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Thursday, 24 November 2016

How Shellac Me Now?

Hannah Barnes

I don’t know about you but I love giving myself a home manicure. I love everything about it; setting up your stall, choosing the perfect polish, the slick neat look of a precision painted nail. It’s a little bit of self care that goes a long way. But I just don’t always have the time and no matter how much hard-wear, long-lasting nail polish I buy it just doesn’t seem to do what it says on the tin, or in this case, the poetically licensed ad campaign.

Friends suggested salon manicures or gel nails and my younger sister swears by a set of shiny salon shellacs once a fortnight. But I don’t like to be beholden to appointments, and enjoy the time I spend preening them myself. So I decided to take my home manicure to the next level!

I ordered a Shellac Starter Kit from Amazon for only £55.50 and it was delivered within a couple of days. The only thing holding me back now was the unruly gold glitter polish I’d previously plastered on for a night out!

I received a Mylee Nail Professional UV Gel Lamp (36W), cleansing pads, Gelux Profile Remover & Gelux Profile Prep + Wipe, Bluesky Soak Off Gel Basecoat, Bluesky Soak Off Gel Top Coat and 4 x Bluesky Gel Polish Colours in 4 of the most popular colours. These turned out to be a Black, Nude Pastel Pink, Tiffany Blue & a Glitter Red.

Three of the colours came in black bottles so I had to crack them open for a look and chose the Tiffany Blue. I loved all the colours though, you get a great range with the glitter gel included and black always comes in handy. The other two pastel shades are some of my personal favourites and will replace some similar polishes in my collection.

To begin with I set up the UV Lamp by easily pushing the 4 x UV Bulbs included into the slots at the back of the lamp itself, plugged it in. Then made myself familiar with the settings, so I wouldn’t be in danger of smudging my nails later. You can use the lamp on constant or with a 2 minute timer; which is the perfect setting time for each layer of gel polish. I chose to go with the timer rather than time myself and found it very helpful.

From there on in it’s a pretty familiar set up – after filing and buffing my nails I applied Gelux Profile Prep + Wipe. I then began with the Bluesky Soak Off Gel Basecoat and placed my hand in the lamp with the timer on for 2 minutes before beginning to build up the colour with three coats of Bluesky Gel Polish, alternating hands as only one can be placed under the lamp at a time.

The first coat of polish did not look great. It was streaky and patchy with no coverage in some places and I was a little worried that perhaps the lamp had not been strong enough to set the base coat of gel. I persevered and by the third coat my nails were evenly covered and smooth. I then applied the Bluesky Soak Off Gel Top Coat giving each hand a final 4 minutes under the lamp to set them.

Finally I smoothed over the Gelux Profile Prep + Wipe which seems like it might smudge them but is needed to sanitize the nail and also seems to take away the tacky texture that I was left with – as though too many layers of polish hadn’t dried before the next. After the wipe my nails were hard and shiny.

The overall finish is slightly smoother than that of regular polish and builds a nice coverage on the nail. They should last up to 2 weeks and can be easily removed using the Gelux Profile Remover, which is great because I can’t wait to try another colour. There’s a wide range available on the internet and from what I’ve seen on Amazon they don’t cost much more than a good regular polish.
I’d recommend a Shellac Starter Kit to anyone who needed their polish to last just that little bit longer without wanting to call in the experts. I love my new nails and can’t stop showing them off. Best of all it means I can still enjoy spending a bit of time pampering myself and, hopefully, not have to face the chipped polish so soon – I’ll update you on that one.

There were lots of Shellac Starter Kits available across the internet and it was even possible to buy a UV Lamp independently and just pick up the polish and other accessories.

Let me know if you've got any tips for the perfect home manicure in the comments section!

Hannah Barnes / Author & Editor

I keep myself busy with my small business; The Loft Gifts, the period poverty charity I run; The Crimson Wave, writing here and for vaious platforms and a growing menagerie of household pets.


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