I never used to be someone who got their nails done. Only on trips to New York would I visit a nail salon, so it felt like a treat.

However, over the last fifteen years or so there has been a boom in nail bars, on every high street, and having a manicure has become part of many women’s self care and beauty regime, especially with the invention of gel polishes, such as CND Shellac

Investing an hour in your time on a manicure that will look perfect for 2-3 weeks is well worth it. As a professional women your nails are always on show and can make or break an overall impression.  Dirty nails, bitten to the quick with untreated cuticles will be noticed and give off a less than favourable impression.  And if you have an important interview, meeting or presentation I would say a manicure is essential. 

These days, having your nails done is much quicker, and easier to fit into a busy schedule thanks to the invention of gel manicures. Gel polish is set with a UV light, dries instantly, is chip resistant and long lasting. 

There are many brands to choose from, and different salons offer different options. Make sure to choose a quality brand such as my favourite, CND Shellac. I prefer it to others, mainly as it is so easily removed, and therefore much less damaging. If I can’t make it to a salon I can remove it myself with some cotton wool, nail varnish remover, tin foil and an orange stick! It doesn’t need any filing off or scraping, so the nail bed stays in good shape.

Choosing a neutral colour is often best, as regrowth and the odd chip with a nude, beige or pale pink will be less noticeable.

My nails are not great. They never grow long and are not very strong. But as these pictures of my Shellac painted nails below show, even short nails look better when ‘done’.


If you work in a traditional work environment and want to show off your individuality go for a bright red, or a ‘business’ colour such as navy, grey or even black. They still look highly professional, but a bit different.


The other great thing for me is that the polish acts as a protector and they do grow longer when I am wearing it. So its a win-win.

If you haven’t ever tried it, give it a go. And if it’s been a while since you last treated yourself to a manicure, maybe now is the time!

A BIT About CND Shellac

CND is an industry-leading advocate for the role of nail care in personal beauty and fashion. Founded in 1979 and based in Vista, CA, CND (Creative Nail Design, Inc.) is a leader in professional nail, hand and foot beauty - with professional products that include SHELLAC® Brand 14+ Day Nail Color.

Lizzie Edwards is one of London’s leading Personal Stylists and Image Consultants for Women, and author of 'Look Like The Leader You Are; A 7-Step Style Strategy for Ambitious Women’