Are Water-Less Manicures Actually Better?

Illustrated by Lindsay Hattrick

We spoke to experts to find out

The first time a nail technician sprayed my fingertips from a spray bottle instead of soaking them during a manicure, I wondered if the salon's water had been shut down (I know this happens in New York from personal, unfortunate experience). This was a few years ago, and I was accustomed to always having my hands soaked before a manicure. So while I was assured by the technician that this way was better, I was still convinced that something was off with the plumbing. (I also didn't have heat in my apartment; it was a weird time.)

Since then, though, many newly opened, high-end salons have added the word "water-less" to precede its nail service offerings, and, as I found out recently, the reasons for this are many. "Soaking your hands in water during a manicure service is not advised, because your nails will absorb moisture, causing the nail bed and skin to expand and, as a result, when your nails and skin dry, the polish will peel and the skin will flake," explained Elaine Lee, lead nail technician at Valley. To get more technical, the process for this expansion, according to Paintbox chief educator Evelyn Lim, is called osmosis and, once the nail and skin retract to their original size, that "back-and-forth motion" is what leads to the chipping.

This made scientific sense, but then led to my next question: If soaking results in a short-lived manicure and a dry one in a long-lasting one, why do the majority of salons still soak hands and feet? According to Lim, "People continue to use water in manicures because it is an effective and gentle way to soften cuticles for removal and trimming." Lee concurs, adding that "making the cuticle, nail, and skin moist makes it easier for the technicians to work." Plus, according to her, "the skin absorbs lotions and oils easier when moist."

But not only is soaking bad for the nail polish's longevity, that same water could be a breeding ground for bacteria if the salon doesn't have strict sanitary practices or has old "backwash" water lingering in the foot tub in between clients. (And, even if the salon does enforce proper cleansing of the tubs and tools, just think what your unwashed hands and feet might be depositing into the water anyway). Lee confirms, saying that, with manicures that involve soaking, there's always "the chance of bacteria getting under the skin." Especially if a nail technician cuts cuticles or skin too close, a common occurrence when the water expands the skin.

Even if all these arguments don't convince you to go water-less, here's one that surely will: the environment. Imagine the gallons of water that you can save by opting out of filling tubs and bowls with water that ends up being thrown out. As someone who's never been that great at math, let me tell you: a lot of gallons. (For reference, an estimated 10 to 15 gallons get used per treatment.)

So how does one go about softening the cuticles (which is necessary for a good manicure) without expanding the nail bed? Instead of soaking, both Lee and Lim suggest applying a cuticle softener/remover, that you can purchase at a beauty supply store or even a drugstore (I love this one), to the cuticle area and side walls. "Then gently push back the cuticle and buff away any stubborn cuticle still adhered onto the nail plate," says Lim. Lee, though, warns, "A very little goes a long way."

As someone who is into the concept of minimalist beauty—and a longer-lasting manicure—I have to agree.

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.