Manicure advice needed, please

<p>My nails are a mess, pretty much all the time. I garden a lot, I do a lot of things that are pretty destructive to nails... Very rarely, I get a cleanup-and-polish while I'm vacationing, which makes my very short nails look kind of okay. I'm pretty much only comfortable in pale pink polish.</p>

<p>But I have a special occasion coming up and I want my hands to look really nice, which I think means a manicure, but I don't know what to ask for. I want my nails to look natural--not artificial talons--but not as short as they really are. How do I find a manicurist and what do I ask for?</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>First, try to wear gardening gloves. I’m an avid gardener and when I don’t wear my gloves, even a few times, it wrecks havoc on my nails. </p>

<p>A good manicurist will be able to shape your short nails so they appear longer, along with pushing back your cuticles back. Don’t go to any manicurists who cuts your cuticles. They should be gently pushed back off the nail after they are softened by soaking.</p>

<p>I would suggest a French manicure (it’s pale pink polish with white polish on the tips.) Imo, a FM makes your nails appear longer and the perfect manicure to wear for a fancy affair.</p>

<p>My nails are really weak and break easily. In addition to that, when I’m in truffle-making mode, I wash my hands probably 20+ times per day, which makes them break and crumble all the faster. So I get where you are coming from.</p>

<p>My advice is to TRY to avoid breaking or otherwise damaging your nails for a week or two prior to the event. Wear gloves. Then get a regular manicure, and select a stronger color than pale pink. :slight_smile: It really does help in making your hands look better. A French manicure, which you might like, may not be feasible for really short nails. (If you are on the blue/red spectrum, there is a nice color called Koalaberry…) I would NOT get into wraps and that sort of thing, because that requires a long-term maintenance schedule that you are not going to be willing to comply with. I believe that you <em>could</em> get tips on any nails that are really short and broken, though.</p>

<p>BTW, gel manicures should also be avoided. The substances involved are toxic, and removing them is not easy and requires soaking in yet more toxic substances.</p>

<p>Edit: Every manicure I’ve ever had involves soaking, pushing the cuticle back, then trimming it. It may be possible to not trim it if you have regular manicures, but for those of us who have one once in a blue moon, just pushing it back is unlikely to work.</p>

<p>I do wear gardening gloves, but I don’t wear gloves while I’m training the dogs, and I have a MAJOR dog event two weeks before my daughter’s wedding (which is the special event), which means my nails will be a complete mess by the end of that. (When training, I hold treats between my fingers, which means the dog chews my fingers, which really breaks the nails, worse than if I chewed the nails.)</p>

<p>What are “tips”?</p>

<p>You can buy press on nails at Walgreen’s, etc. that actually look very nice. They won’t hold up to dog training but should be fine for a wedding. I’ve used them before and like them. If you want something that will last longer, you can get artificial nails put on (tips). They grind down your real nails some, apply the tips and polish. They can cut them to any length you want. For a wedding I would suggest getting a French polish (white at the tip then pink-skin colored for the rest). You can also get a “permanent” manicure which uses your own nails and basically a really strong nail polish. You do have to have some length to your nails for those to look nice though.</p>

<p>One thing about the artificial nails, when they come off your nails will be extra brittle and tear/rip easier than they already do. I have the same problem and I have used fake nails in the past, love the look, but it’s almost painful letting my real nails fill in.</p>

<p>If you have the money, why not got and get a manicure at a local salon now? That way you can see ahead of time what they can do. I only go once in a blue moon, have short nails and big hands, but I can tell you that a manicure makes my nails look great and I feel wonderful. It would be worth the money to go and get it done now just so you can see if you like it, even if you are going to mess it up. Plus you get to try out the color you want.</p>

<p>I would do the new gel/shellac manicure that is cured under a UV light. It looks great and will last 2-3 weeks. It then gets soaked off and your nails will be fine.</p>

<p>I switched for acrylic nails which are very bad for your own nails to the gel manicure. I don’t find the gel hard to remove. You can soak a cotton ball in remover, lay it on your nail, then wrap the finger in tin foil. Let it sit about five minutes and then remove. the gel polish should come right off. The harder polish makes your nails strong so they will grow better on their own.</p>

<p>I also have weak nails and hands that are constantly in use. I don’t get manicures regularly, but I do occasionally. The gelish can look nice even on shortish nails (there is a color called Blush (or similar) that is stronger than pale pink but not overwhelming for short nails. It does last for 2-3 weeks and I got compliments on my usually forgettable (at best) nails.</p>

<p>I have also had the French manicure (gelish also, but regular polish would likely be fine). I find it looks quite nice on short nails. That is my favorite and what I would recommend.</p>

<p>Too bad you are not in WA… Gene Juarez does fabulous manicures. Make sure to bring your own polish and ask the manicurist to use it. I rarely paint my nails (gardening, acetone in the lab, etc.), but when I do, I splurge on Chanel or Lancome nail polishes. They last longer than the cheapo stuff that most manicurists use.</p>

<p>My mom uses a hard as nails nail polish (i think that is what it is called, i can’t really remember). That stuff lasts for like 2 weeks (easily) and her nails are super hard and really hard to break. This is with her getting into a unch of stuff.</p>

<p>Like MomofWildChild, I highly recommend a gel /shellac manicure. I rarely got manicures, … until recently. I was never interested in the artificial nails, and I previously found that the polish chipped within 2-3 days even with a professional manicure. I just didn’t feel it was worth the expense. Before a special event in March, I decided to get a French gel/shellac manicure, based on my daughters recommendation. Two weeks later, there was not a single chip at the tips! After two weeks, there was just some beginning peeling of the base of the polish near the cuticles, where the nail was growing. Truly amazing. Since then I have gone back every 2 weeks for either just re-polish (always gel/shellac) or a complete manicure. If your cuticles don’t grow like mine you could even get away with just the repolish most of the time.</p>

<p>I have had so many compliments on my nails, and I love the subtle ‘manicured’ look of the French manicure. My next option is to use a pale color so that the new growth at the cuticle won’t be very apparent by the two-week point.</p>

<p>The gel or shellac polish is cured under UV light and needs to be removed at the salon or on your own with 100% acetone. If you are getting your nails re-done, there is no charge for the removal, otherwise it is $5 at the salon I go to. The product my salon uses is Gelish. [Welcome</a> to Hand and Nail Harmony](<a href=“]Welcome”></p>

<p>It sounds like you are planning ahead, so my recommendation is to get a complete manicure with gel/shellac about 2-2 1/2 weeks before your big event. That will be your test run and also time for your nails to grow with the ends protected. Then a day or a few days before your event, return for just a repolish or a complete manicure.</p>

<p>Let us know what you end up doing.</p>

<p>I also endorse the gel type manicure; my nail tech uses the Shellac brand, and the neutral color I wear is called Romantique. It lasts for (almost) 2 weeks and looks great.</p>

<p>Also, short nails are what is more in fashion now; I keep mine pretty short and I like how they look. Good luck!</p>

<p>Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding!</p>

<p>I am hard on my nails and I don’t enjoy manicures (pedicures are great in the summer). </p>

<p>This product is great. Use it twice a day and in two-three weeks you will see a substantial improvement. Then - right before your big event, head into the salon!</p>

<p>My $0.02–I get pedicures regularly but only <em>very</em> occasionally get manicures. (Pedis last ~ a month; manis more like a week.) I don’t know how to put this politically correctly, but I go to one of the cheap, no-appointment type salons. I just don’t think paying $45 vs. something like $15 gives you a noticeably better manicure, and I really don’t think anybody is looking at my hands (or feet!) closely anyway.</p>

<p>BTW–I’d stick with your pale pink concept. I always go for more fun colors on my piggies, but really like a subtle, almost natural color on my hands. I just don’t think you want to draw attention to them (plus DH thinks strong nail color looks like claws). (I’m also not a fan of long nails, hands or feet. I keep mine very short.)</p>

<p>For 25 years I’ve gotten tips plus gel or acrylic every two to three weeks. I keep my nails relatively short, paint them a natural color and they look totally natural. Because I do it regularly, I don’t worry about what my real nails look like. Its easy and like haircuts becomes just another part of being well groomed.</p>

<p>I knew I’d get good advice here. The gel/shellac sounds possible… if it works, I could have my own nails… Hard to know if it can stand up to being gnawed on by dogs, but certainly something I can try now, and I like the idea of a test run. There’s a nail shop next to my regular grocery store, it’s been there for years, so I assume they know what they’re doing, so I’ll see if they offer the gel/shellac option.</p>

<p>Thank you all, and I’ll keep you posted.</p>

<p>MyLB - My DH has often commented to me that he does not think most men find bright or strong nail polish attractive. He also refers to “claws” or a woman’s hands looking “witchy.” </p>

<p>I also vote for pale pink!</p>

<p>For those who do the gel thing, I recently read something that said the substances used were highly toxic. What do you think? And for people like me who are not going to spring for manicures every two weeks or whatever, does the gel damage the underlying nail?</p>

<p>I’d love to try the gel thing, because I find a manicure lasts much less than a week before it starts chipping, but I was put off by the toxin issue. I really do NOT like those very long nails some women are into, but it would be nice to have decent looking short nails more of the time, and mine really need help. :)</p>