I may take this opportunity to begin the post with a public service announcement: don’t even think about being late for an appointment unless it is absolutely essential and unprecedented. It disturbs the natural order of things, which is my job- not yours.
Ahem…onto glossier things. After a week of hurriedly pulling together essays and pieces for assessment that I have come to accept as the end of term, there was only one thing to soothe my stress-bunny tendencies. That would be Chanel.
I didn’t manage to get to the pop-up-that-is-no-longer-a-pop-up (hurrah!) Whilst the flower stall that was stationed outside for Mother’s Day was no longer, I did take advantage of a promised manicure last Friday. The store itself is gorgeous, all mirrors and glass and the most fantastic giant product models that I was seriously tempted to steal for my bedroom…if I could fit anything else in there.
Once I arrived and had made myself known, I was let loose around the upper floor of the store to look at the products and choose a nail polish I liked.
Which brings me to my first point: is it impossible to keep time for one’s appointments? The lady before me was late, and I must admit, it puts a dampener on the whole experience when someone seems to think their timetable takes precedence over yours. To give the staff their credit, they could not have been sweeter or more apologetic, and did a fantastic job of showing me the new, shiny products while letting me know that they hadn’t forgotten me, and my nail technician, Gui, would be with me shortly.
In the meantime, I deliberated…and pondered…and vacillated, to the point where even I was getting frustrated with myself. It’s a manicure, not rocket science. The choice eventually boiled down between Rose Insolent and April, and in honour of Easter being the first of April, I chose the latter.
About fifteen minutes into my visit, I was led into what I can only describe as quite possibly the most inventively decorated nail bar you can imagine, with huge(!) bottles of Chanel nail polish, past and present, lining the walls.
The manicure itself was utilitarian – it’s described in the brochure as a “shape and paint”, and that’s what I got. My snow-white manicure was removed, oodles of hand cream applied to my parched mitts, along with a hand massage so excellent, I wonder how I could try and recreate it one-handed. Seriously, it was the most attention paid to my hands and nails in a shamefully long time, and it showed when Gui suggested the big guns of base coats - for “weak, ridged and peeling nails”. I suppose it’s time to embrace the fate bestowed on me by years of nail biting, and accept that long, strong nails will not grace my fingertips any time soon.
As you can see, the final result did my digits proud. A couple of chips aside, they dried super quickly with a few drops of oil, and stayed near immaculate for four days, which is pretty good for me. Not that I would know all that much about the dry time, as the ladies of Chanel were so good about making sure I had barely to lift a finger between the bar and returning to university.
At £30, redeemable against any Chanel beauty product, I call this absolutely great value for money. I chose the topcoat and Orange Fizz nail polish, which I’m keeping tucked away ready for Marbella in July. On second thoughts, I may just go back and have it applied for me.