Sculpted by GG - Kingsville, Texas

Image courtesy of Sculpted_by_gg

Nothing To Disclose

My nails have been a WRECK. March was so unbelievably busy with work, kids, and life in general. It's been hard finding time to get my natural manicures in and I have been going from location to location, trying to find one that works with my time, budget, and standards.

Recently on Facebook, a friend posted that she and her daughter got their nails done and the cuticle work is what caught my eye. I've been having a lot of issues with hangnails (I know, I'm not using cuticle oil NEARLY enough) and the work that my friend posted was immaculate. I asked her who did them and she told me the name of the manicurist and shared her Facebook Page.

I messaged the page a few pages later trying to figure out how to book an appointment as her hours are currently Monday-Saturday 8 am to 5 pm. I don't mind taking a lunch hour during the week but I knew I needed to book first. While she was already booked for the week, she had availability the following week and said for a faster response, to text her. As an elder millennial, I appreciated this greatly.

I texted back and forth with Gina a little - asking for a natural manicure, no preference on color or designs. If you remember, I did the same thing at the H&E Paint Bar last summer and absolutely loved my nails so I was excited to do this again.

When I say my nails were wrecked - this is what she was working with.

Two broken nails, uneven length, unfiled messes. My cuticles needed some help and cleaning up.

I made my appointment for a Wednesday at 11:45 am. She gave me the address and I was a little surprised because I pass that building at least twice every day on my way to and from work. I believe it was a computer store back in the day. The building was built in 1970 and I couldn't picture the inside to imagine what the salon looked like.

I walked in and was welcomed to a breath of modern air. The entire inside of the building has been remodeled and cut into little studios. Gina's was at the end of the hall and I was just so excited to see such a clean, modern, and neat location. Inside she has two pedicure chairs on platforms, her nail supplies, a manicure table in the corner, a drawer system with more nail supplies, a sink at the other end of the room and one chair for those waiting. The room had a great aircon that was blowing cold air without being loud and noisy. She also had a TV on the back wall that was playing. I may have audibly gasped when I walked in. Gina was finishing up her last appointment and I was a little early, so I sat down and enjoyed the ambiance. 

When it was my turn, I was just so excited and told her she had complete free reign on the colors and designs. She had looked up a couple of designs to get my opinions and I didn't even want to look - I just wanted her to have fun. After she used a new natural bit on an e-file, she cut down my length to match my broken nails, and then cleaned up my cuticles. This was a true waterless manicure, which I have been hoping to see in South Texas. I personally like them because it leaves your cuticles clean and dry to better protect nail beds which leads to overall healthy nails. It also leads to longer manicures. When you have your fingers in water, your nail expands. When you add your polish, the nail will shrink and that's when chipping can occur.

Even though I had asked for a natural manicure (which to me, means just my nails, no enhancements), Gina did recommend a builder gel. This is a clear gel product that is applied to the nail (which is why she used the e-file) to create length, thickness or add strength to the nail. In my case, it was to add thickness and strength, as I didn't want to go any longer than my natural nail. They have high self-leveling properties and is much stronger than regular gel polish base coats.

Gina did warn me about heat spikes which can occur during curing in your lamp. The best way to prevent heat spikes is to use less gel. Some warming is normal but if you ever experience high pain from heat spikes, it may be from the nail tech using the incorrect nail lamp. I did feel a few spikes, but it wasn't intolerable or make me want to take my hands out of the lamp.

When Gina picked out a yellow, I may have widened my eyes a little. Yellow is notoriously difficult to get opaque with polish but is definitely easier with gel. While I really am open to all colors, yellow is definitely one of the fewest colors I own next to green and brown.

Gina alternated the yellow and a neon magenta pink and laid out some of the yellow, magenta pink, green, black, blue and white on a palette while she started the nail art. On my ring fingers, she laid down a nude pink that was opaque enough to cover the nail but left a great palette cleanser for the art. I purposely did not look at my nails while she did them so I could be surprised at the end.

We got to talking a little and I learned that she had only been licensed for a year but had been doing her own nails for over 7 years. She was also a postal carrier before this! I told her a little bit about my blog (I always hesitate a little, especially since I am not as active as I used to be) and we also chatted about my mutual friend that had originally posted her nails for me to gain interest in Gina.

Once she was done, I looked and I was IN. LOVE. Check it out.

Image courtesy of sculpted_by_gg

I was getting Easter Egg, Spring, Encanto vibes from these nails. A little cuticle oil, a rebooking for 3 weeks away, and only $38 for this entire look. (I tipped separately.) I was so excited that when I went back to work, I showed everyone who listened and shared Gina's information with coworkers, a fellow PTO mom, the front desk admin, the order taker at a fast food restaurant and even a fellow Boy Scout mom. I cannot wait to see how these grow out, and what we do next.

I ended up having to text and rebook for only 2 weeks out because I have an event that I want to have fresh nails for and Gina made it easy to cancel and rebook. I also want to get a pedicure with her before I go on my trip because my last one at a local place left a lot to be desired and is already chipping.

I will update this post with removal afterwards. This will be my first time with builder gel and I'm not sure if I want to do it again? My nails grow nicely but are thinner typically and I'm not sure if I can handle the thickness once they are longer but we will see. It is a good reminder that nails are not tools when they have a thickness to them.

Gina's website is more informative than functional - she prefers to book through phone/text at the time of this post. Her actual appointment system is an old-school book that she writes in, which is something that makes me smile. You can see her most updated work on Facebook and Instagram.