Then I met Alice Longyu Gao. Alice, a video producer in New York City, gets her nails done every month. She doesn't get the plain acrylics I was used to seeing though; she gets a Japanese, jewel-encrusted manicure that takes over three hours and costs a cool $180. Despite my stance on acrylics, I couldn't stop staring at Alice's Marie Antoinette-inspired set. I figured it wasn't fair to knock something before I tried it, so I asked to tag along to Alice's next appointment at RounGe NYC and get my own.
Check out the process in the video above, then read on for what life with embellished nails was actually like.
That said, I can't deny the fact that living with bedazzled acrylics isn't necessarily a walk in the park. Typing and texting takes 10 times longer than it should. Buttoning jeans, opening soda cans, bowling (yes, I bowled)...it's not easy, folks. My friends and boyfriend will probably be very happy when the nails are removed and they no longer have to help me with basic tasks.
The biggest surprise was how long the acrylics have lasted. Other than one heart-shaped jewel that fell out, they look great over a month later, minus some regrowth. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, I'm not sure I'd pay $180 and wait three hours in a salon to get my nails done again just to go back to my normal life. But if I ever become a pop star? You bet I'll make them my signature.
About Beauty with Mi
Beauty with Mi explores the craziest trends, most unique treatments, newest products, and strangest subcultures in the beauty world. Hosted by Refinery29's very own beauty writer, Mi Anne Chan, we dare to find and try the fringes of beauty, for better or worse.