I have noticed in recent years there’s been a bit of a divergence in beauticians. There’s the traditional ones that stick you in a tiny room to do their thing and play dolphin music at you. There are the scary ones where everything is painted white and the ladies wear lab coats and they’re more than likely to do something to you that really should require a medical degree to administer. Then there are the ones that I go to. Usually in shopping centres, they consist of a large room full of massage chairs and manicure tables, the staff are Asian and I suspect pick a name tag out of a bucket when they check in in the morning. There’s also some rooms out the back where they’re happy to give you a vicious waxing, but their main business is fingers and toes.
I really like a pedicure at these places. I’ve tried a few, and I have a favourite, Channail at Burwood Westfield. The polish stays on for weeks and weeks without chipping, they’re unlikely to have at your feet with a razor without asking, and they chat to each other in Chinese which means that I don’t have to think of something to say to them. They also put your thongs on before applying the polish, a simple idea, yet surprisingly not universal.
I noticed a few things at my most recent visit. Almost no one gets red any more. When I first started getting my toenails painted, which was during my fecund years, everyone had a small variation on blood red. Those getting acrylic nails were almost all from the Mediterranean, and application required a tool that looked like an angle grinder.
These days everyone is getting gel nails. I keep my fingernails short, I can’t imagine wanting to glue on talons. What happens when you scratch your bum? You certainly wouldn’t be playing the piano with them. I use my fingernails as tools, my left thumbnail is particularly useful as a knife guard. No manicure for me. Also it involves getting the beautician a little too close, my feet are a comfortable distance away, there’s very little chance that anyone will breathe on me during a pedicure. Although a morbidly obese woman nearly sat on me after losing her balance stepping into her foot bath. It’s going to take me a couple of months to recover from that. Lucky Channail pedicures last so long.