The London mice have returned and it's officially the worst case of holiday blues we've had in a long time!
Gone are the days lounging at the yacht club sipping Piper with a permanent back drop of something like this...
And now we're back to this...
Without bringing back too many sunny memories which will only heighten my darkening depression, I need to let you all in on a beauty revelation we discovered before jetting off!
Preparing for a holiday can be expensive - not only the holiday itself but new bikinis, sun cream, aftersun...and that's not even including hair, waxing and nail appointments for the ultimate prep!
There is nothing nicer than shiny, chip free bright nails on holiday, however last year I was a victim of constantly melted vanish from the sunshine and vowed to Shellac before flying in future!
With limited cash flow (we were saving for all those rum coconut cocktails we devoured) and little time to waste in a salon, there was only one thing for it...purchase an at home Shellac kit of course! That way we could do them ourselves in the comfort of our own home in PJ's with a glass of wine...perfect!
We opted for the NK1 Starter Kit which comes with the option of 4, 6, 8 or 10 colours. Prices start at £99.95 for the 4 colour set, a bargain when an average Shellac mani pedi comes in at around £50 with a further charge for removal.
The NK1 kits provide you with everything you need and clear instructions, making the whole process very simple and easy to follow. However if you have any issues Andrea who works at NK1 will gladly assist, she was lots of help when I was putting our order through!
You pick colours from the online guide when you place your order - there are tonnes to choose from but after much deliberation we opted for: Decadence (a deep red), Fedora (Black), Cream Puff (White for Tipex style nails!), Linette (Coral Red), JuJu Berry (Rich Pink), Violetta (Pretty Lilac pictured below) and Lydia (Neon Pink) and can assure you, we love them all!
Having done my mani pedi once before holiday and once after, I can safely say I wouldn't ever go back to a salon again. It's so easy to do, once you get the hang of it - really quick and really does last the two weeks promised!
The initial cost may seem hefty at £100, however we would have parted with this by both going to a salon pre-holiday AND the bonus with NK1 sets are that we now have everything we need to do them at our own convenience and for no additional cost...beauty savvy or what?!
Right, now onto the how to details...a few tips to help you achieve the perfect nails....
Firstly make sure your nails are totally clean and there are no traces of varnish, lotion or oil on them as otherwise the varnish won't take.
And secondly, take the time to prep your nails as it's totally worth it for a perfect mani/pedi. Ensure you push your cuticles back, file and buff your nails. A flat, clean nail is what you need to ensure the varnish takes and lasts the 2 weeks as promised!
Other than that it's as straight forward as varnish and set, varnish and set...you get the picture!
A few quick pictures of each step...
Shape, file and buff out any ridges before wiping the nail with the Prep and Shine solution on a lint free pad which is provided... (Wipe each nail twice to ensure they're fully clean and hydrated).
Set the layer under the UV lamp with the 2 minute timer...
Apply the first coat of colour using the same method as above and set for 2 minutes under the UV lamp. Apply 2-3 layers dependant on the colour density desired! Heating and setting under the lamp after each layer.
Finally apply the top coat using the same method as before and set for another 2 minutes under the UV lamp.
Put a few drops of prep and shine on a lint free pad (do not use cotton wool as this will leave fibres in your varnish) and wipe each nail. This removes the sticky residue on each nail and leaves you with the amazing shine!
All done, easy peasyyyyy... and our finished results....