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Introducing Nailberry

Thursday 18 September 2014

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Words Ailis Mara

There’s a new nail brand on the market which promises  eco friendly, cruelty free beauty.  Free from Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP and Camphor  Nailberry boasts ultra chic colours without the damaging chemicals found on the high street.

From their Extreme Shine Gloss & Plump Topcoat to their bright berry colours and even a Black Berry shade we rate the pigment and pay off of these polishes. We chatted to founder Sonia Hully about Nailberry’s mixed french/english influences and what we can expect to see from the brand in the near future…




You’ve had an amazing career with a huge span of diviersity working in Finance, Films and Real Estate and now Nailberry. What influenced you to start up this beauty venture? Can you recall any childhood memories of your mother/sister(s)/grandmother using makeup/nail polish?

Having beautiful hands. My grandmother used to do french manicure all the time and I thought she looked so elegant. When I was a young girl I started doing my nails with her. We would make a special moment of it and take our time going through the process of cleaning our nails with lemon to get them whiter, cut them and file them. Then we would start painting them. I loved it and felt so good afterwards.

I love beautiful hands with the nails manicured. It is the icing on the cake for an elegant woman. Today we have so many colours, we can play with them depending on the mood or the style we have. We can use nail polish like an accessory.

Who are your beauty icons?

Audrey Hepburn

What is your favourite shade in the Nailberry Range?

This is really hard. I chose them so I love them all. I can give you my top 5 favourites. Groseille, Almond, Rouge, Strawberry Jam and Noirberry. We have a new colour coming out called Storm  too which I absolutely love :


How hard was it to set up a “healthier” & cruelty free nail brand?

Not that hard actually. I think laboratories are now aware we are looking for healthier products and I am working with the oldest and best one in the world. And guess what, it is French! I love making my collection and working on improving the formulas. However, I wanted to be 100% sure we wouldn’t have to do any testing on animals. I am totally against it and wouldn’t have got into the industry if it had not been the case.

 You seem to have both French and London influences – would you say one is stronger than the other?

It is a hard one. Even when I travel people are confused. My accent is a mix of French and English (if you are not English) and my personality too. I have been in the London for over 22 years, so I definitely got some English influence. I would say my classic taste is french but my taste for quirkiness is English. I also love to travel so I take influences from everywhere I go. The world has so much to offer.

What can we expect to see in the future for Nailberry? Are there any new textures coming out *glitters or shimmery colours*  or do you prefer a classic range with colours that are not so influenced by trends but rather stay in fashion all year round?

My french side will tell you, you need a classic collection. It is the basic but I am always interested by the trend and fashion industry so I have seasonal collections as well. We will have a little bit of shimmer on very dark colours like 50 shades and Storm for this winter. Then, I d rather concentrate on improving the formula than use too much texture. If you use texture you cannot get a healthy product and then, that is not Nailberry.


You’ve got a beautiful salon on Bute Street in South Kensington! I’ve read that you’ve done some interior decorating so it would seem a natural progression! What influenced the style of the salon ? The little pillows and the vintage chairs feel very French but there is still a very modern feel about it all!



Yes I wanted it French and I love decorating myself. This is who I am and I really wanted it to come out in the decoration. However, you still need to be modern and practical if you want your staff to work in good conditions and your clients to be comfortable. The trick is to get the balance right between the style and the practicality.

On a side note, the look of the nail polishes on the shelves and the names of the polishes remind me of French Jams! I took a trip to South of France once and the Jam was a specialty and came in an abundance of gorgeous jars with beautiful spoons! Is it a coincidence that the name Nailberry and all the polishes echo berries such as the jams you find all over France? If not what influenced the name  Nailberry?

Funny enough we do have Strawberry Jam, a gorgeous red with a hint of pink and I have a serious sweet tooth so maybe my subconscious chose it for me :).

Actually, Nailberry came to me one day as an obvious choice. I knew it was perfect. I still carried a survey to make sure, giving the option of 4 different names, but as I expected, Nailberry came far ahead. Berries are red and most of the time nails are painted red like little berries at the end of the fingers.


Can you see a vision of Nailberry Nail Bars all over London? What can one expect upon visiting the salon?

Yes but the products are taking most of my time these days so I think franchising would be the best option for Nailberry with a strong health ethic. In my salon we care for your nails. The nail technicians will tell you if you cannot have your extensions or semi permanent gel. If they feel your nails need a break they will tell you to stop and let them breathe.

Finally, If you could pick just one item of makeup to take on your holidays what item would you go for?



Keep up to date with Nailberry launches and inspiration by following them on Facebook/Twitter

Words : Tabby Casto