Here is an extract of a Skype conversation with Alex about her AMAZING gel mani

Garance: Hey Alex, so what about that gel manicure? How did it go? Were you scared?
Did it take FOREVER? (I am not really in favor of gel as you can guess– I think it’s my Frenchitude)

Alexandra: Okay, I know I was a little nervous about doing it, mostly because I am way too into my nail polish to sacrifice two weeks on the same nail color…I was afraid my nails would be destroyed (I’ve heard some horror stories) but I decided, now was the time to seize the day!

Garance: That’s the Fashion Week effect. Some have been known to do radical decisions before FW…
Wait, let’s recap: You decided to go with Dries Van Noten right? All the way. Got there with your…What, fashion show pics ?

Alexandra: Yeah, I spent the last few months drooling over the collection and since I knew I probably wouldn’t be wearing it anytime soon, this was the next best thing. I showed her two photos from the collection and BAM she had all these ideas.

The whole thing took an hour, which if you look at my nails, doesn’t seem like a long time. I mean, this girl was nail Van Gogh.

Garance: She’s an artist. It’s weird to be a NAIL artist, but she is.

Garance: One thing I want to understand: Why does this kind of design only work with gel? What the hell is gel?

Alexandra: With gel, after each coat of color, your nails go into a drying machine that uses LED light to dry your nails (Some salons use UV light, so wear sunscreen!) and your nails are totally dry after about 20 seconds. They can apply another color or design right away without worrying about smudging.

If you had to do this with regular polish, and wait for it to try, it would take foreverrrr.

Garance: Got it. How many coats is there total ?

Alexandra: I think my nails ended up with about 5 coats… which seems like a lot (imagine 5 coats of any regular polish–ick!) but they didn’t feel like they were covered in that many coats.

Alexandra: I chip my normal at home manicure after about 2 days, guaranteed. With the gel, I made it all of Paris fashion week without a chip.

Garance: AND I THINK IT LOOKED AWESOME. In a kind of crazy kind of way, but really cool.
A little like, dorky? A little nail obsessive kind of way, but the chicest nail dork ever.

Alexandra: At first I was like shit, this is intense for two weeks, but then I was like ohmygod I love it and never want it to leave my hands.

Garance: Well and then everybody was obsessed with your hands.

Alexandra: Honestly every time I touched a shoe or a hanger someone stopped me to ask about them

Garance: lol

Alexandra: I think I need to open a gel salon in Paris or maybe just a fashion week pop-up…

Garance: Convert french girls to nail craze! How are your nails now that’s it’s over ?

Alexandra: Good– I was really nervous about having them taken off, because everyone says that is the worst part.

Garance: You can’t take it out yourself right, you have to go back to the salon?

Alexandra: Yes. I mean, they put acetone soaked cotton balls on your nails and wrap them in tinfoil. So you look like an alien for about 10 minutes…

Garance: Ugh

Alexandra: And I spent those 10 minutes freaking out over the future state of my nail beds, because acetone is a scary word. But, they survived! And now they are happily typing to you in a fresh coat of the Chanel polish they gave us at the show.

Garance: Man you’re so pro.

Garance: Ok, so when are you doing it again?

Alexandra: I think I might make it a new fashion week tradition, it’s the one time I really don’t want to think about painting my nails. Maybe some Kenzo nails for next season?

Garance: Love the idea!!!

PS : Alex got her nails done at Valley Nails in Soho– ask for Mei!