Hi everyone – or should I say Ciao!
I was in beautiful Bologna last weekend to attend the Cosmoprof Worldwide international beauty trade fair with my nail range, Binky London. Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna is the leading international trade show for the professional beauty and cosmetics industry, and I was very proud to be able to exhibit my products to almost 200,000 people from all over the world!
When Mummy and I arrived, we were amazed at the sheer size of the space. It truly was a true beauty lover’s paradise, with over 90,000 square metres of space dedicated to exhibitors from all corners of the beauty world: perfumery, cosmetics, beauty salons and spas, hair and of course – nails.
Mummy and I also treated ourselves to a UV gel manicure while we were at Cosmoprof. Although I normally do my nails myself at home, I couldn’t not take advantage of all the amazing treatments on offer at the event. I opted for a bright Balearic blue shade while Mummy went for a gorgeous pinky purple. Gel manicures are super long-lasting with a high-shine finish that doesn’t chip, so for someone who’s always on the go like me they’re ideal.
GEL MANICURE HOW-TO:
1 – Apply SPF
First things first, always apply a hand cream with SPF over the hands and nails to protect the skin.
2 – Prepare the nails
Then move on to preparing the nails. It’s vital you make sure your nails are in tip-top condition before applying any kind of polish – in particular if you’re using a UV lamp – this ensures your nails stay strong and healthy, as well as making your manicure look flawless.
Get rid of any residue or leftover nail polish on and around the nails using nail varnish remover and a cotton pad. Then shape the nails with a nail file, filing each nail from one direction to the other until you reach your desired shape and length.
Following this, exfoliate the surface and tip of the nail with a gentle buffer. This will even out any rough ridges in the nail, leaving them super smooth and ready for the polish.
Next, gently push your cuticles back with an orange stick and tidy up any excess skin around the nails with a pair of clippers.
3 – Base coat
It’s vital to apply a base coat to the nails before applying UV polish, as this helps protect the nail and prolongs the wear of the colour itself. I recommend my Binky London Nail Care Base Coat, which prevents yellowing and discolouration that can build up on nails if you’re a frequent nail polish user.
Apply one layer of the base coat and place your hands under your UV lamp for around 30 seconds (timings may vary depending on the lamp you’re using, so do check the manual before getting started!).
4 – Polish
Next, apply a layer of your gel colour of choice onto the nails – if you apply too much at once, the end result may look slightly gloopy, so keep the initial layer of polish relatively thin. Place your fingers under the lamp for around 60 seconds.
When the first coat has dried, apply a second layer and repeat. It’s best to do your thumbs separately so you don’t risk the polish smudging.
5 – Top coat
Finally, apply a high-shine top coat to give your gel manicure that sleek, salon-style finish, as well as enhancing its longevity. Brush a layer onto nails once the colour has dried and place fingers under the lamp for 30 seconds. And there you have it – a salon-finish gel manicure from the comfort of your own home!
Of course, there are a plethora of standard nail polishes you can use to create a similar high-shine, long-lasting effect on the nails if you’re short on time or don’t want to buy a UV lamp. Provided you prepare your nails thoroughly and enlist the help of a high-quality top coat, you can easily cheat your way to sleek, shiny talons. Here are my top picks:
Binky London Gel Effect Polish in Raffles Red
My gel effect polishes are designed to mimic the effects of a UV gel manicure at a single stroke of a brush. The formula offers opaque coverage that stays chip-free for up to 10 days, with a high-shine gel-like finish. Raffles Red is a charming crimson shade that works well for both day and night –classic, chic and fabulous.
Binky London Gel Effect Polish in Chelsea Coral
Chelsea Coral is one of my favourite colours from my collection – for me, it’s summer in a bottle! It accentuates tanned skin beautifully and adds a vibrant pop of colour to a black or white outfit.
Michael Kors Glam Nail Lacquer in Envy
I always reach for this lustrous violet polish when I’m wanting to amp up the glam factor. It provides a glossy, opaque finish in just two coats – Rosie Fortescue from the show loves it just as much as I do!
Dior Trianon Vernis – Haute Couleur Extreme Wear Nail Lacquer
The vibrant colours in the Dior Trianon nail collection are infused with light-reflecting particles that give nails an enchanting pearly shimmer. The formula doesn’t disappoint either, providing brilliantly opaque coverage in a single coat.
Dior Gel Top Coat
The secret to a super-slick manicure is a great top coat. After your polish has dried fully, apply a layer of this glossy gel-finish offering by Dior for super shiny ‘just-stepped-out-of-the-salon’ nails
If you’re interested in trying out my Binky London nail polishes, they’re available to buy right here on my favourite online beauty boutique! What nail colours are you all loving at the mo?
Lots of love,