The alternate title for this article was My Love, Hate Relationship with Shellac Manicures. Regardless of title the point remains the same. Those absolutely devilish and delightful treats called shellac manis are going to be the downfall of yours truly and perhaps western civilization (of course the latter is only probable if those in charge of some oppressive dictatorship far, far away happen upon my blog and decide on peaceful means of conquering…)
I blame Canada really. Well my Canadian friend Dana more specifically, for forcing me into getting one about a year ago. She was going to Mexico and all but threatened my livelihood if I didn’t accompany (ok really she said” lets go get a mani, pedi” and I had extra cash laying around but in the retelling of this story she’s going to get more violent and aggressive every time simply so I have a scapegoat.) Besides we had just watched Anjela Johnson’s “Nail Salon” skit on You Tube, (which is HIGHlarious by the way – “honey why you no hab?” “you so prittaaay!” – if you don’t know what I’m talking about go watch it now, I’ll wait…) so it seemed appropriate.
Anyway…this event, the Canadian-You Tube-Shellac debacle, began my relationship with what has become a cruel, vicious, unyielding bitch of a mistress. If you’ve never gotten a shellac mani you’re probably rolling your eyes, insisting that I’m being a tad dramatic. To you I say two things, 1) no friggin’ way am I exaggerating 2) good for you, keep going with your nail purity, you’ll help ensure our children’s future and our children’s children’s future, thank you.
See shellac isn’t like normal nail polish. It’s hard and shiny and stays on for three weeks (if you can resist picking at the edges…Laura…). As the hubster would say they make you look “blah-blow” (yes that’s apparently the technical term for the sexy polish.) Practically perfect nails for three weeks for $25ish dollars, not too shabby! Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Well just remember that somewhere, someone thought it was a great idea to put cocaine in Coca Cola too. The theory sounds sooooooooo much better than the reality.
What you haven’t realized in the three weeks that your nails look perfect, is that all too soon they’re going to start growing out. (Nails have a tendency to do that…) When they grow out all hell breaks loose. The nail equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah rains down. And it’s all because that once perfect seem, the one down by your cuticle, will slowly creep up, exposing naked nail. It then has a tendency to curl up just the slightest bit, leaving you at the mercy of your sleeves, and jobs, and pets and dim sum for peeling. Don’t even get me started about what happens if you break your stupid nail! We’ll leave it be that your once beautiful nail is now chipped. And not it that simple “ah, it’s just one nail” kind of way. Shellac is thick and anytime you run your fingers over your nail or push a hand through a sleeve or your hair or whatever you feel that thick polish peeling up off. The natural reaction is to start picking, biting off even (Laura…) but what you’re actually doing is peeling off layers of your nail bed rather than the polish. (Those dictators I was referencing earlier would love that part – I mean what kind of sick bastard forces you to painfully destroy your own nail?)
Should you decide to forego the self mutilation you only have one option, return to the salon and have them remove it. They’ll soak the cotton balls in acetone, wrap you up in tin foil so you feel the humiliation your dog goes through when you put boots on him, and then scrape it off. Not awesome but better than the alternative. If you are a braver soul than I, perhaps that’s when you’ll tell the sweet Asian woman across from you that you just want polish removed. She’ll undoubtedly question you, try to upsell you, desperately maneuvering to get shellac back on those paws and unless you’re heartless, you’ll cave… It’s her job after all. And at this point you’ll need to treat yourself after such a traumatic experience? You easily justify another mani! (MORON!)
Here’s where complete and utter world domination comes in. If someone could provide an endless stream of free shellac mani’s this whole cycle would evolve into complete mind control. Myself, and women like me, wouldn’t feel caught in the endless loop of guilt, agony and bankruptcy that shellac mani’s produce. We’d feel better about ourselves and pulled together. And happy wives make happy lives or whatever that stupid saying is right? Without even trying you’d have legions of women voting for whomever was running on the “Shellac For Everyone Campaign” (obviously they’d be on board for equality and women’s rights too!) The government could employ a vast army of talented technicians rather than a literal army (think of the all the colors our defense budget could buy…) and we’d all be sucked in, over and over, to these state-run manicure salons. I, for one, look forward to standardized pricing and cleanliness standards. Though I desperately hope propaganda doesn’t completely replace Vogue and Dwell on the lobby table…