woman with pink manicure

As people start to use salon services again, I thought I’d share my experience as a first timer getting my nails done in December. It’s a little unexpected, considering the things I talk about online and the nonsense chat I have offline, but I am the least girly person I know. My sister, definitely more into the whole makeup and hair side of things encouraged me to get my nails done for the first time. What should be a relaxing pamper session brought me so much anxiety that I’d have my fingers chopped off or my nails would break that I honestly just shouldn’t be allowed outside. However, there is a success story!

So if it’s your first time, and you have no idea what to expect, like me, and nervous stiff fingers, then let me enlighten you.

Which nail treatment should you go for?

They will ask which treatment you want to which you will respond ‘I don’t know’. Instead of being a clueless idiot like me, here’s the deal:

  • Gel is just polish but better – it’s long-lasting, stays on for weeks and doesn’t chip as it’s cured under a UV lamp.
  • Shellac is a brand of gel nail accessories (only me that had no idea? Probably)
  • Acrylic tips – they add a little length to your own nail by sticking a bit on the tip.
  • Acrylic nails – for those of you with no nails or bitten down bits, you can have a whole acrylic nail placed over your own.

I initially chose gel because the idea of having fake things stuck on me freaks me out – I’ll be shocked if I ever dare to even have hair extensions! However, after filing my nails into shape, they were so short, so I got brave and asked for tips. I’m sure the manicurist loved me and my ever-changing demands!

What happens when you get your nails done?

The manicurist will file your nails, tidy them up, then add resin (sometimes in powder form) to your nail. They will cure this by putting your hand under a UV land, then will start adding the gel polish in layers. Mine only took two layers, but it can be more depending on the coverage/colour.

The treatment took about half an hour in total.

First time getting your nails done?

Expect to treat them as if they’re wet, like when you usually do them at home, for at least an hour. They are not wet! You can do anything with your new nails.

Also expect to be unable to perform the simplest of tasks. I had to get my card out to pay and had no idea how to use my new fingers! It was like this for a few days, feeling very aware of having something stuck on me.

However, a few days in and I felt normal again. My typing is EVEN louder than usual – sorry to my colleague! – but aside from that, I haven’t really noticed anything afterwards.

It’s been 2 weeks now and I absolutely love them! I went for a reddish-purple colour, great for Christmas, but fine for the new year and Winter too. At least part of me looks polished and ‘together’ with no effort at all. My nails grow really fast so I’m starting to see a fair bit of new nail, but its not that noticeable unless looking for it yet.

It’s something that I always thought was bizarre, or a massive luxury, but I can really see why people bother now and I think it’ll be come a regular thing for me. No more chipped nails! No more spending 2 hours not touching anything after painting them myself. If anything, they’re a time investment…that’s what I’ll go with.

person s hand with pink manicure
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

Local to Leeds?

For anyone in Leeds, I went to White Rose Nail Studio and they cost £25. I will probably try elsewhere next time as I did find communication a little difficult and if I didn’t have my sister explaining it to me, I might have been more worried – if that’s possible. For someone pretty brave at life, I’m really not when it comes to beauty! Edit: They wrecked my nails, filed them too much and made them really weak while regrowing – do not recommend. Six months in and my nails are strong again.

Anyone else never had their nails done, but would like to try? Do you remember your first time? Also, if anyone else is scared of beauty treatments, please let me know I’m not alone in the comments!

Which beauty treatment should I try next?