When it comes to nails I had one very bad experience in a salon, that will remain unnamed, where they literally hacked off a two-week polish and my nails were sore and had white marks all over them.
The nail technician assured me it was just dehydration and would go within 24 hours but for the best part of six months the white spots remained.
During that time I felt incredibly self-conscious of my hands and also terrified about applying anything other than strengthener on top in case I did more damage.
As I am doing a lot of cooking demonstrations nowadays I like to keep them neat, hydrated and healthy looking.
Read on for my top tips for maintain beautiful nails, naturally.
Condition them continuously
Aside from allowing time to heal I found CND Solar Oil (€4.95) a true wonder product. This award-winning cuticle oil is infused with jojoba oil and vitamin E.
What separates it from other products is that the molecules are tiny so it genuinely absorbs and repeated use drives nutrients in deeper, creating stronger, healthier nails and hydrated cuticle area.
Having this beside my bed and in my bag and using it regularly – practically every night as well as during the day – has made a huge difference.
Handcream wise I really love the YOPE Tea and Mint hand cream (€7.90). All their products are free from parabens, silicones, colourants, SLESs and SLSs and are 98% natural.
Most importantly they’re affordable and absorb quickly.
Proceed with caution when getting anything that involves a lamp either applied, or removed
I don’t want to attack any business and I am all for entrepreneurs but the reality is nail technicians need to be highly qualified and sadly – from my previous experience – a lot of damage can be done by inexperienced hands.
I will never go for the cheapest deal – as I did with the experience above and equally if something is sore or doesn’t feel right, speak up, unlike me.
Salons like Chipped, who use Irish owned The Manicure Company cruelty free and vegan products, and Skinfull Affairs, where everything is cruelty free, offer monthly polish subscriptions which are a great option if you want to change your colours regularly and get them removed safely in-between.
The options I trust for a longer lasting result
CND products are cruelty free and the Shellac and Vinylux colours and shade ranges are renowned for their innovation. If it’s quirky nail art or catwalk influenced trend colours definitely check them out.
Recently I tried out the new 2018 collection and loved the natural – yet sparkly – pink shade ‘Candied.’
Skinfull Affairs have recently launched a two-week manicure. I had a big shoot coming up – more on that in a few months – and wanted a really perfect French manicure.
I always think that natural looking can almost be more of a test and I was watching like a hawk as my therapist applied the French tip. Too white or too thick and it looks fake, the right shade and thickness makes it look like your own nails, just nicer!
The polish they use is GelFX and comes in 51 shades. What I love most about this is it’s enriched with antioxidants, Vitamin A and E, and Pro-Vitamin B5 which all protects nail structure.
It costs €30 to be applied and removal is free – which is a really nice touch.
After two weeks I went and got it removed and it came off so easily and underneath my nails felt so nourished.
If you’re cautious about gel polishes I would definitely recommend giving here a try. I think you will be so pleasantly surprised.
Holly White is a Fashion Journalist and Broadcaster, and blogs on all things fashion, style, wellness, beauty, health and fitness on www.Holly.ie.