Don’t do it: Working mum’s struggle with acrylic nails : Evewoman - The Standard
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Don’t do it: Working mum’s struggle with acrylic nails

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Guys, a week ago I walked into my nail salon and decided that I had had enough predictability in my life. I was always getting the gel application on my perfectly clipped finger and toe nails. This time I upped the ante and demanded for tips and gel. You know the kind that looked like a bird’s talons or an obituary preview with their coffin-like shapes. I see women in the office, in events or even dare I say on TV, rocking these nails and I have to admit, I find them sexy and appealing. I had spent a minute on Pinterest admiring these nails so I thought, why the hell not. 

I sat on ‘that’ chair and one lovely lady started on my toes. Now here is the thing guys... I stopped doing manicures and pedicures when I realized they will still wash your hands and feet as well as remove the cuticles and corns even when they are just applying gel. Did the math and the mother in me, decided to redirect that fortune towards buying diapers. The dead skin I can take care of with the pumice stone in my bathroom which I bought for 20 bob.

Anyway the foot gel was done in 30 minutes then the tips specialist took charge of my hands. I asked her how long the tips would last on my nails since I was spending a whopping 1200 bob on this procedure.

“Well it depends on who is installing them,” She smiles sweetly.

Not much in the way of confidence, but since we were already here, let’s do it then.

Once all my nails had been clipped totally, she broke out the fake acrylics which I have always looked at with disdain. She then took a tub of super glue, the kind that is used to bond metal and wood. “Wait, won't it affect my natural nails,” I wondered aloud. “Apana, as long as they are removed properly it should not cause any harm,” she responded as she concentrated on picking the nail that will fit a particular finger. 

Now the process of getting these tips installed is mind blowingly long. From identifying the particular tip size, buffing its edges, applying that super glue, placing it on my innocent nails at just the right angle then buffing it till it’s edge blends with my actual nails.

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“See, it looks just like your nail,” she declares as she proudly shows her work.

Why can’t it just be fixed at the base of the nail, so we don’t have to waste so much of the nails?

“Because they are called tips, that’s why we only put the tip,” she responds with a baffled look.

I sigh, and wait for her to complete this rather laborious process. After the tips are done, the moment of truth is here. How long would you like your nails to appear?

Just make them appear natural, I respond.

When she clipped the first one, I thought it was a tad too long so I asked her to reduce the length. Her response was to file the nail to a length I thought could work. It kinda looked sexy.

Okay, I nodded. Let’s do this, give me those jezebel nails.

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After the clipping and filing, she informed me that I could take the option of having a filler added to my nails to make it stronger and bond the tips to my nails. 

Why? Aren’t they strong enough?

“Well, right now the only thing holding your tips to the nails is the glue and the gel that I will apply. They could easily come off, but with the filler they are stronger and won’t bend easily,” she responded adding that this would add 300 bob to my tab.

Despite everything in my brain yelling that I turn around and remove these things, I smiled and agreed to the filler. A procedure that took another 20 minutes since she has to mix the powder with a gel then apply on my nails and have it dry under the LED lamp. Then once done, she used cotton wool with nail polish remover on my nails for whatever reason, I was tired of asking questions.

An hour later, we finally got to the part that I am familiar with, the gel application. This is a fairly quick process and takes slightly over half an hour. In the spirit of being unpredictable, I choose a shade of red with glitter. Like the quintessential Marilyn Monroe type of nails. They looked sexy, even seductive.

3 hours after I walked in to the salon, I left with my nails looking like a bird’s feet, careful with everything. My first order of business was to go to the bathroom. How do they undo their buttons and zips?

The next order of business was to sign a document, and I could not manage to hold the damn pen! Why did I do this to myself!

When I got home, I had to feed my child and I prefer to use my fingers when giving him ugali. After a few attempts that ended with more food on the floor than in his mouth, I opted to go with a spoon. I had to relearn how to text and had to revisit typing on the keyboard. I can no longer just open my energy drink without worrying that I will break my nails. And have you tried picking coins with these nails?

Today, I tried removing an earring stopper from its place and had to resort to asking my partner to remove the darn thing. He hasn’t been a fan of these talons and seems to take pleasure in my struggles. Anyway, the last straw was as I tried to rake my fingers through my hair, I heard a snap and saw my perfectly manicured acrylic fly to the ground, leaving my nail totally naked and vulnerable.

The thing about tips is their unforgiving nature. Its either you have them all, or none at all. So it was a matter of either removing all of them or finding a way of fixing this errant one. I am grateful for the super glue that was lying around the house because as at right now, I still got my jezebel look going and touching everything like it has leprosy.

Moral of the story is, avoid those damn things if you intend to do anything, literally anything with your life.

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