Beauty, Beauty Reviews

Gelish 3 Week Manicure Review – Carter Beauty – Take Two

23 Comments 10 March 2011 prides itself on being honest website, from reviews of products, to that of salons we visit and my personal weight loss journey not even mentioning my laser hair removal information!

This is not an attack on Carter Beauty, it is a honest representation of the Gelish treatment received on Tuesday (8th March) this week.

Following on my review of my Gelish 3 Week Manicure at Carter Beauty Blackrock last July, the salon owner, Marissa Carter commented on the post at the end of Jan’11 below:

Hi girls, delighted to say all our teething problems with Gelish are over (thank god as I was having a heart attack over it all!) I might ask some recent Gelish clients to post up their thoughts. I’m a big fan of and was so disappointed when the Gelish didn’t work so I’m really hoping that anyone who has had the Gelish with us will give positive feedback so people don’t write it off! My email is

I was delighted to hear the problems were over and as I like to keep things current on, I decided it only fair to give the Gelish at Carter Beauty Blackrock another go.

I debated returning to Carter Beauty myself but as the staff know me I decided to ask someone else to go along for the treatment, of course at‘s expense!

I had high hopes but unfortunately we haven’t had a great experience, in fact, it’s worse than the last.

My lovely hand model, Dawn, was running late for her appointment and the girl was noticeable put out by the 10 mins (understandably) but said the treatment could still go ahead. The salon was described to me as grubby, with numerous toilet rolls strewn around the main treatment areas.

These photos below represent how the nails looked yesterday (the morning after the treatment).


The French manicure looks ok from afar. The whites aren’t consistent in thickness which would be one thing that can annoy me but I suppose it adds to the natural look. If you look closely at the last photo above you can see there seems to have been an over application of the Gelish onto the skin of the baby finger which shows as whiter in the photo. To me this kind of edge can only lead to lifting early on.

On Wednesday evening, (24 hrs after treatment) one of the thumb nails came away from the nail while peeling a sticker off a box.


I wouldn’t expect this to happen after a regular manicure so especially not a 2 -3 week one!

Here’s how the other nails are faring on Day 2.

gelishday2Needless to say I can’t see the Gelish manicure lasting a week nevermind 2 /3… It’s a shame, I have heard many great reports elsewhere… Maybe we should try the treatment elsewhere.

Have you had the Gelish done? Where did you go? Would you recommend it?

I’m off to try out Shellac next week on my fingers & toes so stay tuned for an update soon!


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Your Comments

23 Comments so far

  1. Arlene says:

    I’m actually really glad you gave them the chance to redeem themselves. But sadly the results speak for themselves. Perhaps they need to think twice about offering this service, they’re clearly unable to provide it properly :S

  2. Holy moley, that does not look good. I’ve just had gels put on for the first time in ages and i would have been so disappointed to end up with the above result. I’ve had mine on for a week now and my fingers are still happy :) Mind you i got full gels not Gelish or Geleration. What did you think of the geleration btw because whe i get these soaked off in a few weeks im contemplating getting a french geleration mani done.

  3. Lynda says:

    Terrible Lee. I think manicurist needs to do another course. The white is applied so unevenly. I would be fuming if I had to pay for this. If the owner of the salon cannot see that the application of this product is below par then I am at a loss for words. If it were my salon I would be investing in further staff training.

  4. Lee says:

    @Sarah I loved the GELeration. I got a fab funky electric blue colour, haven’t tried the French one. Let me know how you get on with it

    @Lynda I know that since the first review staff were retrained… Hence why I assumed the problems were over & gave it a second go. Oh well, off to try Shellac this week :)

  5. Actionmags says:

    God that’s terrible.. People keep telling me shellac is brilliant and you can get it on your toes
    Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say maybe they excel in other parts of beauty

  6. Jen Shannon says:

    Oh not good!! I’ve seen that advertised but thought it was just another type of Shellac. Well I’ve had Shellac French manicure done at least 3 times and I think it is the best thing since sliced bread. My toes lasted two months!!! Was able to trim them easily, mind you I only had colour done on toes. My nails lasted 3 weeks easily and what’s even better is the natural nail underneath does not suffer at all. So enjoy Super Shellac..hope yours is as successful! Xx

  7. Hi Lee
    I am as frustrated as you that this salon has let you down again re Gelish

    Gelish is an amazing product, and when applied correctly lasts and lasts

    I hope you get to experience Gelish at a good salon, I feel that until that happens it would be unfair to compare Gelish and Shellac

    There are many pics of my work on my facebook page

    A good example is that all hairdressers have scissors but you wouldn’t let just anyone cut your hair

  8. evelyn says:

    hi Lee,

    I emailed Marissa after my first (disasterous) gelish and got no response – when she replied to the blog on March 8th, i brought this up again. Just to put this in context, I went to Couture Beauty in Tallaght for a geleration manicure (fab salon, would recommend!) and my nails started to lift after 5 days. I called the girls to tell them about this and immediately they asked me when would I like to come in and get my manicure replaced for free (which I wasnt expecting!). In my experience, Shellac is still the best, followed by Geleration as a close second, so I would go with these girls! Was very excited last week to realise that Shellac actually have produced some new colours!!

  9. Marissa Carter says:

    First off let me say that i will no longer enter into correspondence with real or imaginary clients who have been using this site as a medium to complain or discuss issues with their nails.

    In my opinion there is no way of preventing or protecting my business from vindictive attacks on the reputation of my business.

    I believe if a client has a legitimate issue or complaint it is only reasonable and fair that the company should be contacted in order to resolve the issue.

    My therapists are very well trained and I resent any implications that they are not.

    In the future it will be common practice that if a bad review is posted on a site such as this, before going live the site hosted will contact the company involved and ask that they try to resolve the matter with the client privately.

    I am very disappointed that you would send someone into my salon without contacting me first as you had done on three separate visits to my salon which were happily received by you complimentary and yet this time you gave someone money to pay? How does that work? Why didn’t you contact me and tell me you were doing a review? You did every other time? I find that to be underhanded actually.

    As for your remark, ‘this isn’t an attack on Carter Beauty’, it is and it is an outlet for disgruntled ex-employees and jealous competitors to damage my reputation. Clients with genuine issues can contact me directly as I will no longer respond to vindictive attacks on my business on this site. Businesses are trying to survive the recession, I employ 10 people and we work hard to be the best at what we do. Unfortunately on a website like this who monitors/protects the business from people with agendas, who stops competitors posting nasty reviews? Some who has a personal vendetta against me. Who protects my business from libel? The answer is no one.

  10. Lee says:

    @Marissa After my first review, during the telephone call when you insisted I take my original review down, you mentioned you had sent the therapists for re-training as I wasn’t the only unhappy client that complained of lifting after a few days. In January, you posted to let us all know that all teething issues were dealt with so I felt it was only fair to give Gelish another go in your salon.
    Why didn’t I phone ahead & let you know? How would it have been an honest review in this case. I did a “mystery shopper” scenario because it was the only way to conduct a review as a normal client. Not with special treatment.
    I have noticed you haven’t commented regarding the nails, which by the way all lifted and were removed by Friday afternoon.
    Regarding complimentary treatments, I reviewed your salon the first time without making myself known. You then read the article and contacted me to invite me in for your Summer Package FOC, which I accepted and was honest about in my review.
    Within a couple of weeks, I phoned Carter Beauty directly to book myself in to try out the Gelish manicure in July, you might remember you answered the phone, offered it for free if I wrote about it… Free or paid for I won’t let it sway my view or my website would be worth zilch. I offered money on the day of receiving my Gelish and it was refused and I also say in my reviews be it products or treatments if I received them complimentary or not.
    I can see behind the scenes a lot more information about the people commenting on the site and if you would like to make contact with anyone who has posted previously please let me know & I will contact the person to see if I can pass on their details.
    Hand on heart, this review was conducted in good faith & had the results been perfect so would have been the review.

  11. Marissa Carter says:

    Lee, your recent twitter posts are aimed at me personally and I find them unprofessional. One of your followers wrote: ‘you did right, now they can’t whine about it being an unfair review.’ to which you replied ‘oh you think they won’t whine I’m waiting for the call/email tomorrow!!!’ you also wrote to another follower ‘no doubt there will be backlash when she sees it’

    I call into question your professionalism and independence as a blogger making those comments. And who is to say that your reviews are honest and fact when you don’t pay for your treatments and openly talk about me in a public forum such ad twitter. You are misrepresenting yourself.

    Your comments mock me for defending my salon. I’m completely open to receiving feedback but I will not lie down and allow you use my salon as a punching bag.

    On a separate note, the ‘toilet rolls’ that were on the floor inthe manicure pedicure are ‘couch rolls’ but that was a nice attempt at a hit below the waist.

  12. Lee says:

    @Marissa I think you should concentrate on your issue with Gelish applications and leave me alone to work on my blog. You might deem my tweets as unprofessional which is your opinion but boy, wasnt I right!
    Nice work on the non posting of comments, you couldn’t resist!
    I really am sorry it’s come to this, I used to enjoy my visits to your salon. I suppose if there wasn’t an issue with Gelish, we wouldn’t be spending our Sunday morning slagging each other & our works online.

  13. Rosemary says:

    God but that last exchange is mad. My understanding of reviews is: if I am invited to do a review, and it is offered as a complimentary treatment, I will review it entirely objectively. Other times, I pay for treatments and then review them, also entirely objectively. It doesn’t really make a difference to the review whether or not the treatment is free – and I would in no way EVER contact a salon / restaurant to tell them I was giving them a bad review. Why should I? Journalists don’t contact people to tell them they’re writing bad reviews about them unless they’ve retired from journalism and are working in PR.

    Congrats Lee, good review and great responses to the comments. (Oh, and if anyone’s wondering who I am or what salon I’m working for, you can email me – – and I’ll tell you.)

  14. For anyone reading this and thinking that the last comment was independent here’s a link that to an article that shows Lee and Rosemary at the L’Onglex tea party last March. Perhaps they know each other????? If I wanted to I could have every person I know put up positive comments praising me and my salon but that’s not my style. Also it’s interesting to note that Lee is a member of Rosemary’s own blog website Fellow bloggers must stick together I suppose.

  15. Emma says:

    Great review lee,honest and fair-great blog too.,keep up all your good work,and dont mind ppl who dnt value ur honest opinion!!xxx

  16. Marissa Carter says:

    That should have been Hello to Emma Henderson another tea party goer with Lee. Gosh your fast Lee.

  17. Emma says:

    Absolutely ridiculous comments by marissa carter,i dont know lee,only as a blogger and realy respect her opinion. Well done lee..keep blogging and writing honest reviews!

  18. Rosemary says:

    Marissa, yes, I’ve met Lee. So I consider I know her. I wouldn’t, however, say we are “friends”, and as for her being a member of my site, that just means she reads it – as I do hers. Irish bloggers stick together insofar as we read each other’s blogs most of the time, but that’s about it. (As a point to note, if you search hard enough you’ll find that I was once at a party with Gisele, but somehow we haven’t kept in touch . . .)

    Seeing as you used the word “libel” earlier, I would question your saying that Lee is not being honest – do you contest the fact that she sent someone to your salon, and the visit resulted in the evidence in the photographs above? Or will you at any stage address the issue and say, “that’s a really bad result, so sorry, I’ll have to see what went on”, rather than reducing the entire argument to a series of personal attacks?

    I wonder as well if, had this review been in a newspaper, would you write to the newspaper in the style of your original comment? I think bloggers get a lot of flack because they allow commenting, while newspapers are given a lot more respect. I’m not arguing with you because I’m a friend of Lee’s (as I said, I know her but wouldn’t – no offence Lee – consider us friends), but because the principle of the matter is that she wrote a review that she deems to be honest and you haven’t at any stage attempted to refute the review itself, instead launching an attack on her ethics as a blogger.

  19. Laura says:

    Well done Lee, a great informative review. The comments from Marissa Carter are absolutely atrocious and extremely unprofessional!

  20. Anjee Busby says:

    I’ve met Lee once does that mean I’m not allowed to comment?
    The pictures speak for themselves no more or less, as your company is going through a recession so are the people visiting.
    I don’t believe Lee attacked your salon or you in any way, merely pointing out the disappointment in this treatment on not one but two occasions.
    I love your blog Lee and I often try a product that I would have not known about if it were not here, this will not be one of them.
    When freedom of speech and opinion is outlawed please let me know, until then hurrah for an honest blog with both good and bad reviews.

  21. rachelle says:

    I am shocked to see such an awful response from a business owner. Words fail me.
    Lee has done nothing wrong and Marissa as far as i can see has launched a personal attack on her.

    If Lee had been impressed with the manicure and wrote a glowing report would you still take the same stance Marissa? I highly doubt it.

  22. edel says:

    Oh my god, i cannot believe the sheer unprofessionalism and downright rude comments from Melissa Carter, what a way to do business!!!

    Lee is a very honest blogger – that’s why people resonate with her and read her blog regularly and is therefore influential. The only agenda she had was to provide her readers with an honest perspective on something that her readers are interested in. What did you exepct her to do after her second attempt to get a manicure, not write about it, write a false review saying how fab it was???!!

    Shame on Carter Beauty for acting so childish and defensive when this could have been handled better to the mutual benefit of both parties. You’ve let yourself down with your comments Melissa. No one else, including Lee or anyone supporting her, is to blame for that!

  23. Lee says: did its best to post everyone’s comments to keep a fair and relevant discussion going, however, as one comment is potentially capable of being construed as potentially defamatory of Marissa Carter, the comment has now been removed (the related comments by Ronan O’Flaherty have also been removed). Perhaps the comment should not have been published as it was.

    For the avoidance of any doubt, Marissa Carter did not expressly call Lee Kutner / a liar nor did she accuse Lee Kutner / of being unethical.

    This post was intended as an up to date review of a Gelish manicure and not as a forum for personal attacks, therefore, all comments on this post have been closed. Apologies to any contributors who are inconvenienced as a result. And apologies to Marissa Carter if she feels the comments were in anyway “vindictive”, that was certainly not the intention.

All about Lee

Lee Kutner

Originally from Rathfarnham, I moved to Shankill in 2008. I live with my husband Brian & Bichon Frise, Muffin. .. Read more