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nail care


Time on my own is a rare luxury – busy gals, do you feel me?

As a young parent, journalist, and fitness junkie, my days are jam-packed. 

And given my schedule, it’s entirely fair to say my nail care is firmly last on my to-do list.

Day One

I was unfazed about my non-existent routine; after all, I was already caring for my skin and hair… not to mention another human being too.

On the odd occasion that I did treat myself, my nails would be a hot mess in two or three days with peeling and chipping – so I gave up.

That is until I spoke to nail guru Marian Newman at a CND Shellac Luxe event.

To say that my nails were an embarrassment is an understatement. 

I continually apologised to the nail technician, who I believe has magical powers.

She turned my "children nails", as my sister has kindly nicknamed them, into professional, gorgeous-looking nails.

Granted, my nails aren't anywhere near the amazing specimens that are featured on my Insta-feed – I am just your average 20-something-year-old with normal nails. 

Day One

I selected Shellac Luxe 'Satin Slippers' which is a nude.

It's ideal for work and mum life as it is chic and sophisticated but strikes a feminine and pretty look.

An added bonus was Shellac Luxe promised not to destroy my nails and it could be removed in 60 seconds – (YES, 60 seconds!)

Additionally, given the science behind the formula and the 'Wiggle' technique, I was told I'd be well equipped for everyday life without chips or breaks.


The TEMPTATION is reallll #CNDLuxe

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I won’t lie: I was VERY sceptical.

I am hard on my nails in general: I play tag rugby, attend Zumba and lift weights four times a week.

I use a push scooter to get to work (laugh now, but they're unreal) come rain or shine, and life with my four-year-old includes A LOT of painting, parks and hikes.

Week Two

However, this is how I got on with Shellac Luxe.

During the three weeks I had it on, I really put it to the test, and I have to confess – I was surprised.

My first chip came in the second week as I was lifting with a bar and caught my nail.

The rest of my nails maintained beautifully well until the end of the experiment though.

Week Three after scooting into work

The biggest thing I didn’t anticipate was how much I loved looking at my hands when my nails were done – I had forgotten what it felt like to have nice nails.

You can guarantee I was lapping up the nail compliments too.

CND were honest about the removal process which I did on my own, and I was SHOOK.

By the time I had finished wrapping the last nail, the first one was ready.

My nails were perfect, no damage or stress to the nail bed after three weeks of Shellac – I was very pleased.

I even got my nails done AGAIN, and I fear that I may become a nail junkie after this experience – please pray for my bank account. 

If you're interested in trying out Shellac Luxe, you're in luck.

They've added 14 new shades for us to obsess over.

CND gives you beautiful Shellac with no compromises – even for those of us who have demanding lives and commitments.  



So you have the gorgeous new nail varnish, the top coat and all the other bits and bobs… but your nails are still short, broken and generally looking a bit crap. What's a gal to do?

Irish beauty blogger Deirdre Foley of Viva Adonis is a cosmetics addict and nail care fanatic, and we chased her down for a few tips on getting the perfect at-home manicure.

Here goes…

I've tried everything, but my nails just won't grow. What am I doing wrong?
As far as I can make out, nail growth is down to health, genes, and just a little bit of luck. Mine are generally okay – they grow faster in the summer, but can be a lot more brittle and thin come winter. The best strengthener I’ve used has to be OPI Nail Envy, €21.95 from Cloud10Beauty and Boots. This has been my base coat of choice for many years, and I always miss it when it runs out.

What’s the best nail routine to follow?
Good tools are a must – a glass file, clippers, and buffers. Hit up your local chemist or salon supplier like Terrisales, Flair or Sally’s to get the goods.

Soaking nails & cuticles in warm water and then using a cuticle remover like the gel one from Sally Hansen is a great way to make your nails look that little bit more tidy and groomed.  Regular use of Clarins hand cream & CND Solar Oil will also go a long way towards softer, healthier hands and nail beds.

I've been thinking about acrylics. Should I go for it or are they a big no-no?
They're fine the odd time. Too much of anything is rarely good news. I have friends that have been horribly addicted to acrylics, and the results haven’t been pretty. If your nails are in a serious state, it could be worth investing in the Micro Nail, an electronic buffer that will leave bare nails looking seriously shiny and healthy without the need for polish. Leaving nails bare for a while, with the odd top-up of Nail Envy or a similar product, should speed up the recovery process.

I love gel polish as you get the longevity without quite as much damage. A good Shellac or Gelish manicure shouldn’t punish nails too much – just remember not to pick it off! Make sure to get it removed professionally or else DIY with some acetone and tinfoil.

Deirdre Foley is a history grad, sceptic, wearer of red lipstick and self-confessed 'beauty maniac'. She is also the co-founder of fabulous Irish beauty blog, Viva Adonis