I recently visited The Apex Yu Spa in Dundee to try their recently launched Jessica GELeration manicure. I’ve always wanted to try gel nails; before she was pregnant, my friend Candice always had a French gel manicure and swore by it. The gel formula doesn’t damage the nail like acrylics do but is equally as effective and more natural and much less WAG-like.
I was offered the French manicure, but unfortunately the harsh winter left my nails in an awful, brittle state so I opted for a short nail with block colour. Choosing the colour was a more difficult task than you might imagine – I had to consider what was scheduled in my diary, appropriate outfits for appointments/events over the next couple of weeks and then a co-ordinating nail colour to suit all eventualities! I decided on the versatile Midnight Affair, a dark berry hue which reminded me of a nice glass of Shiraz; deep, rich and glamorous.
The Apex Yu Spa itself is incredibly quiet considering the buzz of activity in the foyer and bar; the relaxation area is located beyond the reception point and through a rather large door and it is in here where ladies (and gents) float around in white fluffy robes inbetween delightful treatments. You will also find comfy chairs, the latest issue of glossy magazines including Vogue, Tatler and Conde Nast Traveller, and a very tempting display of Elemis products used by the spa for clients to sample as they wish. The treatment rooms are cosy, intimate and relaxing, while the therapists are chatty without being intrusive, groomed without being intimidating and most importantly, extremely good at their jobs.
The Jessica GELeration polish is applied in the same way as a regular polish, following a soothing scrub, moisturiser and cuticle tidy. There is a good range of colours, however, not as much choice as with regular polish, which I guess is because the treatment is still fairly new. One of the best parts about the Jessica GELeration is that UV light is used to set the gel polish, so as soon as your manicure is complete you are good to go – the gel is instantly dry so no worries of scrabbling for you car keys or itching your nose (which always happens to me when I have a manicure). Another best part is the fact that your manicure will last for a couple of weeks – that’s right, no worries of chips or discolouration for two whole weeks! I found myself not worrying about picking the labels off my new shoes and I didn’t try to make Mr Man do all the dishes; I could be a domestic goddess and still have goddess hands!
One thing I will say about the gel polish is that if it isn’t applied properly, it will peel. The gel on my left index finger peeled away on the second day because the base gel had been applied slightly onto the skin, which means that any water or moisture can creep under the gel polish and inevitably, the gel then peels away. When I made this point to the Yu Spa, they completely understood and made time for me to pop in that same day to have the nail fixed as part of the original manicure. They did say that this doesn’t usually happen – I suppose that I was unlucky. The spa staff were so accommodating, not questioning the need to redo that one nail, that it made the entire thing a non issue.
Another day later and my nails are all intact and having been put through their paces so far (swimming, dishes, peeling labels, catching onto filing cabinets, etc) have not disappointed me at all. The Jessica GELeration is definitely something I would recommend for brides-to-be or before going on holiday, avoiding the need to cart around your DIY manicure kit. For women who regularly have manicures, this would be a great way to make your polish last beyond a couple of days, a side effect of a regular manicure which can often leave me feeling slightly robbed. It might be more expensive than a quick file and polish, but generally speaking it is completely hassle free and looks as good on the third day as it did on the first day. The ultimate test? Cocktails with Rhian on Saturday night. I’ll report back on progress but so far, I have no doubt that my nails will look fabulous come Sunday morning, even if I don’t!
I have also had a massage at The Apex Yu Spa Dundee and it was honestly the best massage I’ve had – ask for Pamela.
To make an appointment, call the Yu Spa on 01382 309309. Jessica GELeration manicure £40, pedicure £45.
Thanks to Natalie and Emma for my wonderful treatment, and Jo Harbisher for arranging the visit.