Fashion Friday: The Shellac Report


I am 100% sold.

Okay, more accurately and a little less gushingly: I’m about 95% sold. There are a few drawbacks, but they’re pretty minor, and the advantages outweigh the drawbacks… in much the same way that the Brooklyn Bridge outweighs a potato chip.

I’m talking about shellacs, the new long-lasting manicure technique.

I got my first shellac job — I know, it sounds really filthy, like it’s slang for some obscurely perverse sexual act — about 3-4 weeks ago. I got my second one a few days ago… because that’s the time when it was just starting to chip. I am not kidding.

I’m not gentle with my hands, either. During those weeks, I was washing dishes, digging through my purse, scraping off stickers, picking at jewelry clasps, typing and typing and typing and typing and typing. The manicure survived. It did more than survive — it flourished. It looked every bit as awesome two weeks after I got it done as it did when I walked out of the salon. It was visibly growing out at the base long before it started to chip at the tips. When they say it’s long-lasting, they are not fucking kidding.

Which, for me, is a huge, HUGE plus. Time is the demon dog constantly yapping at my heels: I have six ten twelve hours of work to do for every hour of time that I have, my email inbox is a Lovecraftian hellscape that makes me weep blood every time I open it, and I barely have time to eat and sleep and watch Project Runway. If I can hit the nail salon every few weeks instead of every few days, that’s an extra few hours that I can spend dismantling misogyny or demolishing religion. (And no, not getting my nails done at all is not an option. That’s crazy talk.)

And I love, love, LOVE the fact that you don’t have to wait for your nails to dry. Once a shellac job is done, it’s done. You don’t have to spend any time at all trying to get on with your life without using your hands… and you don’t have to be on that annoying, constantly vigilant “Are my nails dry yet?” watch. You can write, eat, dig through your purse, give a handjob, whatever… the second you leave the salon.

And, of course, very importantly: It looks awesome. The color is rich, and deep, and super-shiny. And the fact that it lasts for days, indeed weeks, means the awesomeness lasts and lasts and lasts. Having a perfect manicure without ever having to worry about it; never having to go out for a special evening with an annoying chip that probably nobody else notices but that’s making me fixate on it like I have obsessive- compulsive disorder… that’s a pretty gosh-darned exciting prospect.

So what are the drawbacks?

They’re mostly pretty minor. And in many cases, when you look at them more closely, they’re not actually drawbacks at all.

Drawback #1: There aren’t as many color choices. This is the big one. There are approximately eleventy-seven majillion color choices with regular nail polish; there are only a few choices with shellacs. So if you go into the salon for a shellac job thinking, “I’m looking for something in the lavender family, but with a slightly silver-blue tint, and it should be opalescent but not glittery”… chances are you’re going to be disappointed.

But I strongly suspect that this is going to change. And soon. Shellacs are getting more popular — for obvious reasons — and as they get more popular, manufacturers are going to make more colors. And I suspect this will create a snowball effect: the more available colors there are, the more popular shellacs will become… and the more popular they become, the more colors will start getting made…

Drawback #2: It’s more expensive. Except it’s not really. At my salon, a regular manicure costs $10, while a shellac job costs $25. But since the shellac lasts so much longer, it’s actually more cost-effective. I would have had to get three manicures, maybe four, in the time I spent not having my shellac job re-done.

Now, if you’re the kind of girl/ boy/ whatever who changes their manicure every few days to match your outfit and your mood, this equation won’t pan out. But if you’re like me, and you’re happy to get your nails done and then forget about it for a couple/few weeks, shellacs will actually be cheaper.

Drawback #3: It takes a little longer to do. Admittedly, I wasn’t in the salon with a stopwatch, so I don’t know exactly how much longer… but the process is a little more involved than a regular manicure, and a little more time-consuming. Not a lot more, but a little.

On the other hand, this is seriously counterbalanced by the fact that — as noted above — once a shellac is done, it’s done. The time from walking into the salon and walking out is a little longer… but the time from walking into the salon and being free to do whatever the fuck you want with your hands is much, much shorter. And this drawback is also counterbalanced by the fact that — again, as noted above — you don’t have to get them done nearly as often.

Drawback #4: You pretty much have to get a shellac job done at a salon. There’s special equipment and stuff — among other things, the polish has to be dried under a UV light. So if you’re a do-it-yourself-er when it comes to nails, then unless you want to invest in the equipment, you’re not going to be able to do it at home.

This is a non-issue for me, since I never do my own nails, since I suck at it. The pros do a much better job for very little money, and while I am generally speaking a cheapskate, manicures are a problem I’m perfectly happy to throw money at. But your mileage may vary. (I do know one person who bought the special shellac equipment so she could do it herself, and that would pay for itself in not too much time.)

Drawback #5: The removal process is a little intense. You have to soak your nails in undiluted polish remover for a full five minutes, and then they have to literally scrape the stuff off. (I’ve heard that you’re not supposed to get a shellac if your nails are weak.) So your nails are a little fucked-up afterwards: not disastrous, but a little chalky and less than ideal. So it’s not something you want to do unless you either (a) don’t care if your nails are a little fucked up and chalky, or (b) are willing to keep getting them done. Once you get a shellac job, you’re kind of committed.

But that’s totally fine with me. I am already committed. I am in love. Shellacs have ridden in on a white horse and swept me off my feet, and we’re going to live happily ever after. I never want another kind of manicure again.

P.S. If “shellac job” were a slang term for an obscurely perverse sexual act… what would it be?

Comments

  1. says

    Love the frivilocity of it… like the old man said, “Budget the luxuries first!”

    And obviously, the sexual act would involve holding still after being sprayed in the face with orgasm-induced fluids until they dry, then heading to the store to pick up some canned corn and light bulbs.

  2. happiestsadist says

    It sounds pretty much entirely perfect for you. :)

    I’m definitely more one of those “change colours every three days” types, and am pretty good at the diy mani-pedi, so I’ll stick with the old-school, but I will pass this info on to those who aren’t quite so me.

  3. says

    As a female who occasionally plays around with slapping nail polish on her fingers for the sake of pretty colors, could you do a post (or comment) articulating exactly why not getting your nails done is crazy talk? (like what you love about “done” nails, etc etc)

  4. scramble says

    Hm. As a career sewist/tailor, getting my nails done was too pointless to consider or devote any thought to at all. A manicure would get wrecked within two hours at work. This shellac business could be a total game-changer….that’s trouble!

  5. scramble says

    I *do* have a concern about the use of a uv light to dry the polish, though…..isn’t that pretty dsngerous?

  6. marianna says

    Greta, I love that you’re addressing this, let me say that first off!

    I usually am extremely meticulous about checking stuff out before I put it in or on my body, but I for some reason have a mental block with beauty products sometimes. About 8 months ago I started getting acrylics with a shellac topcoat. I slathered my hands with broad-spectrum sunscreen to try to prevent any issues with the UV light. Gawd, I loved it. However, after about 5 months of getting my nails done every 3 weeks, I started getting a reaction. My fingertips would be puffy and itch like crazy whenever I got my nails done. I had to stop. Of course, my nails look horrible again, but I just couldn’t bear it. It was probably the acrylic, but I don’t know what the ingredients are in the shellac, so it’s anyone’s guess what caused it. I just wanted to make you aware that you might have issues, I’ve heard that problems are commonplace. Don’t forget to put on your skeptic’s hat when it comes to amazing beauty treatments that appear to have no downside. :)

  7. Laura-Ray says

    Man, I’m pretty bad with nail polish. The second I get a chip, this thing in my brain says “Okay, it’s all gotta go. CHEW IT.” And I’m pretty sure ingesting all that nail polish is not so good for me. So I think I might try this! But does it feel funny? I know having fake nails drove me nuts, just feeling something clinging to my cuticles feels a little unnerving. Do they do that?

  8. Barn Owl says

    I’m pretty happy if I can keep my nails and cuticles manicured sufficiently, such that they don’t snag on my knitting, and that I don’t have hangnails. No polish. Several fashionable, manicured, impeccably coiffed colleagues have encouraged me to get a professional manicure, and I have four good reasons not to do so: 1) toluene, 2) formaldehyde, 3) dibutyl phthalate, and 4) female manicurists of reproductive age, exposed to items #1, 2, and 3 on a daily basis. An old friend from grad school is (among the many things she does) a consultant for the California Healthy Nail Salons Collaborative, and if there were such a thing in my backwards state, with certified “green” nail salons and consideration of working conditions for manicurists, I might consider getting a professional manicure. Might. Maybe. Come to think of it, probably not.

  9. Azkyroth says

    I *do* have a concern about the use of a uv light to dry the polish, though…..isn’t that pretty dsngerous?

    Not if it’s only directed onto the polish and the polish absorbs it decently.

  10. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Okay, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve actually used “shellac job” for something in the past:

    Most folks think the active partner in going down on someone female bodied is the person going down. However, with a lover that shall be held… and held some more… this was not precisely true. And by the time we were done, my face was **coated**. Since we both are inveterate snugglers (and bcuz DUH!) I didn’t go running off to wash my face. This regular, glossy-crackly glaze caused my partner one night to say, “If you go down on me, I’ll give you a shellac job!” I had teased her about her juicy enthusiasm (friendly teasing of course), and she was teasing me back by pulling the bug/feature switch.

    To be perfectly honest, I was much more concerned about my regularly puffy-swollen lips, but I had pretended to be offended at the shellac job for comedic effect. And so in the future, instead of asking me to go down on her, she “offered” me a shellac job. Depending on how you play, the shellac may cover more or less of a body, but in general, a shellac job is what people get in exchange for a good going down.

  11. Krytella says

    I’m a relatively femme woman, but I just don’t do nails. Too much bother. And this is from someone who thinks nothing of the prospect of walking a mile in 5″ stilettos. I’ve never been to a manicurist. I do sometimes paint my toenails, and I find it lasts a lot longer before chipping. But I can’t get a professional pedicure because I have fungus in my toenails (and don’t want to take toxic meds to get rid of a cosmetic condition).

    Also, I occasionally stick my fingers up people’s butts and I like to be able to cut my nails short at a minute’s notice if there’s a prospect of this happening :)

    I don’t think I’ll ever do shellac since I’m not committed enough to keep getting it. But sounds like a step forward for people who do usually get professional manicures!

  12. AnneS says

    OMG[1], that sounds amazing. I rarely get my nails done because whenever I do I become incredibly paranoid about chipping them, so something more robust would be ideal for me.

    [1] The G is purely rhetorical.

  13. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    I’ve got an OT question having to do with nails.

    My nails break easily. I keep them trimmed short and I clean up the breaks with emery boards. What can I do to keep my nails from breaking?

  14. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Krytella #12 –

    I’m with you. I am not high femme. I’ve struggled for a long time in coming up with a relatively accurate description of my gender expression, & I’ve recently hit on “tomboy femme”. I think that’s fairly accurate. But “practical femme” might be even closer… heels just aren’t practical, neither are long fingernails.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t **love** having fancy nails, just means they aren’t worth the bother most times. So for me, what I do is keep a lovely pedicure & lay off the fingernails. That way I have all the delightful options well trimmed nails allow, but I still get to express myself with my feet.

    It sounds like we think very, very much alike on this issue. If you didn’t wear heels, I’d say I’d found my fashion mate! ;-)

    But seriously, Greta: what are the consequences of using shellacked nails against mucus membranes. Do you know? Once the nails are set, is there any possible consequence for a lover? And here’s an even more important question: Do they taste and/or smell bad (or even at all)? I think kissing & sucking fingers & toes can be all sorts of delicious fun, but I’m sensitive enough that I don’t like doing it in the first couple of days after having nails done. Is the same true for shellac? How long does it take before all the outgassing it’s going to do is done? What do your lovers think of shellac’s scent or flavor or texture in the mouth or anywhere there are mucus membranes?

    Inquiring femmes want to know!

  15. plien says

    A possible drawback for some people; i don’t know what shellac nails are, but shellac sounds like the chrushed bugs stuff, as a vegetarian i wouldn’t want that anywhere near me, so for the veggies/vegans, what is this stuff made of?

  16. anna says

    If you’re concerned about possible toxic chemicals in nailpolish, remover, etc, here’s some info from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics about the concerns and which brands are safest: http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=224

    Best not to expose yourself and the workers to toxic chemicals while having your nails done, after all.

  17. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @KG #18 –

    Greta finds shellac necessary for the same reason that you wouldn’t go without some of the things that you won’t go without.

    Are you saying that you would be willing to give up on a permanent basis ALL of the following:

    Hair cuts
    Non Safety clothing that isn’t strictly necessary to meet legal requirements, like
    …ties
    …socks
    …bras
    …scarves/shrugs
    …belts
    jewelry, like wedding/engagement rings, earrings, other piercings, class rings, cuff links, hair scrunchies/beads, necklaces.
    shoes that cost over $10

    etc. etc. etc.

    Or… what about eating @ restaurants? You don’t **need** to do it. But would you be willing to give it up forever?

    Some things are important to us even tho’ we know that they acquire their meaning culturally and are not in any way necessary.

  18. KG says

    Crip Dyke,

    Tosh. Giving up all of the things you list (most of them I don’t buy anyway) is most certainly an option, and none of them are necessary to me. But please tell me where you find shoes for $10.

  19. KG says

    To be more specific:
    * My wife cuts my hair (what little remains), I trim my beard. Both are short, for minimal maintenance compatible with cleanliness. If my wife were no longer willing or able to cut my hair, I’d probably pay for a trim every couple of months, as cutting one’s own hair is difficult.
    * I own two ties (one was a gift from Stockholm University for acting as “opponent” at a PhD viva, the other is black). I never wear them unless it is a requirement of work or social expectation (e.g. at a funeral).
    * Socks have a practical function, protecting the shoes and the feet from each other. My socks are always black, bought in packs of six.
    * I don’t wear bras, for what is probably an obvious reason.
    * I don’t wear scarves or shrugs.
    * I don’t wear jewellery and have no piercings or tattoos.
    * I buy cheap shoes because I’ve found they last as long as expensive ones – but I can’t find them for the equivalent of $10!
    * More broadly, I probably spend under £100 a year on clothes, including shoes, and nothing on grooming products or services other than an anti-perspirant, which protects both my shirts and other people’s noses, and an anti-dandruff shampoo.
    * I eat out maybe once in two months, but there have been times I have not done so for much longer.

    I spend plenty on other non-essentials, so I’m not parading my virtues here – just querying why dropping a particular non-essential is “not an option”.

  20. KG says

    Oh, forgot belts. I own one, which I use with jeans because otherwise they tend to slip down, which is uncomfortable. I can’t remember when or where I got it.

  21. Rejistania says

    @#19: Socks are required for safety/comfort reasons below a certain temperature. Ditto for scarves (I wear a scarf not for any fashion related reason, I wear it because the weather is often cold). I do not wear bras or ties, cut my own hair (I just think it is unfair that I should pay more money for having my hair cut just because of my chromosones when it is very short, so I cut my hair to be just as short as I can get away with in this society, just so it does not touch my face or neck because that annoys me), do not wear jewelry and wish my ears would heal already as they were pierced on the wishes of my parents not my own ones and I just want these holes in my ears to be gone. ost of the other stuff, I do not even know. The shoes I wear generally cost 30EUR though as this specific brand (Crocs) is extremely comfortable to wear. I also do not eat in restaurants except sometimes McD or the like when I just cannot get myself to cook as it is too late.

    So can you explain to me why manicured nails are of any importance to you or someone else?

  22. Rejistania says

    And I forgot belts as well. I have one which was bought at a discount store and I wear it with trousers which otherwise would slip down.

    So, yeah, I do not understand fashion, and I do not understand why the most natural thing (not having manicured fingernails) is not an option especially as I consider certain types of manicure just creepy (I hope I never have to shake hands with someone whose long nails are in that weird pink and white style). To me this is just like saying that down is up and up is down.

  23. Azkyroth says

    I am 100% sold.

    Okay, more accurately and a little less gushingly: I’m about 95% sold.

    So you’re in escrow on shellac?

  24. Predator Handshake says

    Something like this (if there’s a clear/colorless option) would have been great for me when I was doing classical guitar performances. Never having learned the “proper” way to file and polish fingernails, I may have spent as much time on self-manicures as I did actually learning pieces and practicing. Although I have to wonder what sound quality the shellac produces against nylon.

  25. Ubi Dubium says

    I understand the fun of professionally manicured nails, but I’ve never been able to justify to myself the expense of having them done. I grew up as a violinist, which means that four nails on the left hand have to be as short as physically possible, so I grew up mostly ignoring my nails or chewing them off when they grew.

    I played with keeping my nails polished in college, after I dropped playing violin, and it was fun but a lot of work. Nowadays I slap a little polish on mine every so often, then within a few days when it starts chipping I remember why I so seldom bother with it.

    If they come up with an affordable home kit for shellac, maybe I’ll try it.

  26. carlie says

    At three weeks, how do they look near the cuticle? I’m thinking nails would grow out enough by then that there would be a visible separation between the painted part and the newly grown part?

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    It doesn’t matter whether you cut your own hair or not: cutting one’s hair is a vanity.

    I almost didn’t list a price on shoes, but many people do consider them necessary in their local environment (I do not wear shoes except to restaurants and when there is ice on the ground – at those points shoes are necessary). But you can find shoes for under US$10 frickin’ everywhere. They are usually slip-ons or flip flops, and you can get them at drug stores, tourist traps, lots of places. Then there are places like Payless Shoes. If you absolutely have to have something between you & the ground, there are still very cheap options.

    Socks are required for safety/comfort? Really? I call BS. I walk outside in 20 degree F, -6 degree C weather. I don’t wear shoes. I have a disability, so I’m not quickly dashing inside. I live in an urban area, so yes, there’s as much broken glass, etc., around me as is likely to be around anyone else. Socks are not required. Try again. You wear them because you want to. They are more comfortable. You enjoy the warmth & dislike the cold. Own up to it. I am not saying you’re not entitled to do those things, I am saying that you make unnecessary choices.

    The point is *also* not how much you paid for these things, the point is that they are not strictly necessary – absolutely none of them are, with the grudging exception of shoes in certain very limited instances. And yet, everyone – or almost everyone – has something on the list that they wouldn’t give up. Talking about money for haircuts when I didn’t list a price is entirely missing the point. You engage in grooming that is not necessary to survival. Each instance of this is a vanity. But would you really be willing to give this up for the rest of your life?

    Really?

    If you won’t give up every unnecessary cosmetic thing in your life, then why question Greta’s choices here?

  28. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    In specific response to:
    “I spend plenty on other non-essentials, so I’m not parading my virtues here – just querying why dropping a particular non-essential is “not an option”.”

    and
    “So can you explain to me why manicured nails are of any importance to you or someone else?”

    No. I can’t explain why a particular non-essential is “not an option” for Greta or other people. It’s not even really possible to explain for myself. I live in a house. I could live in an apartment, but I bought a house when I thought I was going to have kids as a cost saving measure. Now that it looks like I won’t have kids, I could give up this house & move to a much smaller one (my house is 1100 sq ft, which is small in the states, but there are other delightful houses that are 600-850 sq ft that would suit me fine.

    But I’m emotionally attached to this place that has been my home for 10 years. It’s only in the last year that it became obvious my decade long relationship was going to fail & we wouldn’t have kids together. I spent time here growing attached to the place. It soothes me. I feel healthier here.

    And yet, can I explain why? No. Absolutely not.

    Heck, I wouldn’t even have to live in an apartment. The US has plenty of places that stay warm all winter. I could live in a tent somewhere, with no safety concerns at all.

    there are all kinds of things that are not necessary to our lives, yet we act as if they are. And in some ways, **some** of them are. Humans can’t live without the non-necessary. If we had fewer resources, we’d adjust what we think of as necessary, but we would still want some unnecessary things. Even in the most impoverished locations, people create art, they decorate their bodies, they do all kinds of things that aren’t related to survival.

    For Greta it’s this. Just this. I don’t get it. You don’t get it. Only Greta knows what this means to her, and it probably wouldn’t be possible to fully express it even for her.

    If I seem all up on this issue, part of it is that in the US men spend much more disposable cash on unnecessary items than women do. It’s not even close. (Sweden is better & even in Sweden there’s a significant gap)

    Yet who gets questioned on spending “unnecessarily”? Women. It’s even more likely to be questioned if the expenditure is directly related to grooming or to stereotypical femininity. And here we have Greta saying that something connected with femininity is something that, for her, is non-negotiable, and we have people questioning that decision.

    While any one question may not be motivated by sexism, the trend is decidedly influenced by that. When you are willing to do without all non-necessities, then you can start questioning Greta’s “unnecessary” choices. Until then, the answer to your question is really much better answered by your own introspection into why you refuse to do without the things that you choose to do without that are not strictly necessary to life.

    Really, I should have started the list with “human contact”. You could make a living for yourself in an otherwise uninhabited area. In fact, if you have assets to sell, you could make things quite cushy on yourself compared to how humans typically live off the land.

    And yet you don’t. What is that that compels you to choose the unnecessary? That’s your answer there.

  29. KG says

    When you are willing to do without all non-necessities, then you can start questioning Greta’s “unnecessary” choices. – Crip Dyke

    Um, no. You don’t get to tell me what questions I can ask on Greta’s blog, although I take your point about women being asked to justify spending on non-necessities more than men despite spending less on them. If Greta asks me (or people in general) not to ask such questions on her blog, then I won’t.

    I’m interested in choices about fashion and other non-necessities for professional reasons: one of my areas of work is the dynamics of innovation and imitation, and areas where functional constraints are relatively slight are of particular interest because they allow these dynamics to operate freely. Here we have an interesting case where there is no functional requirement to have manicures at all, but Greta has explained why (given that one is going to have manicures), shellac manicures are best.

    Your example of human contact is just silly. Lack of human contact causes clinical depression and shortened lifespan in most people; lack of a manicure doesn’t.

  30. KG says

    Crip Dyke,

    It doesn’t matter whether you cut your own hair or not: cutting one’s hair is a vanity.

    No, it isn’t. I need to maintain a reasonably clean exterior in order not to offend others, notably my employers, and short hair minimises maintenance time. Functional reason.

    Socks are required for safety/comfort? Really? I call BS.

    Maybe your feet don’t sweat, but mine do. If I didn’t wear socks (yes, I have tried it), my shoes would absorb the sweat, which makes them both slippery and smelly. Functional reasons.

    I walk outside in 20 degree F, -6 degree C weather. I don’t wear shoes.

    Then you risk injury. Up to you, but I choose not to. Avoiding injury is clearly a functional reason.

    Socks are not required. Try again. You wear them because you want to. They are more comfortable. You enjoy the warmth & dislike the cold. Own up to it.

    Of course I do it for comfort. So what? That’s a functional reason.

  31. says

    Okay — everyone needs to step back, take a deep breath, and calm down. We’re talking about manicures. Let’s have some perspective.

    Crip Dyke, I very much appreciate you defending me, and I agree with many of your points. But if I write about liking manicures, and someone doesn’t understand why I do, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask why. That’s part of the point of this blog.

    KG, you should understand that there’s a context for this argument. Topics (like fashion and style) that traditionally are primarily of interest to women are typically dismissed as trivial. If you’re asking “why do you care?” out of simple curiosity, I’m willing to answer. But you need to understand that this question is often asked with a snarky, dismissive, “why would anyone be so stupid/ shallow/ irrational to care about this stuff?” attitude. People have, in fact, openly aimed this attitude towards me, in my own blog. In the future, if you want to question why women are emotionally attached to some aspect of fashion or style, I suggest that you be aware of this context, and make it clearer that you’re not being critical and are asking out of genuine curiosity. (And if that’s not the case, if you do think that it’s stupid/ shallow/ irrational to care about this stuff and that dressing solely for functionality is superior, you’re not going to find quarter in this blog for very long.)

    So all that being said: I’ll try to answer the question.

    This whole debate is focusing on my statement, “And no, not getting my nails done at all is not an option. That’s crazy talk.” So let me clarify: This statement was a joke. In humor, people often exaggerate reality for comical effect. Of course not getting my nails done is an option — lots of people don’t get their nails done — so there is humor in making it seem as if a strong personal preference is actually an unquestionable dealbreaker. (Humor which I am now killing by explaining it.)

    The reality is that I very much prefer to have my nails manicured, and am willing to devote a certain amount of time and money into making that happen. I do this because, in general, I care about fashion and style as a form of communication and self-expression. More specifically, I very much like to have a polished, put-together look, and a manicure adds significantly to that look, for a very low investment. Also, a manicure is a cheap luxury: for a few dollars and about an hour of my time, I get to be pampered and taken care of. And it’s a cheap, easy way to have fun with color. In general, a manicure provides a significant return in pleasure, for a very low investment of time and money. I therefore make it a priority to make it happen.

  32. KG says

    Greta Christina,

    I apologise: I should have recognised that the context Crip Dyke raised and you discuss exists and is important, and been specific about why I was asking (I explained this to Crip Dyke@32). I did recognise your statement as a jokey exaggeration, but this:

    More specifically, I very much like to have a polished, put-together look, and a manicure adds significantly to that look, for a very low investment.

    is exactly the kind of answer I was looking for. There were other possibilities – that it was something to do with the BDSM community (with which I’m not familiar) for example.

    I’ll be more careful in future.

  33. AylaSophia says

    Wow. That’s, uh… some spammer you got there, Greta.

    (Seriously, Pee, are you 3 years old?)

  34. AnneS says

    For a second there I thought this thread had turned into a 78-comment flame war about manicures. It’s kind of a relief to find out it’s just a spammer.

    (And now I am wondering if this is the same troll we have at fail-fandomanon. If so, hello troll! What a strange crossing of the streams. Uh, so to speak.)

  35. Jim says

    This sounds awesome. I really only ever do my feet, but I’m assuming there’s no reason shellac wouldn’t work on feet. Problem is I only ever do it myself, cause frankly, I’m too socially-awkward/embarrassed to go to a nail salon. So it’s sad to hear that I’d have to suck it up and do that in order to get this done. The color thing isn’t much of a drawback to me since I generally pick from what’s available rather than have something specific in mind ahead of time. But cool. I had no idea this existed.

  36. valleycat1 says

    Awesome that the original shellac on the nails can last up to 3 weeks or so, but the grown out base would drive me nuts, no matter how good the rest of the nail looked.

    However, after routinely manicuring every week for over a year, the guys at the toxic waste collection site recently assured me that nail polish (OTC brands) is gladly accepted there & shouldn’t be going into regular garbage collection, I elected not to put toxic waste on my nails any more.

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