“Have a go hero” or leave it to the professionals?

Posted by Lipglossiping On April - 17 - 2012

Many professions dread the general public encroaching on their skills.  Whether it’s traditional makeup artists having their hackles raised by You Tube gurus and beauty bloggers, professional photographers glaring across the wedding party at uncle Bob with his £2k Nikon kit, or long-established nail technicians bristling at professional-only products being sold to the mass market.  Financially, it’s a tough world out there, and for people who have poured often not-insignificant sums into years of training and equipment, I get that it can be galling to see your profession ‘diluted’ in this way.

This was brought to mind recently when I received a press release for a new DIY gel nail system called Sensationail, which has just gone online at Boots priced at £85.00.  It promises salon-quality gel nails at a fraction of the cost when compared to regular salon visits.

From my regular brow-threading trips to the brilliant Eastern Arts Beauty, I know how much these small enterprises rely on return business from their most loyal customers and I wonder just how threatened these establishments must feel when the latest DIY products come on the market.  Sure, in the past most of them have been gimmicky and in reality, rarely give the best results… but there are always newer technologies waiting in the wings, ready to superceded and threaten.

From my own personal experience with DIY beauty, there’s still very much a place for the salon and this is coming from someone who’s been fortunate enough to try some of the most cutting-edge DIY devices.  On the surface, at-home beauty tools seem to provide total convenience but after just a few sessions with my ILP device (for example)… I was ready to go back to the professionals, even if it meant paying through the nose, and I’m still coughing up the pennies today.

What do you think about at-home solutions for the kind of services you’d usually visit a professional?  Interested in doing your own gel nails at home?


15 Responses to ““Have a go hero” or leave it to the professionals?”

  1. Sophie says:

    I’d love to try this out and see if I could do it myself at home. I certainly cannot afford to have them done and redone at the salon often. I’d love to know how great a job this does. x

  2. Claire says:

    I don’t think I have to worry about the public encroaching in my career, I take x-rays for a living :) I probably would be interested in trying this, given it produces good results that is. If the price came down slightly it would definitely tempt me. I don’t tend to visit salons anyway, and for the (very) special occasions that I do I probably would still visit them, just for the pampering I associate with a good salon.
    Claire
    x

  3. Amy says:

    Well, maybe this product reaches people who don’t have time to get to a salon. Schedules can get tough, maybe it’s not taking away much business from those who would prefer to (and can make time for) in-salon treatments.

  4. patuxxa says:

    While I have a steady hand and am actually quite used to doing all sorts of DIY, I’m not sure I would trust myself on this one. At the very least, the right hand nails would always come out less perfect than the left hand nails! I’ll keep faithful to my salon, I think…

  5. I think you raise a very valid point but suspect most salons are sat back waiting to fix the carnage we will create at home with this sort of thing! In the same way we lash our hair up with badly chosen, crappily applied hair dye and then appear shame faced in our hairdressers for them to fix it, I suspect hairdressers and beauty salons almost rub their hands with glee each time the new “wonder” gadget or product appears on the scene!!

  6. Sydney Kav says:

    I am someone who begrudges paying for anything that I know I could do myself for about 10% of the price.

    However, that being said I recently got a (hideous) drastic haircut and although the end result was not at all to my liking I forgot how wonderful the experience is. For one hour you can pay someone else to do something you can do yourself and it feels like heaven.

    I think I am one of those people who will save on most things buy DIY-ing it, but then sometimes you just have to have a treat. I think finding the balance is the important part.

    For some people I think that luxury outweighs cost and businesses shouldn’t be too worried just yet, as we’re all far more lazy than we are frugal!

  7. I get my toe nails Shellaced prob every 6-8 weeks in a salon. If you are going to have varnish that lasts that long it’s got to be perfect and I wouldn’t trust myself to do a good enough job. My fingernails didn’t like Shellac so I paint them myself. If I stuff up I can take it off in 2 mins, so I’m happy to DIY them.

  8. sophie says:

    I bought a DIY nail kit on Ebay after having mine done (badly) professionally… unfortunately I’m not very good at it, the products I bought weren’t great quality, and overall I just gave up on it after a few attempts.

  9. Charlie says:

    I think that people will baulk in reality at the huge outlay that probably only contains one or two colours? Which means to make it worth owning you’ll have to buy a load more colours. Which makes it not so cheap…

    As an aside, another brand of “at home” gel polishes told me that the quality is nowhere near the quality of professional brands and the wear time is considerably less (although slightly longer than your normal polish). I wonder if they will have me shot for divulging that bit of info… and thats why the professionals will never really have to worry about going out of business. They are designed to not be such a high standard. Of course, that isn’t this brand but it does make you wonder…

  10. toyboys says:

    This would be pointless for me because the problem with home manicures isn’t just durability, it’s having very shaky hands. There’s no real benefit to have a bad manicure last 2 weeks.

  11. Phyrra says:

    The two things I consistently go to the salon for are getting my brows waxed and my hair cut. I dye my own hair normally, and I just started waxing my own underarms instead of paying to get it done. I do my own nails and have only ever had a mani pedi twice.

    I have the Knockout Nails kit and felt it did really well on my nails. I even used it on my toes. It’s made to work with regular polish in between the UV coats, so I have my entire nail collection to work with. That made it very worthwhile for me 😉

    • Luna says:

      Thanks Phyraa for the info about being able to use regular nail polish. Will definitely check out getting a kit. Haven’t had gel nails yet and no way would I pay a salon if it can be done at home.

  12. Lucy says:

    I think home kits – or the application of without any training – often doesn’t produce as good results as in a salon and it ruins the reputation of a product as well as taking away business. “Oh yeah, them gel nails? I had them they were rubbish and RUINED my nails.” Um, you applied them yourself and removed them by picking them off, that’s why…

  13. Janine says:

    I like gel polishes in general. Mainly because they don’t dry until you put them under the lamp so you have plenty of time to correct any shakes or wobbles (unlike normal nail polish!) Also, the no smudging thing – you can put on socks straight after your pedicure :-)
    OK at £85 it’s not mega cheap but I pay £45 to get both my toenails and fingernails ‘shellac’ed so this will have paid for itself after 2 salon visits. (And I can do it in front of the telly with a glass of wine – lol!)

  14. […] my post a couple of weeks ago about bringing salon-style beauty to the comfort of your own home?  I wasn’t convinced that DIY options generally lived up to the expectations or convenience […]

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