Anyone who has known me for many years probably remembers a time when my fingernails were perfectly manicured. Even when I started doing metal work, I kept my nails polished and immediately took care of any chips that happened so they always looked perfect. Then one day I took off the polish and didn’t paint them again for a very long time. And I liked not having to deal with the upkeep. Plus, if I ran over my nail with my polishing brush, or filed a corner off with my metal file, I didn’t have to worry about it affecting my manicure.
But I missed having fun with color and I missed how nice my nails looked when they were polished. I kept hearing about manicures that lasted 2-4 weeks and became intrigued. OPI created the Axxiom system and CND created Shellac. Both are applied then cured with light, but I wasn’t sure about the little differences. OPI had a great color selection (naturally) including some funky greens and blues, while the CND system was more classic in their colors and only had black and deep purple in the funky category. I did a some research and discovered that the OPI system is applied more thickly (almost patted on) and takes longer to remove. Plus, I’d heard it left your nails soft and weak. Not for me. The CND system is painted on, just like polish, and is removed more easily with pure acetone. One of the ladies at the gym had her nails done with the CND system and was really pleased. She gave me the contact information for her manicurist and I made an appointment.
I went in last Thursday to get it done. I was thinking it would be fun to have manicured nails for our anniversary weekend trip. Because the color choices were limited, and I don’t normally choose basic colors, I chose the deep purple color. Cheryl, my manicurist, explained that she’d apply a base coat, two coats of polish and a clear top coat. The base would cure for 10 seconds, and each additional coat would cure fore two minutes. Then I’d be done. No drying time. Nothing.
She pushed back my cuticles and scrubbed my nails before applying the base coat. I put my hand in a machine and a light came on the cure the polish. She then applied the color and finally the top coat. Once that was done, she took a rough pad and scrubbed my nails. The top coat comes out sticky and needs to be polished down. It all happened in about 30 minutes. And I was done! No need to wave my hands in the air to dry them and no worries about messing them up when I reached for my car keys. What fun!
But the fun wore off. Cheryl did an ok job applying the polish, but my standards for manicures is off-the-charts high. Personally, I can do a better job. So it bugged me. And, quite honestly, I got tired of the color. It was lovely, but I was done with it in about a week. Now, I will say, it never chipped or cracked, and I’m really hard on my hands, so that was impressive. I called Cheryl yesterday and asked if she’d remove the color because I was done. I think she was surprised I didn’t wait at least two weeks, but she was happy to take care of me. She applied the acetone, scraped the polish off with an orange stick, scrubbed my nails and applied cuticle oil. The polish removed easily and my nails look and feel perfectly normal.
Bottom line: it was a fun experiment, but I don’t know if I’d do it again. If I had a special event I wanted my nails to look good for, I’d probably do it. It was only $25 (the cost of a regular manicure) and took about 45 minutes, but not having to worry about chips is great. It would be the perfect thing to do for a vacation. In the meantime, I’ll keep my fingernails naked and concentrate on my pedicure.