There are two things that I have zero time or energy for: packing my own suitcases (I find that someone will always help me) and doing my nails. I don't know if I just lack coordination, but it always ends up looking a mess.
So when I do sit down to do my nails myself, I need my manicure to last beyond two business days. A reward is necessary for all the time and labour I put in, and thanks to Parisian nail brand Manucurist, there's finally a reward.
The brand has just launched in the UK, and its Green Flash Kit (£69), which is the first and only plant-based alternative to gel nails, has me seriously impressed. I was skeptical, of course, as I really don't like the faff of gel nails and having to go back to the salon to remove them. Plus, I was curious to see how their green credentials stacked up in the nail space.
Honestly, some things are just better left to the experts, but I decided to give it a go, and I've surprisingly found the solution to my at-home nail woes.
I followed the instructions and started with the base coat, which I then cured under the LED lamp. I then applied two coats of colour, again curing under the lamp between coats, and I ended with the topcoat. First of all, I was struck by the scent. There wasn't one. No fumes, no coughing, no tell-tale polish scent, nothing. Honestly, no one would know I was painting my nails.
That's because the brand is nine-free (no formaldehyde and hydroquinones) and uses up to 84% bioactive ingredients, so the disruptive ingredients won't penetrate your nails and skin. Instead, the brand uses ingredients like sugar cane, manioc, cotton, and potato. Yes, potato.
For once, I really enjoyed the process. The brush on the polishes made for easy application, and the LED lamp made me feel like I was a pro. Sure, it takes a little more time than regular polish, but the benefits are sure worth it.
The polish is thin, so two coats are needed, and it gives the manicure a natural finish. The colours are incredibly rich and striking, too. The best part of all of this is that the gel manicure can last for up to 10 days. This depends on what you do with your hands and also your individual nails. It's recommended to remove any oils on your nails with the remover in the kit before you get started.
I'm currently on day seven, which is pretty incredible, as nail polish usually lasts for about two to three days for me. I don't have any chips yet, so I'm sure they'll make it to 10 days.
What really got me excited? I was able to remove my polish with the acetone-free gel polish remover that's 97% bio-based. Yes, I removed my gel nails at home—no foil and no soaking in acetone that's strong enough to make me choke. An absolute revelation.
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