Leopard Prints and Coloured Cuticles - How Cambridge can more than keep up with the Capital.
The 1988 Olympics pretty much passed me by – being 11 years old I was more interested in the perils of starting ‘big school’ than wasting my time watching people running and jumping around. But the image that did stick with me was the one with nails of a certain American, dubbed the fastest woman in the world. Not only are her records for 100 and 200 metres still unbroken but it seems she was light years ahead of her time in her choice of nail design as well.
Today dangerously sharp talons are showing up on celebrities everywhere and the craze for tiger claws like those of Adele or Lady Gaga are a common sight. Nail art, like most style evolutions, seems to be ever-changing and the looks of today are more inventive and inspiring that your average French polish.
While a trip for a mani/pedi is a normal part of general maintenance for some, others see it as more of a special treat saved only for weddings and once-in-a-lifetime occasions. Cost can be a factor here and honestly who can’t paint their own nails after a certain age? But now there are designs around that are more than just two coats of colour and these more intricate applications are best left to the experts. And you won’t have you travel into London to find one - luckily we have some right on our doorstep.
Kelly McEwan runs ‘The threading bar at Ian James Hair and Beauty’ on Mill Road, Cambridge and though she’s new(ish) to the game having only been going for about a year, her designs and professionalism speak for themselves. The first application of gelish, a soak off product similar to regular nail polish but which lasts for up to three weeks without chipping, costs £22.50 which is less than a pot of nail varnish (from the lines of Tom Ford make-up at least). Maintenance costs from £25 and after 45 minutes Kelle will have painted your nails with either the design of your choice or one from an array of motifs she has accumulated over her career.
Weddings are notoriously white affairs but a flash of a coloured shoe, like a cheeky grin, can add an unexpected sparkle. How much more would a flash of a fabulous nail make your pictures stand out from the crowd? Were you so inclined, Kelle could help you take a leaf out of Zooey Deschannel’s book when she turned up at the Grammys with tiny tuxedos on each digit.
Even the not-so-humble French polish (which may or may not have been invented in the late 1800s/1920s by an American/French man/woman - seriously no one knows!) has had a makeover. Like the sapphire braces featured in a ‘Sex and The City’ episode, colour is in and white can be seen as a little passé. Seems ’the brighter the better’ is the mantra for the 2012 chick and ‘The Art of Nails salon’ in Bury St Edmunds is another that can cater to your coloured whim.
After your initial manicure, Mae will hand paint her designs onto gels or natural nails. This only takes her a few moments, costs an extra £3 - £5 and looks incredible. But if you don’t want to trust my word a quick search on the internet will show you what others think of the place. ‘Mae is excellent at nail extensions and creative design, very quick and thorough,’ one customer reported while another advised ‘I'd definitely recommend her. I've never had a poor experience here’.
Those of us too old (my hand’s up!) or too shy to really embrace the more in-your-face neon’s or animal print designs that are sweeping the retail outlets this ‘summer’ may find finishing off our outfits with a leopard print pedicure or maroon tipped manicure the more refined option.
For those who still bite their nails (and I am so in that gang!), gels and fake nails have been available professionally for quite a while so no one’s left out of the nail trend loop, but I think most people want to grow their own. If that’s you and you find yourself absent-mindedly picking apart layers or feel the urge to chow down on your digits, take those fingers out of your mouth and use them to dial a salon instead. And always remember, think WWFJD? What Would Flo-Jo Do?
All Images taken with kind permission of Kelle from The Threading Bar