From Ombre French to Brisa Gel and 3D nails, the lowdown on what you need for your nails
We didn’t expect to get a stitch from laughing so hard at The Nail Spa. ‘You would like some nail art? Perhaps some minions? When the Universal film Despicable Me first came out, I was drawing minion after minion. Ba, ba, ba, banana!’
Our bubbly nail therapist has driven for an hour to show us The Nail Spa’s new fashion and bridal treatments. But if cartoon movie characters don’t set the right tone for newlyweds, then there are 150 alternative shades to choose from for the Bio Sculpture Gel treatment.
‘Set aside your angelic face and be wicked! Go for black and red nails,’ our therapist jokes, but fear of channelling Cruella de Vil leads us to play it safe with beautiful pastel, lilac nails instead.
Initially, we are startled that the Bio Sculpture session could take up to three hours, but thankfully the complex process, designed to improve strength and natural growth, is carried out efficiently in 90 minutes.
First, our nails are filed, buffed and the cuticles pushed back. ‘Your nails are injured,’ announces our therapist, who applies silk strips to two of ours to strengthen them.
‘Time for surgery,’ she jokes, pinging on a set of rubber gloves and applying a sticky template under each nail, before rolling each into a pointy cone shape.
Next, the white Bio Sculpture Gel is carefully painted with a fine brush over the nail and onto the cone for extra length. Our therapist takes extra care to apply the gel evenly.
However, we are required to set the gel under a UV light and experience a deep burning sensation as the gel bonds to the nail. We are reassured this is normal, but we hastily withdraw our hand several times as it is very unpleasant.
The tips are filed to our requested shape and length and polish applied until unrecognisable as high-gloss, power nails. Our therapist is keen to apply gems to the nails, and we agree to have discreet silver jewels on our index fingers. Later, we wish we hadn’t as this feels a sparkle too ’90s J-Lo for us.
The finished result is flawless, but we struggle to understand how the technique promotes natural growth when the extension bonds so tightly it burns. But, no pain – no gain, and perhaps next time we would choose simple gel nails at this highly professional, stylish and warm salon with bundles of character. From Dhs390. Open daily 10am-10pm. The Nail Spa, various locations including The Lakes, Ibn Battuta Mall, Arabian Ranches, The Aviation Club, Mercato Mall, The Dubai Mall and The Meadows, www.thenailspa.com (600 544 001).
The Nail Spa’s handy guide
Ombre French Best for… understated elegance A new take on the classic French manicure. A gradient effect is created as a light colour blends from the cuticle into a darker colour at the nail tip.
Silk wraps Best for… thickness These gauzy wraps strengthen weak nails and help cracked nails grow out. A therapist will fit gossamer-like material onto the nail and then brush on resin until it becomes transparent. They’re easy to remove but the least durable of the bunch – definitely not for the heavy handed.
Brisa Gel Best for… high gloss Create transparent glass nails with this glossy gel. Think Cinderella’s glass slipper for the fingers. Brisa gel is the toughest of gels, and requires a strong removal.
Bio Sculpture Gel Best for… length Applied without any primers or bonders promoting the health and growth of your natural nails, it’s available in more than 150 beautiful shades and lasts for approximately two to three weeks. Fancy a temporary polish change? Apply any colour polish and remove with Bio Sculpture Dual Cleanser to return to the original colour.
3D Nails Best for… making a statement For ladies that like to be unique, adventurous and prefer something a little more bespoke, these eye-catching, textured designs are just the ones for you.
Acrylic Best for… durability A liquid and powder combination is brushed onto nails. For those that need a little help with length, synthetic tips will be added. The product hardens as it is exposed to the air and is the most durable type of extension.