There has always been a debate within the beauty community: Acrylics: Good idea or Bad idea? Acrylic nails have always been looked down upon by some because of either health reasons or some people can’t seem to function with them. I am fully aware of the health reasons and still continue to keep acrylics on my nails. With anything in life, if you maintain a good hygiene regimen and upkeep they can last you a long time without any serious health concerns.
I have been on the search for not just good, but GREAT nail techs. I have worn acrylics off and on since I was 16 (many many moons ago). From NYC to Florida, the results were always the same. Every few weeks there would be a cracked nail, lifted nail or my actual nail would separate prematurely from the acrylic. I have a “schedule” when I get my acrylics done in the past. Every two weeks get a fill and then changed the whole set every 4 months. This way I was able to keep up with the upkeep as well as prevent any hygiene or health issues. While my schedule worked most of the time, it was still hard to find nail techs that not only are very serious about the technical aspect of applying acrylics, but were also passionate about the art they created. I have searched high and low throughout Central Florida and was about to give up searching until came across PatrickStarrr’s, a beauty guru on YouTube, Snapchat video during one of his visits in Orlando. Patrick was showing his nail process and mentioned Mindy Hardy and her studio, Meraki Beauty Studio.
When I looked Mindy and her studio up, I was bummed to find out she only had two studios: Winter Garden and Casselberry. I still followed her and a few of her nail techs on Instagram because even if you don’t like getting acrylics done, you can’t deny the art that these ladies create. When I found out that Mindy was opening a new location in Kissimmee back in June, I was so excited!! Although it is a 40-minute drive for me, I still had to experience at least one session at Meraki!
I followed quite a few of the nail techs at the Kissimmee location and it was such a hard decision to choose which one. I finally decided to go with Emily for my first experience. Emily’s attention to detail is beyond amazing! I was scared at first to “go the distance” as far as extreme art and glam nails, so Emily decided to ease me into the process. I loved the way my nails turned out! Emily wanted me to get out of my comfort zone with a basic nail shape and design and have a more “mature” and glam look. I had to include one of my favorites of Emily’s creation, along with a pic of my own, because my “first time” nails don’t do her justice!
Look at the art!! Amazing!!
Unfortunately, my nails didn’t last long. Like clockwork, the nails came off once again. I was so bummed because Emily did everything to make sure the nails stayed on, but it just didn’t work. I contacted Mindy soon after, not because Emily did something wrong but I wanted to know what I needed to do. Mindy contacted me back and told me to come in and she was going to see if there were alternatives to help me maintain acrylics for more than two weeks. I won’t lie, I felt horrible coming in because as I said, I love Emily’s work and I didn’t want Emily to think I was unhappy with her, but I needed to know what could be done so I wasn’t paying for a full set every two weeks and Emily was such a sweetheart and understood everything!
Mindy spoke to me about different causes to a “failed” acrylic experience. Medications and genetics play into why acrylics may not last on some people, myself included. Mindy had the manager of the Kissimmee location, Ileana, work on my new full set. Ileana took me way out of my comfort zone with a new shape to my nails and I am beyond glad she did it because I would have never suggested it on my own. That day Mindy did the art on my nails, an amazing design with colors perfect for Fall. Did I mention that the GORGEOUS ox blood red is a color that Mindy created herself!? The true test though was if these will last two weeks.
For the next two weeks, Mindy and I communicated to see how my nails were holding up. Through regular gym workouts, weight lifting, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning, taking care of Khaleesi and being a klutz, my nails have lasted in PERFECT condition through the full two weeks. It wasn’t until today that I realized that Meraki was my Holy Grail nail salon I have been looking for. I was unable to come in for a routine “two week” fill because Hurricane Matthew and life in general had prevented me from coming in. I was a bit concerned because it was going on week 3, but you would have never known! My nails stayed in place, no lifts, no chips or stones falling off! That is a new record for me!!
I have to say that I can’t choose just one lady as my favorite, Meraki Beauty Studio as a whole is my Holy Grail for Acrylic nails. Each lady has their own technique and creativity and is passionate about what they do! Just look at my most recent nails in the pic above by Bianca! Bianca’s attention to detail is incredible, right down to altering nail gems to match the nail design itself!
If you are ever in the Central Florida area I highly recommend visiting one of the three Meraki Beauty Studios! What are your thoughts on acrylic nails? What are some unique designs you would like me to try next? Leave your comments below!