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Festive nails featuring Santa Claus, Christmas baubles and snowmen.
Festive nails featuring Santa Claus, Christmas baubles and snowmen. Miranda Glasser

Thumbs up for vibrant arty fingernails

With Christmas looming, ladies looking to accessorise with something a little different need look no further than new salon Roxy Nails and Spa, where creative owner Eam Salep can adorn talons with glitter, snowflakes, or even a laughing Father Christmas.

Eam Salep, 30, opened Roxy Nails seven months ago and already it has become a firm favourite with both the expat and Khmer crowd – tucked away round the corner from Central Market it is something of a hidden gem.

Eam says it has always been her dream to open a nail salon, and when she moved to Ho Chi Minh City for her husband’s job, she got the chance to train at one of the top schools.

“When I lived in Vietnam I had free time so I started training,” she says. “I’d always go to nail salons and my husband thought I’d be good at it. I really loved it.”

Eam spent six months studying and learnt how to do manicures, pedicures, acrylic and gel nails, as well as nail art and 3D nail art. Judging by the display boxes in the salon, the latter is clearly her favourite. Hundreds of acrylic nails are lined up boasting every imaginable design, pattern and colour, from flowers to playing cards to a perky be-scarfed snowman. Even an Angry Birds motif.

Her 3D nail art, which involves stones such as fake pearls or diamonds being glued onto an acrylic nail, is popular for Khmer weddings.

“Some people want to do fake nails, like 3D art nail, when they have weddings,” she says, “But this takes time to do; people have to wait for it, after one or two days they come to pick it up. It’s a higher art nail, like fantasy nail art. You cannot do anything with it though – you cannot wash your hair! I always tell people this kind of thing you cannot do anything. It’s just for show, or for photos.”

There are also gel manicures and pedicures at astonishingly reasonable prices, as well as foot scrubs and facials. But really, it’s all about the nails.

Roxy Nails and Spa is open daily from 10am to 8pm.

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