I’ve never been much of a beauty treatment kinda gal. I don’t like getting my hair cut too often (why do hairdressers always cut off more than you ask for?!) and the colour is pretty low maintenance, only requiring a little more love once a year or so when I chop off the ends. I’ve never been one for regular facials or manicures, I get my brows done once every six months or so when I forget what they were meant to look like. But other than that, I’ve never been the kinda gal to shell out a fortune on regular beauty treatments, it’s just not been my jam.
But over the last few months, I’ve gotten pretty hooked on gel manicures and I don’t see that ending any time soon.
The whole thing started at the end of March. After two months spent pretty much exclusively in bed, I was four weeks post surgery and desperately wanting to feel more human. Makeup + clothes have always been a big part of my identity to me, so spending two months bare faced in pyjamas looking rough left me desperate to feel more like myself. I booked in for a hair cut and colour, and to go get my nails done with Connor’s mum and little sister. It was going to be part catch up, part girly bonding session, part helping me feel pretty again after two months of feeling crap. I splashed out on a full set of acrylics topped with gel polish, and I loved it. I loved feeling girly and put together and feminine. I’ve never had good nails, they’ve always been weak and never grew at all, so it was a revelation to have actual nails for a change. It gave me such a mood and confidence boost, walking out of the salon I was internally vowing to have acrylics forever.
I had however, just had a course of B12 injections as part of my treatment, and had no idea they would have such an effect on my nails. My nails were growing rapidly, and were stronger than they’d ever been. To maintain them, I’d have had to have had infills weekly, which just wasn’t practical, in terms of time or money. So I reluctantly had them removed, and had a simple gel manicure instead.
And I haven’t looked back since, diligently popping into my local salon every two weeks for a fresh colour. And I love it for multiple reasons. Not only does the gel colour look great, thick, glossy + long lasting, it helps my nails stay strong – I’m not used to having longer nails of my own (they’re by no means long, but longer than I’ve ever experienced).
But I also love the ritual of going. On a Monday afternoon after a long day at work, I pop into the salon on my way home. And for forty minutes I sit, no phone, no distractions, just me and my thoughts indulging in a little self care. Taking those forty minutes every other week has become part of my sanity, something to look forward to on a stressful day at work, or when I’m feeling a little run down.
I don’t have any other vices. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, I’ve never been a gambler or a fan of expensive nights out. Most of my money goes on bills, food, good tea and the odd manicure. And I’m okay with that.