This morning we have the pleasure of Dee's company to take us through some of her best gel polish treatments in Dublin. Dee is one half of top Irish beauty blog Viva Adonis and one of the most down to earth lovelies that I have the pleasure of knowing. Dee knows her stuff and some of her stuff is this -
Take it away, Dee!
I am a nail polish obsessive and collector. My nail polish buying has slowed a lot over the last year or so, though, mainly because a) my collection is out of control and will last me for the rest of my life, and b) I've become very fond of the odd gel polish manicure.
If you've never had gel polish applied before, here's a little run-down: it's done in layers after quite a bit of buffing, and cured layer by layer for 30 seconds or so under an LED lamp. When applied well, gel polish won't really damage nails. In terms of removal, you can do it yourself at home with some acetone and tinfoil, or else go back to the salon. Some charge up to a tenner for removal but not all.
Why do I love these manicures so much? Well, with nail polish, I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I change my polish frequently because I cannot abide leaving it on with any chips. A gel mani offers longevity that I just can't achieve with even the best polishes, and if I'm really busy, it's one less thing to worry about appearance-wise. It's also a lovely treat before any kind of holiday!
|Tropical Popical - 28 South William St (Nail Techs may or may not move at sonic speed)|
My little love affair with Tropical Popical began last summer, when I nabbed a voucher for the salon at a charity auction - nothing better than doing some good for humankind and my nails in one fell swoop! The voucher I had was for some kind of luxury manicure package, which I really enjoyed as I suffer from some seriously raggedy cuticles. I went back a couple of more times for gel polish, including some seriously funky nail art form Electric Picnic, and was really pleased most times although, as is the case almost everywhere, some technicians are certainly better than others. In general my gel manis have lasted well from here but, they were expensive and if you only pay for Gelish, you won't get any extra cuticle work done at all. They have recently reduced their prices so a basic gel mani is now €25 - not bad.
Overall, I do like TP but it's not cheap and not relaxing in the 'traditional' sense as they do very quick appointments and it's often busy and buzzing. It's a fun place to visit, though (I love the interior) and I've often appreciated how fast they get the job done.
It's also a great place to hit up if you work in the D2 area and want a bit of me-time after work.
Go if... you like your nails quirky and seen to super-fast, and don't mind parting with a little extra cash.
After my foray with Tropical Popical I decided to venture a little closer to home. Let's Face It in Artane is a well-established salon known by many in the area, and I've had a load of great gel manis here. The interior is a typical beautician's setup; relaxing and welcoming with scented candles and all of that jazz. They're cheap at €23 but I've found that cuticle work only happens if the salon is quiet, so all you're really paying for is the mani. I did have one bad experience here when the girl actually scratched my hands from filing a bit too enthusiastically, but the actual manicure she did was spot-on. Some gel manicures I've had here have lasted weeks; one only stayed for less than a week before it started to peel. This place is walking distance from my house so I will probably go back but it's not always a wow experience
Go if... you're a northsider, or willing to travel for a good price!
|J Nails on Capel St|
Most recently (a week and a half ago as I type this), I tripped up to J Nails on Capel Street, Dublin 1. It was a bit of an impromptu visit but I'd heard great things about the place on Twitter and from my boyfriend's mam. The interior's a bit basic but it was very quiet when I visited (save for some hilarious tunes), so I found it quite relaxing. I had no appointment but was seen to after five minutes for what was the best gel polish I've had in ages. The polish was applied so well - right next to the cuticle so I'd get maximum longevity from the treatment. My nails are still totally perfect now and I think they'll be good for a full three weeks - great for €28.
J-nails, to me, is the clear winner here as not only did my manicurist apply gel polish with incredible precision and care, she buffed and trimmed my cuticles beautifully, with serious attention to detail. She told me that the cuticle work was standard there, whereas other places bundle up their nail packages so you'll end up paying quite a bit extra just to have your bloody cuticles trimmed. If you compare your pricing to other 'packages' in Dublin, they definitely come out on top for value. I'll be returning for the foreseeable!
Go if...you're looking for the best value and quality manicure in Dublin City!