Lunchtime Beauty Q&A: Do I Still Tip Even If My Manicure Goes Awry?

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Hmm, it appears that the manicurist has cooler nails than the customer in this picture. Photo: Mladen Mitrinovic/iStockphoto/iStockphoto

Q: I had a manicure the other day, and the manicurist straight up cut my finger while cutting my cuticles, and it was a bloody mess. She didn't say anything, not even a "Whoops" or a "Sorry!" Should I have still tipped well in that scenario? —Emily, New York, New York

A: Tip well after someone's sliced and diced your digit and not even whispered a sorry? First off, that person then needs a background check STAT. I don't even want to know what other things he/she is okay with. So, no, if the job is not well done (and especially if there's blood involved), then you certainly do not have to tip the standard 20 percent, much less anything. In this case, it would have been acceptable to get right up the minute you saw red and walk your ass out of there. And if you're considering going back, think about it — if the technician cut your finger and didn't care, then how sanitary is this place overall? Are their tools truly sterilized and not just popped into that toaster-oven-looking antibacterial machine for a hot second? Do some looking around.

Back to the tipping thing, for future reference: If the offense was less egregious (i.e., did not involve bodily fluids) and you stayed for the duration of the treatment, then you have to leave something — in this case, 10 percent is pretty standard. Valid complaints: a manicure that takes FOR-EV-ER, nails that are cut too short (making it painful to touch anything), a request for a "squo-val" shape that turns out just plain square (oh, the humanity!), or a scalding-hot pedicure soak. And you should also say something — if this is your usual spot, then they need to know what can be done better the next time.

Please leave any and all Lunchtime Beauty Q&A questions for Christina in the comments — she doesn't feel complete when she's not advising people against the dangers of cuticle cutting and whatnot.