Shellac had become my beauty crack. And the worse my nails underneath were for it.

For those not fluent in manicure speak, Shellac revolutionised painting your nails as only after a few minutes they were completely dry and then the colour lasted a couple of weeks. Brilliant! What a time saver.

But there was a serious downside.

Having your hands sit under a UV light isn’t the best thing for them at the best of times and when you do go to remove it from your nails, your natural nails are absolutely wafer-thin, crappy and in serious splitsville.

Anyway, for 40 bucks I spent at my local mani/pedi USA Nails salon, I decided to give SNS (Signature Nail Systems) a whirl.

SNS is a nail dipping system that uses a brush-on gel base on the nail, which is then dipped in a powder. The powder comes in a whole lot of colours – from natural to a french manicure look to lots of colours including my favourite – a very, very deep burgundy, nearing on black.

The powder actually strengthens the nails and is made up of organically-processed chemicals Benzoyl Peroxide, Titatum Dioxide and Acrylic Ester Polymer.

After my nails were brushed with the gel they were individually dipped into the coloured powder – two times – and they then dried incredibly quickly.

The result is very natural looking, not heavy and they feel very strong too.

The nail technician told me it should last longer than Shellac . . . so I’ll be interested to see how long and when it comes to removal, how my nails will be underneath.

So far, so good!