'Polish Perfect' Vanessa wins Irish Nail Salon of the Year

A salon run by a Donegal nail technician, who lectures in Derry’s North West Regional College, has been named ‘Nail Salon of the Year’ at the Irish Hair and Beauty Awards 2022.

Vanessa Canning, from Manorcunningham, owns ‘Polish Perfect,’ which is based at her home and is also a nail technology lecturer in NWRC.She told the Journal how she was the ‘most shocked’ she has ever been, when she was announced as her category winner at the prestigious awards, which were held in The Clayton Hotel in Galway earlier this week.“I would say there were about 16 or 17 salons in my category - some of them big salons from right around the country. I thought I definitely wasn’t getting it, so when they called out my name, I was so, so shocked.“I don’t even know what the host said to me on stage. I couldn’t speak at all. It was the most shocked I’ve ever been and the first time I’ve ever been actually speechless!”Vanessa, whose father is Inishowen Cathaoirleach Councillor Paul Canning, said she was honoured to even be nominated for an award.“The Irish Hair and Beauty Awards are something you dream of. I’ve gone into salons all my life and I’ve seen the logo - it’s so well-known, that purple logo. I never thought I’d ever be nominated, so I was more than happy to even get that.”Vanessa disclosed that the win ‘hasn’t even sunk in yet.”“I’m so overwhelmed by it all.“Seeing the plaque in the salon is amazing. It’s a surreal feeling and I’m so grateful.”Vanessa attended the awards with her proud mum, Stephanie, her auntie Tina and her mum’s best friend Rosetta.She told how she has received so much support from her family, friends and clients, as well as everyone within North West Regional College.Vanessa, who lives with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, first studied at the college, before she took up a role in lecturing, which she ‘loves.’“The college is so supportive of me and have been from the very beginning. It’s great to know that I have that support.”Vanessa revealed how she could never have imagined her nail salon, which she set up in her daddy’s old office six years ago, would be named the best in Ireland.“At the very beginning, I went around people’s houses to do nails, but I quickly realised it wasn’t working. The price of rent was so high, so I said to mammy and daddy about turning the old office, which he wasn’t using, into a salon.“My clients will tell you that it was just the basics at the beginning. I am blessed to have such amazing clients and most of them have been with me from the start.“I’ve done up the salon through the years, but it’s literally me at the side of my house.“I didn’t think that, six years down the line, I’d be winning Nail Salon of the Year. It’s crazy.”Vanessa currently isn’t taking on any more clients, as her book is full, but you can see her award-winning work online on Polish Perfect by Vanessa on Facebook.

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Vanessa Canning, pictured at the award ceremony.