Maggie Rants [and Raves]

The Test of Time

by Maggie Franklin | November 20, 2013 | Bookmark +

We spent our weekend at Disneyland. Disneyland remains our preferred destination for a weekend out of town, being not entirely local, but not too far for a weekend trip. But our weekends are not the point. The point is, I spent my weekend in a highly populated place where the crowds represent a healthy mix of cultures and lifestyles from lots of different areas.


So I got to look at a lot of people who had their nails done who represented not just a small sample of local trends. I saw people with short, natural nails, nicely manicured in the latest colors. I saw Frenches. I saw long nails and short nails and pointy nails and flared nails and gel nails and acrylic nails and glitter nails and rhinestoned nails and hand-painted nail art.


It took me about five minutes of being in this industry to get over my prejudices regarding certain nail styles: I don’t care if your natural nails are so long they curl. I don’t care if nails are short or long, gel or acrylic or natural, pointy or flared, polished or rockstarred, or French or 3-D-rhinestoned-charmed-rockstar-nail-arted up! I appreciate the workmanship and quality of each look, if not the look itself.


But this weekend, I saw some nails that made me cringe. And the noteworthy aspect of this is that most of those sets were obviously proudly worn and carefully thought out. I saw some wicked red, white, and blue nail art on a set of two-inch duck foot nails — from the top they looked great. All blingy and made with love. But when your nails are two-inches long, it’s easy to see the underside from a distance — you gotta take care of both sides at that length, and the undersides looked like they hadn’t been cleaned in six months. Ewwwwwww.


I caught a lot of this sort of thing. No wonder so many people consider “fake” nails to be tacky!


High-profile nails need high-profile maintenance. The underside needs to be kept cleaned, by both the tech and the client. Nails can use a light buff along the edges. Gel top coats need going over with a little cleanser to keep them looking bright and clear, or we need to use gels that don’t stain so our work doesn’t look dingy after a few days of brushing against dyed hair, pockets, and purse liners.


I came home with a list of ideas about what I can do to keep the nails I do looking their best between salon visits. It looks like a lot of us could use that wake up call.

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