04 October 2010

The Melancholy Death of Solar Nails

If you're pro-solar, acrylics and tips, you may want to skip this post... I'm pretty anti-artificial nails now!
I've been wanting fake nails for as long as I can remember. My Mom had her manicurist license when I was a kid and I used to always watch her apply nails, absolutely fascinated by how short and stumpy nails could be transformed into long and elegant nails in a matter of minutes. My Mom always warned me with "don't do it, it's not worth it..." and up until a couple of weeks ago, I heeded her advice.
My bestie and I decided to go and have our nails done; she, because her nails were and bad shape from work and me, because I had quit my job and wanted to do something frivolous to celebrate. I'm a big believer in at-home manicures, so I decided that I would go ahead and get solars, since it's not something I can do for myself.  Forty dollars and half an hour later, I had my first set of solars. I was so excited by having nails that I overlooked little flaws* and was more focused on "I have nails! Look how pretty and shiny they are!" They were awful.

solar nails

The first set that I had put on were way too square, too thick, had bubbling in the gel as it dried, and I had lifting after one day. By day three, several of the nails had actually cracked, my thumb nails had to be taken off since they were cracked all the way through, and  one of my nails had almost completely lifted off. Ugh! I went back to the place I had my nails done at, and they were nice enough to put on a new set. The new set went on pretty well and lasted for about a week before I caught my nail in the truck door and pulled part of it off. I will admit that while my nails were on, they looked really nice and using several coats of a base, I was able to change my polish color several times with little to no problems.
After I cracked my nail, I went to my trusty Walmart, bought a bottle of acetone, a new cuticle pusher, coarse grit file, buffing block, and Revlon post-trauma treatment.  To remove my nails I used the follow steps:

  • Clipped nails short
  • Used coarse grit file to get artificial nail as thin as possible
  • Soaked nails in acetone
  • Used cuticle pusher to gently lift and push acetone off of nail
  • Buffed nails
  • Used cotton pads soaked in acetone to remove any trace of solar nail left
  • Buffed nails again
  • Applied Post-Trauma nail treatment
After I took my nails off, my nails were so thin and brittle, with completely uneven surfaces that were visible even after applying several coats of nail polish. My nails had grown out a little since I had my solars put on and I have a VERY visible ridge that I'm trying to slowly smooth out with a buffing block.
I honestly don't think I'll ever have artificial nails put on again because to me, they weren't worth it at all.


*If you choose to have your nails done, SPEAK UP to your nail tech. If you think she's making the nails too square or too round, too thick or too thin, or if they just plain look weird, TELL HER. 

1 comment:

  1. yikes! Sounds like you had a really bad nail tech who didn't know how to do nails the right way. It is really hard to find a good nail tech. It should not have bubbled, that is a sign of a bad nail tech for sure.

    I can sympathize with you though, I recently got a bad set of nails that I took off. My nails were awful, peeling, splitting, torn, bleeding in some spots and overall awful! I just now grew them out enough that I can go put a new set on, but I am switching nail salons to a new one that has been highly recommended. I actually was googling nail designs and solar nails when I stumbled across your post about this. :)