What’s the deal with dip nails?

Dip nails aren’t new, it is an old acrylic nail application system that has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years. At our spa, we’ve seen a big uptick in clients coming in with dip nails, thinking they are the same as a gel polish manicure (think CND Shellac) or can remove like a regular polish. Unfortunately, not all salons that offer dip nails full explain that these are acrylic nail enhancements and don’t remove the same as a CND Shellac gel manicure. We don’t offer dip nails or dip nail removal, so we hope to clear up the confusion! Don’t get us wrong, we’re not opposed to dip nails (and some of our employees occasionally get dip nails), they just don’t align with our mission of providing safe, natural nail care.

Why do people want dip nails?

Dip nails are popular for people wanting more of an enhancement look. They tend to look more “built up” on the nail. They’re also billed by many salons as lasting 3-4 weeks. While the product does adhere very securely to the nail (more on that in the next section), you will still see nail outgrowth at the base after a couple of weeks like you would with any gel polish like Shellac. Some people who use Shellac can extend their wear past 2 weeks, but most choose not to because of the look of the outgrowth.

For people who want an acrylic nail, dip nails are a less fussy application system. Just be aware that there are more sanitary forms of application than double dipping into a shared jar of product, as so often seen in images of the dip technique. If your salon doesn’t use individual powder applications, that’s a red flag.

Why can’t you remove my dip nails?

Some brands of dip nail products claim they can be soaked off with acetone, but we’ve found this is usually not the case, even after manual filing of the top layer. There are many brands. Often, the product is layered. To get the effects of nail art, additional gel polish coats may also be applied and layered on top. We have no idea what products were used and what the manufacturer’s recommended removal is.

Many salons use e-files (the drill) to speed up the process. We won’t use this because of the risk of damaging your nail and also because we don’t want our guests, employees, and massage clients in the next room breathing in the acrylic dust. More than one client has told us to just rip the dip acrylic nails off because that’s what their usual salon does. We definitely will NOT do that, and recommend that you don’t either!

Will you ever offer dip nails?

No, acrylic nails and nail enhancements fall outside of East Village Spa’s mission to provide safe, natural nail care. That said, we will not be offended if you’ve been a CND Shellac devotee but are dying to jump on the dip trend. This is a great story from the Today Show about a gel polish enthusiast who tried dip nails, and how the two services compared to each other.

If you want to try dip nails, we can refer you to another salon and I promise we won’t be mad. Like I said, some of our employees have even tried dip nails so we get it, it can be fun to see what the fuss is about. We just ask that when it comes time to remove your dip nails, you visit a salon that offers this service so they can do so according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Licensed Nail Technician Cyerra giving me a CND Shellac maniure. Full disclosure: I’m a Shellac enthusiast who has never tried dip nails. I have seen the frustrtaion of my team members and their guests in trying to remove them, which has served as a powerful deterrent!

Cassie Sampson owns East Village Spa, offering skilled massage therapy, Rhonda Allison facials, Hydrafacial, and safe, natural nail care with CND Shellac, Vinylux, and Zoya polishes. Click here to learn more or schedule!

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!

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!

A manicure to remember

I received the sweetest phone call from a client recently.  She brought one of her family members who is living with Alzheimer’s disease to visit us for several services.  Her family member was a lovely woman and she smiled throughout her services.  The client called us later to say that while her loved one didn’t remember the massage afterward, she enjoyed it in the moment and that is what counted.

She did say though, that the manicure was especially nice for her loved one because of the compliments she received afterward at church and from friends who noted how pretty her hands looked.  She also said that while her loved one didn’t remember receiving the manicure, every time she looked at her beautifully polished nails, she knew something special had happened and was happy.bloghand

This call brightened my day.  Remember to enjoy pleasant moments as they happen and I wish you a week full of happy surprises and moments that make you smile.