Ole House technologist and CND product expert Maria Laktyushina answers the most pressing questions about the beauty of nails on vacation. We start in order ─ with the main thing.
What is the most durable coating type?
The average “wearing” time of gel and acrylic coatings, declared by the manufacturer, is 3-4 weeks. Reality corrects this period to 2 weeks. But comparing "shellac" and acrylic on this indicator is incorrect: it cannot be said that one is better than the other - they are simply different. Therefore, when choosing, make a start not from advertisements and advice from friends, but from the condition of the nails: the coating that suits them best will last the longest. The choice is an individual matter, but in general the recommendations are as follows. For thin and weakened nails, acrylic is preferable: it is moderately hard (seals and protects the nail plate), but at the same time it is quite flexible ─ in case of a hard collision of the nail with any object, the coating will act as a spring and will not injure the nail. Gel polish works well for healthy ─ even and not deformed ─ nails.
Can "shellac" last all 10-14 vacation days, saturated with bathing, sun and active pastime?
The "life" of the coating only secondarily depends on external conditions, including contact with water (by the way, neither gel polish nor acrylic change their properties under the influence of the environment). First of all, the coating technology affects the durability of a manicure. What does it mean? In the salon, a competent nail service specialist, firstly, must assess the condition of the nail plate and recommend you the type of coverage (what was mentioned above). Secondly, he is obliged to observe the main rules: before applying varnish, degrease the nails and "seal" their ends, and directly in the process use the base, colored and top coat of one manufacturer.
For fans of the CND brand, a note: Shellac coating does not require washing down the nail plate before removing the old one and applying a new one, it is applied in a thin layer, and all five marigolds are polymerized in the lamp at the same time!
This minimum, in principle, guarantees that the long-lasting coating will last on the nails for an average of two weeks. But we must not forget about the factor of individuality. If the composition of the nails did not fit (and this is checked only by testing) or if an unexpected jump in the hormonal background happened, then unpleasant surprises in the form of chips, cracks and detachment of the coating, alas, are possible.
What challenges can you face when choosing acrylic on vacation?
They do not exist: acrylic quietly “lives” on nails for up to three weeks - and even after this time nothing will happen to it. Just the nail plate will grow back and the appearance of the nails modeled with acrylic will not be very aesthetic.
Are there any special tricks that can prolong the "life" of a manicure?
First of all, you need to protect your nails from mechanical damage (for example, in everyday life, a computer keyboard and a kitchen grater become strong traumatic factors for "shellac") and do not forget that not only an ideal color coating is responsible for the beautiful appearance of hands and nails, but also well-groomed cuticle. To moisturize and nourish it, take with you on vacation a cuticle care product with sweet almond, jojoba, rice bran oils and vitamins in the composition. By choosing this treatment in the form of an oil and applying it entirely to the nail, you, among other things, will be able to maintain the final shine of the nails for longer. The same rule ─ nourish and moisturize ─ works for manicure with a "standard" coating. Without an urgent need to correct the shape of nails with a "resistant" coating with a file, cut them and cut the cuticle masters do not recommend. Dirt from under the nails must be carefully removed with a manicure orange stick.
It is imperative to put a file with a hardness of at least 240 units in a travel bag: if necessary, it will help to correct the shape of the nails.
How to deal with a chipped varnish?
Do not try to paint over the resulting "bald spot". Chipping "shellac" is the case when you need to turn on perfectionism: the coating must be removed completely (of course, not independently) and the nail must be varnished again. If you know finding a craftsman on vacation can be a challenge, consider an alternative to the so-called “hardwearing” varnishes found in professional brands today (eg VINYLUX ™ from CND or Infinite Shine from OPI). They promise to stay on the nails for up to 7 days and do not require removal with a special liquid, which means they can help to easily restore the chip and restore the flawless look of the manicure.
What to do if your nail is broken?
It is impossible to "repair" it yourself (especially in cases where the nail is cracked at the root): this manipulation can only be done by a manicurist who has the necessary equipment for sterilizing instruments. Many still do not believe in this, but self-removal or sawing off the gel and acrylic coating is fraught not only with damage and deformation of the nail plate, but also with the likelihood of an infection entering deep into the nail. If the situation is hopeless, and there is no nail salon on the horizon, file the scrap as carefully as possible, wait until you return home and go to the salon.
Does a holiday manicure need a "finish" with UV filters for sun protection?
As a rule, gel varnishes already contain SPF in the topcoat, so they do not need separate protective topcoats. But if you prefer a classic varnish, then the "finish" must be used optimally - with protection from the sun's rays.
Getting ready for vacation:
Creative Play Gel Polish, Mood Hues Collection, CND (Sparkling Turquoise Pepped UP)
Photo: Getty Images, press archives
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