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City Pulse: How to pamper yourself on a budget

By Bianca Montes
Aug. 7, 2013 at 3:07 a.m.

Nail technician Phuc "Cindy" Nguyen paints a clear coat of polish on Casey Tucker's nails while giving her a manicure  at Pro Nail in Victoria.

Nail technician Phuc "Cindy" Nguyen paints a clear coat of polish on Casey Tucker's nails while giving her a manicure at Pro Nail in Victoria.   Angeli Wright for The Victoria Advocate

The first time I walked into a nail salon, I was about 9 years old, and my mother took me.

Sadly, it wasn't to get my nails done but instead to sit silently in a black swivel chair and watch a nail technician gracefully shape and sculpt my mother's signature red acrylic nails.

I desperately wanted my short, fat fingers to transform into long, thin works of art like my mother's, so I put on my saddest face and waited for someone to notice me.

Lin, another technician, came up to me and asked me if I wanted my fingernails painted. I looked at my mother, and before she could say no, Lin said, "for free."

Lin dipped my fingers into warm, sudsy water and carefully ran a emery board across my nails until they were smooth and round.

She chose a light pink color, and when she was done applying it, she painted a white rose on each fingernail.

I felt like a princess.

It was at that moment I realized the key to happiness wasn't money or a white picket fence - but instead, the art of pampering yourself is where true joy really lived.

If you've had a bad day, get a pedicure. If you feel ugly, have your hair blown out.

Life isn't about smelling the roses. It's about the roses painted on our nails when we're little girls and taking pleasure in our femininity.

So next time you need a little pick-me-up, sit down, relax and pamper yourself.


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