“A woman is helpless till her nail polish dries” – A Guide to 21st Century Manicures

You know the story – I’m sure that it’s all too familiar: You’re in desperate need of some pampering. What’s better than a manicure? So off to the salon you go, excited and ready to treat your neglected claws to some lovin’. You walk through the doors, inhale the promising scent of acetone and make your way to the reception desk.

And at this point you just want to curl up into a little ball and cry. They all do the same thing, right? Wrong.

It can be pretty overwhelming when you are confronted with so many options at once, and that can make it difficult to choose the right polish for you. So we have constructed a little guide to help you through the decision-making process.

Acrylic nails have been around for ages – they can be used to simply cover you natural nail, or extend your nail with tips. It is applied as a mixture of powder and liquid which then sets after a couple of minutes. Acrylic nails will dramatically strengthen your nails – they are damn near invincible. But if something does happen and one cracks or falls off they are very simple (cough cough cheap) to repair or replace. You will notice that your polish lasts a lot longer when applied over the top of an acrylic nail – very rarely will it chip in between appointments. Acrylic nails are pretty easy to remove if you decide that they are not for you – just soak your hails in a bowl of PURE acetone and they will come right off after several minutes. Just be aware that acrylics can damage your natural nail which might leave them a little weak until they grow out again.

Gel nails are the new kids on the block when it comes to lengthening and strengthening your natural nail. It is much smoother and glossier than an acrylic manicure and looks a lot more natural. They are painted on like a polish, with a free form guide stuck beneath the free edge of the nail so that the nail can be extended past the natural nail. Gels are flexible solutions that will enhance the natural nail and provide added strength and firmness. Gel manicures are ‘cured’ under a UV light that allows the gel to set almost instantly. Gel manicures generally last 2 weeks before they will start to chip or break. Like acrylics, they must be soaked off using a PURE acetone solution. Whatever you do don’t pick at your gel manicure if it starts to chip! I know that it’s tempting and a lot of fun, but its really removing layers of your natural nail plate with it. So not worth it!

This one’s pretty great. CND’s VINYLUX is a brand spanking new polish system that lasts a week…without a base coat! This is achieved through its Pro-Light technology which provides an enduring, long lasting polish through exposure to natural light!  Where regular polishes will chip and deteriorate over the course of a few days, VINYLUX dries naturally (no UV lamp!) with a flawless finish. The Pro-Light technology also means that it gets stronger ad stronger every minute – even days after you have left the salon! The VINYLUX polish doesn’t have to be soaked off with acetone – any regular polish remover will do. This  means that in the long term your nails won’t become dried out or brittle from over exposure to acetone. Please and thank you!

3-FREE & 5-FREE:
Did you know that there are a lot of nail polishes out there which are made with the same ingredients as car pain? Scary, but true. Fortunately, toxin-free polishes are the next big thing in the beauty industry. These polishes will generally advertise themselves as ‘3-free’, meaning that they are free of the three main nasties: Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate and Toluene. Finding polishes that are 3-free is becoming easier every day – but its still best that you know your brands. Acquarella, Honeybee Gardens and Butter all are great options.
If you want to take it one step further, ‘5-free’ polishes are available also. They are free of Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate and Toluene – plus Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor, too. ‘5-free’ polishes are produced by Hello Darling, Priti and Vapour Organic Beauty just to name a few.

Head to www.esstudio.com.au to check out the different manicure and pedicure opportunities that we have on offer!

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