Colored nail polish did not make an appearance until the 1920s. Early nail polish formulas were created using basic ingredients such as lavender oil, Carmine, oxide tin, and bergamot oil. It was more common to polish nails with tinted powders and creams, and finishing off by buffing the nail until left shiny. One type of polishing product sold around this time was Graf's Hyglo nail polish paste.
The health risks associated with nail polish are disputed. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, "The amount of chemicals used in animal studies is probably a couple of hundred times higher than what you would be exposed to from using nail polish every week or so. So the chances of any individual phthalate producing such harm [in humans] is very slim." A more serious health risk is faced by professional nail technicians, who perform manicures over a workstation, known as a nail table, on which the client's hands rest – directly below the technician's breathing zone. In 2009, Susan Reutman, an epidemiologist with the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Division of Applied Research and Technology, announced a federal effort to evaluate the effectiveness of downdraft vented nail tables (VNTs) in removing potential nail polish chemical and dust exposures from the technician's work area. These ventilation systems have potential to reduce worker exposure to chemicals by at least 50%. Many nail technicians will often wear masks to cover their mouth and nose from inhaling any of the harsh dust or chemicals from the nail products.
Margarita Pedicure: Fresh limes and kosher salt intoxicate the senses, while our sugar-lime scrub and moisturizing mask revitalize and nourish from knees to toes. Finish with a cool stone massage featuring a tantalizing cocktail of our cucumber heel therapy and lime zest lotion. Nail and cuticle maintenance followed by your choice of polish color, complete the ultimate treat for your feet! Available April – August
Another popular type of manicure is shellac. Your natural nails are cleaned, filed, and shaped at the salon. Then, a special base coat is applied, followed by two coats of shellac nail polish, and a top coat. In between each step, a dryer is used to cure. Similar to a gel manicure, shellac lasts for about two weeks and is resistant to chipping. However, unlike gel, this can actually make your nails stronger.
Butyl Acetate, Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Silica, n-Butyl Alcohol, Acrylates Copolymer, Polyurethane-11, Benzophenone-1, Barium Sulfate (CI 77120). MAY CONTAIN / PEUT CONTENIR (+/-): Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Red 7 (CI 15850), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Violet 2 (CI 60725).
French manicures are designed to resemble natural nails, and are characterized by natural pink base nails with white tips. French manicures were one of the first popular and well known color schemes. French manicures may have originated in the eighteenth-century in Paris but were most popular in the 1920s and 1930s. However the traditional French manicures were much different from what we know today. They were generally red, while leaving a round crescent shape at the top blank to enhance the lunula of the nail, known now as a half moon manicure.
You can simply ask to skip the soak, because a dry manicure actually is best. But other common salon practices are equally terrible for your mani, such as when technicians shake the bottle (you should roll the bottle between your palms instead to prevent air bubbles), use quick-dry topcoats (which often contain chemicals that actually break polish down faster), and have you pay at the end, since rifling through your purse or wallet can cause an accidental nick on freshly painted fingernails.
If you want a long-lasting manicure without the commitment (or potential damage) of acrylic nails, a gel manicure is a great option. All the steps of a basic manicure are taken, except a special polish that requires curing under a UV light is also applied. This lasts days longer than the polish used for a basic manicure, and is less prone to chipping.
Why do people get manicures? First, changing your nails can change how you feel about yourself. For instance, some professional women who lost their jobs were loathe to cut a weekly manicure from their expenses, arguing that the indulgence helped them to look professional [source: Saint Louis]. Second, the process is undeniably relaxing, from the hand massage, to the careful attention to each finger. Third, sometimes it's hard to deny a bride who's made a round of manicures mandatory for the bridal party.