I'm a big fan of a pop of color, be it my shoes,
or work space (Yes, I have a totally crazy/awesome ergo roller mouse. You should try it. It'll change your life).
One fabulous way I love to add a pop of color that stays with me all day is through nail polish. For me, having unshimmery toes is a faux pas. But I was never really into manis. Because usually I'd get a manicure and the damn polish would chip on my way out the salon door. Which was a cryin shame, because I love bright colors on my fingers, but not enough to waste the time or money on it, knowing it'd barely last a day.
So I was thrilled when I heard about gel manicures! Bright shimmery colors that last for at least 2 weeks without chipping?? I'm sold! $35 per manicure and an extra $5 to come in and have the salon remove it?? Suddenly I'm not so enthusiastic. After discovering the typical price for gel manis and weighing the pain-in-the-ass-to-worth-it ratio, I never went to get a gel mani. I just envied my friends' perfectly un-chipped gel manicures.
Imagine my delight when I heard about a DIY, at home, gel manicure kit by the name of Red Carpet Manicure! I speedily researched reviews online and found people raving about it. I splurged on the Pro Kit with the stronger LED light, figuring it'll pay for itself within 2 1/2 manicures. When my kit arrived, I tore open the box, barricaded myself in my bedroom (no boys allowed) and set to work laying on the perfect gel manicure.
And what was the verdict? Fabulous! As long as you follow the directions closely and carefully (wipe off any layers that may touch your cuticles/skin!), your gel mani should be good to go. My first gel mani lasted about 2 1/2 weeks, and I probably could have kept it a little longer, but I wanted to change to a new color! Here's my manicure at 2 weeks. (Color: Paparazzied. Oh yea, all of the colors have fun, fab, glam names):
If you're looking for inspiration, check out the Red Carpet Manicure Facebook page. People are constantly posting their latest gel mani creations—some of them are so artistic! (Strawberry fingernails, Vintage Rose, Bows, Oh my!)
Another thing I appreciate about RCM: The light is an LED light, not a UV light. No thank you, hand-cancer.
One last note...after a few weeks when your gel mani starts to chip, resist the temptation to peel the polish off! This will screw up your nails in a major way! I will say that after doing a few months worth of gel manis back to back, my nails were a bit worse for the wear at first—a bit thin and weak. But, I took a break for a week, used the Revitalize that comes with the kit, and my nails are all back to normal and ready for a new color!