Why I Ditched Shellac Nail Gels and Haven’t Looked Back

Like clockwork, every two weeks I find myself with a slightly grown out, chipped mani perched at my neighborhood nail salon receiving my routine gel mani and spa pedicure. As a blogger and fashion editor, I constantly meet new clients, attend events and get photographed so I have always felt pressured to have my nails on point. I’m sure many of you are nodding your head in agreement right now! Up until my recent diagnosis with cancer, I’ve never thought twice about opting for a gel manicure over a regular, because it can last for weeks and who has time to make it to the nail salon weekly! However, I’ve recently been taking the extra time to dissect my beauty regime – especially the products and services that I use on a routine basis. Let’s just say after reading one mere article on shellac’s link to cancer, I am no longer enticed to receive my routine gel mani’s anymore.

I was raised by a mother who bronzed in baby oil and father who was naturally dark (bless him) so I wasn’t exactly brought up with the healthiest skin mindset. As early as your 20’s you should thinking more about how you can protect your skin on a daily basis – including your hands, which a lot of women don’t think about. According to the Skincare Foundation, “UV” lamps (some are called LED lamps) used to speed-dry regular manicures and set gel manicures both emit UV radiation are linked to both premature skin aging and skin cancer. On the bright side, these devices only present a moderate UV risk, but still a risk indeed! If still allured by long-lasting shellac effect, try lathering all-natural, vitamin enriched SPF on your hands 30 minutes before heading out to the nail salon. This will help properly protect your paws from skin cancer and prevent future wrinkling and discoloration.

Personally, I still feel the need to have polish on my nails for work (sue me!), but now I simply go to the nail salon weekly rather bi-weekly and opt for natural paint polish. When you care about something you make the time for it, am I right? Recently, I visited all-natural, non-toxic nail salon, Ten Over Ten, at Le Parker Meridien and was in beauty heaven the second I walked through it’s tall, frosted doors.

Ambiance: Is it chic enough to put on your snap story?

Bathroom cabinet goals.

150%. I instagrammed a dreamy photo of the dimly lit shelves below that were stocked with non-toxic polish (with a side of Chanel and Essie) and natural bath and beauty products. The rest of the salon is a cohesive mix of neutral colors in a dimly lit, serene setting. The only downside to the Le Parker Meridien location is there are no windows because you are in the basement!

Service: Will I feel rushed like every other city salon?

Ten over Ten, Le Parker Meridien location.

Ten Over Ten is a hidden oasis, away from the hustle and bustle of NYC. They strategically schedule appointments with ample time to fully meet the needs of each and every client. I even had my manicurist re-do one of my nails completely, because it wasn’t satisfactory to her even though I thought it was completely fine. I admired her strive for perfection. I was never for a moment hurried, and thank god because that stone massage was something else!

Menu Standouts: 10 out of 10 at Ten over Ten

My Ten Over Ten obsession is quite new, so I haven’t had the opportunity to dive too deep into their menu. For example, I am dying to try their eyelash application and natural sugaring hair removal! As for their nail menu, The Luxe pedicure is one that is not to be missed. Unlike the signature, the luxe incorporates a decadent ten minute hot stone massage where each toe and your entire calf gets to indulge in the treatment. The Signature manicure also hit a high note for me. Your nails and hands are soaked, moisturized and painted but there is an attention to detail and quality that makes this not-so-basic mani supreme. If it’s been a while since your nails have been done, I recommend you treating your mind and body to the luxe treatment. You won’t be disappointed!

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