Hailing a new nail era

When it comes to nails á la mode, bare is boring while art is in

Issue: Dec 2009

Alluring nails in sweet pink gel polish and adorned with 0.02 and 0.01 carat diamonds
Alluring nails in sweet pink gel polish and adorned with 0.02 and 0.01 carat diamonds

Nail decoration has never been more enthralling. Forget about classic French or single-colour manicures – they no longer satisfy; bring on vivid nail art and statement nail extensions instead.

In Singapore, a good place to keep your nails pretty would be Esboudoir at Sembawang Shopping Centre. Owner Serene Teh travels regularly to the US, Japan and Korea to bring back the latest trends and techniques in the nail industry to her chain of nail salons here. Hot favourites these days in Singapore, she points out, are gel manicures and nail art.

To ensure their services are up to the mark, Teh and Patricia Wong, manager of the Sembawang branch, have armed themselves with technical expertise in nail art, gel and acrylic applications by taking courses overseas. They periodically conduct in-house training to pass on their expertise to the staff.

Almost indestructible nails

Esboudoir, which has a branch at Sembawang Shopping Centre, specialises in nail art and gel manicures

Gel manicures – gel nail extensions and gel polish – are the latest addition to Esboudoir’s list of services. Although gel nails have existed for 10 years, acrylic nails were the common form of application in local nail bars. Wong explains, “Previously not many local nail technicians had proper training in gel nails. That has changed in recent years with visits by foreign educators who come here to train technicians and distribute their products.”

Gel fans coo over the natural looking, shiny and lift-resistant nails. Nails are overlaid with coloured gel instead of conventional nail polish, while for nail extensions, a clear gel is used. The extensions need to be set under a special UV lamp. Touted to last for three weeks without chipping or breaking, they are lighter in weight than conventional acrylic nails and help to keep nails growing strong and healthy. Wong notes that they are a hit with flight attendants who go on long trips without much chance of a manicure.

Hands-On Approach

When it comes to nail art, Wong observes, “Bling is what many people want now, the more attention-grabbing the better.” That means sparkly crystals, rhinestones, glitter and bright colours are popular requests for manicures. As many women see nail art as a delightful display of individual expression, customers at Esboudoir can customise their own designs, or pick from the book of samples.

Clear stiletto-shaped acrylic gel nail extensions with blue and white marbling design - great for Christmas!

Out to shine this festive season? Wong expects party-goers to pile on the bling on their nails with sparkly and cheery designs like colourful swirly colours, glittery snowflakes and flashy Swarovski crystals. Those feeling more bold and experimental will play around with more elaborate designs like bits of lace, gold foil and even extravagant genuine diamond applications. To protect these embellishments from wear and tear, they are embedded under a layer of gel polish and cured under a blast of UV light.

A real treat

More than just a place to get your nails groomed, Esboudoir resembles a spa with its relaxing ambience, dim lights and snug armchairs. The signature treatment, the Bodipure Spa Pedi (US$51.70 or S$72), uses natural ingredients such as baking soda, peppermint, green tea and milk in the Bodipure range of products sourced from the US. The treatment is luxuriously long, lasting about one hour, where the feet are cleansed, exfoliated and filed. Plenty of attention is paid to stubborn, dry areas, while moisturising lotion is rubbed into the skin with a soothing foot and leg massage. Finish on a sweet note by choosing your favourite shade of nail polish.

Nail It!

Interesting Store Picks:

Esboudoir was the first in Singapore to launch edge-shaped acrylic nails with Oriental designs in January 2009
  1. Bodipure Body Polish (US$34.50 or S$48 for 224g), is one of the most popular products in the range. It contains pure baking soda to polish and exfoliate the skin, claiming to leave it velvety smooth.
  2. Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover (US$5.80 or $8 for 60 ml) is made from a 100% biodegradable, soy formula that contains no acetone or ethyl acetate which can weaken nails.
  3. The one-carat diamond nail art which starts from US$49 (S$68) for a 0.01 carat piece can be requested by those feeling extravagant. You can reuse the baubles for a new set of nail designs or set them into jewellery to give them a second life.

For INSIDE readers:

Customise designer nail tips with basic manicure at US$57 (S$80) and receive 10% off all a la carte services. Promotion is valid till January 15, 2010.

Terms & Conditions apply. Please call to make prior appointment and bring this cut-out along to enjoy the promotion.


#03-09, Sembawang Shopping Centre, Singapore
Tel: (65) 6484 0488

User Lins
178.116.228.X | 2014-04-23 08:11:27
the Alluring nails in sweet pink gel polish and adorned with 0.02 and 0.01 carat diamonds are made by me !!!
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