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Celebrity manicurist Stephanie Staunton opens nail bar in Appledore, near Ashford

A celebrity manicurist has packed up her chaotic work life in London and opened a nail bar in a tranquil Kent village.

Stephanie Staunton - who has painted nails for Little Mix, Michelle Keagan and Pixie Lott - has set up a nail business in Appledore, near Ashford.

She decided to make the move from Greenhithe to Ashford for a better quality of life, after suffering breakdown in 2016.

Celebrity manicurist Stephanie Staunton opens new nail bar in Appledore. Picture: Andy Jones
Celebrity manicurist Stephanie Staunton opens new nail bar in Appledore. Picture: Andy Jones

"I moved down here because of my mental health. I wanted a quiet, peaceful life and I wanted to slow down a bit", said the 31-year-old.

"I was working seven days a week, all hours of the week. Some weeks I only got eight hours sleep, I was running off adrenaline, especially during fashion week."

In 2016, Stephanie launched her Nailing Mental Health campaign - which was backed by Prince Harry, Theresa May and Sadiq Khan and raised more than £15,000 for mental health charities.

Stephanie working on supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio (14708333)
Stephanie working on supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio (14708333)

She added: "I want to reduce the stigma on suicide because each person is so different.

"Just because someone has hit that point doesn't mean they should be frowned upon"

Her new business is tucked away in an attic-style room on the upper floor of Blush Hair Salon - which has been based in The Street for almost a year.

Blush Salon in Appledore. Picture: Andy Jones
Blush Salon in Appledore. Picture: Andy Jones

Stephanie has worked with more than 90 celebrities, painting nails for TV adverts, concerts and films.

We wanted to find out how she became so successful in the industry.

So reporter Georgia Woolf ditched the newsroom on a quiet Friday afternoon for the ultimate celebrity treatment.

Here's what she thought:

The atmosphere was very welcoming and I felt instantly relaxed and pampered as soon as I stepped though the door.

Stephanie is very bubbly and friendly and offered me a sweet treat and a drink the moment I arrived.

I climbed some stairs and entered her new workshop.

It has been beautifully decorated with a floral display attached to the celling and different shades of pink furniture scattered around the room.

One of the treats I was offered during my visit
One of the treats I was offered during my visit

The chilled acoustic music playing in the background was very therapeutic and relaxing and not too intrusive during conversation.

It was time to get my nails done, but I was confronted with the same difficult decision I face every time I get my nails fixed - what colour do I choose?

The colour I had on was pretty and pale as I had recently attended a wedding, but as I am about to set off to a festival I thought it was time to switch things up a level.

I asked her to surprise me as I just couldn't make up my mind and I knew we didn't have all day...

Stephanie was very helpful and I trusted her judgment completely.

Stephanie has been working with celebrities since 2011 (14709154)
Stephanie has been working with celebrities since 2011 (14709154)

As she began to work on my nails, we started chatting.

When I asked her how she became such a success, she said: "I first started doing nails when I was five-years-old and I professionally when I was 16.

"I started working with celebrities in 2011 after I won a nail competition called Nail Idol.

"Hundreds of people competed across the country and I managed to come number one.

"I wanted to bring the celebrity treatment down here - why shouldn't everyone feel great?

The end result(14708545)
The end result(14708545)

"It is such a small treat getting your nails done and it's a little bit of a therapy session too - I think it does help with your mental health.

"People have been really welcoming, everyone is really friendly and polite.

"I am enjoying showing people what I can do and I feel very appreciated."

While juggling her time as a celebrity manicurist on a part-time basis, Stephanie plans to run the nail bar on Wednesday and Thursday from 9am to 6pm.

On Fridays it will be open from 10am to 8pm and Saturdays, 9am to 5pm.

I am no stranger to getting my nails done as I regularly visit a nail bar twice a month but these are by far the best nails I've had - I am in love with my new set.

Despite not choosing the design or colour, it was just what I was looking for.

Follow @stephie-nails on Instagram to keep up-to-date with her latest work.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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