The search for a manicure with staying power can be expensive and potentially damaging to nails. A traditional salon manicure with polish is affordable but requires extra maintenance to keep it from chipping. Here are a couple of options for long-lasting nail color:
Gel manicures were the first generation to last a full two weeks before breaking down. But the problems in some cases outweighed the benefits. If the nail bed is over-filed or the polish is peeled off instead of soaked in acetone, you can be left with weak, brittle nails. Another drawback to the process is the UV exposure between coats of polish. Several salons, including the Nailery (Olathe Pointe, 14925 W. 119th; Oak Park Mall, 11149 W. 95th St.; thenailery.com) offer LED light, which is healthier for skin and dries polish quicker than the UV rays.
A more recent option is the CND Shellac manicure, at numerous salons including Nails Mirage (5432 Roberts St., Shawnee; nailsmirage.com). It uses a very similar process, with layers of polish, cured under a UV light, but is said to be less damaging to nails. The claim is that because nails are wrapped in acetone as opposed to soaked in it, nails stay stronger.
There is much debate about the two processes, but experts do agree on a few key points for overall nail health:
Just a light buffing of the nail bed is needed.
If a UV light is used, prep hands with sunscreen.
Either soak or wrap nails in acetone to remove polish.
Give your nails a break from polish and apply a moisturizing strengthener between manicures.
If done properly, the gel or shellac manicures are a great choice for long-lasting color.
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