Ladies, if you haven't been into a nail salon recently, heed my advice and DON'T GO! At the very least, take a buddy. Go in with a plan and stick to it. The women who run these salons put most used car salesmen to shame. Their high pressure sales technique is impressive and more than a little disconcerting. I consider myself a bit of a hard ass and even I was wheedled into more nail than I needed or wanted.
If you've ever had the gel nail polish, you know how hard it is to get that crap off your nails. It won't chip, crack or peel for weeks (that's the plus) but then you have to turn into some sick version of Wolverine to get it off your nails. Seriously NOT worth it. It also peels off your real nail in the process. The nail nazis won't tell you this though. You can ask, "Won't this be difficult to take off?" "You come back. REAL easy. You look so pretty!" Yeah, don't even try.
Despite knowing all of this, I went ahead and got the damn gel on my nails for a wedding a few weeks ago. My best friend Mary and I went together and got our manicure for the wedding. Two-ish weeks later we went back to get it off. We agreed we would only get the gel off. We would not get another manicure. Here's the playback (condensed version):
Nail Nazi: You need new gel manicure?
Us: No, we would just like to get the gel taken off.
NN: You no like the gel?
Us: We just did it for a special occasion, a wedding.
NN: Oh (head hanging as if we have totally ruined her whole day), well you just get plain manicure then.
Me: No, I just want the gel off, thanks.
Mary: Ok, I'll just do a coat of clear on there.
NOOO, Mary did not stick to the plan. She may be my BFF but she has failed as my nail wing-man. WTF, Mare?
Off we go to get the gel off. Imagine sand papering your nails, then covering them in acetone soaked cotton and wrapping them in aluminum foil. Then, you sit for 15 minutes while the poison soaks in there and softens the apocalyptic proof gel.
I give Mary the eye, because she totally caved. The the nail nazi, sensing that she needs to get me to cave as well, starts in.
NN: Why you no like the gel?
Me: It messes up my real nails.
NN: Well, you need regular manicure. You get this kind, it's easier to take off than the gel.
Me: I can take it off like regular polish?
Me: (Sighing) Fine, I'll do a basic manicure with that polish. (MAN DOWN! MAN DOWN!)
NN: You want a flower?
Me: NO!!!! (I don't want a damn flower)
My nail nazi isn't nice while she's scraping off the gel. She keeps pushing my other fingers down as if she wishes she could just cut them the hell off and get them out of her way. Then, she looks at me and says, "You need eyebrows done too?" Bitch, please! I'm still growing out my eyebrows from the last time I got them waxed (18 months ago). "No, I'm good, thanks." So done with this!
Mary's nail nazi actually makes her bleed. I'll leave it at that.
When we go to leave my nail nazi informs me that this polish cost "a little more" than the regular polish and it is another $5 b/c we had them take the gel off. That right there is what my Grandpa Joslin would have called a racket.
Shell-shocked, Mary and I leave the nail chamber of death and head to the van and then to Target. Because we know how to have fun. We are fun gals. While in Target:
Me: My nails are still all tacky and I sat there for like an extra 15 minutes.
Mare: This isn't even a good manicure. Look at my nails.
Me: We suck at going to the nail place.
Mare: I caved at the front desk.
Me: Yes, you did. I caved in the back. We are no longer allowed to go to the nail salon.