In partnership with OPI
As someone who will instantly remove nail polish if a chip is sustained and who'd far rather have bare nails than anything that isn't super glossy and uniformly perfect, I'm the perfect candidate for gel nails, but after a harrowing experience before my wedding where a manicurist in Austria buffed my nails so much that they ended up wafer-thin before she whacked a thick plank of gel in lieu of my nail, I'd all but steered clear - despite the proclivities that really should've told me I'm a gel nail person.
Fast forward 6 years, and I found myself in the position of getting acquainted with salon nail treatments for our InStyle Best Beauty Buys awards. And that was when I came across the perfect gel nail treatment in the form of the Gelcolour Manicure by OPI, which uses their award-winning Gel Nail Polish range.
The OPI Gelcolor polishes stand apart from their peers on several counts. For starters, the colour choice is enormous, meaning I could opt for the dusky purple of Hello Hawaii Ya? and not be restricted to the choice between beige and bright red (both great colours, granted, but I was in the mood for something a bit different, which OPI were well prepared for).
The treatment is speedy - I was in and out the doors of the House of Elemis within 45 minutes - and it does minimal damage to nails, with just a little light buffing before the application of the gel polish. This bit is hugely important to me - once off, gel manicures shouldn't leave a husk of a nail behind, and this approach - along with the advice that gels shouldn't be worn for longer than the recommended 2-3 weeks - guarantees that nail health won't be compromised. Also, the removal process is pretty easy, requiring a mere 10 minutes in the salon with pads soaked in acetone wrapped around the nails for them to pop off.
Best of all? My nails have cleaned my house twice, rummaged through my suitcases for my passport, and been exposed to a fair few other challenges without the slightest chip to their perfect, shiny finish. I'm a convert.