In a time where superheroes are plentiful and varying in origin, temperament as well as appeal, there remain a select few that stand out amongst the masses. They are the few whose stories have endured, surviving countless reboots and revamps—the most recent of which being Batman. 2022’s rendition is directed by Matt Reeves, featuring Robert Pattinson in the titular role and accompanied by an all-star cast including Collin Farrell as Penguin, Andy Serkis as Alfred and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman.
And while the reviews are still rolling in, the general consensus amongst audiences is that The Batman brings something new to the table; a nuanced look at time-honoured characters derived from the vision of both Reeves’ and the actors. This is most keenly felt with Kravitz’s Catwoman, who harbours several key differences from previous iterations of the masked vigilante—namely, the inclusion of literal claws that she sports outside of her costume. Fun fact: the idea of growing out long nails for the role was actually Kravitz’s idea, which she grew out while in quarantine at home.
Unlike popularised designs showcased in TV series’s such as Euphoria and Gossip Girl, Catwoman’s version is more subdued, lacking the flashiness and sparkle of the talons typically spotted on Instagram. No polish was applied, with emphasis placed upon shape and texture, to enhance the illusion that Selina Kyle’s predatory instincts have (miraculously) translated to her nails, too.
Should you be looking to show off your killer instincts through your digits, too, we’ve helpfully curated a selection of Catwoman inspired nail designs for your perusal, below—alongside some nifty tricks recommended by professionals as to how you can keep your claws in tip-top shape.
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What are gel extensions made of, essentially?
Put simply, it is hard gel built atop a natural nail and cured with UV radiation. “The manicurist will have to clean up your cuticles, apply a dehydrator to remove any oils, before utilising a bonder and adhesive to ensure the gel will stick,” explains Germain Monteiro, co-founder of artisan nail boutique, The Nail Social. “To lengthen the nail, a manicurist uses a nail form—which is a sticker that goes beneath the tip of the nail, or a half tip, which is an artificial nail tip that offers less coverage on the nail and is easier to paste on with glue.”
Pre-shaped nail tips are available, too, where they come in different sizes and shapes that can be attached on without the need for shaping and filing. “It’s the latest and quickest method amongst all the extension types,” states Okko, founder of home-based salon, Okko Nails. “The most popular brands are Apres Gel X and Kiara Sky Gelly Tips.”
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Is there anyone who would be considered unsuitable for gel extensions?
According to Okko, it is best to avoid gel extensions if you’re a habitual nail-biter—or if you have tiny nail beds. “This is because the enhancements do require some space for them to grip on. I always let my clients who have small nail beds know that there is a high chance that that their extensions might just pop off as it grows out really quickly, so it will be best to keep it shorter as the natural nails are able to hold onto the enhancements for a longer period without breaking.”
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How long do gel extensions typically last?
The general consensus is two weeks. Singaporean salon, The Nail Artistry recommends that you look out for lifting, where the extension is pulling free from the nail bed. A touch-up is generally advised at this point of time as water and bacteria might settle beneath it, leading to infection.
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What are the pros of getting gel extensions?
Compared to other common extension methods such as with acrylics, for instance, gel extensions are a lot more beneficial for your nail health. “They are odourless, non-toxic, and flexible—not forgetting, of course, that they’re also lightweight and thinner, so it feels a lot less foreign when attached to your nails,” says Okko. “As they are thinner, less filing is needed during removal, so your natural nails are less likely to get brittle or damaged throughout the process too.”
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Are there any cons when it comes to acquiring gel extensions?
Not exactly. “There no real hazards or drawbacks to gel nail extensions, but it’s always a good idea to have your extensions applied by a reputable manicurist or nail artist,” Germain claims. “The proper removal and care of the nails is also essential; otherwise, the nail bed can weaken over time.”
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What are the optimal ways to upkeep your gel extensions?
“Long term exposure to moisture and water softens your natural nail, and when this happens, your extensions will start to lift and eventually pop off. You can extend the longevity of your manicure by protecting your nails by using gloves when doing housework and garden work,” says Okko. “Moisturising your hands and nails throughout the day helps keep your skin and and nail beds strong, too. I recommend using jojoba oil.”