I wish I could sit here and say I'm one of those people that gets their nails done every week. The truth is though, I've never been too good at that kind of stuff. Of course I enjoy the mani/pedi experience, and seeing a manicurist every now and again is essential for avoiding public embarrassment due to the state of my fingers and toes (because we all know the moment your feet are at their worst, you'll be forced to take off your shoes in a public place). But for those long stretches between salon visits, I've had to find a way to keep my nails in check with DIY methods.
During my efforts to perfect the at-home manicure, I happened to find that while most drugstore polishes apply well and look great, I was quickly left with chips and disappointing-looking nails way sooner than I would prefer. The good news is, after countless attempts of varnish trial and error, I've finally found a nail polish combination that really works for me, and I feel the need to share.
Step one is a base coat using a Sally Hansen Miracle Gel (personally, my colour of choice is Red Eye). This range lasts longer than normal polish, the brush is a nice shape, and it dries with the look of a gel — but luckily for the lazy beauty girl I am, since it's technically not a gel, I don't have to faff around with lights, or stick weird wraps on my fingers when I want to remove it (which I know I'd never do properly and just try to peel it off). For step two, even though there is a matching Miracle Gel top coat available (which I have previously used and enjoyed), my perfect formulation requires you to go rogue and use The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat from Essence. Then, if I'm feeling extra fancy, I'll do a second top coat for good measure before cleaning up any edges with a nail polish remover pen (you need one of these in your life immediately). The end result is a glossy finish that actually lasts all week without any damage. And this means I can feel better about not getting myself organised enough to book another manicure, and as a bonus, I'm spared the visual reminder of the state of my life every time I look down (if a chipped nail isn't a metaphor for failure, I don't know what is).