I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with manicures. I love the way they look, but hate that they take so much time to do and last for such a short time. Well, ladies, I think I might have just discovered the holy nail grail…
A few weeks ago I was walking downtown and saw a sign in front of Salon Beck that said something about “permanent polish.” I ended up going in the next day and talking to a friend of mine, Randi, who works there. She told me that it only takes about an hour to do, is completely dry when you leave, lasts for 2+ weeks, never chips and costs just a little more than a regular manicure.
I told her I’d give it a shot, but my expectations weren’t really high. Running Cincy Chic for the past four years, I’ve heard every claim in the book. Products promise the world, but very, very few deliver. Plus, I’m pretty rough on my hands. I garden, do yard work, clean the house without gloves, etc. So, I honestly didn’t think it would last that long because of my non-nail-friendly lifestyle. (For the abridged version of this blog, scroll down to the bold “So if you want my honest opinion” sorry, I got a little wordy…)
I went in two Wednesdays ago and saw Bopha, Salon Beck’s nail tech who specializes in permanent polish. She was the first nail tech I’ve ever gone to who has well-manicured nails. You know, the cobbler never has shoes scenario… nail techs are always buffing nails and removing polish, so they never bother to do their own. Well, Bopha said the permanent polish holds up to all of that so she gets to have pretty nails, too. Sign #1 this stuff might actually live up to the hype.
Even though they had tons of colors to choose from, I selected to get the french manicure polish. Bopha said there are a few brands that salon/spas use for permanent polish (i.e., OPI or Shellac), but they use Bio Sculpture at Salon Beck because they offered more color varieties.
They didn’t have to buff my natural nail with any machinery like they do for acrylic. There’s no dust or fumes at all actually. And it looked just like polish. It wasn’t thick like acrylic or gel nails.
Each layer of polish had to cure under a UV light. Bopha said this is what makes the polish stay on so long, and makes your nails completely dry when you leave the salon (good to keep in mind for the winter when you’re wearing gloves and boots!).
It took about an hour from start to finish. They were completely dry when I left, as they promised. So far, so good. Things seemed like a normal manicure pretty much at this point. But this is when my “Permanent Polish Project” began.
My project was to take a photo of my nails every day until they officially needed a polish change. I wanted to see how long they’d last and if they really did resist chips as well as their marketing claimed they did. As you’ll see in the slideshow below, they held up for 15 days. And when I say “held up,” they truly did. They looked brand new for two full weeks. Then, on the 16th day, it’s like they all retired at the same time. The polish started to weaken and crack off on four nails within 15 minutes of each other!
I was so thrilled they lasted 15 days, though. I didn’t change my lifestyle for these nails. If this manicure was something I was going to keep up, I didn’t want to turn into that whining girl who couldn’t do things because she didn’t want to break a nail. I wasn’t going to live with these nails… they had to live with me!
I was so proud of them. They lasted through me digging weeds out of my flower bed, moving rocks for a fire pit, cleaning the house, scrubbing the floors, doing dishes, bathing the dog, and a lot of other not-so-chic-things that I do when I’m not out buying new shoes. : )
So, if you want my honest opinion of this permanent polish, here it is: It is, by far, the best product I’ve ever tested. It lived up to its claims. It didn’t take an obnoxious amount of time to apply, it wasn’t that expensive (about $35) and it lasted for more than two weeks. Considering that any other manicure I’ve gotten or applied myself takes just as much time to apply but only lasts two or three days, it’s worth it.
Check out the day-by-day photo slideshow of my permanent polish project! (Dino my dog made a cameo in Day 13! haha!)