Jennifer achieves fierce and sparkly fingertips with dip powder; Right: Justine’s pristine gel manicure send bride vibes
  • Jennifer achieves fierce and sparkly fingertips with dip powder; Right: Justine’s pristine gel manicure send bride vibes
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Attempting to blend in with the football fans during a Sunday game, I started chatting with the couple next to me. I met 30-year-old Justine, who had pristine nails pressed against her pint of beer. I thought white was a curious choice of color, until she told me she recently got engaged. “I was going for bride vibe!”

I realized I knew even less about nail trends than I do about football. Justine was happy to inform me. Her first tip: be assertive and clear. “People get tripped up when they go into the nail salons and they’re like, ‘Oh, would you like this pedicure?’ No, you have to tell them. If you want to get a deal and go in there knowing what you’re doing, just say ‘I want a gel mani, spa pedi.’”

She likes the gel style best and sticks to three brands she thinks last the longest: OPI, Gelish, and Perfect Match. “There’s a lot of other ones, tried ’em all, they peel,” she said with a wave of her hand. “Another life hack — put sunscreen on your hands, because you’re putting it under the UV light.”

The seasoned nail vet goes once a month and closes out at $62, with tip. “And don’t waste your time on any kind of salon that doesn’t have spa massages,” she says, insisting on getting the most for her money. “Mine has champagne, that’s why I like to go there!”

Later in the week, I spotted sparkling nails reaching for a salad at Trader Joe’s. I pulled 25-year-old Jennifer aside to ask about her fierce fingertips and she explained her dip powder manicure.

“So it’s kind of like acrylic, but you just have to get this gel on them first and then the nail tech dips them into the powder three times. By the third time, it’s really hardened so then it’s practically impossible for your nails to break.”

Jennifer says this method takes longer but lasts longer and is all about being more gentle on your nails. “I just feel like my nails are so weak, that they never stay without chipping or cracking, so I had to resort to that.”

In total, she said the whole process takes an hour to 45 minutes and costs about $40. When asked what inspired the silver glitter, she smiled, saying “I wanted to be festive for the holidays!”

Usually, when she goes to the nail salon, Jennifer brings pictures of ideas or things she’s seen on Instagram. “Next, I’ll probably get a French tip design, I saw that they’re kind of coming back in. I want to do that!”

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