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Tuesday 29 November 2011

GELeration: Taylor Taylor's Magical Manicure

Boutique salon Taylor Taylor is like being in the collective brain of the Domestic Sluts. You know you're not in your grandmother's hairdressers when you walk in to find a gigantic fluffy unicorn and enormous Christmas swan on the counter of a cocktail bar. Yes, a cocktail bar. This is why evening appointments are a must - it seems a waste to pop in on your lunch break and have a cup of tea when you know a complimentary Martini could be yours.

When I lived in east London, Taylor Taylor was my regular hairdressers. Here's why: a lithe young man takes you downstairs to a golden dungeon, where he washes your hair while you try and fail to make small talk because you're inwardly squeeing with excitement. Then a super-cool but super-friendly hairdresser brings you a drink on a gold tray and styles your hair while you stare at the glorious decor. Huge gilt-edged mirrors, shabby chic dressers and eclectic vintage decor - not to mention some excellent tattoos on those hairdressers - are far more interesting to gaze at than last month's magazines.

This time, I was there to try out their Jessica GELeration manicure. This promises three weeks of shiny, chip-free nails, so your only worry is getting sick of the colour. As someone who regularly smudges or chips my nails within minutes of painting them, this was quite the claim.

Antoaneta picked out a vivid blue for me and explained how the process works. It's like a normal manicure except each coat is sealed under a UV light, which means you're good to go straight away as your nails are completely dry at the end. It also doesn't damage your nails like acrylics can. She gave my nails a quick tidy up, then applied a base coat, two coat of colour and a top coat, sealing with the UV lamp after each one. 40 minutes after walking in, I could put on my gloves and go.

Here are my nails on Day 1:

Day 1

It's a super glossy, 'done' look - my nails looked too perfect to be real. They don't look like false nails but it's clear that I've had something special done, because you couldn't create that wet-look shine at home.

I was determined to put the three week claim to the test so here's why I've been up to.


...washing up...


And here are my nails a fortnight later:

Day 15

You can see where my nails have grown, but there are no chips or tip wear. It's like magic. I'm seriously impressed at how long-lasting it is.

At £48 plus £10 for removal, it's too pricey to become a regular treat, but it would be ideal if you were going to a wedding or off on holiday, or anywhere you wanted to guarantee flawless nails that will look perfect for weeks.

Taylor Taylor has two east London salons. One on Commercial Street, one on Cheshire Street.


  1. It's witchcraft. Actual witchcraft.

  2. It's scaring me now, Sian. It hasn't budged! Not one bit!

  3. Are you kinda willing it to chip now? Just so it stops freaking you out with its magic?

  4. Yes, although I've sort of accepted it as a part of me now. I feel like I'll always have shiny blue nails.

  5. Ooooooooh this is so tempting! My local salon offers them for £35...I have my law ball at the end of the week and they'd last til Christmas hmmmmmmm

  6. Looks like Jessica have brought out a version of CND's Shellac, it looks exactly the same. If you want to do this for cheaper CND have a list of approved Shellac therapists on their website. Lots of them are mobile/independent/one person doing it for the love of glamour affairs and much cheaper. I get mine done by a local lady for £15.. Obviously no cocktails and peacocks though.

    Also, you can remove this at home. All you need is some white felt, acetone and tin foil. Takes 5 mins.. Saturate a square of felt with acetone, stick it on your nail and wrap a bit of foil around it. Leave for 5 mins and you are done, with a tenner spare for gin!

  7. Emmyw: I think it's ideal if you've got a few events coming up, so getting it done now for upcoming Christmas fun would be lovely. Report back if you go for it!

    Anonymous: I've heard about this home removal method. Can I get acetone in the chemist?

  8. I get mine from ebay as it is very cheap, but you can get it from Sally (if you have one near by) or any beauty supply shop. Not sure about chemists, but I imagine you can. Amazon also good, but varying delivery times.

  9. I used to have the NailsInc version done which I believe is done in Biosculpture gel and was an absolute marvel - changed the clutch in my car one weekend and it still didn't budge!

    Re. the acetone thing, you can get a product called 'get em off' from some chemists which is a false nail remover and this works well to remove the gel yourself.


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