REVIEW – Shellac manicure at Boosh Nails and Beauty, Cowgate

Boosh Nails and Beauty opens in the Cowgate

The excellent Boosh hair has been open in the Cowgate for over a decade now. Owner Mary Mulhern, made the clever move of acquiring the premises next door and opening its sister shop last month – Boosh nails and beauty.

Boosh Nails and Beauty has been fitted out with the same sleek and stylish style as the hair salon. The nails and beauty side of Boosh is run by beauty therapist Ashley and nail technician Gill.

It’s a smart move, as it has created a one-stop shop for all your  hair and beauty needs. Perfect for any special occasion, especially when the salons work together if you’re short on time. For example, whilst your hair colour is working its magic, you can get your nails done before returning to the sink for your rinse.

All the treatments you would expect to find in a beauty salon are present and correct, with waxing and Dermalogical facials to name a few.

Despite the purpose of my visit being a manicure, I was tempted by a Swedish massage in the cosy back room, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I laugh at the old dentist chair which the ladies have turned into a comfy seat and the home of pedicures.

Shellac – the mother of all manicures

“Would you like to try a Shellac manicure?” asked the friendly nail technician. It was a new one on me, I normally just opt for the file and polish, with the occasional splurge on a French finish.

The process of a shellac manicure was explained to me: how a special UV light is used in between coats to dry and harden the colour. The nails on her hands looked pretty impressive so I chose my colour and let Gill get to work.

I’m told that they’re guaranteed to not chip for 14 days which I almost found hard to believe. She waves her perfect 12-day old colour on her own hands in front of me for proof.

My nails are moisturised and shaped before the Shellac process begins. In between the coats on each hand, I’m instructed to place my ‘drying’ hand into the little UV machine which proceeds to blow air and work its magic on my nails. It automatically switches off after 2 minutes, which is conveniently the same time it takes to paint the other hand. This process is repeated after the base coat, colour coats and top coats – five in total.

The manicure is finished in just under and hour with a lovely massage and lotioning of the hands.

My nails do look the best they’ve ever done in a long time and I’m told I can reach into my bag for anything I want as they’re dry as a bone and will not chip for a long time.

Looking perfect 6 days on

I continue my day, walking around town, snapping photos, reaching for the phone in my bag, using keys to get into my house and stare in disbelief at how good my nails look. No signs of chipping at all.

Several days later, there is no difference in the nails. They look as good as they did when I stepped out of the salon. Shellac manicures are the only option for me from now on – they really are the mother of all manicures.

The Shellac manicure cost £25 (£27 for French finish). This is the best £25 I’ve ever spent on a nail treatment. You do need to soak the colour off with acetone, but I’ll probably plump for the option offered of remove and re-shellac! Perfect nails for 52 weeks of the year?  Yes please.

Other nail prices.


Boosh Nails and Beauty can be found at  307 Cowgate, Edinburgh, EH1 1NA. Telephone 0131 557 9997 (nails and beauty) 0131 557 9996 (hair).

You can also find them on Facebook –  Boosh Nails and Beauty and Boosh Hair Salon.

Opening hours:

Tuesday  10am – 8pm

Wednesday 10am – 6pm

Thursday 10am – 8pm

Friday 10am – 6pm

Saturday 9am – 4pm

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