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Seven Things I Learnt From Years Of Manicures

Manicures are my guilty pleasure! I have not had naked nails in six years and I’ve most certainly learnt a thing or two through years of my routine fortnightly nail appointments.

  1. Expensive does not always mean better

Some of my best manicures were in salons that did not charge an arm and a leg for their service. I have had my nails done by small, home-based nail techs and at independent salons, as well as high-end, ‘big name’ salon chains, and made a shocking revelation: they all provide the same service, using the same products at vastly different prices!

When you receive manicures at the salon chains, you are essentially paying more due to the fact that their overheads are higher and not for any superior product or facilities. The upside is that if I need my manicure on Easter Sunday, I don’t mind paying more for the convenience and the fact that these nail technicians are working on a public holiday. 

  1. Cleanliness is everything

If you go to a salon that practises poor hygiene, contracting a nail infection is a very serious risk you take. I have been to a salon that was so meticulous with hygiene that they insisted each new client purchase their own emery board and buffing block to be kept by the salon for their exclusive use (this was a bit extreme!). If a salon disinfects their tools and your hands before and after your treatment, you are good to go. If you are more comfortable using your own tools, most salons won’t object if you bring them along for your manicure. 

  1. Nails can be a conversation starter

I had French manicures for three solid years because I believed that it was classy and matched everything. However, I’m young, slightly flamboyant and, nowadays, prefer to experiment with nail art. I have had pigs, penguins and minions drawn on my nails. These have all been conversation starters and give others a bit of insight into my whacky, extroverted personality. There is so much room for experimentation when it comes to nails and I do revert to classic manicures occasionally – although come Christmas, you can bet I will have a statement Rudolf nail!

  1. A manicured hand gives insight into how you treat yourself

I am a firm believer that nails are an extension of your hygiene habits. Not everyone can afford weekly manis, financially or time wise, but clean, clipped nails are just as good. Dirty, stained unkempt nails broadcast a negative message about how you take care of yourself.

  1. Your nail tech can become your therapist

Some people prefer to have their manicures done in silence, but when I’m sitting in somebody’s chair for a good two hours, a lot can be said. Though I do salon-hop depending on my location, I have a regular manicurist, Kelly, at Carringtons whenever I’m in Bedfordview. Kelly knows my life story, from my heartbreaks through to my ambitions. Great relationships can be formed in the salon and I often leave not only with fresh nails, but a smile on my face.

  1. Some manicurists can become too comfortable

I’ve noticed, particularly in the beauty industry, that certain stylists and nail technicians can become lazy with old clients. This does not occur in every salon, but occurs often enough to warrant a mention. The key is to find a manicurist who truly takes pride in their work and does not see their service merely as a means of income. I was a loyal client of a home-based manicurist for almost a year and found that, after a while, the quality of each manicure was steadily slipping. The deal breaker was when, halfway through my manicure, she changed her baby’s soiled nappy next to me and reverted back to my nails without bothering to wash her hands!

  1. Manicures take time

I’m not a polish-and-go type of lady. I prefer overlay applications such as acrylic and gel. The quickest application system I have used is simple Gelish, but even this manicure takes about an hour. Many men, (bless their hearts) think a manicure is a quick lick of paint. Ladies, do not bring your husbands to the salon and ask them to wait for you while you get your nails done. They truly do think it takes ‘five minutes’.

Image: iStock

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