natural length nails with Builder in a Bottle for strength on her second appointment.

We used The Gel Bottle Inc’s B021 (my current favourite shade), as well as Californian and Daisy, finished with Extreme Shine Top. I added some gold leaf from Sparkle Supplies UK to give them a little extra pop. I always use my fine detail brush from The Gel Bottle Inc which I genuinely couldn’t live without!

I absolutely love being able to be so creative and being able to transfer my ideas onto nails. It is also so wonderful to see the happiness that it can bring when a client has their nails done. I was a bit overwhelmed when I first saw the joy that some of my clients had when I finished their nails, and it has inspired me to work harder.


I was so happy when Sparkle Supplies UK asked me to be a brand ambassador for them! I have been really enjoying creating new ideas with my Sparkle Supplies UK products, and am always thinking of my next set. I also have to say how incredible it was to be able to work alongside Abbie Hunt Nails in her stunning home salon. We were due to open in April, but Covid-19 unfortunately had delayed that for us. However, it did mean we were able to prepare and practice even more, and when we were finally able to open, it was incredible!

My hopes for the future are to be able to work as a nail technician full time and to enter some competitions, too. I also want to continue to work hard on my techniques and create more interesting and unusual nail art.

Follow Cat’s nail journey on Instagram, here.