Holding a glassful of Moët and strutting about in your Vera Wang dress, the last thing you’d want is people noticing your chipped nails. Trying to hide them behind your clutch bag won’t help but what will is getting a set of nail extensions.
Stop! Don’t reach for those stick-on nail sets available in the market, they may embarrass you further by slipping off when you least expect them to. What you need is acrylic or gel nails that are reliable, aesthetic and last for three months.
These nails are all the rage now with a number of people opting for them, not just for the chic factor but also for reasons such as quitting the nail-biting habit or simply for a layer of clean, healthy nails. Nail extensions have been around for quite some time, but it is only recently that Chennaiites have woken up to them.
“Nails were happening in the North for a while. Anything takes a little time to come down South. Hands and feet create the first impression of people, so it is important to maintain them. Moreover, extensions make your hand and feet look good,” says Latha C. Mohan, CEO-Bounce, Oryza and Kanya, the only salons offering this service in Chennai.
According to Latha, unlike nail art which can be done by any creative person, nail extension has to be done by trained professionals. Their experts have undergone training in Bangkok.
“This trend is really picking up and we get around 60 clients a month. Earlier, only foreigners wanted such nails; now, not only celebrities but also others, including college kids, ask for it,” says Rajita of Bounce.
So, what’s the difference between acrylic and gel nails? “Acrylic nails appear more natural and are stronger. Gel nails, on the other hand, are glossier,” explains Rajita. Of the two, gel nails are more in demand as they are lighter and more adaptable.
The process of getting acrylic and gel extensions takes around an hour-and-a-half but the procedure is different. For acrylic nails, paper foam is placed on the nails and, depending on the desired length, acrylic powder is applied along with a liquid called monomer. It is then allowed to dry, and voila! you have your set of acrylic nails.
Gel nails are applied with a machine under UV light. Here, too, foam paper is used for support and after a gel coating, you are required to put your hand inside the machine and dry your nails. Once done, you can specify the colour, shape or design you want.
Make a style statement with French manicure, nail art, nail embossing, which gives a 3-D effect to the patterns or just funk them up with nail piercing. Nail art goes very well with nail extensions as it lasts till you remove them. On natural nails, the art begins to wear away in a week’s time.
“French manicured extensions are a hot favourite as they give a natural and uncluttered look,” says Rajita, adding that artificial nails are not restricted to hands alone, clients walk in asking for toe-nail extensions as well.
Like most good things in life that come with a price tag, nail extensions cost Rs. 1,800 (plus tax) for acrylic ones and Rs. 2,000 (plus taxes) for gel nails. The fortnightly maintenance costs about Rs. 800-900 during which in-fills are done. “As the nail grows, there is a gap in the cuticle area. In-fills refill these gaps,” says Janaki, trainer for nail extensions.
So, stick out your finger tips, and slip your toes into that pair of flirty peep-toes. It’s time to flaunt those drool-worthy nails.
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Keep your nail extensions clean
Go in for regular maintenance sessions
In case of dry cuticles, use cuticle oil
After removing your extensions, give at least a week’s break before getting a new set.
Lift heavy stuff
Use acetone-based products for acrylic nails
Open/Close doors, suitcases in a rush
Courtesy: The Hindu