Before I travel to Jamaica I have to find time to get my finger and toe nails ready too…. a tropical climate needs a hot and colourful mani and pedi!
Lovely things feet, take you everywhere you want to go, and they will not only get a daily airing (that those from the UK can only dream about), they will also get a fair bit of wear and tear in the process. I tend to spoil myself with a pedicure before I leave the UK and get my toenails painted in bright colours as they will be on show on a daily basis in slippers (sandals / flip-flops to us in the UK). Dry cracked heels and manky looking toenails are so NOT a good look when your feet are on show so take note!
I buy the foot scrub blocks from the chemist (drug store / pharmacy) to give my feet a quick once over when I hit the shower to keep the rough skin at bay, and if I am totally honest to scrub the red dirt (many regions in Jamaica have red earth) stain off of my feet! Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your feet when out in the sun as they burn too and cover them in cream in the evening to stop them looking dry and pitiful.
When in Jamaica…
You can get your pedicure refreshed in many establishments or by local mobile technicians throughout Jamaica and in most larger inland towns, such as Browns Town in St. Ann’s, you can expect to pay about $600 this includes applying tips on your big toes; but you will find the price goes down to around $500 for the more rural areas. A bright nail pattern design which is often hand-painted or airbrushed and stencilled with outrageous creativity is included in the price. It is popular in Jamaica to wear long extensions on the big toe, but I am too scared that I will knock them and rip them off, so I stick to my natural toenails! I usually tip the technician up to $500 if they have done a good job and I am feeling flush.
I tend to have nail extensions applied in London before I leave the country and as with my toenails, I have them painted in bright colours to fit the bright sunny mood of Jamaica. Many Jamaican women love to wear extra long nail extensions, which to those who are familiar with the process, are often worn at the longest length possible. Nail extension application is big business in Jamaica and the creativity of the nail technicians is outstanding. I have personally seen flowers and curled horn like adornments created out of the product used in the process of nail extensions. Equally the colours and design work carried out with the nail polish (nail varnish) is unrivalled by most of the London-based technicians I have come across and is often drawn freehand or airbrushed with stencils.
When in Jamaica…
You can sometimes expect to pay a different price for your nail extensions based on the length of the nails you prefer. In most of the larger inland towns, such as Browns Town in St. Ann’s you can expect to pay about $1,500 for even the longest nails; you will find the price goes down to around $1,000 to $1,200 for the more rural areas. I usually tip the technician up to $500 if they have done a good job.
Please be warned, my first experience of a Jamaican manicure was when I went to have my nail extensions replaced and I was alarmed (and in pain) when she literally started picking the old nails off with a credit card, instead of the usual soaking in acetone or filing that I was used to in London. You also may have to wait sometime for your turn, so make sure you make eye contact with the technician and let them know what you want when you arrive and take notice of how many other people are there before you. Be patient! It is worth it when you look down and admire your beautiful new nails. WOW!