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Salon Spy: Sophie Gass

March 27th 2013 / Judy Johnson Google+ Judy Johnson / 0 comment


Glossy nails in the glossiest of surroundings; Judy Johnson experiences a luxury Shellac mani at Sophie Gass

When it comes to beauty treatments, manicures and pedicures are so readily available that it's easy to forget they can be as luxurious as a hot stone massage or skin-saving facial; it doesn't need to just be a simple file and polish at a nail bar in a department store.

Sophie Gass, a new boutique in the heart of Holland Park, really is the place to go for more than just your average mani. With a chic designer boutique-style exterior to woo you in from the streets of Holland Park and neighbouring Notting Hill, Sophie Gass offers only manicures and pedicures together with one-off fashion pieces, beautiful costume jewellery and stunning flower arrangements from Galton Flowers.

Intimate yet brightly lit, your hands and toes are pampered amid decadent furnishings and fresh orchids, while an iPad is set alongside each plush cream pedi recliner so you can work or play in comfort while the technicians work their own magic.

Heading in for a Shellac manicure, I picked a mixed iridescent purple shade from the selection before my manicurist set to work at the immaculate white table on filing and buffing my nails while my hands rested on a fluffy white towel. As she expertly tidied my cuticles I found my eyes wandering to the fashion pieces hung from a lone rack to the left of me and the glossy cabinet of beautiful costume jewellery, which Sophie handpicks herself to sell within the boutique. I already had a statement necklace and ring on my wish list as the gel polishes were applied and it was time to put a hand under the UV lamp.

For gel varnish virgins, Shellac is one of many of the popular brands that promise the two week (if not three) manicure; cured under a UV lamp and instantly dry so there's no flapping and fussing when it comes to leaving the haven of the salon, it's one of the most popular beauty treatments to come to our high streets and it's easy to see why. Long-lasting, protective and with a high shine finish which doesn't dull until it comes to removal time, the mani is worth every penny.

Once my nails are polished, glossy and ready to go, the super friendly manicurist massaged my hands with a gorgeous rose-scented scrub, before rinsing it off, patting them dry and finishing with a lotion. I left with soft, supple hands - no mean feat in this treacherous weather - and shiny nails that almost looked wet (yet were, of course, perfectly dry). The Shellac is easily the best brand I've tried of the gel range; over three weeks on I have only a single chip, which was entirely my own clumsy fault during the weekend's washing up.

Effortlessly stylish and with quality treatments that won't fail to impress, Sophie Gass makes a mere mani feel like the most indulgent experience it can be. I'll be back.


Shellac Manicures are priced at £42. For a full price list visit


Sophie Gass, 4 Ladbroke Grove, London, W11 3BG
0207 229 4044
[email protected]

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