|Sensationail - Pink Chiffon|
Are gel manicures worth a chunk of your paycheque?
I believe so.
The fact that you get to look down at the shiny result for more than just a few days before chipping - if it even does at all - makes it worth it for me.
Since becoming a mum, I simply don't have the luxury of time to make an appointment at a salon let alone frequent one.
For a good long while post-birth my nails were a plain old sight, much like the rest of me, but I'll never forget the day I managed to paint my nails for the first time whilst Ernie napped.
It gave me such a buzz!
The fear of knowing that he could screech out at any moment and all my efforts would be spoiled, and the primped and polished pride I felt after my success.
Seche Vite's fast dry topcoat was my secret weapon in those days, and now it's my Sensationail kit.
I get a full two weeks out of every application. I remove them and re-apply them with ease and with minimal damage to my nails. Even less so if I remember to rub oil onto my nails everyday.
I've already written about how finding even a minute to swipe on some makeup in the morning or simply getting out of your pyjamas can make a huge difference to how you feel, and more importantly keep you feeling like your old self, in a time of such huge change - transitioning into motherhood.
Dedicating a sliver of time out of your day, solely for something entirely superficial and devoted to yourself, is really important.
Now I know what you might be thinking - about giving yourself a manicure let alone a gel one - ain't nobody got time for that!
But honestly, with a little practice and patience, and either a napping child or a helpful husband, you can.
I guess what I'm trying to get at is, your time as a mummy is precious, so if you are going to use some of it to give yourself a manicure, it might as well be one that lasts!
To help you on your way here are my top gel tips...
When filing remember to look at the hands from every angle. Never ‘saw’ back and forth on the tip of the nail. Instead, gently run the file across the nail in one direction. Beginning at the outside edge, pull towards the centre and repeat.
Thoroughly cleansing your nails is the first step for a long lasting manicure. Use a cuticle remover - it will quickly soften the cuticles so you can use an orange wood stick or a cuticle pusher to push them back off the nail plate.
Lightly, ever so lightly, buff the surface shine off the nails. You don't want to damage the nails natural thickness, as over buffing will thin your nails drastically. When removing and re-applying, you only need to buff the re-growth.
Cleanse with the product supplied. Don’t touch any of the nails after cleaning as this will transfer natural oils from your fingertips and will result in the product not settling properly.
After applying each coat, if you get polish on your skin, use a thin angled eye liner brush dipped in remover. Or, dip an orange wood stick in remover without any cotton wrapped around the tip since the typical orange stick wrapped in cotton will leave fuzz.
Apply the polish as thinly as you can. Finish by gingerly brushing lacquer across the tip of the nail. This will seal the free edge, and go a long way to preventing chips and lifting. Leave a tiny margin around the sides and around the cuticle - it will increase the length of time that the product will stay looking perfect.
Don't wipe off the shiny, tacky residue from any of the layers as this is a very important part. You only need to remove it after you've cured the topcoat. When using a darker shade it's normal to see some colour come away with the cleanser on the lint-free pad.
With regular use of cuticle oil, you can prevent hang nails and dry cuticles, strengthen your nails and restore health and shine to the entire area. I use CND Solar Oil as part of my nightly regime. This way I know that there will be at least five hours (where I won’t be washing my hands) for the product to do its job.
Above all else DO NOT PICK. If you pick at gel nails you are going to cause a lot of damage. So don’t do it! Remove them properly, or go to the technician who applied them for you.
If you are not interested in home kits and would never dream of doing your own nails as it does take practice and you are in the Tunbridge Wells area email me at email@example.com and book an appointment with me!