MIL demands a manicure for free just because she's "family"

I’m a nail technician, self-employed, I work from my home. Back in December we, beauticians, were forbidden to work due to Covid by the government of my country and we were only allowed to start working again literally yesterday. I have spent three months with no income at all and my MIL obviously thinks that’s how I should continue.

Fortunately, I cannot complain about the lack of clients. As soon as the restriction was lifted, I started getting calls from lots of people who wanted to get their nails done, including MIL. That surprised me a little, as she had never chosen to get her nails done by me, but I didn't think much of it. She wanted a manicure with shellack, I agreed and told her that the regular price is 25 euros (that’s probably around 30 dollars in the US). However, because she’s my family member, I can make a little discount to her and it’ll be 20 euros.

MIL was like ”Ok, but it’s not going to cost anything for me, right? ” and I said ”Why? It’ll be 20 euros”.

MIL said ”But I’m family! You cannot seriously ask for money from your own family. Who does that? For family, everything should be free!”

I was like – the only thing free in today’s world is cheese in a mousetrap and only for the second mouse. Aside from that, nothing else is free. All things and services cost something and at her age, she should understand that. I have done my mother’s nails, my sister’s, and my SIL’s and they all pay me. Why should I work for free, especially when I have already spent so much time without any money rolling into my account?

MIL said ”But that’s not my problem that the government didn’t let you work! And it’s not my problem that you weren’t getting paid! Your clients shouldn’t suffer from your personal issues!”

I said ”Listen, MIL, my clients come for my services fully aware that manicure isn’t charity work. I offered you a smaller price which I don’t normally do, that’s a benefit only for the women in my family. 20 euros is a very reasonable price for a shellac manicure. If you’re still not satisfied, then there’s nothing I can help you with. Good luck finding a nail tech who works for nothing but a ”thank you”.

She didn’t ask anything from me anymore but she did call my husband and told him everything in the most dramatic way possible – that she was waiting three months to get to a nail tech and now I’m so mean and so money-hungry that I refuse as much as help out my poor MIL.

Thankfully, my husband is also self-employed and understand

... keep reading on reddit ➡

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Yes ma'am.

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Manicure never lasts, what am I doing wrong?

On average, my manicures last less than 24 hours. That's right, I don't even get a day of wear. And y'all, I'm doing all the things I'm supposed to. I use a base coat (most of the time Orly Rubberized Bonder Base) and top coat (usually Seche Nails Dry Fast Top Coat), I make sure to leave some space when painting the base coat at the bottom and top of my nails so the polish can stick to the nail itself, I wrap the tip of both my polish and my top coat around the tip of my nails so the edge doesn't lift, I always remove excess skin for a smooth surface before I paint, I clean my nails with acetone before applying base coat, I use nail oil to keep my nail beds hydrated... and still after not long my nail polish begins to flake and peel away.

What is it that I'm doing wrong? Does anyone else have this problem? I spend so much time and care doing nail art and spend quite a bit of money on beautiful, special effects polish that I love, and I never get to really enjoy it. I'm not expecting to be able to wear the same mani for long, but more than a day would be nice. Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone have any tips?

I'm considering how an at-home gel polish would do me, but that requires spending more money on equipment and specialized polish. Plus, I love the polish that I have and from what I understand regular nail polish and gel don't go great together? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Plus, when I would get gel done at a salon it wouldn't last long either, maybe about a week at most? Not that long for gel, with the exception of this one salon I would go to where I used to live, idk what they did to my hands but I could make a gel mani from them last 2-3 weeks if I was careful.

Thank you for reading this far. If you can't tell, I'm frustrated. I just want to hold on to my pretty manicures for like, two days? Three days? My expectations are low at this point.

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