Color Me Happy

July 18, 2014

the style gathering manicure
The Style Gathering
THe Style Gatheirng
The Style Gathering
The style gathering

All Images
Jennifer Hagler Photography

By Buffy York

Let me start by saying that this is not a paid endorsement.  When I start making money as a “paid” spokesperson I will let you know in a very, very small font at the bottom of each post.  Until then, know that these are straight-up 100% my opinions.  I am basing my opinions for this post on the fact that I have had alot of manicures.  I have given myself manicures and I have paid for professional services.  I’ve made appointments to have my nails done at my hometown beauty shop, salons and spas around Birmingham and fancy resorts.  Back when I was a sales rep covering the state I would whip in any nail joint, in any strip mall, in any small town.  If they had the official symbol of WALK-INS WELCOME…the hand holding the rose…I was there.  I tell you all of this because, while I may not be called to testify as an expert witness in “Nail Gate,” manicures and nail products are my strong suit.

Alot of my friends in high school and college totally embraced acrylic nails along with the polish color Cajun Shrimp.  I did try acrylics for a period of time but this was before there was a nail salon on every corner.  I found them to be time consuming, expensive and while the polish did stay on better than to your natural nail, the damage acrylic inflicted to your nails was too much for me.  It took me at least three months of faithful Nailtiques application to recover from “the drill.”

Historically, I have reserved colored polish for my toes and gone with Somaon Sand or Bubble Bath or Ballet Slippers on my fingers.  Mostly because when these neutral colors chip (and they are going to chip) it isn’t obvious.  The whole Black Polish Goth thing was a trend, like crop tops this season, I dismissed.  But, a few years ago I decided I wanted to get a little bolder with my nail color.  Colors like You Don’t Know Jacques and Russian Navy came out, and while they were slightly more edgy they didn’t carry the Goth stigma.  I wouldn’t just get a manicure and use these colors, I had to buy the bottle of polish because I could not stand to cruise around with chipped nails. (You may remember from my Office/Pantry post that I am OCD)

When I discovered OPI and CND’s (and every other polish company that jumped on the bandwagon) gel polish I thought, “now this is the greatest product ever.”   Gel polish, no matter who the manufacturer, is a system of base coat, color and top coat that uses a UV lamp to dry or cure the polish between each coat.  It takes a little longer than a normal manicure, but your nails are dry the minute you leave the salon and it doesn’t chip or lose its shine the entire time you wear it.  We are talking two weeks here.  The folks in the salon even told me it was good for my nails.  Dude, sign me up.  However it didn’t take me long to figure out that the gel was doing a number on my nails.  After a few applications I discovered my nails were breaking below the quick and peeling like crazy.  Maybe from the removal process that requires 100% acetone and a tool or maybe its that your nails don’t get any oxygen while you are wearing gel polish?  Whatever the problem, it was back to nail strengtheners and Bubble Bath for me.

That was until last year when I discovered CND’s Vinylux polish.  (Rays of sunlight shining down, the sounds of angels singing)  Vinylux is a weekly polish that instead of breaking down over time like a normal polish, it actually strengthens when exposed to natural sunlight and it doesn’t chip!  I mean seriously, it doesn’t chip!  It lasts for seven days!  Even better, If I want to take it off I don’t have to soak my fingers in acetone or have them wrapped in aluminum foil looking like Edward Scissor Hands.  The draw back is that it doesn’t dry immediatly but it does dry quicker than a normal manicure because it doesn’t require a base coat.  Vinylux comes in 76 colors but this summer I have been a huge fan of Studio White on my fingers and toes.  The photographs above were taken at Tonya Jones Salon in her new English Village location.  The convenience of “walk-ins welcome” is great, but nothing beats a salon experience.  While I was waiting for my appointment I enjoyed a glass of wine and admired the artwork on loan from Gallery 1930.  The cost is $30 and her manicurist is located upstairs in a serene corner of the spa where you are isolated from wondering if anyone is talking about you…in any language.  Just sayin.

Wearing: Liz Legg Agate and Sharktooth Macrame Bracelets | CND Vinylux Polish in Guilded Pleasure

To book an appointment at Tonya Jones Salon call: 205-870-4247


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