Submitted by The Aha! Connection Style Editor for The Aha! Connection
Manicure Terms We Need to KNOW!
The nail polish/manicure game has changed drastically over the last few years. Gone are the days we just picked a polish and either went to a salon for a mani/pedi or painted them yourself. Let’s break it down:
A few years ago ‘gel” polish was introduced and made drying times a thing of the past. Gel polish is applied and a series of fluorescent heat lights are applied to make it dry and last up to 2 weeks. I find it is really more like 7-10 days and this is with minimal chipping however original shine diminishes after around 5 days. The removal process requires buffing the nails and soaking in acetone. Some think this weakens the nails and some report it helps the nails to grow faster underneath the polish. Gel can also be applied to toenails. This not only extends the life of a pedicure but also provides a really shiny result.
This is quickly becoming the most popular nail application. I recently learned that “dipping” is the term used for what most of use erroneously call SNS. SNS is a brand of dipping powders NOT a process. SNS was the pioneer in the dipping game and has over 1,000 colors that are numbered, not named, which makes remembering your favorite colors difficult. You pick your color from a ring of numbered sample nails, not from the wall of colors like we did before. OPI has recently entered the “dipping” game and are referring to their colors in names we know and are easier to remember. OPI does not have dipping powders in all of their colors but they do have some old favorites we love and are rolling out newer colors in dipping. You can get old faves like “You Don’t Know Jacque”, “Strawberry Margarita”, “Cajun Shrimp” and “Funny Bunny” to name a few. However, I am told by nail professionals that SNS is still the front-runner as far as the quality of the product and that most use SNS for a base even if the color is by OPI.
The “dipping” process takes about 45 minutes and is a series involving coats of polish and nails being dipped into powders to create a nice result. I have found dipping to last 3 weeks with durable and shiny nails. The natural nail can be used but some also have tips applied to enhance the natural nail. The removal process does require buffing the nails with a ceramic nail drill bit and soaking in acetone. A good technician will reduce the use of the drill on the the bare nail. They can be removed at home by buffing the nail with a file and then a LONG soak in acetone.
This process is not widely used anymore. The nails are made by combining a liquid acrylic product with a powdered acrylic product (monomer and polymer). These are mixed together to form the nail. They have to be professionally applied and removed. The mixture of these products is thought by some to have unhealthy fumes for the nail professional and customer.
Whichever method you choose……Ready, Set, Go get your nails done!
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