Wake up and smell the acetone

I am sure by now you have all heard of the newest trend in nails… Shellac. First and foremost let me say this, it is an innovative nail system that is an awesome idea. It is a great product and Creative Nail Design is a great company with terrific products for our hands and our feet. Shellac was created so women could have nice looking nails without chips and also to promote healthy nail growth. Shellac is a nail polish system that lasts up to two weeks without chipping, every woman’s dream. Unfortunately it is becoming a nightmare.

The reasons for the sleepless nights are these…poor application and removal of the product and not educating the client about what they are putting on their nails. At least four times a week I have a woman come into my shop either with red, irritated nails and cuticles wincing as she explains the horrors of Shellac or asking if I sell acetone so she can “soak her hands” to remove the Shellac – because that’s what her “nail girl” told her to do. YIKES!!! So I am taking  upon myself to give you all a heads up about this product…call it Nails 101.

(From the CND website) – Shellac is a breakthrough, patent-pending UV3 technology that combines the ease of polish with the permanence of gels.

So, it is a polish/gel product. It is not recommended to be applied to a nail bed that is damaged – peeling or splitting. It is not meant to be used as a nail strengthener. The proper removal process is to wrap each individual nail with a foil nail wrap that has been saturated in acetone, leave them on for approx. 5 – 15 minutes (depending on how long you have had the Shellac on your nails), remove the foil nail wraps, then gently remove the remaining Shellac with an orange wood stick. YOU SHOULD NOT PLACE YOUR HAND IN A BOWL OF ACETONE!!! Also, the nail tech should NEVER use a drill on your nail to remove Shellac. Ever.

Shellac is meant to be applied by trained Nail Professionals and removed by trained Nail Professionals. I stress the word Professional. Ladies, please, for the love of all that is great…when you go to get your nails done, ask what the Nail Tech is doing. Ask what she is using. Do not let her put your hand in acetone. Next time you sit down to get your nails done, if you are asked to “soak your hand in this” – ask what it is and unless you are at Home Depot, there should not be a drill in sight.

Beauty, Fashion

Put my hand….where?!?!

We all love a manicure. Our hands look so dainty and pretty as the sun catches the glimmer of the freshly painted top coat. Sometimes we opt for the danger and taboo of a design, sometimes candy apple red. Of course I am speaking of the nail polish color being candy apple red – not the cuticle and surrounding nail bed and skin.

This week alone I have met two women in extreme pain. The culprit of said pain – poor removal of shellac and gel nails. Shellac is an awesome product when applied and removed PROPERLY. Shellac will keep your nails chip proof for a 2 – 4 weeks. They have an acrylic base – that is why your nails must be cured under a U.V. light (cured as in hardened – not cured as in healed…sorry, had to clarify, you would be surprised how many times I have had to clarify that point). Gel nails – well we have all heard of those. The majority of gel nail systems are acrylic based, so unless applied and removed properly, damage to your nail may occur. Now – back to the red.

After question upon question posed to these poor souls who could hardly pick up their keys because their fingers were so sore and raw it came down to one common factor – acetone. Acetone remover is what one can use to remove shellac and gel nails – there is one way and there is a proper way. To be clear, I am not a nail tech nor aesthetician. In the training that I have been fortunate enough to sit in on and the demonstrations that I have seen, the better way to remove shellac or gel nails is this;

– soak a cotton pad with acetone

– place it on the nail

– wrap the nail with foil (there are now little finger sleeves available)

– leave on for 5 -10 minutes

– remove foil and cotton and gently remove the remaining shellac/gel with an orange wood stick – gently scraping so you do not damage the nail bed.

* Some systems have their own remover – placed on the nail and then under U.V. to remove

Unfortunately for the two women I met and for countless others, the above method is not used. The preferred method to my horror is;

– put your HAND in this bowl of acetone.

Question – at home, would you pour acetone into a bowl and put your hand in it for 10 minutes? So why are you paying someone to do this to you?  Some use this method because they don’t know any better, some because it is quicker. The downside to this method – besides not being able to pick up anything from money to men and hands and fingers as red as a drunk’s nose is there is a possibility of contact dermatitis. The skin around your nails, your cuticle and the pads of your fingers can become flaky and easily irritated and you may become more prone to infection and hang nails – depending on how much the nail bed was damaged.

I know you are looking down at your nails right now, it is alright. Now you know. Take a breath. Knowledge is power my friends.

Remember – Madge had people soaking – but it was Palmolive.