Today, I decided on getting a set of acrylic nails done for the first time since before I became pregnant. Now I have done a few sets on myself since then but those don't count because not a single one lasted longer than a set of press-on nails. Sad I know, considering I went to school to learn how to do that crap.
Soooo... I did my minimal amount of 'homework' of the matter, searched a few areas nearby, read reviews and so on. The lucky salon that I graced my presence with, Elite Nails (Ellicott City). I chose them because I couldn't find a single bad review on them. However, the most I found was 2.
Based on the reviews I expected to find what I normally encounter at these types of salons.
When I walked in, it was exactly that minus a few tid-bits.
First, and this one is big with me for some reason, there was the absolute minimum of decoration of the actual salon. Yes, I know the outside of the building wasn't very pretty but that doesn't mean the inside has to be ugly too. Basically it was blank white walls, a few mirrors and a couple of fake ferns around the register area. I really like going to a salon that is pretty. Room aesthetics and visuals are important to me in order for a good/relaxing experience. No one wants to stare at a blank white wall when they're having something done. Right then I knew I was gonna be bored.
Choosing a polish was not easy as they didn't seem to have much of a selection. And all of the bottles looked super old and crusty. Yes, crusty. There was also some obvious discoloration amongst a few colors too. I settled with an opi that didn't look too gross.
I do like the fact that the girl didn't over etch my nails with her drill. I don't like that she put just enough acrylic to cover my nail. Or that she got monomer all over my finger tips and cuticles. And in the middle of the service she stopped to go wax someone's eyebrows. I waited for almost 15 minutes until she came back. Then, while buffing the acrylic (with that trusty drill), she nicked my cuticles a few times. I didn't bleed much but it still hurt quite a bit. The entire time I was tense from fear of getting cut or her drilling off all the acrylic.
While she was away doing the other person's waxing job, I had a chance to look over everything at her station. Looked fairly clean but I noticed the labels on what I am hoping was nail primer was almost completely scratched off. The top coat was contaminated with color and there was an opi bottle filled with what looked like cuticle oil. Everything else was in a generic clear plastic bottle and about half of them were labeled.
I'm all for recycling but please put a new label on it because not only does state board require it but it helps keeps everything more organized and there is no guessing on what that mystery liquid is.
The cuticle oil that was actually used on me smelled like cooking oil mixed with perfume. Nice.
The tech didn't do a horrible job but she didn't do the best either. I've had better. She kept filing of the natural nail minimal and she gets kudos for that but nothing beyond.
There were lots of other things I noticed that I won't mention only because they seem trivial and not worth dishing about. I realize that everyone has a right to run their business how they see fit and I may not always agree. I'm just expressing what I feel and my preferences for such services.
I can't say I would like to go back there because I don't want to. It was cheap service and nothing more.