As you can tell from my weekly Mani Monday posts, I do love painting my nails - feeling much more girlie and feminine when they are done. As much as I would love to be at the nail bar every week, time and limited funds mean that, like most, it is a DIY job most of the time, but with the right products you can make the process much more time efficient, luxurious and give a more professional finish.
I have raved on about Dr LeWinn's Renunail (£17.85 Feel Unique)too many times - but it really does strengthen my nails amazingly well. When I feel like they are getting weak, I run the course for the week and ta-dah, great nails once more!
Getting a good nail shape and taking your cuticles will help give you a salon-finish. Try the Stylfile 2 (£4.49 Boots) from Apprentice winner Tom Pellereau. The S shape helps get a even length on your nails and the new version has a nail cleaner and cuticle pusher built in.
A base coat will help your chosen colour stand out and prevent staining of your nails. I love butter London's Nail Foundation (£13.50 Feel Unique), which you can also layer up for a nude nail shade too.
After your colour, a good top coat is essential for given your mani staying power and a good shine. No7 Stay Perfect Top Coat (£6 Boots) was recommended to me by nail art blogger Fundamentally Flawless and I've never looked bak. It adds amazing shine and dries super quick too. For a gel-look I also really like Seche Vite Top Coat (£9 Boots), which again dries super quick.
After my DIY mani has dried I layer on some hand and nail cream and Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Hand Cream (£26 Debenhams) is one of my faves, with a subtle smell and epic hydration.