You know when you discover something that CHANGES YOUR LIFE. And then everyone else goes, “yeah we’ve known about that for a while” and it takes the wind out of your sails and you wonder where you’ve been hiding all this time?
This happened to me last year – after spending my entire adult life thinking that I couldn’t wear heels because they hurt my feet, I had a revelation. I could take my heels to work/ the girls’ lunch/ the party in my bag and then slip them on just as I arrive. I know, genius, huh? (And not at all something that scores of women have been, er, doing for years before me.) But I didn’t even care because I can wear heels! And look pretty in my outfits! Rather than spoiling them with flats!
I was overcome with the same joy a few weeks ago when I made another amazing discovery : Shellac nails – aka the Mumicure (geddit? Manicure for mums? No? I’ll get my coat.)
Since going back to work after maternity leave, painting my nails has become a bit of a Sunday night ritual. There’s something about painted nails that make you look and feel much smarter and less frazzled from life. Painted nails say “hey look at me, I’m groomed and together!” when inside you might be thinking “Argh, I have so much work to do today and I need to leave early to pick up my child from nursery and to top it all off, I have the bloody Rastamouse theme tune on a loop in my head!”
The downside to painting my nails every Sunday? Invariably by Wednesday each week, they’d be chipped and messy looking. And because I’m lazy, they’d stay chipped until the Sunday evening when I’d repaint them.
But now? Now! Now, I’ve discovered Shellac nails, it’s going to change my life. Of course, I’ve known about Shellac for ages – Poppy, the Beauty Editor of more! magazine first told me about it a year ago. But now that I’ve tried it (thanks to an amazing offer at my local Dove Spa), I’m officially obsessed.
Better for your nails (apparently) than gel manicures of old, Shellac will stay chip-free for a week (but usually longer – mine looked ace for 15 days before chipping.)
It’s exactly what mums-who-want-to-look-good need. No amount of dish washing or toddler wrangling will chip these bad boys. And it’s such a genuine joy to have perfectly painted nails day after day – I found myself in meetings at work, gazing smugly at my coral nails, and then glancing sympathetically at some of the naked nails around me.
With Shellac, you don’t even need to pay to have the gel polish removed, if you know this genius trick:
GENIUS TRICK TO REMOVE GEL POLISH AT HOME
1. Cut 10 cotton wool pads in half and ten squares of tin foil.
2. Soak the cotton wool pads in nail polish remover that contains acetone.
3. Wipe a cotton wool pad over one nail and then sit it on the nail. Wrap your finger in tin foil.
4. Wait for 25-30 mins (an episode of Friends is a good way to measure the time) and wipe off, then use an orange stick to remove any gel polish still on your nail. If a residue is left, wipe over with fresh nail polish remover.
The next thing I’m going to try is this at-home gel kit by Belle Gel. For £59.95 you get everything you need to do yourself a gel manicure, even the UV lamp that sets the gel on your nails. I’ve no idea whether it’s actually any good, but I love the idea of being able to do my own gel manicure that will last for ages, at home. Now I just need lots of practice so that my hand is as steady as the girls at Dove Spa, otherwise my gel polish is going to look like I set my toddler loose with some poster paints on my nails.