Something I have enjoyed doing throughout lockdown has been painting my nails! At Emirates, we are only allowed a few specific colours, so I have loved experimenting with new colours that I wouldn’t typically wear, however, I do find myself sticking to the same shades and going back to my favourite – red.
The current guidelines on our nails are the following:
- Fingernails must be clean and manicured at all times
- You must wear nail varnish. The acceptable colours are clear/ natural, red, nude, French/ French Ombre manicure
- All colours must be gloss and not a matte finish
- Metallic shades are not permitted
- All nails must be filed to the same length (if one nail breaks, they should all be filed down)
- Nails must be filed in round or square shape. Any other shape that is sharp and pointy is not acceptable
- The length of your fingernails must not extend any longer than half a centimetre above the tip of your finger
For the last 2 years, I have pretty much worn red on my nails every single day, apart from a couple of days here and there. When I moved to Dubai, I began getting my nails done professionally in the salon attached to my accommodation building. I wasn’t very clued up with nails so I used to just get what they recommended which was called ‘Hard Gel’ – later I found out this was actually very damaging and my nails became very weak and brittle after some months.
About 6 months ago, I stopped getting them done in the salon as I realised my nails were so broken, it was painful to do anything! I gave them a break, and then started painting them myself. I switch between the Essence ‘Shine Last and Go’ nail polish in the shade 52 ‘Shine on me’ and the Rimmel London ’60 Seconds Super Shine’ in the shade ‘310 Double Decker Red’. I actually prefer the Essence one as it is more of a deeper red with a slight glisten.
If I was going to try something different, I would go for a nude shade as I think this is timeless and classic. I prefer more ‘pinky nudes’ as I think they compliment my skin tone more. Again, I used the Essence ‘Shine Last and Go’ nail polish, but this time in the shade ’04 Millennial Pink’.
We are also permitted to have a french manicure which I absolutely love, but I have never worn before, or had done at the salon. I thought I would try it myself to see how it looked – not the best, but I think I would like to try it if I were to ever get my nails done again. It looks so classy and it is so understated. All I did was add the white tip on top of my nude nails. I used the Wet n Wild ‘1 Step Wonder Gel’ nail colour in the shade E7011 ‘Flying Colours’.
Last but not least are clear nails. I sometimes paint my nails in a clear shade if I can’t really be bothered or if I am in a rush. I don’t mind clear nails, but where I paint my nails so much, my nails have become slightly discoloured underneath so I don’t really like the look of them without a colour. Here, I used the Essence ‘Extreme Shine’ top coat which leaves a really lovely gloss. I also used the Sally Hansen ‘Hard As Nails’ which really helped when my nails were broken.
To finish everything off, I add cuticle oil once everything is semi-dry all around my cuticles as mine are pretty dry. I use the CND ‘SolarOil’ nail and cuticle conditioner which I bought from the nail salon. I carry this in my work bag with me as my nails get so dry in the air, so I always paint this on every now and then to keep them hydrated.
As you can see, I really love using the Essence nail polishes and I can honestly say that they are so long-lasting and shiny. I am not careful with my nails at all – I am constantly washing up (without gloves) and just generally not taking care of them, but these colours last for 7 days without chipping. They are also super cheap! I always paint two coats of the colour, and then 1 top coat.
Overall, red is definitely my go-to colour, and I will continue to wear it every day as I think it suits my skin tone and matches with every outfit. I feel so much better when I have my nails painted and even during this lockdown, I have tried to paint my nails every week as it just lifts my mood and makes me feel great!
Thanks for reading.
Kerry May xo