I can’t count the number of times I’ve had the perfect manicure ruined by a careless turn or a negligent move. Sometimes, I am just resigned to the possibility that I may never once make it home without some mishap that will bring to naught the entire process of having secured a coveted appointment, set aside all other activities for said appointment, suffered nail salon staff’s incompetence in silence (sometimes) and sat patiently through more than an hour of filing, buffing and drying. Not to mention the ever-rising price of a manicure.
Over many, many visits to the manicurist, I’ve found that a few careful measures can still protect your freshly painted nails to a good extent. There are no guarantees, but I give you the following tips to come out of it all as unscathed as possible:
1. It is imperative that you book your appointment well in advance. Never have your nails done late at night. They will almost always have bed sheet smudges in the morning.
2. In case you’ve decided to have a manicure and pedicure together, you must confirm that you will have the treatments simultaneously. The danger otherwise lies in the fact that if the pedicure starts earlier, your toenails will most likely dry off faster than your fingernails, tempting you to walk away with a not-yet dry manicure. Remember, toenails always seem to dry faster and don’t smudge as easily.
3. For the woman going in for a pedicure, remember to plan ahead so you are wearing or carrying flip-flops.
4. Carry as little as possible with you. Avoid carrying a handbag lest you be tempted to dip your hands in to grab something. Just your wallet or purse would suffice.
5. Leave your house keys on the dashboard so you won’t have to go searching for them in your bag later. Car keys are impossible to avoid; you will need to carry them with you.
6. Don’t wear sunglasses. I know that might be a lot to ask of some women, but ladies, the rewards are great. If you do wear sunglasses, you would naturally try to put them back on after your manicure, which brings your nails into contact with…hair! If there’s anything more frustrating than a simple smudge, it is hair tracks running through your red polish.
7. Dark colors take much longer to dry than light or sheer ones. So if you are in a hurry, opt for Pretty in Pink rather than Berry Naughty.
8. Always pay for the service before you start your treatment. That way, you won’t have to fumble for credit cards and cash afterwards.
9. Sit absolutely still. Put away your magazines as soon as the technician starts to apply the varnish.
10. Never skip the drying station. Even if you are in a rush, factor in a drying-time of at least 15 minutes. Don’t read- you will have to turn a page at some point and it’s just not worth it.
11. Keep your hands and feet where you can see them. Avoid waving them about or touching your nails to see if they’re dry yet.
12. Your mani-pedi is your responsibility and no one else’s. So be careful, very careful around hyperactive children and absent-minded salesmen. Everyone is a potential disaster waiting to happen.
13. Don’t schedule any other appointment for the day. No grocery-shopping, trip to the mall or coffee with friends. Go straight home and sit tight. Don’t attempt to do the dishes or open any jars.
Good luck, ladies!