Beauty Ideas That Save Time, Money, and Sanity
The Issue: Chipped Polish
The Solution: A Gel Manicure
Yes, you can stay perfectly polished without spending half your waking hours in a salon. A gel manicure dries quickly and
can resist chipping two to three times as long as a traditional manicure.
How it works: A technician preps your nails as usual, but when the color is applied, it’s cured under a UV light for a few minutes after each coat. This yields a hard, dry finish (you can reach right into your bag for your keys). The color can be taken off with pure acetone polish remover, found at drugstores.
Where and how much: Gel manicures are becoming available at more and more salons. Some list them on the menu as such, while others offer branded versions, such as Opi’s Axxium Soak-Off Gel Lacquers and Creative Nail Designs’ Shellac. Expect to pay about $20 over the price of a traditional manicure.
Results last: About 14 days or longer. So do the math: A standard $25 manicure might remain ding-free for three days, but with gel, $45 should buy you at least two weeks.
A word to the wise: Dana D’Andraia, a New York City manicurist who regularly “shellacs” her clients, recommends it for toes, too, especially before a vacation. “I call them round-trip nails,” she says. “They stay perfect for the whole trip.”
Try this at home: Sally Hansen’s new Real Nail Polish Strips ($10 at drugstores), which look like colored pieces of tape, adhere to tips dry, so there’s no wait time. But they only last—at the max—10 days.
Most Popular Galleries
Everyone agrees embarrassment can be excruciating. But is the emotion all bad? Discover its surprising upside—and learn how to get over it more easily—with this expert advice for kids and adults.