I love to have painted nails. My hands are not very beautiful, definitely not my best feature (known affectionately in my house as ‘man hands’) so really I should try and divert attention from them. Nevertheless I am a girly girl TO THE CORE, so I like having painted nails. At home I’ve never had a lot of free time to get them done professionally, but frustrated with constant chipping and with the sight of a nail bar on every corner, I decided that now living in Shanghai I would definitely give it a go. Of course my first point of contact was the internet (this how to section could just be shortened to ‘I googled it – the end‘. However! on the internet I found the salons very expensive, geared to the rich and naive foreigner. I balked at the price, pushed my laptop slowly away and moved on, telling myself this new craze for ‘gel-like’ nail polishes really did last quite a bit longer than the standard ones and I could just carry on painting my own at home.
As Christmas came closer I decided it was time to do something special with my nails. I go hell for leather for Christmas, I love it and I like to make it special in every possible way. Including my nails! Walking down Changle Lu a couple of days before Christmas I pass one of the nail bars on the corner and in I go. Through a combination of pointing and gesticulating, the nail technicians understand I’m after having gel colour put on. I ask the price and she tells me ¥175 (about £20), I have to ask her if that means for all of my fingers, as this is so much cheaper than the salons I had researched. They show me a myriad of colours to choose from so I point to one that looks festive and away they go. I got a full and thorough manicure and about 4 layers of colour as well as base and top coats. She did a beautiful job, I was absolutely thrilled.
One thing that I’m becoming increasingly aware of in Shanghai, is the vast difference in price for the same product or service. How you can charge ¥580 in one salon for gel nails and then virtually next door charge ¥175 is mind boggling.
The name of the salon is Art Nail Salon, it has one of those glowing ‘Nails’ signs written outside in lights. The matching jumpers they wear all say something to do with Washington DC training team. Very strange and confusing. However it is on the corner of Changle Road and Changshu Road.
Everyone in the shop was so friendly and when I went back to have the gels removed and have a manicure, they remembered me and gave me the gel removal for free. I will definitely be going there again.