In general, manicures are a waste of money. The nail lady (or should I say nail technician) usually soaks your nails in lukewarm water, files a bit, hacks away at your cuticle and or skin, and spackles your nails with a couple of coats of OPI or Essie (if you’re lucky). Away you go with lovely nails for about 2 days (that’s assuming you didn’t chip them, bump them or scrape them at some point during the sickening amount of time it takes for them to finally dry). A couple of days in, the hang nails start to form, your busted cuticle bleeds and your fancy top coat has given way to chips and scrapes. I generally stick to pedicures and do my own fingernails. However, when daddy offers to pay for you to get your nails and toes done, it’s only right to heartily accept. I figured nice nails would be festive and they’d at least look good for Christmas.
I arrived at a local Vietnamese salon in Sacramento and was dismayed to find their nail polish selection lacking. A few old bottles of OPI and some crusty off brands were not exactly a good sign. I begrudgingly picked a dark purplish color (because of course they didn’t have my go to slate or burgundy), and sat down in the spa chair hoping their chair massager and service would make up for the lack of color selection. Just as I began to settle into my tabloid, the technician asked me if I wanted to try a new kind of polish called Gelish Soak Off. Assuming it was just some sort acrylic coating, I promptly said no. Not missing a beat she asked if I was sure and explained that the process was not in any way damaging to my natural nails and that it would last about two weeks without chipping. Whoa- a manicure that last two weeks!? This sounded too good to be a true especially since it was only 6 dollars more than the normals manicure. Sign me up!
In short, it was my best nail related decision I have ever made. Without harming my nails at all, she simply polished on a few coats of this polish, stuck my hands under dryer, sprayed the nails with some sort of setting spray and VOILA- dry, chip-less nails. It has been 5 days since my manicure and my nails still look perfect! The only downside is that the polish must be removed by a professional using the Gelish brand soak off system. But luckily, a quick Yelp search lead me to plenty of San Francisco salons that also use a chip-less manicure system (it turns out there are several brands that have them including OPI) . I am never going back to the normal manicure again. This picture is of my nails 5 days in: