The £6 instant manicure

It takes two minutes and you can do it in the car

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By Frankie Graddon on

OK, before you think I’ve gone crazy, I haven’t. Actually, maybe I have. After all, I have just spent three days wading through mud in the middle of the Cornish countryside (remind me why festivals are a good idea again), so might be a tad crackers. However, it was actually during said festival, while soaked through and covered in muck, that I made my latest beauty discovery. Inspiration, it turns out, can be found in the unlikeliest places.

Having made my 56th trip to the Portaloos (an experience that never gets better, only worse), I squelched over to the tent marked "Pub" and placed an order for a bottle of red, one straw. It was then that I noticed an immaculately manicured, impossibly clean hand resting on the bar next to me. Resisting the urge to push her over, I turned to the woman attached to said hand and complimented her on the faultless nails. “Thanks,” she said. “They’re stick-on.”

WHAAAAAT? Stick-on? Are you sure?

She went on to explain that, yes, she was sure, and that they were by a brand called Kiss, “about £6 from Boots”. Unbelievably convincing in appearance, they were so simple to apply she “did them in the car on the way here”.

Stunned and reconsidering my entire stance on stick-on nails (remember those dreadful white-tipped French manicure ones? Bleugh), I moved in for a closer look. The woman explained that she’d been hooked on gel nails, but was trying to ween herself off. A disaster at painting her nails herself, she’s discovered the world of falsies.

Kiss Gel Fantasy (please excuse the name) nails come in several colours, from a questionable baby pink with silver glitter to a far more tasteful blush/nude. Festival lady was wearing a deep rouge noir, otherwise known as Ab Fab, which come in a realistic short length – if you need them shorter, just file them down. They come with both sticky pads and glue (festival lady recommended using the glue), which you use to stick the nails to your own clean, filed nails. Once stuck, avoid water for an hour. Then Bob’s your uncle – the world, or at least a muddy festival, is your oyster.



Gel Fake Nails in Ab Fab


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