Try it now: The dry manicure

It’s been eight days since my most recent manicure—courtesy of the amazingly talented Rita Remark at Tips Nail Bar (844a Danforth Ave., Toronto, 416-405-8477, tipsnailbar.ca)—and dammit, it is still going strong. Granted, I don’t wash dishes, but I did paint my dining room and had to scratch a ton of remnants off my hands. Plus, it’s a dark shade (a true charcoal grey by China Glaze called “Recycle”), which as we all know, reveals the slightest chip instantly. Behold, the dry manicure, the only conclusion I can draw for this feat of longevity. A dry manicure means your fingers aren’t engaged in the usual water-soaking. Instead, the cuticles are softened with oil, gel or a cuticle remover. “When you soak natural nails in water, they expand,” explains Tips’ owner and veteran manicurist Leeanne Colley. “And it takes up to 24 for them to go back to their natural form.” When applied to inflated nail beds, the polish’s reaction when the nails return to normal is to commence with the dreaded chipping. That’s why “most people only get 2 to 3 days max from their manicure.” Another upside is the precise grooming it affords: water puffs up the cuticles, making dry skin less discernable. It’s no wonder I can’t stop marveling at my hands. Never again will I be steeping my digits.

P.S. Seriously, you need to go see Rita. Not only does she implement perfect massage pressure and apply polish flawlessly, she knows her fashion-related nail info, from Chanel “Jade,” and YSL “Stormy Grey” to the fact that McQueen used Minx in his Spring 2010 show. She can also execute a perfect pedicure whilst wearing a boyfriend blazer.

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