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Hail the nail

Pamper your nails with a stylish makeover and you will never shy away from flaunting them

— Pic. by Murali Kumar K.

Take your pick from a range of options at the nail bar

SHE SHYLY put her hands on the table. The woman picked them up with authority and glared. Her fingers instantly curled inward. The woman, with the air of a saviour angel, laid out a row of ammunition — clippers, cutters, buffers, files, trimmers, glue, gloss, tiny bottles filled with potions...

Fingers and nails are very much part of the business of lookin' and feelin' good. The latest in the circuit, apparently, are French nails, enamels, extensions, and attachments. Yes, women now have exclusive treatments for nails in beauty salons. . You can relax while your hands are being pampered and prepared. You can have silk tips put on cracked nails so that they are held together and don't chip off but grow. Or if you are one who chews the nails off or says, "Gosh! I hardly have nails!" or tuck your fingers tightly into your palm, you could get yourself some handsome nails. You could choose from a range of square, pointed or clear nails. There's loads of choice to spoil you.

Nail extensions

Hamsini, a homemaker, had real short nails that always kept chipping off. "All my life I wanted long nails. It feels good to have them now with the help of nail extensions. They look real," she beams.

At the beauty salons, the original nails are first "prepared" — a grease-remover absorbs all oil. Nails are chosen according to the size and shape required. Glue is put on the nail and the new nail stuck, a little above the base of the original. Then the nail is cut and shaped to your choice. Gel or acrylic is applied to fill the gap between the two. If gel is applied, hands have to be kept in a UV light-emitting machine to harden the nails. Then comes the buffing to give the nail a smooth finish.

The idea of doing up your nails seems to be catching on with working women too, who find it almost therapeutic to put up their hands and feet and relax. You can take a pick from a range of stylish solutions — get new nails glued on permanently with an acrylic or gel base, have exfoliating pedicures, warm or cold manicures (with wax), vitamin-E manicures or bubbly manicures.

Amazing designs

You can then have your nails painted simply with colours or go in for nail art where various designs and patterns, usually geometric or floral designs, are done on the long nails. You can decide to keep your nails short and square (that's the "happening" look, by the way) or have them conventionally pointy. Or you could get a French manicure and have white tips pasted on the nail tips, so that they always look clean.

What's more, the art is getting wackier by the day with girls even going in for nail tattoos and nail piercing. So one can have a nail punched with a teeny hole through which you can have a cute teddy or dolphin hanging. It's all about enhancing not just your beauty, but also your self-esteem.

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