(above pic from pastille.uk.com)Hello!
(Warning - pics of toes/pedicure in this post!)
As I posted about here, last month I had a gel manicure done at a salon for my holiday. I took a while deciding which salon to go to - I'd never had my nails done professionally before so had no idea where would be good, so I turned to social media for help. Browsing through lots of salons I eventually found Pastille Beauty Salon in Leeds - they had a great online presence, with an up-to-date website and daily updates and photos posted on Instagram and Twitter. I booked my appointment via email after seeing their beautiful nail designs and was very happy with my holiday nails!
Recently they ran a competition on Instagram to win a free manicure, so I just had to enter as I really wanted to go back to Pastille! The competition required followers to find any manicure that they'd love to have on their nails, and submit a picture. Pastille then picked their favourite submitted manicure and offered it for free to that person. And that person was meeee!! This is the design I submitted, done by the fab @iscreamnails who are based in Australia and who I discovered on Instagram.
Once I was told I'd won the mani in gel, I actually realised I wouldn't be able to have a super-bright, long-lasting mani like this as it definitely wouldn't be considered work appropriate! I discussed this via email with one of the lovely owners, Erene, and we decided I'd have the design done on my toes instead - I had wanted to book a gel pedicure anyway!
My appointment was on Thursday afternoon and I'd also booked in for a mani using normal polish too (so I would be able to remove it before work). I didn't get the winning design done with normal polish because it would have taken foreverrrr with all the layers of colour. With gel each layer was dried under the UV light instantly!
Olivia was doing both my mani and pedi, which was great because I already knew how skilled she was after she did my holiday mani! She wasn't phased by the complex design I'd picked, and immediately got started. I got to sit in a really comfy armchair while poor Olivia ended up sitting on the floor, adding one colour at a time, using a teeny brush to create the curves, zigzags and dots. She did this sooo efficiently and with no hesitation and I looooooove the result! I love how each toe is slightly different, adding to an amazing overall effect. I'm wearing sandals from now on, even in the rain!!
Here's a pic of the pedicure in progress:
And the finished result - I love the first pic - me taking a pic of Olivia taking a pic of them!!
The big toes are my absolute favourite. We decided to make the design semi-symmetrical, with elements the same but also slight differences on each foot. I can't believe the detail on my smaller toe-nails! I also think it's even better than the initial design I asked for - nicer colours and sharper/neater lines and shapes.<3
We then sat down to do my fingers, and after standing mesmerised in front of the big wall of polish, I eventually settled on a bright pink OPI - sorry, I've forgotten the name of it! As Olivia was painting my nails we decided to add a glitter gradient as well. The glitter was Essie but although I looked at what it was called, I've also forgotten that, doh!
Again, I was so impressed at Olivia's precision and attention to detail. There was no cleaning of cuticles or anything like I always have to do with my own manicures, the polish was applied perfectly. I love this manicure and the pink is stunning. I think they look like falsies and even my boyfriend who knows how long my nails are asked if they were real when I met up him afterwards!
Thanks so much for my prize and my beautiful fingers and toes. I recommend you follow @pastillebeauty on Instagram to see their fab work, and to book in for a visit if you live nearby :-) xx