If you live in Cape Town, South Africa, or you plan to visit it any time soon, there is only one place (and one woman) to go to for the perfect manicure. Believe me when I say I have kissed many a mani/pedi-frog and after finding Terri (who currently works at Dante Wellness Spa in Sea Point, Cape Town, 021-434-1011) she became my manicurist for life. The wonder-woman is highly experienced and it shows: she stays within the lines and she knows how to paint so that polish lasts. (She’s also not one of those annoying nail technicians who do a shoddy paint job and then touch it up with acetone-dipped buds afterwords. She doesn’t need to. She gets it right the first time around.)
If you’re an old fashioned gal who swears by traditional nail polish, you’ll love Dante’s selection of cool Essie colours. My all-time personal favourites are Wicked, a deep and dark sinister red, and of course the famous Ballet Slippers, an award-winning, best-selling classic pale pink with a sheer finish. However, I prefer Gelish and CND Shellac: not for their range of colours, which I think could be better, but for their sheer practicality: these soak-off gel polishes need zero dry time, stay on far longer than traditional polish and, if applied properly, will not chip off after a few days. (You do need to return to the salon, though, to have the gel soaked off, once your nails have grown out.)
My favourite Gelish colour is Black Cherry Berry (similar to Essie’s Wicked) and my go-to Shellac shade is Romantique (a light creamy colour that needs to be applied three times to give even coverage, since it’s quite sheer).
PS I can’t believe I am actually giving away this entry in my little black book, as Terri is already super busy and now she will probably become even busier, meaning I will have to call weeks in advance! I do, however, feel that – when it comes to avoiding what I call ‘spa-sasters’ – sharing is caring. Life’s just too short to have bad nails!