The past week has been just insane, not only has the the UK, Europe and the World gone into post referendum meltdown but some people have gone so far as to express their morbid fear of melanin. So when I was a target of some of this behaviour in the post referendum aftermath, I decided that I could really do with some me time. It’s just as well that The Bloggers Hangout was happening so I went down to…well, hangout, pamper myself in the guise of trying some new products and drown my sorrows with slushies, cupcakes and jelly beans. The Bloggers Hangout partnered up with some of their favourite new brands and had populated an art gallery in Central London with newness and the latest in beauty and lifestyle.
The Strand Gallery on John Adams street was filled with new brands but in this first of my mini round ups, I’m going to focus on nails. As a busy city living 30 something, I’m forever doing stuff, from DIY to all-the-cleaning-why-is-there-so-much-cleaning-to-do, and my nails take the brunt of it. I have friends who have cleaners and get manicures on a weekly basis and it’s almost impossible for an actress on a budget to look as though she hasn’t just fallen out of a wheelie bin when next to them. Or is it.
I think where I go wrong is that as soon as I do my nails, they end up chipped or miraculously rubbed off within hours of setting. So where do you get a long lasting manicure without damaging your nails or having a high salon price tag? Enter the first of our options…
Gel Touch is a fascinating concept that lets you turn any nail polish into a gel polish. The idea is that you paint your nails as you would normally but instead of a top coat, you use the GelTouch top coat which cures under an LED UV lamp. The lamps come in two sizes, normal and a mini. The mini kit is the true little hero here however, as the foldable UV folds into a tiny cube the size of a box of raisins. It also plugs in via USB so you could…theoretically…use it from your desk before an evening out. Theoretically. You could also use it on holiday or take it to a friend’s girly evening. Team it with a portable battery and you could even do your nails in the pub, waiting for the train, on the train, quite literally anywhere.
The curing only takes 60 seconds and you can do 2 fingers at the same time with the mini, more with the standard size.
Now they advise to allow the polish to dry completely before applying the top coat, which is where my nails went wrong. If they’re not dry then you just end up having sealed pockets of wet polish on top of your nails, which probably isn’t what you’re going for. One hand did dry more or less so I kept that on to test out longevity and it’s just starting to chip after 3 days.
The kits also contain a special wipe as when the gel layer has cured it leaves behind a sticky residue and there’s different top coats available from the online store should you wish to add some glitter to your mani.
At just £24.99 for the mini GelTouch kit and £49.99 for the GelTouch kit, it’s worth it for anyone who shells out for regular manicures or doesn’t have the time to go to the salon.
Dinki Belle Nail Wraps
For those who like a bit of nail art but lack any skill whatsoever, nail wraps are a godsend. They are literally stickers for your nails that, when applied, look like nail polish.
I found Dinky Belle Nail Wraps* to be easy to apply and I didn’t get any wrinkles, which is amazing considering how ham-fisted I am. Apparently not all nail wraps are built the same and these are less stretchy than other brands making that perfect application easier to obtain. You get 1 set of 20 different sized stickers in a pack, of which, you hope that 5 will fit your fingers. That’s where things start to go wrong, I must be abnormal as my the most central fingernails have roughly the same width so the pack didn’t have the shapes I needed and I had a much smaller wrap on one of my finger nails. The leftovers were quite large and aside from maybe using one of them on my big toe, I’ll end up discarding a third of the pack. And at £6.99 per pack, that’s a scary thought.
I would recommend using a top coat as soon as possible after you apply the nail wraps as mine started to shrink within hours. After I applied a top coat however, the finish seemed to look even more like nail art and so far it has lasted 4 days without complaints. A fast and effective way of obtain the nail art look without needing any special tools or skill, they peel off and are gentle to the nails without any nasty substances. Dinki Belle Nail Wraps cost £6.99 per pack and are available from the Dinki Belle website.