I like to have pretty nails. I like to keep my toes polished for "sandal season" and a pedicure usually seems like a good investment. It lasts a reasonable time and looks acceptable for that entire time. So before our trip to Florida, I decided to get a pedicure. A manicure on the other hand is sometimes a frustration for me. I've ruined nails before I ever left the parking lot and at best I can usually only keep them looking good for about three days. But, while my pedicure was drying the lady beside me was telling me how excited she was about this new type of manicure she had that day. She was pleased with the looks and the feel of the nails and the DID look gorgeous. I had heard about gel manicures and was considering trying one of these to see if it would last longer, but her testimony about this new procedure, called Signature Nail System, was so great that I decided right then to come back before my trip and have it done. Mind you, I had no idea what it really was but I wanted it. I've never gone in for the acrylic nails or the fancy airbrushing. I just like my nails to look pretty and that's hard when you actually use them all day.
I was very surprised to find out that what I was getting was closer to acrylic nails than polish! My first clue was when the manicurist came after my hands with the sander that looks like a human version of pedipaws, or a dremel tool. But, I decided to just go with it and see what it was like. I figured I could chalk it up to a new experience. So, here's my assessment: The nails looked wonderful and the polish and shine lasted almost three weeks! In fact I went back and had them done again, this time with french tips. They continue to grow and haven't torn or snagged on anything in that time.
Here's the down side: They are functionally useless. The ends are much thicker and blunter than un-enhanced nails so it's hard to use them for all those little tasks that we rely on our nails for like getting tape off something or opening the foil top on bottles of dressing. There are only two ways to get rid of them. Either you have to go back into the salon and have them use acetone to get it all off or you let them grow out. I suspect that once they're gone my nail underneath will be weaker than normal. I've been told that I can file them, but If I try to use a nail clip they will "shatter like glass". My plan right now is to let them grow out and try to keep them filed to a manageable level. I miss having nails that are good for something. But would I do it again? - for a special occasion, in a heartbeat - as an everyday thing, I'll pass.