I was totally obsessed,” says beauty industry marketing and PR queen Joni Rae Russell, owner of LA-based Joni Rae & Associates. The object of her obsession? The acrylic nails she had been wearing for 26 years (and for which she estimates she paid $35,000 to maintain over the years). What would make this self-described addict give them up and go natural?

“First off, I started wearing my nails a little shorter,” says Russell. “Then, the salon I went to got too busy to accommodate my schedule and fit me in for repairs. At the same time I had adopted a more natural life (quitting smoking and wearing less makeup, for instance) and the nails just didn’t fit anymore.”

So, much to the shock of her nail tech, a few months ago Russell had her lovely long nails removed. While she was pleased to find her natural nails in such good condition, she was still hesitant to commit to the new look. The nails were very short, and she found polish didn’t last between weekly appointments.

Two months later, Russell is a convert “I finally have thin white tips peeking over the top. What a thrill! I find that the new formulas of polish adhere better and manicures last from week to week with simple touch-ups in between salon visits. What a great opportunity for salons to retail polish,” says the PR agent.

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