The eyebrow-raising fad that's taken the US by storm
For the moment at least, The Nail Spa seems to be what many salons would like to be; a gently-lit, sophisticated and relaxing place where busy women can seek solitude from the otherwise largely inescapable world of work. But while certain branches have never been more chaotic, the Mercato branch of The Nail Spa is blissfully serene.
Gel nail company Bio Sculpture has come up with a new concept, where skin shed by snakes is layered between coats of gel polish for a look that is, as the promotional material would have us believe, ‘radically reptilian’.
Step by step
As we’re only testing the process, I will only have the snakeskin applied to one nail on each hand, while my remaining eight nails will be coated in regular Bio Sculpture gel. This really is a brand new treatment, and my beauty technician, Cherryl, is one of only a handful of the chain’s employees across the emirate to have been trained in the process. We first run through the usual manicure routine, and once my nails have been prepared (if filed a little too short for my liking), the process of applying gel begins. And what a process it is. Thankfully, the light gold gel I’ve opted for seems barely thicker than polish, though by the time we’re at layer five, I’m wondering how many layers until the snakeskin is applied, and whether I’ll be left with doorstopper-sized chunks dangling from each ring finger.
Thankfully, Cherryl finally pulls out a tiny plastic sleeve containing a small, rectangular cutting of shed snakeskin, which I’m told is from ‘an American snake’ (which doesn’t narrow it down much). After snipping off two tiny pieces, Cherryl dips them into gel and applies them to my nails, before flecks of colour are applied to embellish the pattern.
It’s clearly early days for the treatment, but while I’m perfectly happy with one of the nails, the other is something of a misshapen lump. The snakeskin pattern is clear, but the gel has been allowed to set in an odd shape, giving the end of my nail a peculiar angle, which catches on things for days after. The nails are supposed to last two weeks, but I get fed up and peel them off after just four days, which I shouldn’t be able to do so easily.
• It’s undoubtedly unique, and there won’t be many people in the office or at brunch with more conversation-worthy nails than you. • If done well, gel nails really do last longer than conventional polish and aren’t as thick or damaging to nails as acrylic.
• They’re still getting to grips with the process, so wait a while before splashing out.
Sally Hansen Salon Effects nails These home sticker kits don’t last long (a brunch at best), but they come in all sorts of fun patterns (our favourite is faux zebra print). Dhs65 Available at Carrefour, Mall of the Emirates (800 73232) 2/5 Bio Sculpture snakeskin nails are Dhs900 for a full set. The Nail Spa, various locations including Mercato Mall (04 349 7766)
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Terri Silacci Oct 17, 2011 03:02 am
My name is Terri Silacci, I am the creator of the snake skin pedicure. This service is NOT done with anything but naturally shed snakeskin!!! Even if someone wanted to use another less humane method, it would not work! Furthermore, in order for a snake to shed its skin in a whole piece, the snake must be living in perfect conditions, nourished, humiditiy just right and happy, otherwise the skin sheds in small pieces which is not what we use to do this delicate service. Lastly, the writter of this article is correct, in order to get a snakeskin pedicure that is worth what I charge, lots of practice is necessary and when you find someone who does it correctly, it is worth every penny of the money paid for it is time consuming, delicate and rare. Good job to the ones putting in the effort. let me know if you need help. TS
Lubna Haleef Sep 22, 2011 08:31 am
A Bio Sculpture Snakeskin Pedicure or Manicure is a combination of NATURALLY SHED snakeskin and Bio Sculpture Treatment and Color Gels.
Bio Sculpture would like to point out that these are ethically sourced skins (donated by a wildlife sanctuary in UK). The snakeskin used in our manicures and pedicures comes from NATURALLY SHED skin. Snakes shed their skin as they grow and we are simply using the discarded skins from this process. Absolutely NO snakes are harmed.
Bio Sculpture Gel is the healthier alternative in nail care and is 5-star safety rated! It will never chip and actually strengthens natural nails and makes them grow healthier and stronger. As the inventors of Soak Off Gel, No Chip Color Gel and Gel Nail Sculptures, Bio Sculpture leads the nail industry in all categories: Ease of application & removal, Colors (No Chip Colors, and Safety Rating (damage free with no odors).
Haya Al Msaddi Sep 18, 2011 01:13 pm
I heard that the salons that offer this are buying snakeskin that hasn't been naturally shed - it has in fact been removed while the snake is still alive. Naturally shed skin loses its colour and moisture and dries up and cracks. Don't contribute to the torture of snakes worldwide! They may be creepy, but they are animals too...