TREND ALERT: DHAKA’S VERY OWN NAIL BAR

Lifestyle

By Sanjana A

Right from the second you walk into this makeshift nail salon, you are greeted by the owner Amani Mulk herself and immediately you can tell it’s a very relaxed setting. Chatting with her during the entire duration of my luxurious manicure-pedicure, I learned about her venture which goes by the name Polish Me Splendid. In just a little over a month, Amani says the response she got from sheer word-of-mouth referrals by friends and family, has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Even though Dhaka has some salons that do nail art and nail extensions as such, it does lack a specialized nail bar that is dedicated to premium quality nail art with diverse designs, embellishments, themes and more. Such was the thought process behind starting this nail salon, says the chartered accountant turned entrepreneur. The next two-and-a-half hours while she worked on my nails, she talked through the different types of services she offers and how she had taken an elaborate course to acquire this skill. She loves having fun with nail designs and she wants to share that experience with other girls. She intends to cater to a market that remained untapped until now.

Amani has two staff currently supporting her at the nail bar that’s getting the job done, so it’s advisable to make a prior appointment before you visit. What I loved was how Amani was present there throughout this entire process and was also pitching in every now and then with her own suggestions and improvisations; that truly did make a difference.

The girls used a homemade scrub for the pedicure before getting started on the nails, which in my opinion felt really nice. They repeated the same thing on my hands. As for the nails I went for, it was a set of Polygel Nail extensions with a classic Red Matte Gel Polish finish nail design, glammed up with rhinestones and metallic bow embellishments as well as golden glitter. They also did a gel polish on my feet. The end result looked splendid (pun intended)! 

The owner talked me through Polish Me Splendid’s nail services which presently include Polygel and Acrylic Nails, Gel Polish manicure and pedicure and a wide range of nail accessories that make your nails look as though they were adorned with jewelry.

Polygel: Among these, Polygel is the safest and the most durable one. Even though they initially started with the Acrylic ones, soon after they saw the chemicals it exuded was toxic and harmful so once Polygel was introduced in their collection, they encouraged more people to go for that. As for Gel extensions, they don’t last too long so if people prefer to have them done for a week or so you may prefer them. In addition to all these, they have Gel Manicure where they use all their organic products for the manicure then they apply gel nailpolish on natural nails. This one is very popular among those who don’t want the extensions but still have beautiful nails.

Gel Pedicure: The Gel Pedicure is well loved by everyone as the Gel Polish lasts for a long time even if you’re wearing trainers and closed shoes. They also have a lot of nail art and accessories that resemble jewels. Although the owner says her favourite nail is a different one each time, if she had to pick one as Polish Me Splendid’s signature nail style it would be the French Manicure, where they put on Chantilly Lace sticker with pearls, stones and glitters that appears just perfect for weddings! She also picked out the signature ombre which is known as the baby boomer ombre where they do intricate stonework and a signature purple where they use purple shimmer and fuchsia pigments adorned with glitter and stonework. Initially when they started they thought the response would stem from women of ages between 21-50, but in reality what they’re getting is 13-65. So that has been overwhelming in itself. Also inquiring about the durability of the nails, she says while it varies from person to person but what they thought and what they are seeing from customers is totally different, what that means is that they didn’t expect the nails to go beyond the second week but here they are now getting pictures from happy customers with pretty nails fourth week running. While few have said the polish coming off by the end of the second week, it does depend on the amount of oil coming out naturally but they obviously try their best and if things do go right it should last three weeks without any maintenance after which you can do an infill however she recommends after the third or fourth week to take the nails out letting them breathe for a week and then do it again. 

Photo Credit: Sanjana A.

Talking about future endeavours, Amani Mulk says since this has only been a soft launch from her own home, so she does have an official launch coming up in the month of December when she’ll have a full service nail salon that specializes in nail technology. She also has plans for the salon to branch out from currently Gulshan 2 to Gulshan 1, Uttara and Dhanmondi and beyond the capital too eventually. Another exciting addition she mentions is introducing lash extensions to her nail bar which I’m sure many women would find fascinating. 

Photo Credit: Sanjana A.

While we discussed the pricing of getting these nails done she says the price for Polygel Nails is 5000 taka, however initially when they began they set it as 3000 taka but from the huge positive  response they got on the quality and longevity of the nails they decided to mark it up as it wasn’t covering their costs and also it does take two to three hours to get them done. She does say people have responded to it well however it should not cost any more than this for anyone to get their nails done. 

My overall experience was a very happy one as I came home with beautiful nails that are still going great after ten days. Although a bit heavy on the wallet, I think if you’ve a special occasion coming up you can glam your nails up it is surely worth it. Besides, it does last almost a month so that does justify the price.

Photo Credit: Sanjana A.

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