During WWII sales of red lipstick peaked, and in the recent economic recession, one of the few markets which prospered was the beauty industry. When we're tight for money we can give up our expensive handbags and long-haul holidays, but we still need to treat ourselves, and makeup fills the void without breaking the bank. Those little luxuries are the ones which keep us going, boost our morale, and inject a spark of something positive into the often mundane routine of our everyday lives. It was this information which inspired banker-turned-beauty entrepreneur India Martin to found Only Fingers + Toes in 2012. Because essentially, wearing makeup makes us feel good - and whilst there will always be those who wax lyrical about the vanity and narcissism of the beauty industry, there is absolutely nothing wrong with anything that makes you feel happy. Especially when it comes in the form of a sleek glass vial of colour...
On Wednesday I was kindly invited to experience a manicure with premium nail brand Only Fingers + Toes*. Readers, prepare to swoon.
THE EXPERIENCE : I was treated to the Classic Therapy treatment, which involved a keratin hand treatment (gloves filled with a sweetly scented blend of nourishing oils), cuticle care (performed with expert attention and tools), and a stress relieving hand massage followed by a shape, buff, and polish. See here for the final result.
THE PRODUCTS : Glass Nail File - I'm completely converted to the wonder that is the glass nail file. Unlike traditional files, a glass file can be used in any direction without causing damage. Instead they seal the keratin into the ends of the nail, preventing chipping and flaking. So long emery boards! Nail Enhancement CC Base Coat - A colour correcting base coat is certain to be any nail polish addict's new best friend. This colour correcting formula works to prevent the yellowing effect of excessive polish use as well as serving as a smooth and long-lasting primer for consequently applied polish. Nail Lacquer in Manganese - With over 65 shades to choose from, decision was tough. Despite being tempted by a dreamy nude, I eventually opted for this dark, grey-toned khaki green from the brand's A/W'14 collection. Colour-wise it's winter-perfection and quite unlike anything I've seen before. The formula is extremely pigmented and applied opaque in two coats. CND Solar Oil - One of the things which I loved most about the brand was the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' approach to nail products. Alongside their own line, they also stock and recommend a plethora of well-known hand and nail care accessories from other brands. One of which was this sweetly scented cuticle oil, which when used on a regular basis strengthens and hydrates cuticles via a nutrient rich blend of Vitamin E and jojoba oil.
THE VERDICT : As someone who relies a little too much on nail polish to cover up the sins of their nails, I consider myself a convert to the act of professional nailcare. There's a definite 'don't try this at home' element to the perfect manicure, and whilst I by no means could afford one on a regular basis, I will certainly be leaving the more complex elements of nail maintenance to the professionals. It's apparent that at OFAT, the manicure is treated as an art form, and one which requires a great amount of skill, knowledge, and passion. Qualities exhibited in full by the counter manager Sam, who expertly performed my manicure whilst filling me in on the brand, the products, and discussing all things beauty.
Aside from being free from the five most toxic chemicals found in mass-marketed nail polish, the main focus of the product range is all about colour. In my opinion, the range offered by OFAT is unrivalled - I could easily have walked away with a different colour on each nail and still have been unable to pick a favourite. And this is coming from the girl who usually rotates between three colours...
As for my nails? They're feeling stronger than they've felt in a long long time, and (the one you've all been waiting for) four days later are chip-free. HALLELUJAH.
The OFAT range is available to purchase online and instore from Harvey Nichols, but if you're near Manchester and in need of some maintenance/indulgence then I'd hugely recommend treating yourself to the full OFAT experience for a feel good beauty adventure like no other.
What do you think of Only Fingers + Toes??
*Experience provided courtesy of Only Fingers + Toes.