Some time ago I think I mentioned going cold turkey on my biogel nail manicures. For those of you who have no clue what this means, biogel is essentially a no-chip alternative to traditional polish, cured and set by UV light.

I gave up because it was a) spendy and b) after having Mabel I knew I would’t necessarily have the opportunity to attend the necessary hour plus long appointment.

From January this year until August I tried REALLY hard to maintain pretty fingertips by the whole paint and file thing myself. It’s official – I am CRAP (wanted to put a more swear-y word here but try to only use profanities for things that truly deserve them) ….at doing anything with my nails.

Pedicures I can manage – perhaps because they last so much longer? but with the constant hand washing, soaking formula bottles in warm water and fairy liquid and general chip inducing Mama chores I do on a daily basis, even the most “Hardcore” of varnish doesn’t last longer than 3 days. And then it’s having the time to do it in the bloody first place.

I’ve tried the base coat and top coat thing. And yes, sometimes if I’m lucky I might do ok for up to a week with the odd slap dash touch up. But then they look pants. And may remain that way for some weeks afterwards.

I met up with a friend of mine last month who was sporting a glossy incredibly perfect coral hue. She told me it was Shellac, that it lasted up to 3 weeks and cost twenty quid. Not cheap as chips admittedly but considerably more reasonable than gel and from a time perspective, worth it’s weight in gold.

It took me oh….about 30 seconds to give up on my personal efforts, pick up the phone and get full on salon-tastic. I have officially been a fan girl of Shellac for the last six weeks or so. It’s so SHINY. Similar to gel in terms of application but way quicker. And it really doesn’t peel, flake or go weird at the edges. So far I’ve been going to appointments on a Saturday morning, James has some Daddy and Mabel time and I have some much needed “me” time.

I’m ok with being a failure in the nail painting department, besides Shellac is my beauty treat to myself.

Another friend of mine has bought a home kit that is a similar product – UV lamp and everything. Her manicure looked lovely actually but I’m worried if I made the investment I’d end up in the same predicament as before, all the products but none of the patience.

Have any of you folks tried Shellac?

Or gel?

Or are you simply rather more talented than me at keeping your own cuticles in check?