And it comes Elle Macpherson approved.
Between Shellac, SNS and Bio Sculpture, gel manicures are now the status quo when it comes to looking (and let’s face it, feeling) pulled together.
And while there are plenty of positives to choosing a gel manicure over a conventional one (not the least of which is them staying chip-free and looking glossy weeks after having them done), they don’t exactly do your natural nail any favours, often leaving them in bad shape, especially when picked at or removed incorrectly.
“Synthetic nail polish options occlude the nail, suffocating it from airflow and resulting in a weaker, softer nail,” explains beauty expert and official manicurist for Chanel Australia, Jocelyn Petroni.
“This weakening of the nail surface has a knock-on effect on the nail bed and root, which sees critical blood and nutrient flow reduced.”
Problem is, when you’re caught in a cycle of having them done and re-done, you’re not only likely to notice nails becoming dryer, softer and even peeling, but you’re also leaving yourself wide open to fungal infections.
But there is help on the horizon to bring them back from the brink of brittle. Enter: The Clean Beauty Manicure, a treatment that focuses on the overall health of the nail and excludes harsh ingredients that can be found in most manicures.
Aimed at repairing all types of nail damage, the treatment is curated with completely natural and pure products – from the Mavala Crystal Nail Polish Remover, which is colourless, odourless and acetone free to the cuticle softener which is based on home remedies using ingredients such as aloe vera for an extra hit of nourishment. Nails are then left with a breathable high-shine glassy finish that does not include polish.
“There’s a growing trend towards healthy bare nails that are shiny and look healthy, with pink nail beds reflecting good blood flow, strong white edges and no discolouration,” explains Petroni, who counts Elle Macpherson and Teresa Palmer as clients.
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And while it might seem counterintuitive to get your nails done when you’re trying to give them a break, Petroni recommends having your tips tended to regularly to get them in optimal condition.
“The treatment is completely personalised to your own individual nail concerns, which makes it unique from the common manicure.”
Can’t make it into her Sydney salon? Jocelyn says your best bet is to use a nail treatment like CND Rescue RXx, $29.95, a formula that reinforces the nail and prevents breakages.
“A specialist cuticle oil is also a great solution for ragged cuticles and often best applied overnight for intensive results. If you regularly apply cuticle oil as the cuticle grows back it will be smooth without splitting, breaking and hardening.”
At $80, it’s slightly more than you standard set of gels, although when you consider it lasts up to two weeks on fingers and six weeks on toes (and the condition of the nail plate is strengthened and repaired during each stage of the treatment) it’s well worth laying down the cash.
Words by Ashleigh Austen for WHIM