NAILS typically displays nail art on real hands, but in our November 1988 issue, we decided to go with the rubber keychain hands that can still be seen on many a nail technicians’ set of keys. Some hands were even adorned with rings and pearl bracelets for a more feminine look.

Back in the mid-1980s, Cosmo Cosmetics’ tape-on nails promised “rich nails in a second!” Kits came with adhesive tabs and colors included pink, green, and gold – all with a cool metal look to them of course.

Creative Nail Design has had some blockbusters with Solarnail and Spa-Pedicure, but the company did come out with a few products that didn’t quite live up to their names. In the mid-1980s, Creative came out with two liquids: Phantom and Turbo. Phantom was supposed to be odorless – hence its name – but nail techs soon found out there was a distinctive scent to the product. Turbo was meant to be fast drying, but didn’t quite live up to its racy title. Another project, SolarBeam, was also introduced in the 1980s, but the light cure system caused a lot of lifting.

With A Touch of Spring’s Glitzy Fingers Glasses, which appeared in our September 1989 issue, nail techs could be just as cool as Whoopi Goldberg. The glasses, featuring gray green lenses and fingers attached to the frames, really made techs look like Hollywood has-beens.

Nail Skins from Nocturnal Nails were protective wraps that slithered – well almost. The wraps were featured in our March 1986 Product Spotlight and were actually made of reptile skins that the company claimed could last for months. “There’s so much you can do with them. There are hundreds of possibilities,” a representative for the company said. Maybe it worked well for those in search of a reptilian effect.

Although we think our covers usually look perfect, we have to admit that we have committed a few blunders here and there. Case in point. Well, two cases in point. Our April 1985 cover featured a model exercising away. While her nails are certainly attractive, readers’ eyes didn’t focus on her hands at first. Check out the picture to see what we mean. Our September 1988 cover was also one super blunder. Again, her nails look nice, but the loud colors and weird superhero pose were a distraction.

While we usually try to give our readers the most accurate information out there, there are times when we scratch our heads and wonder what on earth were talking about. An article in our February 1985 issue stated that there several chemical causes for lifting, including “lemons and limes and other acidic juices.” Guess we were a little sour when we wrote that.

In the early 1980s, Star Nail Products’ Pro-Polish Revitalizer seemed to be the perfect tool for those old bottles of separated polish. The thing was, many nail techs didn’t pay attention to the “half a bottle or less” instruction and would insert the revitalizer into a full bottle of polish. The polish would end up splattered all over the place instead of in the bottle. The company ultimately sold the product to health food stores and it now serves as a drink mixer.

NSI’s Rapture debuted in 1986, but the fiberglass mesh and resin with spray activator system was ultimately discontinued. This process was not chemical and since NSI is a primary manufacturer of chemically based products, it was outside the company’s focus. Another of its products, NSI Odorless Acrylic, is in great demand today. However, when it was launched in 1986, its technique was different than that of traditional acrylics and was beyond the grasp of nail techs at the time. With odor-free products all the rage now, nail techs are finally discovering its remarkable properties.

Although they were certainly pretty, cloisonne nails never seemed to catch on, as Angels Jewelry Manufacturing Company suggested in 1985. “Cloisonne nails are the most exciting items we have ever produced. They will be the hottest item in fashion nail jewelry,” a company spokesperson said. Maybe people thought they were just too pretty to wear.

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