The Elephant in the Corner: Salon Manicures Are a Let-Down

salon mani

Why is it that we beauty-lovers are often all too eager to gloss (oww, I kill me) over the bits of the whole business of beauty that we hand over the cash for, but which can actually be pretty damn sub-standard service-wise? So, lets have a chat about one of my particular elephant in the corner bug-bears. The bog-standard, basic salon mani.

Now, while I do like getting my nails done because it's a pampering treat, and I have written a number of posts complimenting treatments I've had, lets not beat about the bush here, because this is not a criticism of anyone who's a great manicurist or nail treatments in general, rather, an indictment against the set up that's in place.

My beef is this: paying €15-€30 for someone to lightly file nails, lash on several coats of base, polish and topcoat in a 15-to-20 minute period and then declare, "you're done, seeya" is quite frankly bullshit. IT'S NOT DRY. It's not even approaching dry. I can't count the times I've immediately smudged (or worse) a freshly painted set, and while I understand that salons need to get you in and out, and that some also allow to hang on for a little while to allow the polish to set a bit, there's a huge disconnect here between the fiction you're sold and the reality you get.

Applying layers of sticky product on top of other layers of sticky product, all of which take a fairly long time to dry, and then gaily announcing that you're done now, just seems like something that's ok because we all allow it to be ok. But realistically, there is no way I would leave a hairdressers with soaking wet hair, so why is it fine for nail shops to turf you straight out after the last brush stroke is complete? Often, I might add, having had the hilarious gall to take your money BEFORE they do the painting, so that "your nails won't smudge when you reach for your purse."


Sorry, but that's insane. So not only do you have to pay upfront, you also have to then put your coat on, open doors and all manner of things involving using, yes, your hands, the nails of which are currently coated in tacky, gooey gloop that's only dying to be dragged, dented and covered in bits of fluff. And you pay cash for this, and then recommend it to your pals.

While I have no quick-fix solution, barring us all being allowed to stay there all day while nails fully dry (hardly practical, I know) I really do wonder as a consequence of all of the above why anyone gets a manicure done in a salon more than a couple of times, tops. Once smudged, twice shy, you know?

In a nutshell this is why I a) am such a big fan of stick-ons like Minx and Incocco and b) generally do mine at home where I can give them all the time in the world, without fear of any smears, marks or smudges.

What do you think?

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