Visiting Nail Salons in New Zealand? Here's What to Expect

These suggestions will help you select the best nail salons in your local area and enjoy the services you deserve. If you are a nail art lover and want to flaunt your nails like a pro, it’s worth doing upfront work to make sure you're getting the bang for your bucks!
1999 House of Nails
October 28, 2022

Nails are the finishing touch to give an outfit a unique flair that jewellery and makeup can’t match. You can pamper yourself in many ways. But! For us ladies,  we can't help but tick mark manicures on our hit list. 

There seems to be a nail salon in every strip mall in New Zealand, giving women (and well-groomed men) a wide range of options. 

If you are in New Zealand and struggling to find a nail salon that provides a calm and secure experience, your problem is solved! Adhere to these recommendations to save your skin!

Before booking a nail salon appointment

Do your research

Before visiting the nail salon, it’s quintessential for you to do some homework and see different salon options available in your local areas, and their opening hours. It’s a good idea to visit these salons' websites or Instagram pages to get a sense of whether they provide the services you're looking for. 

Make sure to read customer reviews on their pages to know about the quality of service at each salon and the skill level of salon technicians. Watch out for negative feedback by noticing comments mentioning ‘rushed service’, ‘poor customer service, or ‘not worth the money on Google or Facebook reviews. A good salon should have a minimum of a 4.5-star rating on these platforms.

Consider the variety of services

Having options is lovely, and customers enjoy experimenting with new nail art patterns, colours, and other components. Hence, make sure there are many nail art technicians available at your chosen salon; so you can have access to a variety of styles to pick from. 

If you’re looking for specific nail enhancements like gel, dipping powder or acrylic, make sure to check out the salon’s service menu before booking an appointment. As some salons could offer gel and dip power, but not acrylics, and vice versa.

To get a sense of whether a service is worth the value for money, you could ask a salon what each service entails. For example, an ‘express gel manicure’ in a salon may include cuticle care, hand lotion, cuticle oil, and gel polish whereby the same service in a different salon may only offer buff-shape and gel polish. So make sure you know what you’re paying for beforehand.


If you're on a budget, it is worth comparing 2-3 places before deciding. The price of a Gel Manicure is $40-60, whereas a Gel Pedicure is $45-65. But prices vary based on the time it takes for certain services, for example, the sophistication of nail art, etc. If you’re going to a mall-based salon, ensure you pick salons that spend enough time to take care of you, as some mall salons are known to rush appointments when they’re busy. So it's best to choose salons that only take book-in appointments.

Plan ahead

High-quality salons and technicians are often fully booked a week in advance, and it can be hard to get a last-minute appointment in. However, don't be discouraged to call or join a waitlist if you can't find availability when booking a nail appointment.

During the nail salon visit

During your visit to a nail salon, your first step must be to learn the ins and outs of the services that particular salon provides. This way, you can choose the style, colour, and shape of nails that suit you best. 

Choose Your Services

Nail salons provide a range of treatments, including manicures, pedicures, acrylic nails, and gels, among others. Below are some of the most common nail services to expect from nail salons.

Manicure: This service focuses on the complete pampering of your fingernails. The technician begins the treatment by rubbing your hands with lotion while taking care of your hangnails and damaged cuticles. 

Before trimming and filing the nails, the technician cuts or pushes back the cuticles and adds gel or acrylic fills per your specifications. Finally, the last step is to polish the nails with a base coat and a colour coat. Gel polish is used if you’re requesting a gel manicure.

Pedicure: A pedicure concentrates on the toes and feet. The technician starts the treatment with scrubs, applies massage lotion, and pampers your feet after soaking them in warm water. Afterwards, the nail technician trims or pushes back your cuticles by shaping and cutting your toenails. Finally, the last step is to polish the nails with a base coat and a colour coat.

Acrylic Nails: To prepare your nails for acrylic painting, the technician first removes any previous nail polish and cleans the cuticles precisely, like a manicure.

The technician next uses texturing and solvent treatment to set up and attach the acrylic nails properly. Then he/she picks up dry acrylic powder beads with a natural hair brush dipped in the monomer. After proper application, you will get brand-new, attractive fake nails after the acrylic dries and hardens.  Since mixing and producing acrylic nails emits a scent, adequate ventilation is required.

Gel Nails: For high-gloss nails, gel nails are perfect. The composition of gel nails is similar to acrylic nails. Before curing and drying with a UV lamp, the gels are elastic and pliable. Afterwards, the gel nails become more muscular and ready for painting and decorating. Nail techs frequently use the gel as a top coat over acrylic nails to get a sparkle.

Gels are easier to work with than acrylics since they only cure when exposed to UV light, unlike acrylics, which do so immediately after application.

Dipping powder: Dip powder nails treatment starts by prepping your nails to make them free from dirt and oil. The technician pushes and cleans your cuticles and hangnails, applies a base coat on your nail, dips it into the powder tray and brushes off the excess powder. The process repeats 3-4 times to ensure the nails are nice and strong; followed by applying siller dry to set the powder. Finally, your nails are shaped, smoothened and two layers of topcoat are applied to achieve the maximum shineness.  

Nail art: Nail art is all about embellishing and decorating your nails with different techniques to showcase your personality. Here are some common technique:

  • Free hand drawing: Using fine brushes, the technician draws lines, patterns, and designs on your nails
  • Glitters and Stickers: Including glitter and stickers on your nails is like frosting on the cake. They can really accentuate your nails.
  • Nail Art Foil: Enquiry about this technique if the desired style is hard to achieve with hand drawing. In this service, the nail art foil comes with beautiful pre-made pattern which can be glued and pressed to your nails. 

What to look for: Check the overall salon hygiene and instrument.

When picking a salon, few of us think about how well a nail salon handles crucial health and safety concerns. The risk of contracting dangerous illnesses, such as persistent fungal infections and more severe diseases is generally low, but it’s worth paying attention to how a salon maintains standard hygiene so you can enjoy a stress-free pampering session.

At the most basic level, you should observe how a salon sterilizes its equipment. In addition, also enquire about the pedicure foot baths. If a salon utilises footbaths with sinks, make sure they clean the sink after each use as they tend to harbour bacteria.

Another red flag is to avoid any nail salon that looks messy and unhygienic. If a salon can't keep itself clean and presentable then the process to maintain good hygiene standard is likely also compromised.

After the nail salon visit

Here are some tips to keep your nail polish stay on for longer.

  • Be careful with your nails in the next few hours, and don't schedule sporty activities or swimming sessions straight after your nail salon visit.
  • Avoid working with clay or other material that could get stuck in your fingernails. It might be challenging to thoroughly eliminate dirt that has become lodged in your fingernails, leaving your nails looking filthy and defeating the exact goal of your manicure.
  • After receiving a manicure, avoid using acrylic nails or artificial nail art because doing so damages the manicure's immaculate polish. 
  • Never attempt to chisel your nail polish off. Do not attempt to paint over an accidental scraped-off portion of your nail paint. Before repainting your nails, grab a bottle of acetone and completely remove the old colour. 
  • Avoid using water and working with your hands excessively. You must take good care of your nails and avoid subjecting them to direct labour if you want to keep them beautiful and healthy.
  • If you chip off your nails, don’t hesitate to contact the salon to fix them. 

The above suggestions will surely help you enjoy the best nail services from your desired salon. If you are a nail art lover and want to flaunt your nails like a pro, it’s worth doing upfront work to make sure you’re visiting the best nail salon.

About 1999 House of Nails

1999 House of Nails is one of the top nail salons in Christchurch, New Zealand. We offer an exotic comfortable space and highly talented nail technicians who are always committed to ensuring that every client is 100% satisfied. If you're looking for long-lasting & beautiful nails, book an appointment with us.
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Level 1, 87 Manchester Street, Christchurch
Monday: 9am - 6pm
Tuesday: 9.30am - 7pm
Wednesday: 9am - 6pm
Thursday: 9.30am - 7pm
Friday: 9.30am - 7pm
Saturday: 9.30am - 6pm
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