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I visited Keturah Day Spa in Highgate last week for a Deluxe Manicure which apparently is a new addition to their treatment menu.

I arrived and was greet warmly by Anna at reception and taken through to the lounge area.  The feeling of this spa is warm and cosy with a gorgeous decor palette of browns, black and white.  I was offered a delicious ginger tea and I settled in to wait for my treatment.

I don’t remember the name of my therapist, but she was lovely to speak to.  Her manicure technique was generally good, good even nail filing.  My fingers were soaked first, then cuticles tidied, some oil rubbed into them and then prepared for painting.  I was offered maybe 8-10 shellac colours which was disappointing. The Shellac painting was bad, gaps were left at the side of my nails – even after I pointed the problem out, you can see my bare nail and the coverage was uneven, and she advised me this would settle in a few hours but of course it didn’t, it was just a bad paint job.  I found it weird putting my fingers in the CND UV lamp, I wondered if it was damaging my skin with UV and aging my hands?   The therapist forgot my hand massage and/or some other treatment of some kind which sets their normal ‘Manicure’ apart from their new deluxe one.  I asked Anna what exactly was the deluxe version when the treatment had finished because I felt like it was far from a manicure worth $125!!  Anna identified I was missing an element to the treatment and promptly refunded the price difference which was good customer service.  Overall my manicure experience was very average, and I didn’t feel like I wanted to return to Keturah.

I was advised for post treatment care to rub some oil into the cuticles and use a good hand cream.

In terms of the actual Shellac, the polish itself has worn really well, it sort of feels slightly gel like, it still looks fairly flawless (apart from the bad paint job) a week later – this was the most impressive part and I haven’t been precious about my nails whatsoever, only it’s growing out now and I’ll have to get it removed by the end of the week.  I also think it’s really inconvenient that I have to return to the day spa to have it removed when they could just provide me with a CND Shellac remover wrap, but I realise it’s a convenient tactic for salons to have you return, potentially for another manicure.

I would consider a Shellac polish in the future, particularly for something like a 1-2 week holiday or where I needed my nails to be instantly dry and ready to wear, but I would choose a trusted manicurist who offered a decent colour range.  My biggest tip and plus for the shellac manicure is that it’s fantastic if you want to grow your nails out long or stop biting them without all the repaint jobs.  I used to be a nail biter up until about 3 years ago and go through bouts of it when i’m anxious but this manicure has well and truly stopped it, and they’ll be lovely and long for my wedding day.

Due to the limited colour range available for Shellac, I don’t think I’ll be using it for my wedding mani/pedi and I didn’t feel confident with how a french manicure might turn out, but the manicurist I’ve chosen for my wedding day does shellac a lot and their results look fantastic, see the photos on their Facebook page – Tip to Toe House of Polish, so I might change my mind!

Lyn's fabulous French Shellac manicure - Tip to Toe House of Polish

Lyn's fabulous French Shellac manicure - Tip to Toe House of Polish

Read more about Shellac at the CND website.

Review update 12/10/2011 (two weeks since the manicure);

It’s been two weeks since my Shellac manicure and so far three fingernails have completely lost the polish layer, it’s started to peel at the edges and if it catches on anything it peels away.  I don’t recommend pulling it off your nail at all.  So I called Keturah to make an appointment to have it removed and as an afterthought before we hung up I thought I’d just check there was no charge, the girl advised me it cost $30!  Yes, $30.00 to remove the shellac – that’s it.  I told her not to worry about it and called my usual salon Museo and they are charging me $10 and fitting me in tomorrow and they are only charging me because I didn’t have the manicure with them.  When you have a Shellac at Museo, removal is complimentary.  Sorry Keturah, but I won’t be going back!