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How many times have you ruined a manicure or pedicure an hour after leaving the salon? Hell, how many times have you done it while drying your nails still in the salon (though, in that case, you can at least have it easily fixed)? I personally can't even count that high. Instead, until recently, I gave my nails a full 30 minutes to dry in the salon—a chunk of time which I hated sacrificing.
Now some of you might think there's any easy solution to this, wondering: Why doesn't she just trying using gel? It's a fair question, especially as gel as gotten increasingly popular over the years. But, while gel does yield long-lasting, chip-free results, it leaves my nails ravaged by the time it comes off—no matter how nice the salon, or its equipment—leading them to break and peel incessantly for months to come.
Then, one day when I was getting my nails done at my favorite non-toxic salon, tenoverten, I complained to co-founder Nadine Abramcyk about how long it takes for my nails recover after each gel session. She suggested I try wearing the brand's Foundation Nail Strengthening Base Coat, instead of nail polish, for a few weeks to help them recover. Made from Horsetail leaf extract and vitamin E, it repairs peeling nails, prevents cracking, strengthens the nails, and had my hands looking presentable again a week after another gel job had left them utterly broken. And, while this product in itself could be the subject of this column, it is actually the Non-toxic Nail Dryer drops that has changed my life for the better—namely, because they have cut the drying time at a salon in more than half, and allowed me to stop worrying over using gel at all.
To use it, angle your fingertips downward and throw a few drops of the formula, created using vitamin E and non-silicone-based solvent formulation, on each nail a minute or two after applying polish or top coat. Wait for 10 more minutes (without even using a nail dryer!), and marvel at the fact that your fingers are entirely dry and smell delightfully herbal thanks to the natural rosemary fragrance also in the formula.
Not only do I have this product at home and use it religiously, but I bring it with me to every salon I visit—a visit that is now significantly shorter, and ends with my nails in perfect condition and me out the door in under 15 minutes.
Tenoverten, Non-Toxic Nail Dryer, $18, available at Violet Grey.
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