Let me introduce you to Danielle. This lovely lady used to be my neighbour, and one day when I was in need of having some acrylics, I knocked on her door to ask for help. Back then, she was a nail technician for a big Cardiff salon and was being very neighbourly to me :) I've bee having my nails done by Dani for a good 4 years, and the quality of her work has always been fantastic.
These days the main thing she does is shellac nails (gel), and in this, she's combined the two, acrylics nails, with gel polish on the top for extra shine and longevity - genius!!!
She had a stack of nail wheels with gel polish on for me to pick from, but immediately I was drawn to one particular combination. What I really like is that she includes cream shades, polishes with glitter in, and a bit of nail art using a cream shade, fine glitter and a good clear top coat (that's what I opted for).
See that blue shade next to the purple? Yep, that's what I opted for. Normally I'd go for the purple, but I couldn't stop staring at the blue, so I took it as fate :)
Please excuse the horrible state of my nails. This is why I needed acrylics done, I'd started biting my nails again and haven't been able to stop - I started again just after Squidge was born. I've tried and tried but to no avail. The only thing I've ever found that's helped to break the habit is having acrylic nails. They also stop me biting the skin around my nails so it's all good.
It's taken a lot for me to share this picture, I hate my nails and fingers at the moment and I've been avoiding filming YouTube videos as they look so horrible and I've felt so embarrassed by it, so please don't judge me too hard!
After prepping my nails, Dani gets to work on my shocking cuticles, I really don't take care of them so she really had her work cut out!
Next, she added the tips which she fitted to each finger and filed down. When I have acrylics I like to have them as short as possible so they look as natural as possible. Having them crazy long isn't a look I like that much, and with a baby it just wouldn't be practical.
After that, she topped them off with acrylic. In the past she's included some iridescent glitter in the mix so they're really sparkly (I loved this!) but this time as I was having tips added, I knew I'd want a nail polish on the top, so there was no point having the glitter in the mix.
After applying the acrylic, she gave them a good file down so they were a better length and nice and smooth, and shaped them and the corners so there weren't any sharp bits.
Next up, gel! She uses the CND system. A long time ago I reviewed their weekly nail polishes which I was really impressed with. She had a great selection of shades and finishes (i.e. glitters) and picked the ones out to match my chosen swatch.
I forget the name of this shade, but it's a dark blue with a very pretty but subtle sparkle - this would have been gorgeous by itself, but I was excited to have the glitter addition!
Next up - adding the glitter and a top coat of clear gel polish.
Here's a closeup - now, please excuse my horrible thumb, but OMG how amazing is that glitter!!!?!?! It compliments the navy blue really well and looks gorgeous!
The finished nails! I adore how these look, she did an amazing job, the best gel finish I've had. She's so good at applying nail polish, she doesn't get it on my fingers, she doesn't flood the cuticle, it's perfectly neat. It's because of the time and effort she puts in to prepping the nail, that my nails don't get ruined by having acrylics. She does such a neat job that even though I've tried other places locally, nowhere has been as good.
If you're interested in hiring Dani (if you live in or around Cardiff), you can call her on her mobile or text her here: 07793015777
For more examples of her work, please have a look at her Facebook page, she might be setting up a blog soon to include some tutorials too - if she does I'll update this post with a link :) If you're in or around Cardiff I really wouldn't recommend anyone else, Dani is fab and friendly, and worth every penny!
The cost for acrylics was £30 (this included a manicure first to prep the nail, and the gel polish on top)
Infills are £20
Gel nails are £20