As you well know if you’re a long-term reader of A Model Recommends, I am strictly low-maintenance when it comes to my nails. I mostly wear nude shades, with the occasional red and a very occasional “off-piste” crazy shade, but my focus is usually on keeping my hands and nails looking neat and polished rather than swapping my shade every other day.
I have long been an admirer of gel nails – that beautiful bouncy sort of look that they have, with that hi-shine and smooth-as-glass finish – but I’m afraid my patience levels don’t stretch to the sort of dedication you need for gel manicures. I find the idea of having to sit for long periods of time getting faffed with really off-putting (must be the years and years I sat having hair and makeup done for shoots) and I can only just about bear getting my roots done because I know I can’t do it myself!
So when Sally Hansen invited me to give their Miracle Gel products a whirl I was all enthusiasm – the next best thing to a salon gel manicure, with the same glossy, long-lasting finish but none of the faff. Just two coats of Miracle Gel colour, applied as you would a normal polish, one Miracle Gel topcoat applied as you would a normal topcoat, and no sitting about with my hands under special lamps. (No sitting about for ages trying to remove them, either – just normal nail polish remover will do.) Most importantly, no leaving the house!
I put two of my favourite Autumn shades to the test – Can’t Beet Royalty, which is a deep, vampy red and Frill Seeker, a warm, expensive-looking peachy-nude. (To be fair, Frill Seeker could be an all-year-round shade, it’s just a total classic, but nude nails are an actual trend for AW16, don’t you know.)
I prepped the night before by removing old polish and massaging Sally Hansen’s Cuticle Rehab into my nail beds – this stuff is the absolute business if your nails are looking a bit on the raggedy side. You squeeze the tube and a small amount of the thick balmy oil appears on the brush, then just brush it on and massage in with your fingertips. It’s great for getting rid of those awful cracked bits and little flaps of skin around the base of the nail and even smartening up the skin at the sides of the nail. I’ve been using it a lot.
Where was I? Yes, colour. In with two coats of Can’t Beet Royalty and a final slick of the Miracle Gel Top Coat and I had the glossiest, vampiest nails that complemented my AW makeup perfectly. The colour was so easy to apply because the polish has a really wide brush – the formula just glides on. It was quite quick to dry – a bonus when you’re doing a few coats of various things – and the whole application took me less than five minutes from start to finish.
I was even quicker with the peachy nude-y Frill Seeker and so pleased with the result – my nails looked as though they had been expertly upholstered in patent leather. Really very smooth and glossy, a flawless finish and a tough, shell-like feel to them that made me feel confident they wouldn’t chip.
And they didn’t. I don’t usually bother with a topcoat, because I inevitably end up chipping through it anyway after a few days, but in this case the Miracle Gel colour and top coat work brilliantly together forming a sort of armour-plated coating that lasts an age. And I definitely think that my “prep” made a big difference to how happy I was with my nails – usually I just slap a colour on and get on with the day, but I really made an effort to sort out my cuticles and get the skin around the nails looking good.
Sally Hansen are the UK’s number one nail care brand and make over forty different products targeted at various nail care problems – you can find them online here. Everything from base coats to strengtheners and from ridge fillers to skin-sorters – you’d be surprised at how much they can change your manicure and increase the longevity of your polish.
And so, for once, I’ll actually be wearing vampy nails for more than a day. Can’t Beet Royalty certainly makes me feel very pulled-together and smart, especially as my sartorial choices are rather limited at the moment. If I can’t fit my gargantuan baby belly into much that’s glamorous then at least I can dress up my hands!
You can find Sally Hansen’s Miracle Gel online here – there are more than forty trend-led shades and, if you fancy watching some nail art tutorials inspired by the AW16 trends then there are online tutorials here.
*this post has been sponsored by Sally Hansen