We are getting nailed

Many women are concerned about the appearance of their nails. Nail technicians are not just doing nails anymore; they are creating wonderful works of art using the nail as a canvas.

We are doing a series on nails and to help us with all the various tips, techniques, and products for achieving clean, healthy, and well-groomed looking nails, we visited Bellissimo Nails and Beauty.

Before clutching our claws into acrylic nails this week, let’s take a quick look at what fingernails actually are.

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The fingernail is actually made from the same thing as animal claws, hoofs, and horns: a tough protein called keratin. The nail is made up of four parts:

  • The nail plate, or the nail itself, which covers the dorsal aspect of the terminal phalanges of your finger (a fancy way of saying, “the tip” of your finger);
  • The nail matrix, which is a tissue which the nail bed rests on, and which is also responsible for producing the cells that become the nail plate – the white part at the bottom of your nail, which is called the lunula, is the only visible part of the nail matrix.
  • The nail bed: a layer of skin underneath the nail plate, which moves forward with the nail as it grows. Like any type of skin, it is made up of two different kinds of tissue: the dermis, which is attached to the bone and has capillaries and glands in it, and the epidermis, or the more superficial layer which is just underneath the nail plate;
  • The grooves surrounding the nail, which is the skin (or to put it more fancily, the “cutaneous slits”) into which the nail is embedded.

So this is what we learned about acrylic nails. The term “acrylic nail” usually refers to liquid and powder mixes, which are combined in front of you into a blob of dough, shaped onto your nail with a brush, and then under a  UV light. Acrylic nails have been more popular than ever thanks to crazy nail shapes that would be nearly impossible to maintain with just your natural nails and the amount of nail art you’re able to cram onto a single finger.

But before you step into the salon to get your own set of claws, there is something you need to know.

Acrylics require regular maintenance. The acrylic life is a committed life, and if you’re not ready to get to a salon every two to three weeks for a fill, then it’s best not to start. Skipping fills can be dangerous for your natural nail because as the nail grows out, the likelihood for moisture to get in between your natural nail and the acrylic increase. When this happens, a fungus could grow — which isn’t fun for anyone involved.

Pretty is not enough to describe our set of acrylics.

However, beauty always comes with a price and we had a few hick-ups along the way.

  • Let’s be real…stuff gets stuck under your nails all the time. Trying to clasp your jewelry, open a Coke, or pick something up from a flat surface makes you feel like Edward Scissorhands.
  • People can hear you typing from a mile away. On the rare occasion that you have them off, you don’t remember how to text without them.
  • And then hubby constantly asks for a back scratch.

Other than that we love our claws ….

For more information about acrylic nails, trends and general advice on nail maintenance contact Bellissimo Nails and Beauty on 087 149 0569 of follow the salon on Facebook.

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