Shellac vs. Gel Manicures: What’s the difference?

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Image via Instagram/journal_nails

Choosing a manicure you’ll still love to see on your fingertips two weeks post-appointment comes with a laundry list of choices: funky design or solid colour? Round or oval nail shape? And the most fraught manicure choice of them all: shellac vs. a gel manicure?

Shellac nails and gel nails are crowd favourites for semi-permanent manicures. They’re both used by top nail artists and they’re both known for low-chip, long-lasting quality. But there’s a few minute differences that make shellac nails a better fit for some manicure lovers out there. Allow us to clear up the differences between shellac nails and gel nails—so you have one less thing to decide ahead of your next manicure.


The shellac vs. gel nails debate first comes down to the formula used for their similarly shiny, durable looks. Shellac nails are a patented form of polish, with over 100 shades available. Shellac polishes mix two types of nail coating: gel (for durability and nail protection) and traditional nail polish (for colour and shine).

On the other hand, gel nails are made with—you guessed it—liquid gel. It’s not exclusive to one polish distributor. Gel polishes are made with a mix of acrylic monomers and oligomers that harden under UV light to create a hard, glossy coat.


If you’re looking for a long-lasting manicure, you can’t go wrong with either shellac or gel nails. Both manicure variations last between 10 and 14 days. But shellac nails are partially made with standard polish, so they’re more vulnerable to chipping than gel nails.


Where shellac nails lost a half-point for chipping, they earn extra points back for a breezy removal process. Shellac nails can be removed with by a manicurist within five to fifteen minutes—without scraping, thanks to a special acetone-based remover made specifically for shellac polishes.

Gel nails aren’t known for stress-free removal. Peeling off a gel manicure can do serious damage to the surface of your nails—so it’s more common to have gel nails removed at the salon via a good, long acetone soak and scrupulous filing.


Shellac nails and gel manicures have earned their shared reputation for long-lasting nail colour. Choosing between the two comes down to precisely how often you’d like to switch up your nail design. We’ll let you be the judge on the option that’s best for you.

How To: Make your own scrunchy

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image via Instagram/ideas_vsco_wallpapers

Scrunchies are the 90s trend that we just can’t get enough of. In fact, Pinterest revealed a 6309% surge in searches for the term “hair scrunchies” in its recent Pinterest 100 report, which means, despite not really paying scrunchies much attention since they were our favourite primary school accessory, they’re back in a big way for 2020.

Our only issue is that we don’t have enough of them, and can’t seem to stop losing them (where do they even go?!).

We’ve decided to put together a guide on how to create your own, so that you can design your ideal scrunchie, match them with your outfits, and make so many that losing them isn’t even an issue.

Here goes…

You will need:

  1. Your fave fabric. Get creative!
  2. A hairband. You can use an invisibobble if you prefer
  3. A sewing machine (if not, you can hand sew)


  • Cut a rectangle of fabric. It should be around 45cm long and 12cm wide. We love using velvet, but cutting old T-shirts will also work. It’s best to use a fabric that can be stretched.
  • Fold the fabric around the hairband, inside out, so that the side of the material that you want on show is inside the fold. (You’ll see why later!) Line the edges of the fabric together.
  • Using your sewing machine, sew the fabric all the way around the hairband, in a straight line. When you reach the end of the fabric, stop sewing. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can hand-sew this!
  • Starting from the gap, flip the fabric inside out, so that the preferred side is now facing outwards. This is time consuming, but not difficult!
  • Take one of the ends, and place it inside the other end, to ensure that the whole circle is complete. Sew a line across the width to join the ends together.

Five Hair Trends From Game of Thrones


Game of Thrones

Longer Hair on Men

Many male characters throughout the show have rocked longer locks. We’ve already picked longer hair on men as a big trend this year – maybe we have Game of Thrones to thank?


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Platinum hair


Even people who don’t watch the show know who Daenerys is, thanks to her signature platinum blonde hair. Platinum has been popular ever since her on-screen debut as the Mother of Dragons. If you’re going to attempt this level of blonde, make sure you read our guide to lightening without damage first.



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Braids & plaits


Almost every female character in GOT has worn braided hair of some sort at some time – but did you know about the hidden meaning? An eagle-eyed fan spotted Daenerys explaining a Dothraki custom all the way back in Season 1, claiming that a braid symbolises victory. So therefore the more braids you have, the more battles you’ve won.



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Long, LONG hair


Regular trims didn’t seem to be a thing in the Seven Kingdoms, with haircuts usually reserved as a sign of ‘shame’.



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Head pieces


Love her or hate her, you have to admit Cersei has rocked some pretty impressive hair accessories and headpieces over the seasons.


Wedding Nail Ideas

Whether it’s you’re tying the knot, or your just there to celebrate the happy couple, here are some on-trend nail ideas for the big day.

Classic Pink

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image via Instagram/opi

Nothing says bridal like the most classically feminine shade of modern times: Pink. Just don’t forget to add a long-lasting top coat for a chip-free finish that will last well into your honeymoon.

Modern French Tips

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Image via Instagram/aliciatnails

If you’re not into a traditional French-tip manicure, but still want the clean, minimal look, try this new twist on an old classic.


Confetti Nails

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Image via Instagram/blushandhair

Ready to party? Why not try a sophisticated sparkle.


Gold Digger

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Image via Instagram/opi

The perfect balance between out-there and barely-there, this iridescent and cheekily named shade will make your wedding day just a touch more fun.

How To: The Meghan Markle Updo

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image via Instagram/meghan_markle

Each time Meghan Markle has made a public appearance with fiancé Prince Harry, she’s opted for a chic bun, complete with a few strands left out in a fuss-free way. It has quickly become her signature look and so we decided to let our readers know how to recreate her look at home.

  1. This style is best suited to dirty hair, so the good news is you don’t have to start with an ambitious washing and drying regime. If your strands are too clean and soft, give them a quick once over with a dry shampoo or dry texture spray like Eleven Sea Salt Texture Spray over the root area and massage the product through.
  2. Then, lightly brush the product through to distribute the product evenly from mid-lengths to ends.
  3. To create the bun, tilt your head back and scrape your hair from the hairline back to the nape of your neck, securing it just below your crown area.
  4. Tie this up into a twisted knot and secure with bobby pins.
  5. An important part of this look is the shorter pieces framing the face, so loosen a few strands to get the modern edge that is required for this look.
  6. Finish with a finishing spray like KEVIN.MURPHY Session Spray fora firm, weightless lasting hold with natural fragrance oils and a UV shield for colour protection.

Trending: Mini Fringes

Move over curtain fringes! From the catwalk to the red carpet, mini fringes are now trending.

Oozing cool girl confidence, we’ve spotted them popping up in two big ways: sharp and blunt and uneven and wispy.

Blunt versions give a more angular look and work best on a heart-shaped face. Softer versions are the easier way into the trend, since the result isn’t as drastic, and suits most other face shapes.

No matter which way you go, the looks below will give you all the inspo you need.

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Trending: Curtain Fringes



The Bridget Bardot inspired fringe is trending. Worn by it-girls like Alexa Chung and Sienna Miller, their eye-grazing fringes sit somewhere between a classic fringe and a sweeping side fringe.


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The secret to the curtain fringe is that they have to flutter way below the eyebrows, giving them a flirtatious feel. If the curtain is cut too short, it’s going to look too 30’s inspired and it will fail in giving that sexy curtain look.

To achieve this look ask your stylist to take the fringe section quite deep and wide, which gives impact and emphasises the sexiness of this look. Also ask that they make the middle of the fringe shorter, angling longer towards the outside of the face. This gives that beautiful sweeping motion.

But be warned, this is a look the requires maintenance, as keeping your curtain fringe the right length will mean visiting your stylist every few weeks.

For those with a strong cowlick in the front, you can still maintain this look by using a small, round brush and blow-drying the cowlick in the complete opposite direction, so that it sits more flat on the face. Another way of maintaining the look is to make the hair appear soft and ethereal, not thick – so go easy on the hair product. Only use light-hold product or powder to give that light airiness to it.

Time for a chop? Book online here or call us on (04) 2399 479 to make an appointment.

How To: Caring for Brightly Coloured Hair

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image via Instagram/amanda_hairpassion

Given the continuing trend for brightly coloured locks, here’s our guide to keeping your colour looking vibrant and healthy.

Prevent Damage

Bright shades require a very light base hair colour, which usually means that your hair needs to be lightened. It’s important to maintain the health of your hair as much as possible before going bright. Super-porous, brittle hair does not hold onto colour well. So maintain the health of your hair and the longevity of your colour, by asking your stylist to use Olaplex when lightening your hair.  Olaplex is a protein bond builder which is added to the lightening mixture to avoid damage when lightening.


Each time you wash your hair colour can fade – especially when not using a colour protecting shampoo. Stretch out time between washes with a dry shampoo like Kérastase Powder Buff and when washing use a shampoo designed specifically for coloured hair like L’Oreal Vitamino Colour.

Pro tip: When washing your hair, use tepid to cool water. This helps to keep the hairshaft closed, meaning that you’r less likely to lose colour when you wash.


A heat protectant like Kérastase Ciment Thermique will help to maintain the health of your hair and the vibrancy of your colour. UV rays also fade hair colour. The Kérastase Soliel range is specifically designed for sun worshippers to protect the health of colour-treated heat-exposed hair.

Trending for Men: Beach Blonde


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Taking cue from male celebrities, the latest trend in male hair colour has arrived: bleached blonde. This new trend gives a vintage feel to contemporary styles reminiscent of the ’80s and ’90s, and makes a bold statement to any man willing to take the plunge. Thinking about going blonde? Read on to find out how to achieve your the best blonde for you.


1. Your professional Reds colourist is trained to find the right blonde for your skin tone and lighten your hair without creating permanent damage. With so many factors at play when lightening your hair, avoid a hair disaster and leave this job to the professionals.


2. If you’re feeling adventurous ask your Reds colourist for a bold, 90’s rock band look. If you’re looking for something a little softer ask your colourist for a more natural, sun-drenched colour.


3. To keep your colour from fading or going brassy, use a specially formulated shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair like L’Oréal Professionnel Shine Blonde or L’Oréal Professionnel Silver.


4. Maintain your hair health in between salon visits with a deep conditioning mask like Kérastase Masque Chroma Riche for dry, highlighted hair and Kevin Murphy’s nourishing and blonde enhancing Shimmer Me Blonde spray.


All products are available at Reds hair now. To book online click here or call us at 04-239 9479.

Instagram Hair Inspiration for 2017

From some of the coolest women on Instagram, we’ve picked out the hottest styles of the moment, to inspire your look in 2017.

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Credit dominikagrnova/Instagram

We love short bobs, especially when it’s styled into subtle tousled waves.


The bubble braid


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If you have long hair, this is the dream hairstyle. It’ll take some help, but create this look and feel cool forever.



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We love this perfect pony AND her gorgeous dip-dye.


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Wet look hair can look stunning, especially when paired with a pretty floral accessory.


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These curly beach waves are dreamy. 


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If you need a little inspiration for a shorter cut, this choppy bob is gorgeous.


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The va-va-voom, ultra curled look is predicted to make a comeback in 2017.


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Up for a challenge? Then Katherine Omerod’s creative braid may be the style for you . Braided styles are also ideal for humid summer weather.


The low ponytail


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Thought you couldn’t wear your short locks in an updo? Think again. Pandora shows you how to rock a low, casual ponytail with your bob like a pro.