As far as girls go, I’m a little high maintenance. I can say this definitively, having recently discovered I have more beauty appointments per month than social engagements.
I spend a solid hour getting ready in the mornings, and use so many different gadgets, lotions and potions that sometimes, I feel like I’m performing a series of magic tricks alone in my bathroom.
I’m not very good at it.
My most recent beauty obsession, however, is Shellac nail polish.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Shellac is a manicure technique that gives the same effect as gel or acrylic nails, without all of the damage. It goes on your nails just like regular polish, and then is “cured” by sticking your hand inside a little UV light box for about two minutes after each coat.
When you’re done, you get a sweet manicure that lasts for up to two weeks.
Since Shellac was first launched about two years ago, a multitude of similar products have been released trying to capitalize on its success. The one I’ve been getting lately is called Artistic Nail Design. It has more colours than Shellac, a shorter drying period and uses an LED rather than UV light. (It still looks like a microwave to me.)
The shellac or shellac-type manicure is great for a few reasons:
- It’s really shiny. What? Like you came here for deep thoughts.
- It doesn’t chip. Somehow, I always seemed to chip my regular manicures within one hour of leaving the salon. This literally brought me to tears once. It had been a very long day.
- It dries immediately. No more sitting around, watching TV on closed caption while you get yelled at to “be very very careful!!”
But Shellac also has its downsides. For example, I used to use my fragile lady nails as an excuse to get out of unwelcome/arduous tasks, like washing dishes, opening pop cans and placing keys on a key ring.
Now, at brunch, I have no choice but to open my own miniature jam and creamer packages myself.
The other downside to shellac is that you have to go back to the salon to get it removed.
Since it’s made from the blood of 8,000 glamour unicorns who sacrificed their souls in the name of beauty, it’s almost impossible to get off yourself. You have to go back to the salon, where they place little cotton balls soaked with acetone on your nails, wrap them in tinfoil, and let them soak.
I will admit, it sort of makes you feel like a crazy homeless person trying to pick up radio signals.
But just imagine how those poor unicorns felt.
Soon you’re done; and you’re sitting there looking at your jaundiced, scraggly-assed nails, when suddenly you spot the little plastic colour sampler on the table next to you. I didn’t know they had tturquoise! You think to yourself. That would totally go with the new circle scarf I got for Christmas!
……. And BAM. You’re $40 in the hole again.
In the words of the great Prophet MackLemore “I call that getting swindled and pimped”.
But you know what?
Because anyone who comes up with a kick-a$$ business strategy like that deserves the money we suckers pay.
I’ve been going through the whole shellac relationship cycle for about 8 months now; and while it’s ruining me financially, my nails have never looked better.
Currently, I am rocking this extremely professional shade of Easter Egg Purple:
My nails have also been growing like weeds. I brought this up with my manicurist the other day, and she told me that your nails actually grow faster with nail polish on them. Apparently they don’t like foreign substances on top and try actively to “push it off” by growing.
I find this idea somewhat distressing. Here I thought my nails enjoyed being a fun, vibrant colour. I thought they appreciated the creative statement they were making. But apparently, I was wrong. They hate it so much, in fact, that they will their little nail hearts to grow at an accelerated pace just to be rid of it.
I’m not sure I can keep exploiting my nails like this. When it comes to the price of beauty, the buck’s gotta stop somewhere.
Question of the Day:
Ladies- Do you get your nails done regularly?
And in the unlikely event that any male reader has made it this far, first off, I apologize for the incredibly first-world-problem that was this post. Secondly, I applaud your resilience and tenacity.
So I will now ask you this: