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Fifi Mahony's Japanese-Style Manicures


Japanese-style manicures like this one will last two to three weeks. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

Hair, face and nails — cosmetic enhancements to these features compose the holy trinity of feminine artifice. With custom wig services and a glam makeup inventory, Fifi Mahony's (934 Royal St., 525-4343; has covered the first two bases since opening in 1997, and now is poised to venture into the realm of manicures — but not just any manicures. With an arsenal of nail accessories ranging from seahorse decals and colored crystals to tiny fruits and glitter, nail technician Jamie Gandy makes even a pinky nail a canvas for three-dimensional art.

  "It's all based on the Japanese word for 'cute,' which is 'kawaii,' and it's a movement in nail art," Gandy says of the Japanese-style manicures. "We adhere crystals and stones and baubles to your nails."


  As I type, 16 blue crystals coruscate from my fingertips. There's a coral reef and a pensive flounder on my middle fingernail and a starfish on my pinky. Although Gandy warned me to go easy on the manicure, after five days, the crystals are intact, even through dishwashing and bathtub-scrubbing. The manicures last two to three weeks, Gandy says. The nail studio will open in April, and prices range from $25 for a basic manicure (no baubles) to $75 an hour for the Japanese-style manicures. Crystals are 50 cents each.

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