Praise the gods, you CAN get a decent inexpensive manicure in London. And I made this epiphany in Croydon, of all places. After several botched attempts to have someone do less of a crap job than myself at taming my toenails or cutting my cuticles back, I had all but given up on my favorite splurge, the mani/pedi.
Framed license/certificates on the wall, actual designated nail tools and sanitization processes in place, I finally felt like I was with a nail salon taking pride in their work. To be fair, they would probably bill themselves as a spa complete with body wraps and laser hair removal, but they do a mean manicure, too.
I came as a Groupon customer to try out, for the first time, this gel polish business. Their selection of gel polishes was limited, I thought. Well, limited to basics and not very trendy/seasonal colors (lots of what I would call middle aged favorites like mauve, rosey pinks, etc). My appointment started about 10 minutes late because she was with another customer, which was annoying but at least the woman finished up what she had to, and asked a fellow worker to do the final polish at another table so she could start mine. It took about an hour. I was very happy with her work, she clearly knew what she was doing. And I LOVE that it really does dry practically instantly.
It's been three days now of usual stuff -- dish washing, hair washing, etc -- and the nails are still perfect. I'm going on holiday for a week, so this is perfect. Their regular charge for a mani/pedi is £25, which is very competitive for the job they do and the condition of their salon (my last Croydon pedicure was £20 and she smeared the red polish all over my toes and just overall did a crap job). I'm not sure what a gel mani/pedi is normally. I'll gladly come back for a regular polish up and would definitely do a gel again before a long vacation.
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