Dry Manicures: Easier For You, Better For Your Nails

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dry-manicurePhotographed by Mike Garten.
Welp, add manicures to the list of things we've apparently been doing wrong all along. According to celebrity manicurist Lisa Jachno, who's worked with everyone from Miley Cyrus to Julia Roberts (talk about range), we should all be doing dry manicures if we want to get the most out of our polish jobs.

"What's a dry manicure?" you ask. That would be a waterless one, says Jachno — as in no soaking. But...but...we love soaking! It's so relaxing and therapeutic. What's so bad about that? "Throughout my 30 years [in the industry] and thousands of hands I’ve groomed, I have found that soaking is one of the culprits to nail-polish chipping and peeling so quickly after a manicure," she says. Well, crud.

According to Jachno, soaking your nails actually "bloats" the nail, causing it to soften and expand. So, when you then polish your digits, they eventually shrink back down along with the polish. This causes the bond and adhesion of the polish to be compromised, explains Jachno, which in turn leads to chipping and peeling.

Instead, Jachno prefers a dry manicure: Remove polish, file the nails, apply a dab of cuticle remover (she says this will break down and soften the skin just as soaking would), exfoliate the nails (more on that later), wipe with a swipe of polish remover or alcohol to keep nails dry and clean, then get to polishing. Jachno says by skipping the soaking, not only do you ensure your lacquer lasts longer, but you also cut down on your manicure time by eight to 10 minutes.

Jachno believes in the power of the dry manicure so much, she's founded her very own brand, Labnails, dedicated to making the dry manicure an easy, at-home process that all women can master. On May 16 on QVC, Jachno will introduce The Buffy, a three-in-one electric mani pen that allows you to smooth out ridges and uneven nail beds, buff and shine nails, and gently exfoliate cuticles using three interchangeable brush heads.

You start with the smooth brush head, working it in a light sweeping motion across dry nail beds, making sure to keep the brush head flat against the nail surface. Once all the ridges and bumps have been filed away, you pop on the shine brush head, buffing from left to right and working around the cuticle. Jachno says it's important to sweep this brush across the nail for a minimum of 10 seconds to get the best, glowiest results. Finally, insert the exfoliating brush, add a few drops of nail oil or cuticle remover to your cuticles, and work the brush around the nail bed to remove dry skin and hydrate.

Awesome name aside, this little gizmo has sort of captured our hearts. Jachno gave us a sneak peek of it, and our natural nails never looked so good. And, she swears that this method, done every seven to 10 days before you polish, will make your mani last extra long. Meaning no more day-after chips and subsequent rage blackouts caused by said premature blemishes. That's great news for our blood-pressure levels.



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