• Juliette Wills

Cheap Thrills

Updated: May 5

Sales of nail polish are through the roof since lockdown began, and it's hardly surprising as we all need a pick-me-up when times are tough - especially when they come in beautiful summer shades such as these from The Glossworks

The Glossworks' summer shades include In The Pink, Flamingo and Fandango Fizz


I’ve never been high-maintenance when it comes to beauty treatments. I didn’t even get a manicure before my wedding. It was the last thing on my mind and by the time I'd decided to book one I couldn't get an appointment. On the big day itself I was so frantic with a million things that were going wrong that I didn’t even have time to paint them myself, which was a bit of a shame for those close-up pictures of the rings being exchanged. I really didn't feel dressed without it. Or my bra, but that's another story; suffice to say nothing went as planned because I didn't actually have a plan.

Fast-forward 12 years: our garden fence blew down in the storm a couple of months ago and we had to spend the money I’d put aside for a new laptop on 20 metres of sodding fence panels. I’d had a few weeks of really bad arthritis pain, and something else rubbish happened so I decided to treat myself to a manicure at my local hair salon (www.melanierichards-hairboutique.co.uk) I’ve always got polish on my nails but it usually only lasts five minutes before I ruin it. Off I went only for some idiot to hit my car as I was parking. Two months later the claim still hasn’t been settled and I’m £250 out of pocket on the insurance (top tip – don’t take out cover with AA Insurance, they are beyond useless) BUT hey, my nails did look really nice. So, I had pink glitter nails – exactly what my five year-old friend, Gracie, would have chosen – but a bashed in car. Swings and roundabouts, right?


Pink glitter gel nails. The absolute bomb

Since lockdown, I’ve been painting my nails every few days and it’s not just me who’s going mad for nail polish at the moment. It used to be that lipstick sales increased dramatically at times of trouble – such as during the war, or in the midst of a recession. Buying cheaper, ‘quick-thrill’ items that make us feel better about ourselves and bring some colour to our lives makes sense. We are afraid to – or can’t always afford to - make big purchases, but we need an instant pick-me-up and sometimes it’s as simple as have pretty nails. As so many of us do (myself not included, obviously) go to the salon to have our nails professionally manicured, it’s no surprise that right now, when that’s not an option, we’re seeking the same feel-good treat at home. Sales have rocketed since lockdown and customers are turning to iconic shades from luxury brands such as Chanel's Rouge Noir and Dior's Rouge 999. As we move into summer, we're probably going to vere towards brighter pops of colour - pinks, corals and tangerines. I’ve gone mad doing gardening over the past month and I don’t use gloves – I like to feel the earth (but not worms) between my fingers as I go about my pots – and I type about eight million words every day, my nails take a proper bashing. I’m also 47, so right in the firing line for brittle, thin nails that break more easily than they did when I was loaded to the rafters with oestrogen. Good times.



I was more than mildly excited, then, when I got to try a handful of The Glossworks' sensational summer shades (£12, www.theglossworks.com). I love The Glossworks nail polish; it’s been a favourite of mine for some time. Why? It's cruelty-free and vegan. They don't use shitty chemicals. The packaging is beautiful. The colours are rich and vibrant and go on exactly as they appear in the bottle. What more could you want from a polish? I’m a huge fan of anything coral to the point that I have two walls of my home office painted in it. Actually it came out more peachy but it’s the thought that counts. It's called 'Flamingo' is perfect and looks great with a #lockdowngardentan (that will be a 'thing' soon, you'll see).



I also love this lilac-pink number; as soon as I saw it I thought, ‘Oh, the ‘80s!’ because I wore varying shades of lilac and mauve in 1982 and it makes me want to swathe myself in it all over again. Plus, lilac trees are currently in bloom so it's a perfect match when you want to take a photo of nails + flowers for Instagram. It's called 'In The Pink' but it's got a lovely blue hue running through it. I also love how it looks both chalky and glossy at the same time. Magic!

The polish is so easy to apply and glides on like silk. If you can be bothered, apply three coats and finish with Brilliance Fast-Drying Top Coat top by Jessica. I’m yet to apply the hot pink (Fandango Fizz, what a swell name - it sounds like a character from an Agatha Christie movie set in Argentina); that’ll be next week’s DIY job and I’ll do it the honour of matching it to something I’m wearing even if I am at home with nobody to marvel at how put together I’ll look. Perhaps a passing slug will nod approval, we'll see.


I mean, it’s me, so about 20 minutes later I’ll have snagged at least one nail on a zip or got a thumb trapped in a cupboard door, but for the short time that I don’t ruin them, they look the absolute business, especially next to a tiger, and I already want to buy 'Hyacinth Bouquet', 'Raspberry Parade' and 'Bellini Blush'. You'd have to be nuts not to want to try them all.


#theglossworks #nailpolish #nails #nailvarnish #summershades #summernails #manicure #DIYnails #lilac #coral #homemanicure #flamingo #fandangofizz #inthepink #crueltyfreebeauty #crueltyfreenailpolish #veganbeauty #vegannailpolish

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