And just when we thought we had this gratuity situation all figured out.


The age-old question, "how much do I tip?" is taking an even more confusing turn when it comes to the nail salon. We already know it's standard practice to add at least a $2 tip for less costly services like polish changes. For everything else, 15 to 20 percent tips are most common, though you can opt for more if your service is outstanding. That being said, we recently came across information that shook our standard tipping practices at their core. Apparently, gel polish manicures might require a greater tip than the 20 percent we're accustom to. An article on AOL suggests tipping your gel manicurist somewhere around 25 percent. Before you dive into a sea of despair as visions of even bigger salon bills dance through your head, hear us out.

Like all matters of tipping, this rule is open to interpretation. The thought behind increasing your manicure tip percentage for a gel service—even though the menu price is already higher than a standard manicure—goes along with the idea that we should tip more for services that require a bit of extra effort and time. As we all know, the gel process can be more labor intensive than a typical manicure, and oftentimes requires additional certifications. On our end, we can qualify the slightly higher price point with nails that remain chip-proof for weeks. When you think of it in those terms, you probably won't have a hard time shelling over the additional 5 percent, particularly when you've had a fantastic salon experience.

That being said, we suggest taking this new information as something to think about rather than a standard rule of practice. While tipping generously will forever be in good taste, we bet your instincts are always spot on. Just be sure to keep this gel-manicure tipping revelation in mind the next time you pull out your tip calculator after a particularly fantastic gel mani.