As much as I love long nails (within reason), it’s hard to keep my natural nails healthy, even, & strong when growing them out. It’s absolutely infuriating to finally grow all my nails long & even, then chip one. Even more infuriating that my thumb nails are always developing small splits along the side of the nail, halfway down the bed. So even when they do grow out, I end up having to trim them short because they’re already off to a bad start. Underscore that with the fact that I’m a chronic nail-biter/skin-picker, and I’m just not a good candidate for long natural nails =/
I’ve had acrylic nails with tips in the past, but my natural nails were always soft & damaged after removing them, so I wanted an alternative. I’d heard great things about gel nails, and searched Yelp for a salon recommendation. I’m always a little leery of going to salons because I’m so particular about my manicures – here’s a couple I’ve done myself:
Coral Nails & Spa (413 S. Broad) got great reviews for gel manicures, specifically when done by a woman named Sophia. I made an appointment with her the next morning for a gel manicure (over my natural nails, no tips) & pedicure. The salon itself is very unassuming, but believe me – don’t judge this book by its cover! Everything was very clean & I was immediately taken back to start my pedicure after choosing a color. I chose an OPI red for my toes, and a similar shade for my fingers by a brand I’d never heard of before – Ink by Glam n Glits.
The UV lights to cure the gel are hidden in the tables, which I’ve never seen before & thought was brilliant!
I was pretty impressed with the end result – Sophia did an awesome job! My nails were nice & neatly painted, just like I like them!
Unfortunately, the Glam & Glits polish didn’t hold up well at all. I had a chip by the 2nd day (which Sophia fixed, free of charge), and by the tenth day my nails were a wreck. Chips & breaks everywhere, it was pretty bad.
Normally I’d be pretty pissed, but the OPI on my toes held up really, really well despite wearing socks & shoes for 2 weeks. I figured it was the Glam & Glits brand to blame rather than the salon, so I went back to have my nails redone in an OPI shade.
I chose a pink OPI shade this time around (Kiss Me I’m Brazilian), and after 10 days I had zero chips or breaks! (And my toes are still in perfect shape after 4 weeks!!)
Bottom line: Definitely go, ask for Sophia, and stick to OPI colors!
Coral Nails & Spa
|Address||413 S Broad St, Phila, PA|
|Prices||$35 Gel Manicure, $45 Gel French Manicure, $45 Gel Pedicure|
|Hours||Mon-Fri 10a – 8p
Sat 9:30a – 7p
Sun 10a – 6p