7 tips to make your Shellac last, plus tricks to hide chips

Hannah Bates, Nail Technician and Esthetician

Our nail technician (and esthetician) Hannah shared her top 7 tips to keep your CND Shellac manicures looking great this summer (and tips for what to do if you get a chip).

 

  1. Oil! Lots and lots of cuticle oil.  

Apply cuticle oil to your shellac manicure at least once a day to improve your manicure’s longevity.  When the nail bed becomes dehydrated, your shellac is more likely to chip off.  Bonus: Keeping cuticle oil on the skin around your nails will also reduce the likelihood of getting hangnails and dry skin surrounding the nail.  We recommend CND Solar Oil which is made from Jojoba and Sweet Almond Oils to nourish the skin and nail.

2. Keep away from Harsh Chemicals

Not only can harsh cleaning agents and chemicals dehydrate your nails, but they can also change the chemistry of your shellac.  Some shellac colors may change slightly when exposed to cleaning agents, or even melt a little!  We recommend wearing thick cleaning gloves to protect your manicure, as well as rinsing your hands with soap and water, and finishing with lotion and cuticle oil to maintain a beautiful manicure AND a clean house.

3. Water Exposure

We love fun in the sun as much as anyone else, and CND Shellac is the perfect product for a manicure that outlasts the sand as well as the water.  However, when our nails absorb water, it causes them to expand and contract just the same way a wet sponge does, which can lead to peeling.  So should you go to the beach in latex gloves?! As much as that would be a sight to see, we just recommend washing your hands with mild soap and water after you are done swimming to wash away the excess chlorine or salt. If you know you’re going to be swimming a lot, let your nail technician know, and we have a few tricks up our sleeves! Remember to always re-hydrate your nails with cuticle oil at the end of your beach or pool day.

4. Stay Hydrated

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again, make sure you are drinking plenty of water which hydrates the nail from the inside out, and assists in keeping the nails from splitting, cracking or peeling.

5. Treat Your Nails Like Jewels-Not Tools!

Many times shellac chips or peels it’s because we are treating our nails as tools.  This is admittedly a very hard habit to break, and it’s something I personally am VERY guilty of. Use caution when opening soda cans, peeling stickers or price tags off of new items, and even doing dishes.  Again, here is where a pair of rubber gloves can seriously be a great investment in the kitchen.

6. Gardening

I just love when the spring and summer comes here in Iowa, the flowers start blooming, and I can grow fresh produce in my yard.  Unfortunately, with gardening comes WEEDING. Gardening gloves are an absolute must for the gardener who also loves their manicure!  Bonus: Adding a layer of latex surgical gloves underneath your gardening gloves is a great barrier option for keeping dirt and debris out from under your nails.

7. Always Remove Your Shellac Properly

CND Shellac is the only true non-damage long wearing manicure on the market.  That being said, improper removal can ABSOLUTELY damage your nails! My goodness is it satisfying when a corner of polish lifts up and you can slide the whole fingernail’s worth of shellac off in one lovely sheet.  However, this often takes layers of your actual nail plate along with it, and weakens your nails.  If this does happen to you, it’s best to give your nails a few weeks to recover before trying another shellac manicure, and make sure you are using plenty of Solar Oil and lotion daily.  Shellac that is applied to compromised nail plates is at risk for peeling and chipping sooner than when it is applied to healthy nails.  Remember to schedule an appointment to have your shellac soaked off by your nail technician 2-3 weeks after application! Worst case scenario, click here to see our video on removing it safely yourself at home.

So you tried your hardest and still had a chip?  Here are your best options:

  1. If the whole manicure to be re-done or just removed, call the spa and book a removal with us! A stand-alone appointment for removal usually only takes us 15-20 minutes, and we would love to assist you in removing them properly.
  2. MOST of our shellac shades are also available in CND Vinylux  corresponding colors! So if you are worried about chipping, purchase a Vinylux color for touch-ups on the go.
  3. If your chip is just on the edge of your nail, trim the edge of the nail where the chip is, and file lightly with a high-grit nail file like the one we offer you at the end of your manicure.
  4. If all else fails and you end up losing a nail of your shellac manicure try rocking an accent nail by covering the chipped polish with an accent color of your choice! 

If you your Shellac chips off of a nail, rock an accent nail like Hannah did in this pic with a polish you have on hand, especially if it is a glittery one.

Ready to book your Shellac manicure? Click here to schedule with Hannah or any of our great nail technicians! They are all a wealth of information and ideas on nail issues and look forward to your visit!

5 “Awkward” summer issues to mention to your spa provider

We’ve all been there, you show up for a spa service and realize you are wearing your stinky sandals, or you spent a day at a pool party and got some extra sun a couple of days before your massage. The good news is it is fine, and expected, for our guests to mention these and other common summer issues to their provider BEFORE the session so we can make accommodations!

Stinky Feet Situations:

If you are worried your feet are not as fresh as they could be and it is going to bother you so much that you can’t just relax, it is fine to mention it to your provider before hand! While you’re getting ready, they can prepare some hot towels with tea tree oil to freshen up your feet so you can relax into your session! Other spas and massage therapists are likely to have solutions as well.

Plantar Warts:

Tell your therapist if you have plantar warts, especially because some rooms are pretty dark and we don’t always see them. While plantar warts are not super likely to spread between people in a massage situation, we don’t want to spread on your feet and we know they might be painful to massage. Your therapist can also do deep compression work on your feet or hit reflex points through a sheet over the immediate area (assuming it isn’t painful) so not to worry, you’ll still get a great foot massage and we promise we won’t be weirded out! (Get more info about plantar warts here.)

Post-sun flaking skin:

Summer is the season of “bonus exfoliation” in massage treatments. Dry, sun-exposed skin will sometimes ball up as we massage the back, but fear not because we have a solution. Once this starts, we’ll add some extra oil to the back and buff it with a dry towel, this usually takes care of the layer of dead skin so we can get back to massage! If you suspect this will happen, let us know in advance so we can start the session this way and your massage can have a better flow to it. If you have big pieces of peeling skin or a serious burn, that is different. In that case, it is best to reschedule your massage with plenty of advanced notice or ask your therapist to avoid the area.

Foot or nail fungus:

Let your therapist know before the service starts. While people with a healthy immune system have better luck avoiding person-to-person infection from a fungus, people who are pregnant or who have certain health concerns may be especially susceptible to infection so they will want to avoid the area or work with gloves. If you are booking a nail service but have a nail fungus, your nail technician can complete all of the service safely except that if you want polish, you will have to bring your own or purchase a bottle of polish and any base or top coat you wish to have used for the safety of other guests. Unfortunately, a pedicure can’t cure a fungal infection. Learn more here.

Mystery Rashes:

If you have a rash that is more than on just one small area of the body away from where your therapist or esthetician will be working, please reschedule your service. If you have poison ivy, you definitely need to reschedule! The risk of transmitting poison ivy to your therapist and to many clients they see is too great. Please give as much notice as possible and believe us, we’ll thank you for rescheduling. Click here for our blog post on poison ivy.

Whew, see, that wasn’t so awkward, was it? It is important to have an open dialogue with your massage therapist, esthetician, and nail technicians. They are experts at what they do and are eager to help you feel comfortable, but they need good communication and feedback from you to make that possible. Ready to schedule a visit? Click here!

 

Our predictions for the top 2017 spa trends

It is always fun to see the changing trends in the industry. We’re especially excited for some of the trends we’re seeing leading into the new year.

Nails:

Our nail technicians have mostly been getting requests for natural rounded or oval shaped nails leading into the new year. They are glad to see fewer requests for sharp, squared off nail looks.

Nude shades are still in, but with a modern twist. Our nail technician Cyerra said that the most popular nude shades they are using for CND Shellac are Field Fox and Rubble.

On the opposite end of the color spectrum, bright neons reminiscent of the 80s have been so popular that the spring 2017 shades were released early and have been a huge hit over the holidays!  Ultra bright colors like Blue Eye Shadow, Pink Leggings, and Jelly Bracelet are reminiscent of a playful time. With many people finding 2016 to be a rough year, people are finding a bright spot with fun nail colors.

Massage and Wellness:

With a big push back against fake news coming into 2017 including upcoming warnings on facebook posts featuring fake news stories, we all hope the same holds true for online health information.  We predict that in 2017, people will take a harder look at their sources and become more savvy when researching massage, health, and wellness online. Earlier in 2016, we posted a blog about the best ways to find reputable health information.

Skin Care:

The biggest trend our estheticians see industry-wide is a movement away from manual exfoliation (like abrasive scrubs and microdermabrasion) toward chemical exfoliation like peels or acids. Harsh manual exfoliation risks spreading bacteria and can be too abrasive. Recent news of a class action lawsuit against Unilever, maker of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub, a long-time fixture in drugstore beauty departments may help to further public awareness of other forms of exfoliation that are safer and more beneficial than harsh scrubs.

What trends do you hope to see for 2017?

Get to know Cori

Cori HuginsCori Hugins, licensed cosmetologist, joined our team in July 2016 to provide safe and relaxing manicures and pedicures.  We’re excited for you to get to know her and are confident you’ll enjoy her as much as we do!  As a fun bonus, Cori has also attended massage school so the hand and foot massages she gives in her nail sessions are amazing!

Why did you go into this field?

To heal people and make others feel like their better selves. It’s a very rewarding career when you are able to have fun and help people at work!

What is your favorite service to give?

I enjoy pedicures and making your toes look beautiful!

What is your favorite spa service to receive?

I absolutely love facials! They’re relaxing, yet I know my face is being cleaned, and cleaned right!

What is your favorite way to reduce stress?

Yoga! I feel at least 10-15 minutes of yoga a day can reduce stress and tension in your back, shoulders, and wherever else you may be feeling uncomfortable. Breathing is a big one for me.  Take the time to just stop, relax, and breathe.

Do you have a favorite relaxation quotation?

“Smile and the world will smile back.” Whenever I”m feeling down or stressed, I think of this and live by it.  It makes me feel better knowing I may be impacting someone’s day, no matter how small, in a positive way.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

I’m a HUGE astrology nerd!

Why should clients visit YOU?

I’m caring, a great listener, and will give you an excellent service.  I will make sure to give you the nail service that is exactly what you are looking for.

To schedule a relaxing manicure or pedicure with Cori, click here to book online!

Get to know Cyerra, Licensed Esthetician and Nail Technician

FullSizeRender(1)Cyerra Kemp is the newest member of our team, joining us in October, 2015.  She studied cosmetology nearly a decade ago and after taking time to care for her children, Cyerra returned to school to study nail technology and esthesiology.  We are so happy to have someone so enthusiastic about her career on our team, her passion energizes all of us!

Why did you get into this industry?

I love making people’s nails beautiful.  I get joy from helping others relax after a long day.

What is your favorite service to give?

I enjoy performing manicures with nail art.  I have also grown to love waxing.  I enjoy giving facials too because it is such a relaxing service.  I guess you can say I love everything.

What is your favorite service to receive?

EV Signature Pedicure and EV Signature Manicure with Shellac.

What is your favorite retail product?

Farmhouse Fresh Butter Rum Scrub

What are your favorite ways to de-stress?

Turn on some music and practice nail art techniques

What advice do you have for clients?

Solar oil cuticle oil and sunscreen are your best friends.  Don’t forget to take time for relaxation.

Why should our guests visit YOU?

I can provide a relaxing experience at the spa.  And, for nail art, I’m your girl!

To book an appointment for a manicure or pedicure with Cyerra, click here!  If you want to add nail art, please add an upgrade for french tips or Rockstar Nails so that ample time is allowed.

 

 

The Spa Newbie gets her first CND Shellac Manicure!

Our awesome summer intern, Alyssa, has had her final “Spa Newbie” experience with us, the CND Shellac Manicure.  We feel like she’s graduated to spa expert status over the summer and will miss her! Here’s what she had to say about her manicure:

*****

I have had my fair share of manicures at the local spas.  I don’t normally like up keeping my own nails, so when I got the chance, I would find myself getting a gel-polish manicure.  Every place I had been to, I felt as if I was sitting in the chair for hours.  By the time I walked out of there, I wondered why I even went.  At that point in time I wasn’t too thrilled going to the salons anymore.  I felt like I exhausted my limits and decided it was something I could do on my own.

I went out and decided to go buy my own imitation “shellac” kit.  At first I thought it was the greatest thing in the world.  I could paint my nails once a week and I wasn’t concerned about money and the time spent at a salon.  Eventually, I noticed that my cuticle beds were no longer healthy and my nails in general were in very poor shape.  My manicure polish would only stay on for 3 days maximum.  I have tried dozens of times to fix this but never have been able to make it last very long.  I haven’t pulled out my kit in almost 4 months now.  I will bring it out occasionally to give myself a manicure before a weekend trip.  I do not think I will ever be pleased with my own at-home manicures.  They never have that professional look.

I had the pleasure of receiving a CND Shellac manicure from Hannah.  She did not use any products or water first and did a dry manicure.  This included shaping the nails, pushing back the cuticles etc… Then she applied a base, two layers of color, and then the top coat.  Then she used an alcohol cloth to remove the sticky layer.  The last step was applying the Solar Oil on my cuticles to make sure they were nice and moisturized.  I chose a bright pink shade that seemed fitting for the summer.  I was very surprised how easy she made it look and how fast it was to accomplish a great shellac manicure.  This was the perfect amount of length for me to be able to enjoy it to the fullest.

Alyssa's nails right after her CND Shellac Express Manicure with Hannah

Alyssa’s nails right after her CND Shellac Express Manicure with Hannah

I never had been to a place where there was CND shellac before.  This is a non-gel which doesn’t damage the nails like all the other polishes out there.  I have found that this is one of the best polishes that I have come across and wouldn’t go back to any other brand.  It has been over a week now and it looks just as good as it did when they were first done.  With my always on the go lifestyle, I found it amazing that I haven’t had one chip yet.

Alyssa's CND Shellac manicure 8 days later, still looks amazing!

Alyssa’s CND Shellac manicure 8 days later, still looks amazing!

I am very impressed with my manicure and 110% would recommend it to anyone and everyone.  The quality of service I have received with each individual service since being here at East Village Spa, has been superb.  Everyone here is so professional and makes you feel cared for.  I have been to no place like it and I’m not sure I could ever go back to the places I had gone to in the past. I’m a big fan.

*****

Best wishes to Alyssa and we’ll look forward to meeting future interns and introducing them to the spa!

4 common reasons Shellac polish chips, plus solutions:

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE CND’s Shellac nail polish (the Original Gel-Hybrid Power Polish), but we don’t guarantee it to be chip-free in every situation.

Problem 1. You’ve spent a lot of time in water.  (The inspiration for this post was my weekend trip to swim in Wisconsin’s gorgeous, but skin-drying lakes…between the water and piles of alcohol-based hand sanitizer, my Shellac chipped on one very dry nail).

Water will cause your nail plate to expand and contract which gives more opportunities for the polish to lift.  Spending time in chlorine-y pools, ocean water (yay, vacation!) or soapy water (lots of hand-washing) can also really dry out nails and polish leading to chipping and lifting and there isn’t much your nail tech can do about that.

tubing

 

Solution: Keep CND solar oil handy and apply regularly.  I know, it isn’t fun to think about cuticle oil on vacation, and it is a pain to think about re-applying it regularly if you have a job that requires frequent hand washing, but it is really the best way to try to keep all that time in water from causing your Shellac to chip or pop off.

Also,  using rubber gloves if you happen to have to be washing dishes or kids toys soapy water for an extended period of time helps!

Problem 2. Picking off your polish.  If you pick off your polish, it will cause nails to peel (delamination).  When your nail tech re-applies your Shellac, it is likely to peel because the nail underneath is peeling.

pick at nails

Solution: Keep a Shellac removal kit handy, we sell them, you’ll get several  uses out of them, and knowing you have a removal kit at home can save you from mindlessly picking off your Shellac while waiting for your next appointment.

If the damage has already been done and you’ve got peeling nails, try a treatment like CND’s Rescue RX for a week or two on “naked” nails before going back to Shellac to give your nail tech a healthier canvas to work with.  You can also just go to a polish like CND Vinylux which wears well (but not nearly as long as Shellac), removes easily (not a fun one to pick) and doesn’t require the extra time or up-charge that Shellac does.

3. Using your nails as tools.  If you use your nails to scrape or peel at things, you are likely to experience chips at the tip of your nails, even with the best polish application.

Nail quote

 

Solution: Knock it off!  ha ha, ok, I’m so guilty of this so I can’t really talk, but if you use your nails to pick at labels or tear open boxes, keep goo gone and box cutters handy so you have fewer excuses.

4. You have super short nails: Shellac still is great for short nails (we have so many massage therapists on the team so our nail techs are used to working with our little nail nubbins) but they can’t really “cap the free edge” of the nail as well as with nails that extend beyond your fingertip.  This is a polishing technique that helps Shellac stand up to wear, tear, and shrinking better.

leopardfoils

Solution:  If you are trying to grow your nails, Shellac can be a good tool because it is a harder polish so makes them less prone to breaking and less fun to nibble if you’re a nail biter. Can’t grow nails because of your job or lifestyle?  No worries, you are less likely to use your nails as tools (See #3) so you might still get some great wear out of your Shellac.  Plus because the polish is thicker than regular polish, you might get away with a bit more length than normal because it blunts the edge of your nail a bit.  You can also go with a more neutral color so it isn’t obvious if it pulls from the tip a bit.

Need expert help?  Book a manicure with one of our awesome nail techs!  They are great at advising you on the best polish or treatment, helping your nails to look great at the length they are, or helping you to grow them if that’s your goal!

The Spa Newbie Gets a Pedicure!

Alyssa, our intern from Grandview

Alyssa, our intern from Grandview

Blog post by Grandview Business Student and Spa Intern, Alyssa:

As a business management student, I never thought I would find myself in a day spa yet alone interning at one.  I grew up in a town of less than 130 people, so there were not many amenities to be found.  A great opportunity arose and I will be working at East Village Spa for the summer.  One of the perks about being at a spa is getting to try out the services they have to offer.

I was ready to bust out the sandals for the summer but my feet have seen better days. A pedicure was calling my name. Cassandra was my nail technician and she used the watermelon basil vodkatini scrub and then then for the foot massage, ginger sorbet lotion. I can’t express how great the foot rub was; it was the ultimate relaxation. I chose Vinylux Tropix as my color. I am all about the bright pinks for the summer months.

As a newbie, I have only had experienced two pedicures. I’ve been to places that made me stick my feet into whirlpool chairs. I noticed that East Village Spa used a foot bath instead so I got a little curious as to why. I learned that whirlpool chairs are not sanitary and can cause infections if the jets are not cleaned properly. The spa uses a clean disposable liner which is sterile. They also use single use nail kits which you can take home with you. You can really tell the spa cares about health safety.

Overall, I loved the experience and am very glad I got to start off the summer with some fresh sandal ready feet. I am eager to try other services during my time here like the Skin Renewal Peel and EV Signature Massage. I feel very lucky that I was able to get such a great internship here at East Village Spa!

Note from the spa:  If you want to try out the Wellness Pedicure that Alyssa had, or ANY of our great services, click here and schedule your appointment online!

Happy Birthday, CND Shellac!

CND Shellac, the original gel-polish hybrid, turns 5 years old this month and we have been using Shellac since it debuted at a show in Las Vegas.  In fact, when we learned about this revolutionary new product, I bought a plane ticket to Vegas so I could be among the first to purchase it and bring it back to Iowa!  Our nail technician and esthetician Cassandra recently took an advanced CND Shellac course where she learned new techniques, tips, and tricks and learned about the soon-to-debut new top coat and lamp.  The new CND Shellac Top Coat will be available soon and will make removal even faster and gentler!

Cassandra also learned 5 interesting CND Shellac Facts, we’ll share one for each year we’ve been able to enjoy Shellac:

5: Every CND Shellac Color is individually formulated to create the best color, which explains why some are thicker or thinner, and some hold foils better than others.

foilscollage

Add some fun to your Shellac with a foil upgrade on all or part of your nails.

4: CND’s new LED lamp has been in development for THREE YEARS!

3: Swimming, dishes, or other hobbies or chores that submerge hands in water aren’t great for Shellac, but Cassandra learned that prolonged exposure to heat from a hair dryer or hot laundry can also cause Shellac to lift.  (but if you don’t pick at it, the polish edges should go back to where they belong in time!)

2: On average, fingernails grow just 3 mm/month. In our experience, keeping a hard gel polish like Shellac on, can help keep you from biting or breaking your nails!

1: While it started with just 12 shades, currently CND Shellac comes in 83 shades (As of right now!)

Our CND Color collection!

Are your products doing what you THINK they are?

We all want to get a great value, but I’m amazed by how many friends, family members, and clients are not getting the results they should from certain products or treatments, but are reluctant to change.  Here are a few I’ve caught recently.   I’ve really been re-thinking a few of my own product choices lately too.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Moisturizers with SPF

I read an article online recently quoting a dermatologist who recommends sunscreen only as opposed to facial moisturizers that include sunscreens.  It made really good sense, actually. I had always felt fine knowing that my beloved Derma E BB Creme has SPF 25.  BUT…the dermatologist argued that for sunscreens to work, they have to be applied liberally to the skin. I only dot the BB Creme where I need help evening my skin tone.   Many people who use moisturizers with SPF only dot them where needed and certainly don’t apply heavily under make-up.  This is fine for walking from Gong Fu to the spa, but not for prolonged sun exposure.  I need to invest in Derma E’s facial sun screen in addition!

Hand Cream for Nails and Cuticle Care

For dry skin on the hands, hand cream is a must, but most lotions are too heavy to do much to help dry cuticles and peeling nails because the molecules are too big to be effective.  A cuticle oil with smaller molecules is more appropriate as it will absorb quicker to moisturize dry cuticles can even penetrate through nail polish to hydrate nails underneath.  Clients who complain that their Shellac chips after a few days of wear but refuse to use an oil designed for cuticles that can penetrate through gel polishes because they believe their thick hand cream can do it all won’t get the results they want.  Fortunately, a mini bottle of Solar Oil is less than $3 and will help keep nails from peeling underneath Shellac and will work wonders on dry cuticles and overall nail appearance.  Partner the cuticle oil WITH your favorite hand cream for the rest of your skin, you’ll be looking like a hand model in no time.

Daily Exfoliation Cleansers:

You only need to exfoliate 1-2x/week with a good exfoliation product like Derma E’s Microdermabrasion Scrub.  Daily cleansers with plastic beads are not doing enough to exfoliate, some drug store scrubs that are promoted for daily use are far too harsh due to the jagged edges of the abrasive ingredient.  Even a good quality exfoliation product should not be used more than twice weekly.

Callus removing tools

Many people mistakenly believe that metal blades to shave or scrape calluses are the most effective way to remove them, but in reality, these harsh tools actually can damage skin leading to scarring and harder calluses as the skin works to repair itself.  In many states, including Iowa, Credo Blades (metal callus razors) are  illegal in nail salons so if you see one, RUN!

If you have hard calluses that are bothering you, the safest way to soften them is to use a gentle foot file like the ones we give you during your pedicures at the spa regularly in the shower, but not TOO aggressively.  Products like Farmhouse Fresh Honey Heel Glaze can also gently soften calluses.  Our calluses do serve a purpose in protecting our feet, especially for runners, walkers, and people who like to wear sandals or walk barefoot, so it is important to leave some callus!

Epsom Salt Baths:

We are total advocates for baths with Kneipp aromatherapy salts or Epsom Salts (even the drugstore epsom salts!) but you can get too much of a good thing.  Some people mistakenly believe that salt baths soften the skin, but in truth, they can be quite drying, especially when combined with the hot water.  If you take baths regularly, either add a softening agent to the bath in addition to your salt like a light bath oil (almond or jojoba) or the Kneipp Skin Soft Almond Bath, or be sure to rinse the salts off briefly after a soak and apply a good moisturizer.