Okay so I was meant to write this ages ago but when I had the stiletto nails on it was a struggle to type (LOL) and once they were off I kinda just forgot about them. That was until I was booking a nail appointment for this afternoon and I suddenly found myself considering going back to the sharp and pointy side. A quick interjection from the rational ‘adult’ part of my brain made me realise that NO, I can’t have stiletto nails put back on as they were the height of ridiculousness and yet….I WANT THEM. So much. Tbh the temptation will probably always be there forever more.
Let’s start with the basics for the uninitiated…
What are stiletto nails?
They’re basically pointy artificial nails. They can be gel or acrylic and are created by gluing mahoosive falsies on top of your own (trimmed down) natural nails. Don’t be alarmed by how long the false nails are, they are clipped down to a less Jerry Springer-esque length which you’ll agree on with your technician. Layers of gel or acrylic are built up on top of the false nails and -with the help of some expert buffing – you should find the join between your natural nail and the new artificial nail is seamless. You shouldn’t be able to see/feel a bump – it will look like that epic long nail simply grew from your magical hand. Then rather than being filed into an almond shape or an oval, these new nails are filed to be pointy. And they’re frikkin amazing.
You can paint over them with regular varnish or have something like Shellac put on top. I opted for Shellac.
I am VERY picky about where I get my nails done having had some horrific experiences of Shellac removals in the past which really damaged my nail beds, so I was wary of getting stiletto nails as it was going to be my first venture *ever* into artificial tips. I have naturally strong nails which I take pretty good care of (I only ever have hybrid “gel polishes” like Shellac and only on occasion, never “proper gels”) so I was naturally nervous about wrecking them, but you can’t get that stiletto point without a bit of fakery. If I wanted the pointy talons I’d have to embrace the artificial plastic goodness.
AND I’M SO GLAD I DID.
I waited til I had a good window to try them out (i.e not a week where I’d need to bash out 40,000 words) and our two week holiday in August seemed the perfect time. After researching for *ages* I decided to try out Nice Nails Baby in Clapham as I loved their vibe and they were really helpful on the phone. You could tell nail art and artificial nails was their thing and they were passionate about it…and they had the Instagram followers to prove it.
It probably took about an hour and a half from start to finish as I had Shellac applied as well, but I was in love instantly. I opted for gels rather than acrylics and I think I paid around £40 or slightly less, it would have been £30 just for the gels with varnish but I paid more to have Shellac on top.
I made a note of the pros and cons of the stiletto nails during my two week holiday wearing them, so let’s start with…
– They look sensational. You will never stop enjoying looking at them.
– They made me feel like I had my shit together even when I was otherwise looking like a no make-up scruffbag.
– I felt expensive and like I could rule the world.
– They were fun for pointing to things/strumming on things/generally gesticulating.
– Typing on my iPhone was not affected at all. (That will probably depend on how you type of course, I wear my natural nails relatively long so am used to using the pads of my thumbs to type on touch screens).
– Every outfit suddenly looked better.
– Every Instagram picture looked 100 times more fierce.
– They’re really good for delicate scratching. Be prepared for your loved ones to turn into cats who constantly want their heads stroked with your new pointy fabulousness.
– Generally, they were easy to get on with and I imagined them to be a lot more annoying in every day situations like cooking and cleaning.
THE LESS GOOD:
– Applying make up under eyes (like concealer) with fingers was tricky, though not impossible by any means.
– I worried a fair bit about hygiene as it seemed impossible to clean under the thick length of them without some added help. I started to use a toothbrush under the tips which made me confident that my hands were in fact clean, but I could have imagined having half a roast dinner under one if I hadn’t. It wasn’t a toothbrush that I was also brushing my teeth with, I should add.
– I became a fiddler…and I don’t generally fiddle. I wanted to fiddle with everything to the point where I was obnoxious about it.
– I couldn’t open jewellery clasps at all. It was not physically possible. It’s not the length/point of the nail that was the problem, but the thickness of the gel. It got very annoying.
– I couldn’t tear open sachets. (That’s what I specifically noted down, but I struggled with various opening tasks like ringpulls and whatnot).
– I couldn’t use ‘push button’ flushes on toilets. Do you know what I mean by those? The flushes where you push a button in rather than push down a lever? Yeah I literally couldn’t flush the toilet without a special poking stick.
– If you like “picking at things” (mascara clumps, spots, ingrown hairs, scabs etc) then prepare to drop that habit. I couldn’t pick at anything as my nails were too thick. Disgusting to complain about but hey, we’re all friends here.
– Fear of breakage. This was the worst part for me, perhaps amplified by the fact I was up a mountain in Gran Canaria and had no idea what I’d do if I did in fact break one. About two weeks in one my natural nails split at the side (not too low down, luckily) underneath the artificial tip. This really really worried me as I was convinced the tip could easily catch on something and rip the whole nail off at any point. Had I been in London I’d have just gone and had it mended, but that wasn’t an option and it got quite sore at times.
– Loss of shape as they grew out. The nail tech did point this out when I got them done, but you have to be realistic about maintenance and how fast your natural nails grow. If you leave the salon with your perfect length, a week later your nails will be too long. Mine never felt too long but they did lose the impact of the point as they grew out. (Basically, prepare for maintenance and realise this isn’t a one off expense).
– Typing on a laptop full time was, for me, not plausible. When I was on holiday I had to file a few bits of copy for clients and I managed that ok (albeit with a few more mistakes to correct from hitting the keys awkwardly) but when I got home and back to my desk “properly” I realised it just wasn’t going to be practical for me. I type *fast* when I am in the flow of things (78wpm!) and finding myself slowed down/suddenly having inaccuracies all over the place REALLY affected my writing, as generally I like to just chuck up thousands of words and then see if any are worth using.
Well, I never got to the maintenance stage as after three weeks – 2.5 of those not at work – I had to get them removed because of the typing issue. I was *gutted*.
One positive to say was that I was impressed with how my nails looked after the stiletto nails were removed.
This was how they looked before removal (the shot from the back makes it clearer how long they were!)…
And this is what they looked like after removal, before any oils or treatments were applied…
I expected them to be weaker but my natural nails have grown out beautifully since and I’m thrilled with how strong they seem.
They were beautiful and if I’m ever in a less “typey typey” job I will get them back on. I LOVED THEM.
Will I get stiletto nails again?
I don’t see myself going on a two week holiday again any time soon so probably not realistically, but I’m glad I tried them once as I did love cooing over them.