We know there are bigger things to worry about than pretty pedicures and freshly-manicured nails, but it's our third lockdown in the UK, and we've found that it really is the small things keep us feeling ourselves.
Like keeping our hair look fresh and grey-free, throwing on our softest cashmere jumper (you can find our favourite cashmere jumpers under £100 here) and watching a nostalgic boxset and, perhaps most of the biggest of the small things, painting our nails.
Though we might not be able to book an appointment with our favourite nail technician for a while, we have found a way to do our own perfect gel manicures and pedicures from home until that happens again.
Nail polish chips off rather quickly but a gel manicure is much more durable. Meaning you can get gardening, cooking and doing DIY, without having to worry about chipping a nail and having to start over again.
The gadget we've been using to achieve salon-fresh nails is Le Mini Macaroon – and we're in good company, because the semi-permanent kit is often a bestseller on Amazon and Look Fantastic and has featured on the Instagram stories of all sorts of people during lockdown.
So, how does it work?
The Mini Macaron kit contains an LED lamp that you plug into your computer via a USB port (or a plug socket with the accompanying mains adapter). You then paint on a coat of the special polish and hold each nail under the light to dry and seal.
The fast, powerful lamp dries nails in just 30 seconds and can be used one way up for manicures and then turned the other way to give yourself a pedicure.
The straight-forward set also includes a bottle of semi-permanent nail polish, a cuticle pusher, a mini file and 12 patches of cleaner degreaser to use before painting.
'Genius invention which saved my nails over lockdown/restrictions while couldn't have them professionally manicured. Neat to store away and works fab!' one Look Fantastic shopper wrote, while another commented: 'I bought mini macaron to do my nails during this Pandemic I am over the moon with the result. It looks so professional the colours are stunning. I shall not be returning to my nail salon.'
Of course, we will still always be steadfast admirers of all the brilliant work nail technicians do to transform our stumpy nails into photo-worthy talons but in the meantime, this is a great alternative.
Our top 3 favourite lockdown nail products
Perfect for beginners, this kit is easy to use and includes long-lasting varnish that lasts around two weeks. It comes with everything you could need to give yourself a simple manicure to a full set of shiny gel nails.
Combining the best of both a UV nail lamp and LED lamps Light Source, this auto-senser lamp has three settings and will give you a nail salon quality finish every time.
If you're not a fan of gel nails — or don't trust yourself to do them yourself — then this manicure kit has everything you could possibly need to get your cuticles in the best shape of their lives.
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