Basic Girls Guide to: Nails


I hope you’re enjoying the sunshine! If you’ve read some of my previous blog posts you would have seen that I am quite into keeping my nails looking POPPING. Having your nails looking chic really draws your outfit together and helps you feel more professional… well it does for me! Today I just wanted to cover a range of nail areas including advantages and disadvantages of nail treatments available at the salon, how to get professional looking nails at home AND discussing my favourite nail polishes.

Salon Nails:

  • Acrylics: Acrylic nails allow you to extend your nails and then finish with a french manicure or a regular nail polish. The advantages are that all your nails look even, you can have different shapes, they last for around 2/3 weeks (sometimes longer!) AND you can continue to get in-fills, which is cheaper than a new set each time. This does take longer than other gel treatments like Shellac, they can look a bit old when they start to grow out and are difficult to remove yourself, without damaging your nail bed.
  • Gel: This can be a great alternative to acrylics if you already like the shape of your natural nails. Salons offer a wide range of different gel formulas, one of the most common (and the one I’ve used the most!) is CND Shellac. The positives behind choosing gel nail polish include the high-shine finish, it lasts for about 3 weeks, is easier to peel off yourself, it grows out more subtly than acrylics and does not take as long! However, they can use UV lights which if used repeatedly can dry out your hands, the colour range can be more limited and if you’re very hands-on or if it gets very warm it can peel off.

Professional looking nails at home:

  • 3 Stripe Rule: I am NOT an expert, obviously, but recently my nail painting skills have improved a lot! Since I’ve stopped relying on the salon for my nail care needs I’ve now decided to improve myself. SO I googled a lot of different ways to paint nails accurately and I think the 3 stripe rule is the best way. This is simply paint one central stripe down your nails then one either side. Try and keep a gap between the paint and the edge of the nail the whole way round.
  • Vivid Colour and a High-Shine Topcoat: Layer the coloured polish until you get a deep colour, usually it takes 2-3 coats. Having an opaque colour makes it seem more professional, especially if it is even too. Then you need a really shiny gel top coat to lock in the colour and protect it. My favourite one is Barry M’s Plumpy Topcoat which is only £2.99 and doesn’t leave air bubbles.

Favourite Nail Polish:

All my favourite nail polishes are from Barry M because they has SO many different colours, formulas and are ALWAYS on offer so it is easy to pick them up. My favourite formula is the Gelly one with Blueberry, Acai Berry and Damson being some of my go to shades. The Coconut Infusion and Sunset Nails are definitely worth a try too for some long-lasting colour and they each cater to different shades. Barry M is always coming out with seasonal shades and formulas whilst adding to the original lines, sometimes they do limited edition paints too but I haven’t given many a go!

I hope this was helpful and has given you some ideas to help develop your nail painting skills! Don’t worry about getting it all around your nails, it will always wash off AND give it time to try. I still get frustrated sometimes when painting nails but when you get it right, it is SO satisfying!

Happy painting,



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