Although I do love an in-salon gel manicure I have been trying to avoid them for the last 6 months. I always find that they’re quite harsh on my nails and expensive, I also find that after 6 months of wearing them, it’s really hard to stop. I haven’t worn them since August and my nails are back to their normal state so I’ve been turning to my favourite at home alternative, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel.

Shop the Sally Hansen range here

After wearing in-salon gels for a little too long I found that my nails were dry and brittle so I decided it was a good time to cut them short. Sally Hansen Nail Growth is a soy protein formula, which helps strengthen and lengthen nails without causing brittleness. It also has keratin to protect the nail against tearing and multi-vitamins to help promote healthy nail growth. Whether you like painting your nails or not Sally Hansen care collection has you covered and you can use the Nail Growth under polish or alone.

I was recently sent the new Rustic Charm collection from Sally Hansen, which launches in Boots 15th March and Superdrug 8th march and I’m in love with all the colours! It’s made up of eight shades of which I have four; Little Peony (a very pale pink), Bourbon Belle* (a slightly salmon coloured orange), Sweet Tea (a very light salmon) and Poppy Patch (an orangey red).

Now it’s no secret that although I think red’s are classic, they’re not really my cup of tea (I know I am in the minority) and although it’s always a great addition to a collection I had my eyes set on the other colours. Little Peony is a beautiful everyday shade, quite white so I think it would look incredible with a tan but I usually use nail polish as a way to liven my mood, especially coming out of winter and into spring, so my eyes were set on one of the oranges; Sweet Tea or Bourbon Belle*.

I ended up picking Sweet Tea it’s the perfect colour but keep an eye out on my Instagram Stories as I’m sure I’ll be using the other shades soon. The secret to making this manicure last as long as possibly is to use the Miracle Gel Top coat, it leaves a nice glossy finish but makes the manicure last almost seven days in my experience, which is far longer than most polishes.

*Exclusive to Superdrug

This post is sponsored by Sally Hansen.

Models own HyperGel Soft Pop models own candy flossBack with another quick Mani Monday, hope you all had a lovely weekend. The weather here in London was surprisingly glorious!

After having a few nails break a few weeks back I’ve been super lazy with my nails but I was fed up of how scruffy my nails looked so decided to give the new Models Own polishes a go. Its the HyperGel Soft Pop range, which has five beautiful creme pastel neon colours, I actually initially thought it could be a Polish for tans collection as they’re all tan enhancing shades.

I feel a little embarrassed to say this but I haven’t painted my own nails very much this year and I’m a little bit out of practice. I’ve never had huge issues with the Models Own brushes but I think because I am a little out of practice I struggled with the brush a bit. It’s quite a thick but flat brush and I don’t think mine had been cut too well (only shade Candy Floss) so it’s just wasn’t the easiest application.

I only tried Candy Floss on my nails and it’s what I’ve been wearing for the last 5 days or so, with lots of compliments along the way. Candy Floss is a baby pink shade but with quite a white base, one of those colours that really enhances your tan. It was a little streaky, maybe because of the brush or maybe because these sort of colours are always a little more tricky. The drying time was also a little slow and I was left with little prints as I thought it was dry when it wasn’t.

Even though this polish is far from perfect I’m probably still going to use it, I typically choose a polish because of the colour and put up with it’s faults (unless it’s truly awful). The colours from this range are just beautiful, theres no way I can resist!

new beauty productsOrigins Warm Down Lava Scrub
I’ll admit that I think this is a little bit gimmicky, I don’t know if you really need a body scrub designed especially for post gym but I have been using this one for a few weeks and have been loving it. This is the first body warming body scrub I have ever used and the shower-activated Volcanic Ash which warms on contact with water is suppose to help ease muscle tension as well as purify. I’m not too sure if it really does that but it’s a beautifully gentle scrub which I find to be super luxurious and relaxing because of the warming sensation. It’s a little more than I usually spend on a scrub but it’s the perfect pamper product and I really look forward to using it.

Goldwell Kerasilk Repower Volume Blow Dry Spray
I have been loving salon designed hair products recently and my most recent discovery is the Goldwell Kerasilk Repower range. My favourite product is this Volume Blow Dry spray as it has heat protection but also adds volume to my hair without being sticky and difficult to work in.

SinfulColors X Kylie Jenner
If you’re a Kylie Jenner fan and want to buy something from her beauty empire but don’t fancy paying the custom charges for a lip kit than you’ll be happy hear that her collaboration with SinfulColors is available for just £3 from Superdrug. I went for the colour Miss Chief which is a dusty lavender/pink shade with tiny specs of silver shimmer which is luckily barely noticeable on the nail and is just a typical me colour.

Jo Malone London Carrot Blossom & Fennel
This might be a big statement but I think this might be my favourite Jo Malone scent ever and it’s really really grown on my since the first time I tried it. It’s light and summery with (as you’d imagine) hints of carrot and fennel as well as apricot and white musk. It’s a great travel friendly size which I think might make it my summer holiday scent.

Soft & Gentle 2 in 1 Shower and Shave mousse
Not the most glamorous product but essential and it’s been living in my shower for the last couple of weeks. It’s designed for intimate skin and pH balanced but have been using it even to shave my legs and found it to work really well without irritating my skin. If you ever have issues with irritation shaving the bikini line (although it’s probably worth switching to waxing if you do) then this is a great product to try as it’s the only shaving cream I’ve seen designed with this area in mind.

sally hansen gel polish

Sally Hansen sugar fix

sally hansen miracle gel sally hansen smartease

I have a bit of a gel polish addiction, I love long nails and although I am blessed with strong nails, I find that gel polish offers a little bit extra support and strength, helping me achieve natural, long nails. Not only that but gel nail polish lasts really well and who has time to paint their nails everyday?

However earlier this year I decided that I was going to invest money into my fitness and therefore I had to give something else up that was taking up a little bit of money on a monthly basis, gel polish manicures. Although gel manicure’s aren’t super expensive as a bit of a treat, getting them done every other week can add up and therefore I had to start looking for another alternative.

I recently discovered Sally Hansen Miracle Gel polishes which have made the switch back to at-home manicures far easier as I am able to get a long lasting, shiny manicure at home.

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel has a patented and exclusive gel colour system, which offers natural light curing. You don’t need a base coat, which makes the whole process easier, but you do have to use the top coat. The top coat is probably my favourite thing about the Miracle Gel polishes, as once applied the volume of the manicure doubles which I find really helps keep the nail thick and strong (I have been lifting weights in the gym and haven’t even broken a nail!). It also lasts up to 2 weeks, which is ideal, as I love keeping my nails as low maintenance as possible.

There are 45 shades to chose from which is actually probably more than I have in salon which is great, there’s even a variety of finishes from crèmes to chrome. I personally really love the crème finishes and they have some perfect shades for spring and summer (although their autumn/winter colours are fab too!). My two favourites are Smartease and Sugar Fix, both pastels and really pretty. Smartease, which is my number one pick, is the perfect everyday colour for me- it goes with everything, looks polished but isn’t too in your face. When I am looking for a bit of a change and a slightly more fun colour I love Sugar Fix, an almost pastel blue that is great for brightening up both my day and my mood.Although both shades are light they applied opaque in just two coats, which is quite an achievement, especially for the pastel pink!

The other great thing about these polishes is how easy the removal is, which just regular nail polish remover and cotton wool. There is no need to buy acetone and soak them off for 15 minutes, which I love as it makes changing the colour a far easier process, and I also find it to be a little kinder on my nails.

The Sally Hansen Miracle Gel is also a great option for the toes, I actually don’t really like wearing gel polish on my toes as I find it a little unnecessary but as these last and wear so beautifully I do prefer them to regular polish on the toes.

Although a little more expensive than most drugstore polishes at £9.99 I still think they’re really worth a slight investment as they are a much cheaper alternative to in-salon gel manicures, which achieve similar results. I’ve spotted some super summery yellows and oranges in the range that I think I’ll be adding to my summer nail polish wardrobe!

*This is a sponsored post

spring nails 2016
I haven’t spoken about nail polish in a little while on ALO but since it’s Manicure Monday and the first day of Drugstore week I thought I would share my spring picks.

A quick note on Manicure Monday, I have stopped doing it as I have become a little bit of a shellac addict but do let me know if you miss them and I might be tempted to ditch the gel.

I get particularly excited about nails in spring and summer, I love pastels and slightly more daring colours, often teamed with more natural bronzy makeup. I think the nails is a really easy place to play with colour and I don’t believe there is any reason to pay lots of ££ for nail polish when drugstore ones are so good- in fact none of these are over £7!

Rimmel Super Gel in Bare Hug– it might be spring but you always need a nude in your nail polish wardrobe, this one is a really beautiful greige, which is surprisingly flattering and easy to wear.

Bourjois 1 Seconde in Jamais Saumon Vernis – I love how quick and easy the Bourjois 1 Seconde Polishes are to apply as they have beautiful fanned out brush with a great long lid which makes it really comfortable to hold. This colour is a fun but subtle peachy shade that would look particularly beautiful paired with a tan.

Avon Gel Shine in Mint to Be- I’ve been avoiding mint polishes all winter but I have heard great things about these Avon Gel Shine polishes and although I am yet to try it I couldn’t help but include it, so pretty!

Topshop Nails in Leigh- I am in love with the new denim inspired Topshop and Leigh is my favourite, I love pale blue polishes, they’re so fun and spring-y.

Barry M Speedy in Freestyle- These Barry M Speedy Quick Dry Polishes are my go-to when I’m in a rush as they really do dry quickly, I’m loving this pale pink which I would happily wear for months on end.

Barry M Coconut Infusion in Flamingo- The newest range from Barry M, this is the ultimate tan colour and I cant wait to pain my toes with this colour!