You know, sometimes I think the invention of gel polish is more of a bane than a boon. It’s great and convenient, but maybe too convenient, because it makes nailists a little lazy and stifles their creativity.
For example, let’s say that a customer wants extensions done, with french tips. Before the advent of gel polish, nailists might have done french sculpture extensions, but with gel polish, many now simply do clear sculpture extensions, and then paint on the french tips with gel polish.
A more obvious contrast would be nail art on extensions. Previously, nailists might have done design sculpture extensions, building the design into the sculpture extensions. That would be a good test of skill and creativity, as the nailist would need to think about how to work the art into the extensions. Now, many just do clear sculpture extensions, then paint on a base colour with gel polish, then add art.
The end result? Extensions that just look thicker and thicker, because nailists keep piling on the layers.
It feels like design sculpture extensions is a dying art in Singapore – they’re certainly not offered in mainstream salons. I got mine done for the first time when I was in Tokyo this April. They were a beautiful work of art by Mina-San from the Ginza branch of Rounge Lash and Nail. She’s now the Director of the newly-opened Singapore branch of Rounge Lash and Nail, at Delphi Orchard. These were french sculptures with a marbled tip, with opalescent disco balls embedded, and sakura flowers drawn on with acrylic paint. She also added embellishments and sealed everything with top gel.
The sad thing is, I can do these nails but I don’t foresee any of The Nail Artelier’s customers asking for such nails ever. They’re simple enough as far as design sculpture nails go, but most customers are content with gel polish on their natural nails and don’t want extensions, or prefer shorter extensions and not stilettos. Maybe I need to embark on some personal projects to build up a portfolio and promote design sculpture nails. I don’t know how I’m going to find the time for it, but I must.