When I lived in east London, Taylor Taylor was my regular hairdressers. Here's why: a lithe young man takes you downstairs to a golden dungeon, where he washes your hair while you try and fail to make small talk because you're inwardly squeeing with excitement. Then a super-cool but super-friendly hairdresser brings you a drink on a gold tray and styles your hair while you stare at the glorious decor. Huge gilt-edged mirrors, shabby chic dressers and eclectic vintage decor - not to mention some excellent tattoos on those hairdressers - are far more interesting to gaze at than last month's magazines.
This time, I was there to try out their Jessica GELeration manicure. This promises three weeks of shiny, chip-free nails, so your only worry is getting sick of the colour. As someone who regularly smudges or chips my nails within minutes of painting them, this was quite the claim.
Antoaneta picked out a vivid blue for me and explained how the process works. It's like a normal manicure except each coat is sealed under a UV light, which means you're good to go straight away as your nails are completely dry at the end. It also doesn't damage your nails like acrylics can. She gave my nails a quick tidy up, then applied a base coat, two coat of colour and a top coat, sealing with the UV lamp after each one. 40 minutes after walking in, I could put on my gloves and go.
Here are my nails on Day 1:
It's a super glossy, 'done' look - my nails looked too perfect to be real. They don't look like false nails but it's clear that I've had something special done, because you couldn't create that wet-look shine at home.
I was determined to put the three week claim to the test so here's why I've been up to.
And here are my nails a fortnight later:
You can see where my nails have grown, but there are no chips or tip wear. It's like magic. I'm seriously impressed at how long-lasting it is.
At £48 plus £10 for removal, it's too pricey to become a regular treat, but it would be ideal if you were going to a wedding or off on holiday, or anywhere you wanted to guarantee flawless nails that will look perfect for weeks.
Taylor Taylor has two east London salons. One on Commercial Street, one on Cheshire Street.