6 Common Manicure Myths Debunked

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There’s nothing like a fresh coat of nail polish to help you complete your look. Even better, being able to relax and pamper yourself as you get a manicure. But there are actually a lot of "facts" out there about manicures that you may not realize are myths. That’s why we talked to our nail experts to find out the truth.

MYTH: Cutting your cuticles is necessary.
FACT: “It’s far too easy to over-cut the cuticle to the point that they peel off and that is very damaging to the cuticle and can take a long time to heal,” says New York manicurist and owner of JINsoon Hand and Foot Spa, Jin Soon Choi. Instead of having them cut, have your cuticle gently pushed back to protect your nails from damage.

MYTH: You need to let your nails breathe.
FACT: Since your nails are made of dead cells, just like our hair is, you technically don’t need to let your nails breathe. That said, the tiny space between the cuticle and the nail plate does. “This is why a good manicurist will leave a space or margin between polish and cuticle,” says CHANEL celebrity manicurist Gina Viviano. “Covering this area slows nail growth and dries the cuticle.”

MYTH: Gel nail polish won’t dry your nails out.
FACT: While we love the look and lasting power that gel polishes have, it’s not a good idea to have them on for very long. “Having them on your nails for two weeks will definitely dry your nails out, so it's a good idea to use cuticle oil on your nails when you have a long lasting nail polish to reduce the drying,” says Choi.

MYTH: Quick drying topcoat doesn’t really work.
FACT: “In the old days when the formulas weren't as effective as they are today, a quick dry top coat didn't help much,” says Choi. “With vast improvements in the ingredients of late, quick dry topcoats really do prolong nail polish applications and provide an extra shine.” For a topcoat that has some serious lasting power, try JINsoon Top Gloss ($18).

MYTH: To dry your nail polish faster, submerge your nails in an ice bath.
FACT: “While it's true the ice water bath does solidify your polish faster, your nail polish will chip a whole lot faster. Probably even the next day,” says Viviano.

MYTH: You don’t need a base coat or a topcoat.
FACT: Both manicurists agree that a base and topcoat are necessary to a lasting manicure. A base coat is just as important as primer is for house paint. “In addition to providing better nail polish adhesion, base coats act as a ridge filler by filling in all of the undulations of the nails,” says Choi. “You also get less staining from highly pigmented nail colors when you apply a base coat first.” A great base coat to try is CHANEL Protective Base ($25). As for topcoats, they help give your nails the finishing touch, adding shine and speeding upi the dry time. 

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