Through daily observation of various celebs on social media such as Cardi B and the Kardashian-Jenners —I’m an unabashed fan and avid follower of pop culture —I’ve noticed that most of them are rarely seen without extreme acrylic nail extensions. And oddly, I really wanted to give them a try.
I realize this isn’t a novel idea; women have been wearing artificial nails for decades, pre-Kardashians, thanks to an accidental invention in 1955 when a dentist named Fred Slack repaired his own broken fingernail.
Hip-hop artists embraced the trend in the ’80s and ’90s, and now artificial nails are quite mainstream. But my natural nails are healthy, and I’ve heard numerous removal horror stories, so I’ve been too nervous to experiment. Until now.
Thanks to The Beauty Room SA, I got to experience the whole acrylic nail shebang. Here’s the lowdown:
When I went into the salon, Kamistha, the nail technician did all the basic mani procedures (cut, trim, buff) while before looking closely at my natural nails to see what shape nail extension she should apply. The nails came in a long, rectangular shape and were clear.
Kami asked me for my preference in terms of length and shape and she then applied them with an industrial-strength glue.
My fingers are not long or thin so I opted for a square shape to visually trick people into thinking I have elegant hands.
Obviously, I wanted to keep them as long as possible, and opted for the sleek square style that Pinterest dreams are made of.
After that, Kami carefully applied peachy nude acrylic on each nail with a rose gold glitter as an accent on my ring fingers.
The whole procedure took about 90 minutes. Watching this process was fascinating, by the way, Kami is a pro at what she does.
When I left the salon, I felt like I had precious foreign objects glued to my fingertips. It was similar to the helpless feeling you have with wet, freshly polished nails that necessitate you being careful about every single task until they dry.
Twenty-four hours later, however, I was obsessed. Five days later, as I’m typing this story, I’m still obsessed. I was worried I’d feel tacky but ended up with the opposite effect: I feel rather lady-like.
As a web developer and content curator, my nails were the last thing on my long list of priorities. But an unexpected side effect of sporting Kylie Jenner nails has been that everywhere I go, people love them and complement them.
I’ve also loved not having to worry about chipped polish. Apart from all of that, most of my obsession comes from the fact that they make my hands look really fancy.
Of course, some activities are more difficult. Typing on a keyboard or phone is much harder than it should be, but after some practice, you can get used to it.
Contact-lens and eye-makeup removal are still a bit terrifying, but I’ve found a way to carefully do both with the pads of my thumbs and index fingers that seems to work. Carrying heavy objects and fastening small buttons can be tough, but not impossible.
In short, though most celebrities have a team of people helping them with these sorts of tasks, nothing proved to be that difficult.
Here’s something I didn’t expect: I’m loving my new nails so much, I’m having a hard time saying good-bye. For now, I’m officially a convert to the Kardashian-Jenner-manicure way of life.