In terms of a beauty routine I am less about day-to-day maintenance and more about putting time into things that will last. For years I basically ignored my nails for a few reasons but mostly because if I ever got a manicure it chipped within a few days and then had to take it all off and I was scared of gels or acrylic nails worrying that they would damage.
When I began working more regularly in TV with models, seeing women whose beauty routines were not luxuries, they were essential, I definitely picked up some tips. I consistently noticed most of them had semi-permanent lashes and regular shellacs so if a job came in last minute some boxes were already ticked and that overall groomed feeling was quicker to achieve.
I decided that maybe it was time to try something different a bit stronger than a file and paint and went to the lovely girls in Polish. Leanne was so patient and really carefully basically gave me my dream french polish Shellac nails that genuinely lasted three weeks. This is a look I've wavered from occasionally but for the past eight months I have consistently had Shellac on my nails and for the brief moments when it's removed (professionally always) my nails are still strong and tough. Beauty-wise I like to keep things natural, yet practical now and having my nails regularly done has become essential.
Being such a fan of the product I was delighted when CND invited me and some fellow bloggers, and journalists to the sublime Powerscourt Hotel in Wicklow for the night and also to experience the new CND spa range of products.
We arrived on Sunday and checked in and had some chill time before dressing for dinner and to meet Samantha Sweet who is the distributor for CND (who manufacture Shellac and Vinylux) in the UK and Ireland. Samantha is full of energy and business savvy. She's also incredibly kind and in each of our rooms she had left a handwritten card with a box of Yorkshire tea (her hometown brew) which was a lovely touch! She signs off her cards 'Love and Respect' and apparently when you call or email everything is signed off on that note. As I am getting more involved in the fashion and beauty business side of things I am in admiration of people who can conquer and retain a sense of being a genuinely kind warm person. Samantha is that personified.
We were invited to the private dining room for a toast and an introduction to the new spa range of products. The products are a botanical range infused with the stimulating or enriching essences of fruits and flowers from two key ranges, Gardenia Woods and Bright Citron.
My personal favourite is the Citron as it's really clean and fresh smelling and fresh - kind of like all the amazing flowers the room was decorated with. The range comprises of a scrub, soak, mask and lotion in each scent.
We were treated to a divine four course meal. I had crab to start, followed by hake and a work of art chocolate fondant with mango sorbet.
The next morning it was spa time. The spa in The Powerscourt is enormous. I have to say adding the spa feeling to getting your nails done really feels like an extra treat. After a file, paint, soak and exfoliation all from the new range, a mask was applied to my hands and they were placed in heated gloves to let the product sink in. The lights were dimmed and my therapist gave me a head and shoulder massage. I totally switched off. Feeling on cloud nine after only a few minute of massage the lights were switched back on and my therapist began my Shellac.
We all left on Monday morning manicured, pampered and ready to face the week ahead. During this whole weekend I had such a lovely feeling when I realised that my blog is just over a year old. I feel so lucky to get to share insights into the beauty and fashion world and to have a platform to speak that's not restricted in any way. I'll always stay true to what I genuinely believe in and know and feel my readers are interested in hearing about.
Thank you for continuing to click onto Holly.ie and liking and following me on my social platforms too.
Treatments available from CND stockists nationwide. For more information please visit www.cnd.com