Nailista Manicure and Pedicure FAQ

Here’s a quick run down of some of the most common questions we get asked at Nailista about Manicures and Pedicures. Hopefully if you have any queries they should be answered here. Scroll further down for salon and booking FAQs!

Is there a difference between Shellac and Gel Polish?

This can cause some confusion, but strictly speaking, they are the same thing- both are gel manicures that are cured under a UV lamp to produce a long lasting manicure. A ‘gel manicure’ is the general term that covers all brands of gel polish or ‘2 week polish’, whereas Shellac is a specific brand of gel polish made by CND. All gel polish brands have a slightly different formula because they are made by different companies, but they all do the same thing! At Nailista we only use the highest quality gel polishes that we have tried and tested for years; Artistic and CND Shellac – we have multiple brands to give you more colour choice, but with our Two Weeks on Shoot manicure or Flawless Finish pedicure, they are both guaranteed to last 2 weeks!

How long does gel polish last for?

With cuticle work and full prep, a gel manicure should last about 2 weeks with proper application and aftercare. At Nailista we offer an express version of a gel manicure called Gel To Go, this skips the cuticle work and is a simple express file and polish done in just half an hour for an affordable £20. Your Gel To Go polish should still last for a good long while, but if you want the 2 week guarantee, go for the Two Weeks on Shoot or Flawless Finish.

How long does standard polish last for?

Standard polish isn’t designed to last as long as gel polish, so you’re likely looking at up to a week before you start to see wear and tear if you care for your manicure properly. However, standard polish is a great choice if you are just looking for great nails for a one-off special occasion, its quicker to apply than gel polish, but you do have to wait for it to dry fully after your manicure to avoid smudges.

What are cuticles? Which manicure packages include cuticle work?

Cuticles are the small overgrowth of dead skin at the bottom of your nail plate. They join the living tissue (epinichium) to your nail, and protect you from any contaminants getting under your skin. However, overgrown cuticles are no good! Cuticles should be kept pushed back and tidy to keep your nails looking healthy- short, pushed back cuticles also help you get neat, long lasting polish application and help your nails look longer and more elegant. With standard polish, manicures and pedicures from Sleek and Chic and Toes En Vogue up include cuticle work. With gel polish, Two Weeks on Shoot at Flawless Finish include cuticle work.

Will Acrylic or Gel Extensions damage my nails?

No! If you have your extensions professionally applied and professionally maintained and removed by qualified nail technicians, there should be no damage to your nail plate. Beware of nail technicians who leave your nails with white patches, damage and weak nails. It goes without saying that if you pick at your nails or pull them off yourself, the nail will be damaged. Professional technicians like those at Nailista will use the correct, branded, high quality products to apply and remove your nail extensions.

Do you use MMA in your acrylic extensions?

Never. Our Acrylic powders are from NSI and CND, and are EMA (Ethyl Methacrylate). Salons that offer acrylic extensions at cheap prices are often using MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) which is used in the dental industry and by Orthopaedic surgeons. As you can imagine, it must be pretty tough to be used by doctors and dentists, but that’s far too intense for your delicate nail plate! MMA bonds to your nails too harshly, leading to some really bad damage to your natural nail – as a chemical MMA was never designed to come into contact with skin and nails – it is too hard to be used for acrylic extensions and can tear the nail from the nail bed easily! Avoid salons that use MMA!

How do I care for my nails after a manicure?

“Jewels Not Tools!” It’s the motto of all nail technicians. To keep a manicure lasting to it’s full potential avoid getting your nails wet for too long (like doing the dishes! Wear gloves!), avoid coming into contact for prolonged periods with chemicals like those in sunscreen, and especially avoid DEET (insect repellent). Get someone else to do the DIY or touch chores that might cause your manicure to lift, and apply cuticle oil morning and night if you can. This will keep your nails super healthy throughout the duration of your manicure and they will cling to the polish! Finally, don’t pick at your manicure under any circumstances. Book in for a Nail ER instead and we will repair any damage.

How long does normal polish take to dry?

When you have a standard polish manicure at Nailista, your technician will leave your polish to dry for about 5 minutes before applying a quick-dry spray, which accelerates the drying process, she will then check to see if your manicure is still tacky, and if it is you’ll have to chill just a little longer to avoid smudges! After about 10-15 minutes your manicure should be touch dry and good to go, just avoid knocking it (easily done by rummaging in your bag!) for about an hour until the polish has fully cured through all the coats.

What’s the difference between Acrylic and Hard Gel extensions?

Both Acrylics and Hard Gels are excellent options if you are looking for stronger or longer nails, so we offer both for your preference at Nailista. Acrylics are made by mixing a liquid monomer and a powder polymer to create a hard coating over the nail, this can be done over tips or sculpted. Gel extensions are made by applying layers of gel which are cured under a UV lamp, some people think gel gives a more ‘natural nail’ look. The difference between the two is very subjective, they both do exactly the same thing but people develop their own preferences based on experience. Overall, it’s usually just the removal which is a notable difference, gel nails are filed off and acrylic nails are soaked off.

How is Gel Polish / Shellac Removed?

Gel polish is very difficult to remove with standard nail polish remover and if you peel it off it can damage your nails so it is always advisable to book in for professional removal with our Nailista Less Is More treatment. This involves applying pads soaked with acetone to your nails with foil wraps, after a while a trained Nailista tech will then use tools to shift the last of the polish and neaten up your nails ready to go!

Why should I use cuticle oil?

Cuticle oil is something our Nailistas just can’t get enough of! Not only does it smell heavenly, but it keeps your nails and the skin around them in tip-top condition. It intensively moisturises and leaves the nail bed very healthy, which encourages your nails to grow. Nail plates can get very dehydrated easily, but cuticle oil application is such an easy way to avoid this, leaving beautiful nails!