Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Gel nail extensions at Glam Nail & Beauty Salon, Trinity Street

At two hours and €55 a pop, gel nail extensions are an investment of sorts – but for a certain, uber-glam look, they can be just the ticket

Wed, May 1, 2013, 11:25


Let’s get this out of the way for a second: nail extensions are a bit tacky. They look fake and they feel fake, and Katie Price likes them. But sometimes, to achieve a certain “look” – not the Katie Price look but a cross between Rihanna, Lana del Rey and Lara Stone in those Tom Ford ads – nail extensions are a must.

So, to the process. Your own nails are cleaned and buffed, and nail tips – which look rather like false nails – are glued to your nails, from midway. Then they are filed at the join until they lie flat against your own nails, following which, they are filed at the tip, to whatever length and shape you’d like.

As you can see, I went for a very vampy, pointed long nail – which, in hindsight, is proving troublesome. My lovely nail technician did ask me, at one point, what I did - ”won’t they get in the way?” My heart sank as I realised: yes, they will (and they do). Here they are painted with OPI‘s Dusk Over Cairo (it’s got a filter so looks a little pinker in that pic; in reality it was kind of a 1980s secretary nail colour, and definitely not my favourite).

After your nails are filed, they’re coated in gel which is then set under a UV light. This process takes an age; there are about three layers of gel (which is why gel extensions look so thick) and each ”setting” takes three minutes. After the gelling is done, it’s on to painting and I was off on my way.

The entire process cost €55 (this wasn’t a review freebie) and took two hours – a price I can’t really imagine being beaten for the amount of work that went into them. Yesterday I repainted them, with Illamasqua’s Mottle (top pic), which I love a lot more. Do I feel glam? Yes. Ridiculous? A bit. I can’t imagine I’ll keep them for the full three weeks (you can have them refilled once the gel base grows out – I’ll update you with a pic on Twitter so you can see what that looks like) and I’ll definitely be filing them down for ease of typing!

But for a change? Love love love them. And there’s something about having these crazy 1950s superstar nails that means going out in your tracksuit bottoms feels more sinful than ever, which makes me love them even more. Motivation!

Glam Nail & Beauty Salon is at 17 Trinity St, Dublin 2. Tel: 01-679 1111