Rihanna and Beyonce were among the first to popularise Minx bling, while singer Ciara’s nails resembled rhinestone-studded strawberries last summer. More recently, Katy Perry’s Wide Awake video had nail-art-enthusiasts staring wide-eyed — if you haven’t watched the video, take it from us, the singer’s rosette-topped fingernails are positively dazzling. And, after sporting everything from ultra-sharp vampire-like-nails, the product of a gothic, reverse French manicure, to glittery talons during the Super Bowl last year, singer Fergie finally launched Wet n Wild, her own line of nail-varnish this year.
Though choices here are still limited and you’d need to make special arrangements if you want your nails embellished with patterns that are absolutely unique like newsprint, fish scales, autumn leaves or the breast-cancer pink ribbon, here are some incredible hand-and-feet treatments that are available right now.
Glitter and flower acrylic overlays
Ideal for those who want to have long-lasting art on their real nails, as opposed to extensions, acrylic overlays last for up to 3 to 4 weeks (depending on nail growth), after which in-fills will be required. These are a safer, better option than extensions that are glued onto your original nail. The process begins with an express manicure, after which the nail is buffed lightly. A primer is painted on next, after which flowers or glitter are pressed on. A nail product is applied over this. Then, the nail is filed and buffed lightly before the embellishment is sealed in with a top coat. To remove the product, you’ll have to dip your nails in acetone.
Cost: R1,700 (glitter overlays); R1,250 (flower overlays)
For: 60 minutes (glitter overlays); 90 minutes (flower overlays)
At: Juice Nail Bar, Fariyas Hotel, 25, off Arthur Bunder Road, Colaba
Call: 22876513, 61416141
Homeopath turned nail-bar-proprietor Kavita Sheth explains that while conventional manicures require the hands or feet to be soaked, here, the nail technician performs a dry manicure. “Even a little residual water will keep the foil from sticking properly.” A variety of metallic and printed foils are available here — we particularly love a black and white crescent moon pattern — but Sheth says, “Very few people here opt for these.” You can request and she’ll source the foil of your choice for you. After a brisk manicure, this foil (heated under a special light) is meticulously laid out on your nails and topped with a sealer. On your hands this would last about 10 to 15 days, she says, but on your feet, it should last for between three and five weeks, depending on the nail growth.
Cost: R1,500 each
For: 45 minutes to an hour (each)
At: Kavi’s Nail Care and Institute of Nail Technology, Pooja Apartment, 1st Floor, opposite Sacred Heart School, SV Road, Khar (W)
Call: 26486372, 65022100
Paraffin Wax Mask
The paraffin wax bath moisturises the skin while opening pores and increasing blood circulation, which makes this treatment especially soothing for those suffering from muscle pains or dry skin. At Tahaa, the treatment follows an express manicure/pedicure, a scrub massage (lemon and mango scrubs are used on hands, mint, sugar and sea scrubs are used on the feet) and a luxurious moisturising-cream-massage. Then, after your hands and feet are soaked in the warm paraffin and held for a minute or so, the mask is peeled off and the area sponged with a hot towel.
Cost: Rs 1,000 (manicure); R1,250 (pedicure)
For: 60 minutes (manicure); 75 minutes (pedicure)
At: Tahaa Spa, 69 A, Manisha Building, opposite Urvashi, Napean Sea Road
Call: 23681001, 23681004
Chocolate manicure/ pedicure
Explaining that the chocolate treatment softens skin and lends it a glow, nail therapy technician Kavita tells us, “The cocoa content of chocolate is moisturising.” Overseas, chocolate spa treatments are employed to tackle wrinkles as chocolate is believed to promote cell renewal. The treatment here begins by soaking hands in hot water. An express manicure follows, after which a homemade chocolate scrub is massaged in. This is followed by a 10 to 15 minute cream massage. A homemade chocolate pack is applied next and peeled off using warm water.
Cost: R550 (manicure); R650 (pedicure)
For: 45 minutes each
At: Nail Lounge, shop no 1, Prabhat Kunj, 24th Road, off Linking Road, Khar (West)
Call: 61611802, 9920110252
For DIY treatments
> OPI Nail Lacquer: Hard-wearing and chip-resistant, OPI’s spectacular range of nail varnishes includes both, soft as well as seriously bright shades. We especially love the brand’s shatter-effect colours — paint on a turquoise blue over a silver or soft peach for a gorgeous sea-effect or use the black shatter varnish over any solid colour for an animal-print effect.
At: Biguine salons and Juice salons
> Colorbar Pro Crackle Top Nail Lacquer:
Manufactured in Greece, Italy, France and Germany, these long-lasting nail lacquers make for amazing textured crackle designs. Available in three colours — Smashed Cherry, Foiled Blast and Black Crackle — the crackle lacquer range is easily identified by its designer cap.
For: Rs 499
At: Shop no 42, Infiniti - II Mall, Malad (West); shop no UG - 09, Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla (West)
Call: 67257647, 61801423