Words: Ayesha Pajares

Today I’ll be reviewing a manicure treatment I recently had at Tips and Toes. Since this season we have more freedom to experiment on neon colours and whatnots, I decided to put summer on my tips.

It was actually my first time to try full-on Gelish manicure and a manicure treatment in the UAE (note: I’ve been here for a year. You must be imagining how tragic my cuticles look like. Not blaming you.). If you haven’t tried Gelish then summer is the best time to try it since you’ll go on beach trips a lot and soaking in water tends to fade out or make your polish (and your nail game) weak. Gelish won’t ever betray you– we promise.

Upon entering, the reception staff gave me their warmest smiles and asked for what treatment I’m having. They then led me to the nail station.

Nail Stations9

Normally, the Tips and Toes staff usually offers refreshments to customers. However, it’s Ramadan so as a sign of respect they didn’t offer it this time; you can have refreshments in their kitchen though.

To be honest, I have a love-hate relationship with manicures. It’s just that they make my nails so pretty I feel sad whenever my nails return to their original shape. For girls with oily cuticles like mine, who always have their nail polish faded or chipped, there’s Gelish manicure to the rescue.

Gelish is a, well, gel, in a form of nail polish. It is almost similar to regular normal polish but the difference is it doesn’t fade for like 2-3weeks after application.

Okay so how does gelish nail application work? First they apply the base coat before applying the Gelish polish then dry the nail colour up under the special UV light box for around 2 minutes. Don’t worry as you won’t really feel anything. Elizabeth, the Tips and Toes nail artist who did my nails, explained that if you just apply Gelish and you didn’t dry it up under the UV light box then it’ll just work like regular polish. They dry the nails up after each application.

They made me choose first the design I wanted and then made me choose from tons of pretty Gelish colors. It took me more than 10 minutes as they’re just so ~pretty~, look:




Look at my nails before the cleaning sesh (don’t judge the amount of cuticles, okay.):


And this is how they looked like after Ivy, one of their lovely nail experts, did some cleaning and filing. No more ugly cuticles, hooray!


Since I decided on some nail art to make my nails feel more ~summery~, they had to make extra coats of Gelish on my nail. I’m not complaining though, as I love the feeling of someone making my nails look extra. They already have some nail art designs they can show you but you can also bring a copy of the design you want and they can copy it.

First colour, Gelish in Need a Tan:



Btw here’s how they dry the nail up under the UV light:



After the nude colour, Elizabeth applied the pink triangles in Let’s Go to the Hop:


Then she added the finishing gold touches:



After that, coats of transparent polish were also applied to make the polish last and look shinier:


Yay! I was happy with how my nail turned out. I love the Barbie-slash-Hello Kitty feel of it, transformed me back to my grade school summer days when I used to play a lot of dolls and girly Internet games (remember the early ’00s Disney channel website? Ugh, nostalgic!).

Gel polish lasts up to 2-3 weeks, depending on the oiliness of your nails. My nail beds are oily but until now they haven’t faded nor chipped whatsoever. I was able to still do my normal nail-ruining activities like typing, washing the dishes, all those stuff and my nails stayed the same. If my nails didn’t grow that fast the polish might last for more than a month. ;) Another thing good about Gelish especially this summer is you need not worry about your polish fading even if you soak yourself under the sun for long.

As Gelish tends to last, it cannot be easily removed by simple nail polish remover application. It’s either you return to the salon where you did it or you can DIY: Tips and Toes gave me these nail buffers so I can remove my own Gelish polish whenever I feel the need. Just buff the shine off your polish, drench your nails with any regular nail polish remover then wrap foils around 30+ minutes. Remove the foil and scrape the polish off with those nail wooden sticks. Huzzah.

Gel polish full color is AED110 for manicure. If it’s nail art, it costs AED30 per nail, depending on the design. You may bring the inspiration of whichever nail design you want and their nail specialist can definitely do it. For prices and list of nail care services, check this link. 

-Customer service is A++
-They give complimentary products you might require. They gave me two pieces of buffers that I need for when I decide to DIY my Gelish removal.
-You can buy TiTo polish from them as well. If you didn’t go for Gelish and just the regular one, buy the same TiTo shade you have so you can retouch a few days later.


-For some it might be pricey especially if you do it every other week.

The Business Bay branch is easy to locate but parking is a little difficult. I suggest you just take a cab and have them drop you there. For ladies taking the metro, it takes only about 10 minutes of walk from the station. If Business Bay is far from you, don’t fret–Tips and Toes has tons of branches all over the UAE, locate the branch nearest you here.