Getting your nails 'done' can be a momentous treat, or a regular part of your beauty routine. Either way, it is a time where you spend at least 45 minutes at the mercy of a trained beauty therapist whose job it is to make your hands (and feet) look good.
Nailbox in Bearwood, is where my twin sister and I were treated for our birthday celebrations. I'm definitely not a 'beauty addict', but I do like a stunning set of nails, as does my sister, so it was the perfect gift idea.
Local, friendly staff make Nailbox a lovely little place you can relax in. The stereotypical gossipy salon this isnt; Nailbox is very much a relaxed place that doesn't have any grandiose aspirations or superficialities.The three beauty therapists carry themselves with a confident, professional air, but are also happy to show you their toes - like my therapist did - painted a nail colour I was unsure of.
My therapist, Maisy, didn't aim for the sky in terms of small talk, but was chatty enough to put me at ease.
It would be easy to underestimate the salon because it's quite basic and Maisy looks young, but after my manicure, I can confidently say you'd be a fool to make such a judgement.
My manicure (which I thought would just be a quick polish), was much better than expected. Starting off with a cuticle-softening gel applied to my cuticles, I soaked my tips in a bowl of soapy water while Maisy and I discussed nail polish and current affairs.
My cuticles were gently pushed back and removed. Maisy asked how I'd like them shaped then proceeded to cut, file and buff my nails. I then had an unexpected, but very welcome, relaxing hand and arm massage, which made me want to lick my fingers because she used a delectably coconut and melon cream.
Ending my manicure with a two coats of polish and topcoat I then sat under the UV light, which sets (hardens and dries), the nails.
Nailbox have a wall full of OPI nail varnish amongst other nail specialist brands, so you're spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a polish. I took my time when it came to picking a nice varnish, and thankfully Maisy didn't mind - she even said "don't rush, pick which ones you like".
Nailbox do exactly what they say: nails. While they're not the largest, they're the cheapest I've found this side of Birmingham. That doesn't mean they scrimp on quality, service, or array of nail polishes. I am more than happy with my manicure, and three days on, it's yet to chip.