EVERYONE HAS their own quirks ... their own defining little pleasures.

They are those things they indulge in that make them perhaps a little happier than it would a "normal person".

For some people it is coffee. They LOVE coffee - they don't just drink it to help them wake up like most of us. They drink it because they truly, madly, deeply love it - the grinding of the fresh beans, the smell of the first step inside their favourite coffee shop, the first sip ... all the details of drinking coffee they enjoy immensely.

Somewhere in their brain, a direct connection between coffee and pleasure has been made, and this has been compared to the feeling an addict might have.


So, I must confess now to one of my ultimate pleasures - I am addicted to manicures. It may not be a "normal" addiction, like coffee, but I surely can't be the only one.

Whanganui has more than 20 salons offering manicures, pedicures and a massive range of treatments to keep our nails looking amazing - and I alone can't keep that many salons busy..

What better way to relax? Sitting in a comfy chair, your feet up, picking a pretty colour and being groomed and pampered.

It's not just about the colour of the nails, it is about keeping our hands and nails healthy and our cuticles tidy. There is nothing worse than a pair of unkempt hands, ragged cuticles, half worn-off polish and jagged nails.

A nicely kept bare nail is trés chic in Paris where they have the fundamental belief that healthy is beautiful and, therefore, no colour is required.

If I were to get a little philosophical, I could say something like your nails can be a statement that you take care of yourself and, in turn, that time and care may reflect how you take care of other things in your life. You could ponder that at your next mani/pedi - or simply sit back and enjoy the experience.

Tips for getting the most from your manicure

1 Always oil your cuticles. A manicure every couple of weeks can only do so much - you have to care for your nails between your treatments.
I use coconut oil on my cuticles and hands just before bed. Some cuticle oils might claim to "grow healthy nails" or "grow nails faster" - be sceptical, healthy eating is a better option to grow healthy nails.

2 Give yourself plenty of time. A full manicure can take the better part of an hour.

3 If you have a gel polish applied, get it removed professionally. It's tempting to peel it off, but you can seriously damage your nails if you peel it yourself without softening the gel with acetone.

4 Never get back-to-back gel polish applied. The nail bed thins with every application and your nails will need a break between applications to stay healthy and strong.

5 Have fun with your nails - they should make you happy.

_ Jade Teki - Designer/Entrepreneur/Fashionista