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26th February 2013

Review: Acrylic nails

Halee Wells discusses whether acrylic nails are really worth the hype

This week, after lifelong deliberation, I decided to get my nails properly done. Somehow, this managed to be part of a Management Marketing project (any excuse!), but it is something I have considered getting done for a long time. However, I have always been put off by the hefty price tag of £30-£40 for something which may have the same results as your extensive Barry M nail collection, and the thought of fiddling with everyday objects with lengthy claws quite frankly scared me.

Let me start by saying my nails were not in an amazing condition to start with. As an ex-nail biter I have never had long talons, so the idea of my nails becoming ‘ruined’ didn’t bother me too much.  The beautician began by filing my nails down, rubbing her scary looking sanding mechanism all over my nails so that the formula would apparently stay put better. In addition to inhaling my own nail powder at this point, my nails were not a pretty sight!

picture: Halee Wells

Next, the beautician opened a box of long white plastic strips and measured the correct sizes against my nails. Using a small strip of glue she attached each strip to the tip of my natural nail. She told me some clients actually opt for that length, gulp!

picture: Halee Wells


I opted for a shorter length, so she took a metal clip and shortened the nails. Then she applied a mixed powder and liquid solution and let it dry under a small fan. I was then instructed to wash my nails under a tap, before she began filing the tips to a more round shape. Two clear top coats were then added, and dried almost instantly.


picture: Halee Wells

The verdict: I was apprehensive at first to the functioning of my new talons, as I definitely wasn’t used to the feeling of having false nails. I paid £30 for a full set of the French manicure nails in Manchester’s Arndale Centre, with all salons in the shopping centre apparently agreeing on the same price for fair business. So far I am very pleased with the results. You may have to adapt when using your smartphone, but if the nails do really last 5 weeks as promised, then I would definitely recommend trying them for yourself.

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