When reader Pink Panther displayed her everlasting manicure at the Beaut.ie brunch, we all oohed and ahhed over its glossy finish and super shine. Promising three to four weeks of wear, these manis aren’t actually permanent, but in terms of how long a file and paint lasts on me (about 3 days before the chip-rot sets in), the best part of a month seems pretty holy grail-ish.
So yesterday I took myself off to the Nail Bar on Dublin’s Trinity Street to check one out for myself. The Everlasting Love Manicure is basically a gel system minus the artificial tips. Your nails are extensively prepped, filed and buffed, cuticles removed and fingers exfoliated. And that’s all before the technician gets busy with her brush and pots of gel, which come in lots of nice bright shades.
I could have opted for a French finish, but I’m loving deep darks at the moment, so it was a toss-up between a shimmering purple and a muted burgundy. After a bit of a dither I went for the latter – I reckoned if I was going to get longevity out of them, it may as well be in a fairly neutral colour that’d be good for day and night. And as this is no ordinary nail paint – four coats of gel are applied: a base, two of colour and a hard gel on top, plus a glossy topcoat – all have to dry, so do allow yourself at least an hour and a half for the whole thing.
Any downsides? It can be a little sore at times – there’s a lot of buffing and filing, so my fingers were a bit raw afterwards, but that faded soon, leaving me with ten shiny, hard-as-a-rock nails. I’ve been tapping them off things since I got home, and I can see why they say it lasts as long as it does – this stuff isn’t budging.
(apologies for this blurry pic: it turns out taking a picture of one hand while trying to shoot with the other is actually Quite Hard)
And like everything in life, there’s a little more to the process than you might imagine at first, with at-home maintenance to factor in as well. If you want to get the most out of your mani, then ideally you should remove the top coat once a week with special remover, and re-paint it to keep nails looking fresh and glossy.
Of course, nails grow, so after three or so weeks you’ll start seeing growth at the base, and then it’s time to head back in-salon to have the gels removed and replaced again, if you want. So, what’s the damage? €60 – or €65 for French – plus a further €20 for removal after three-to-four weeks – which is recommended as that way your nails will suffer the minimum damage. I’ll be updating you next week as to the state of my nails – so stay tuned for that!
If the Everlasting Love Manicure is too rich for your blood, then Nail Bar is all about affordable luxury – a file and polish using gorgeous Ciate colours is €15, a mini mani is €24, strip lashes are €15 with individuals coming in at €30, and there’s also St Tropez tanning on offer, starting at €20 for a half body.
Nail Bar is located at 17 Trinity Street, Dublin 2. 01 670 8592; firstname.lastname@example.org