Monday, August 15, 2011

Everlasting Manicure - REALLY?

Nail enhancements are something that I have always shied away from. Mainly because when I was younger my friends and I used to use those at home glue on nails, which left our nails weak and dry. To be honest false nails generally look false and I never saw the appeal! Anyway, when I was invited to attend Urban Retreat at Harrods for their Autumn / Winter 2011 Trends press day, I was introduced to an exciting new brand called Artistic Colour Gloss. Based in Urban Retreats nail loft, this ‘everlasting nail colour’ is a soak off gel polish.

Artistic Colour Gloss
Artistic Colour Gloss has been created by Tom Bachik, also know as the ‘Man’-icurist, Tom has pampered and preened some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including one of my favourite ladies Victoria Bechkam, Cameron Diaz, J-Lo and BeyoncĂ©. Artistic Colour Gloss draws on Tom’s expertise and talent giving an advanced gel polish in 66 colours, with 22 new shades for everyone. Artistic Colour Gloss is supposed to last for up to 21 days and give a brilliant shine and gloss.

Tom Bachik - 'Man'-icurist

I was very intrigued to try the ‘enhancements’ as recently my nails have been in such a state, flaking, peeling and splitting. I was assured that Artistic would actually be beneficial to my nails as before the gel is applied, a protein base coat is used to keep the nail strong. As dubious as I was, I went for it.

I opted for Hotzy, a scorching hot chilli red colour. Although it’s not one of the ‘trend’ colours for AW’11, I thought if I’m going to be wearing this colour for 3 weeks, then red, in my view, is the best option. It works for both day and night and can be smart as well as playful.


For those of you who are not familiar with the process of gel polish, UV light is used to set the gel to the nail. You have to place you hands in a little light box type unit, wait between 10-20 seconds (dependant on what layer is being set) and hey presto the colour is adhered! It took about an hour in total which included removing my existing polish, which I thought was rather good.

The nail loft at Urban Retreat is like a little nail heaven, very relaxing and calm. You also get a great view of the rest of Urban Retreat from above, so you can spy out all the other wonderful beauty products to buy, while getting your nails done.

I had taken some photographs of my nails after they were done, but managed to successfully delete them by mistake when transferring files! ANNOYING!! So apologies for that. But I can honestly say that my nails looked stunning. The colour was rich, deep and even. The shine was brilliant and lasted the entire time I had the gel on. My nails didn’t feel weak as they grew longer, which is what they normally do. I wore Artistic Colour Gloss for 16 days, much shorter than the 21 day suggestion, only because I didn’t like seeing the regrowth area. My nails were already rather long when I had the gel applied so with the regrowth, they did start to look a bit false. However, I adored wearing Artistic Colour Gloss. I didn’t have to worry about having to spend 2 hours doing my nails each week or making sure they looked in tip-top condition for meetings or nights out, they were just as fabulous as they were the day they were applied. I would MOST definitely get them again and would recommend anyone who hasn’t tried enhancements before to do so. Artisitc Colour Gloss manicure costs £55 at Urban Retreat at Harrods, which you may think of as expensive, but it more than worth every single penny!

So back to the AW’11 trends...Tom Bachik notes,

"We saw a wide range of looks and effects for nails for Autumn ‘11 from short, slightly oval shaped nails to longer talons. Dominating colours on the catwalks for fashion weeks included nude or camel nails with a matt finish, deep plums, mulberry, navy and the odd orange thrown in for fun - whether it was burnt or neon! I think nail art is also peeking its head back in the market, but in the form of just a little personal style - an accent nail or two is all that’s needed."

Not only is Artistic Colour Gloss bang-on-trend for the season, they are also the perfect option for the festive season, as they will take you from work Christmas parties, Christmas with the family and New Year with friends, then back to work again in January! It’s too effortless for words, a no brainer.

Party trend tips from Tom:

‘Nail art for the holiday season is all about fun. It doesn’t have to be on every nail, an accent nail or two is all that is needed, but in the form of just a little personal style. Metallics and glitter are perfect for on-trend Christmas bling, or opt for a more subtle nail art which will still give you ‘look-at-me’ nails. Stripes, half moons and colour fading are all understated favourites’

Take note people, this man knows his stuff!

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