beauty

"Even better than SNS! I tried the new nail treatment that combines acrylic and gel polish."

If committing to just one colour to have painted on your nails wasn’t enough of a difficult decision, going into a nail salon is now even more of a nightmare for the indecisive.

Shellac? Gel? SNS? Normal nail polish?

Often I can’t even decide what to have for dinner, let alone a nail treatment I’ll have to look at every day for the next two to three weeks. As a result, I’ll often stick to normal nail polish which I can change or remove as I please.

But lately I’ve been looking on more and more enviously at my colleagues’ perfectly manicured SNS nails. So when the opportunity came up to try the new POUR nail system – deemed BETTER than SNS – at Sydney’s Esstudio Galleria, well, I was there in a flash.

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Image: Brittany Stewart

Relatively new in Australia, Esstudio introduced the system about three months ago.

"SlickPour is the next big nail trend combining acrylic and gel polish into one system to give you strong, healthy nails with high shine colour finish," Jacqui Arnold, Co-Founder and Beauty Director of the hair and beauty salon says.

It's far less damaging than shellac and more hygienic than SNS.

"The removal of shellac can be damaging, also the picking of the nails and then the UV light, that's not great for your hands either. This sets like shellac but you don't have to sit and wait under the light," she explains.

"It's more hygienic [than SNS] in the way that you don't dip your finger into the powder, instead you pour it onto the nail. Much more hygienic. Like SNS, SlickPour has vitamins and minerals in the base coat which is good for your nails."

It also lasts longer, giving you three weeks instead of two because it's a harder product on the nail. Prices for the treatment start from $50.

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First big decision - the colour. There are plenty to choose from, ranging from natural looking colours to vibrant reds.

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Image: Brittany Stewart

A last minute change from red sees me picking blue and purple glitter because a) apparently I'm 12 years old inside and b) Christmas. Glitter everything.

Jacqui starts by prepping the nails with a light buff, so they're nice and dry so the product can stick. Once clean, she then applies the prep solution which dries the nails out.

She explains that are a lot of steps - 10 in total - but I'm surprised by how little time it takes, no more than 30 minutes all up.

Doing one nail at a time, she applies the base coat, enriched with vitamin E and calcium, which will help strengthen the nail. She then uses a special pouring spoon to pour a scoop of the chosen colour powder over the nail.

About to pour the powder on the nails. Image: Brittany Stewart
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This is done over a glass dish and tiny cup that catches all the excess (so none goes to waste!). Once this is done once on each of my nails, she brushes away the excess powder then repeats for a second layer.

The colour looks quite pale at this stage and not overly sparkly which has me a little worried. I needn't be.

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After the first layer. Image: Brittany Stewart

The real magic happens when the SlickPour activator is applied which adds shine and vibrancy, bringing the nail to life. She rubs this into the nail and then repeats again on each nail.

Finally two coats of top coat are applied to lock it in, and a final buff to smoothe out any bumps. Then I'm done. It's recommended to wait a few minutes to let it dry properly, but within a minute or so it's completely dry. It's great news for clumsy people like me who tend to chip or ruin their nails within seconds normally.

Left before the activator, right after. Image: Brittany Stewart
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My fabulous sparkly nails should last me three weeks before I need to get them removed.

Removal is done the same way as SNS, which is a lot gentler than with shellac.

"You wrap the nails in acetone and after 10 minutes it melts, so you just slide it off the nail rather than heavy scraping that you have to do with shellac. Most people hate that scraping feeling!," Jacqui says.

It's ultimately quite similar to SNS bar the pouring method, which means it's a great option for any germaphobes or those who don't like the idea of dipping their nails in the powder.

Ta Da! Image: Brittany Stewart

Even with the glitter, my nails feel smooth and the finish is shiny and utterly festive. It's two well manicured thumbs up from me.

For more beauty tips, tricks and reviews, you can follow Brittany Stewart on Facebook and Instagram.