The first time I was introduced to the Beauty Box was when my bestest best friend bought me a voucher to go and have my nails done for my birthday at the end of Feb. And the rest, they say, is history! I’ve had various beauty-related things done in my life, but have never really become a “regular” per se, until I met the founder and owner of the Beauty Box, Lisa.
What I appreciate most about going to Lisa, is that you always go to Lisa – rather than, say, a chain store where you often can’t request the same technician or therapist every time. Lisa is extremely friendly and easy to get along with, to the extent where after a mere three months I definitely consider her a friend, and look forward to our fortnightly catch ups when I come for new nails.
From having a small space in someone else’s salon to working from home, Lisa’s excessive demand forced her to seek a larger, more permanent space; later, even an assistant. Her petite salon is conveniently situated in the heart of Somerset West, at 171 Main Road. Her opening hours are 7:00-17:00 on weekdays, and 7:00-12:00 on Saturdays – but she is so accommodating that if you ask really nicely, she is more than happy to extend her hours specially for you and your needs.
Lisa’s range of colors to choose from is crazy, so much so, that for the past three months I haven’t even bothered thinking about what color to do before sitting down and looking at all the options and seeing which appeals to me most – right at that second. My two best friends are a little less boring, and after seeing the pretty patterns they’ve got done recently (also from the Beauty Box) I decided to start looking for inspo on Pinterest and Instagram.
Lisa has a drawer of tricks, in which she has even MORE options to beatify and bling up your nails. She is also super talented at nail art, and so long as you send her an example before, can paint basically anything you like, free-handedly!
I had gel polish on when I got there, so we started by taking that off. As you can see by the picture, my nails still looked absolutely perfect, with not one chip or crack. Unfortunately my nails just grow really fast, so the regrowth becomes quite visible reasonably quickly. I therefore choose to get them redone every two or three weeks. Depending on how fast your nails grow, and how noticeable the regrowth is, you can probably even get them done once a month, at a push.
The first step is to lightly buff off the top, shiny layer of polish. Then you dip your nails in a solution of remover, and the gel basically melts away, leaving your nail exactly as it was before. If you want your nail shaped in a certain way, for example “squoval,” a combination of square and oval, Lisa then files and shapes your nails, before beginning to paint them. The UV lamp is used to dry and set the gel, and it is a pleasant, medium to warm heat for a couple of seconds.
I asked Lisa a few questions about getting nails done, and here are her responses:
What is the difference between gel and acrylic, and which do you most recommend?
The difference between gel and acrylic is that gel is a lot more flexible – but not as flexible as the natural nail. Acrylic is very strong, but even less flexible than gel. Either product is amazing, it just depends on the client’s needs.
Is it unhealthy / unsafe / impossible for people who bite their nails to get tips put on? Would you recommend this?
Nail biters can definitely have their nails done, but I would rather recommend acrylic sculpted nails as they are harder to chew off. That being said, though, we have had quite a few people go from no nails to long, healthy natural nails in a matter of a few months using only gel polish.
Can / should people who already have strong, healthy nails get gel or acrylic overlays?
If you already have strong, healthy nails then you probably only need a gel polish overlay.
Does putting gel or acrylic on your nails damage them?
Gel / gel polish / acrylic definitely does NOT damage your nails… BUT if you bang them or pull / chew them off, then yes, your nails will be damaged and can take months to recover.
How long do they last?
Nail enhancements differ for each person. Depending on a client’s nails’ regrowth, both gel polish and acrylic can need filling anywhere from 2-5 weeks.
What is the most common shape and colour that you get asked to do?
The most common colour always depends on the trends, season and fashion at that time. Nude colours are always a winner! Most people prefer squoval nails shapes which are a mixture of square and oval. A very new and trendy shape is coffin / ballerina shapes!
What do you think will be in fashion nail-wise over the Autumn and Winter season?
This Autumn / Winter my most popular colours are burgundy and navy blue.
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A very super huge thank you to Lisa for agreeing to accommodate me for this feature series! Every day for the rest of this week I will be doing a new post on Lisa and the Beauty Box, so be sure to check back regularly.
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FACEBOOK: The Beauty Box
LISA: 083 701 2929