Not Martha

adventures in getting my nails done

my feet at the mall

I recently got a manicure and a pedicure for the first time ever. It was pretty darn exciting. After I found myself walking back through the mall to my car wearing the disposable flip flops you see above since I didn’t wear the right shoes. It felt like doing a sort of walk of shame. Has this ever happened to anybody else? Or just me? Why do these things seem to happen to me? I got a regular pedicure and managed to smudge it later that day. Still, the pedicure is still going strong a month or so later.

shellac manicure, shiny!

Here is the manicure shortly after I got it. Shiny!

Since I know how clumsy I am I got a shellac manicure (they didn’t offer it for a pedicure, but I would have done that too). Shellac is awesome. I left the nail place with it shiny and set and two and a half weeks later it was still just as shiny. I only had it taken off because it had grown out to the point that a lot of my nail beds were showing and my nails were longer than they had been since high school. Know what? My shellac manicure lasted through the flooded basement incident and all the moving of furniture and fabric and books and stuff that that entailed, all without my then freakishly long nails breaking. If I could constantly have a shellac manicure I would but I’ve read too many accounts of frequent application and, more likely, removal destroying the health of your nails. So I’ll keep it for special occasions when I know I’ll need my nails to look great for a long stretch of time.

shellac manicure, still shiny!

Here is the shellac manicure that is two and a half weeks old. Still shiny! But pretty dramatically grown out.

One note about the shellac manicure: After they have applied the color and the top coat and your nails have been in and out of the UV lights between each step there is one last thing they need to do, which is wipe away the tacky top layer to reveal the very shiny and hard finished manicure. Of course when I was getting my nails did I didn’t know that so I sat though the whole thing and when I thought it was done I was admiring the finish and, oh horror, smudged a nail. I nearly cried until the nice nail lady came back and showed me that they just weren’t quite done yet. My drama might have inspired the “please take these flip flops and get out of here as quickly as possible thanks” thing that happened.

silver and spider web nail polish strips

Image taken by Vellumblue, as seen over at Flickr. Thanks for letting me borrow it!

And last weekend I tried those nail polish sticker things. I had my doubts but they’re great so far. Pretty easy to apply and none of that carefully waiting for it to dry stuff that I’m so bad at. These were Halloween themed Sally Hansen Nail Polish Strips. The mini bottle of whiskey that I’m clutching here is a different story altogether.

· comments [31] · 10-11-2011 · categories:beauty ·

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Marie Biswell // Oct 11, 2011 at 3:07 am

    Lol, I’ve done the walk of shame…. about 3 times now which is sad cos I’ve only had 3 pedi’s! AND, I can’t believe how good your nails looked after 2 weeks – amazing & so worth the time & money for your mani!!

  • 2 pixelhazard // Oct 11, 2011 at 3:08 am

    I was running around in bright yellow disposable flip flops after my first pedi, the day before my wedding. so embarassing!

    Bright Green Laces

  • 3 Ms. Amy // Oct 11, 2011 at 4:44 am

    I never mind the walk of shame that much because I am usually so captivated by how pretty my nails look. I just tried the nail stickers, too (houndstooth). I love them & wish I could find the Halloween-themed ones locally. So cute!

  • 4 Emily // Oct 11, 2011 at 5:51 am

    My first, and only, mani-pedi I also did not know about the flip flop thing and was wearing too-small booties. They didn’t have disposable flip flops, or theirs were paper and it was raining out, I cannot remember. I any case they wrapped my toes in cellophane, it is so hard to walk with toes wrapped in cellophane, and then I had to bus home.
    I chipped my nails the next day packing, toes went strong for the summer though.

  • 5 Meaghan // Oct 11, 2011 at 6:15 am

    Fierce! I love manicures – for some reason I’ve just settled into this marginally-girly identity over the past two years, and if I have an hour free, I’ll go get a mani. I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to nail polish/techniques. What color red is that?

  • 6 Steffy // Oct 11, 2011 at 7:40 am

    I got a shellac manicure not that long ago, and I loved how long it lasted even though I’m super hard on my nails. The only problem I had was when it was time to take it off… I couldn’t get it off! Not even with acetone nail polish remover. I ended up peeling it off, which is terrible for your nails.

  • 7 Amymae // Oct 11, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I am suprised there was no mention of that between the toe thing… (I am guessing the nails were worth it though?)

  • 8 Maggie // Oct 11, 2011 at 8:08 am

    My walk of shame was double when I got my first pedicure earlier this year – I went over my lunch break on a quiet day, and it ended up taking over an hour and a half! And then I had to make it to my desk in the purple disposa-flops without arising suspicion!
    I loved it, though. I have really rough skin on my feet, so it was wonderful to have someone else take care of it for me and make my toes all pretty. I’ve got two weddings to go to within the next month, so it’s quite tempting to go again one of these days to be ready for those.
    And I’ll be linking this to a bride friend – she’s never gotten either as well, and if you’re ever going to, your wedding day is probably it.

  • 9 megan // Oct 11, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Emily – Wrapped in cellophane?! Horror!

    Meaghan – That is the CND shellac red. The place I went only had like eight colors. But, this was a good bright red and I was really happy with it.

    Amymae – While there was polish they did put the thing between the toes, which was uncomfortable but since I wasn’t walking around I was able to take it like a woman :) I did giggle when she was filing my feet though, I’m too ticklish for that.

    Maggie – Yes! I was in the nail salon for almost two hours! And since half of that was while both of my hands were either being painted or in the UV thing at the same time I got very, very bored. I was on about four hours of sleep that night and just wanted to put my head down and take a nap.

  • 10 Nana // Oct 11, 2011 at 9:02 am

    I’ve read that the chemicals used to remove shellac polish are very bad for lungs, skin, etc. So I’d save this kind of manicure for a very special occasion, indeed (note that I didn’t say ‘don’t do it!’)

  • 11 vespabelle // Oct 11, 2011 at 9:21 am

    I rode my bike to get a manicure/pedicure. Riding home on my bike (with metal pedals) while wearing those flipflops was agony!

  • 12 megan // Oct 11, 2011 at 9:50 am

    Nana – As far as I’ve read you essentially soak your nails in pure acetone. The person taking mine off had me soak my nails for a few minutes then scraped them with an orange stick, then soak again, then scrape again alternating hands. It was off fairly quickly but did dry out the surface of my nails a lot. I can see how getting two shellac manicures removed a few weeks apart could do some damage.

  • 13 Courtney // Oct 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I had to do the walk of shame when I was over 8 months pregnant last year through a mall. I’d worn Uggs that day because it was December in Iowa, so I hadn’t even thought to bring appropriate footwear.

  • 14 Shandra // Oct 11, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Thanks for the review, Megan! I just heard about the shellac manicure yesterday, so your review is really timely! I think I’m going to get one next time I go camping for a week (HATE chipping my nails when camping, lol). My local salon does the pedicure too, which is VERY cool! Thanks!!!

  • 15 Kim // Oct 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    I often forget my shoes and have to go for the disposable ones…so sad.

    I am also fantastic at smudging or otherwise messing up my nails immediately after getting them done! Shellack sounds like a brilliant plan for my wedding/honeymoon…I was totally thinking about how I would probably destroy my nails right before the wedding :)

  • 16 Emily // Oct 11, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    I adore a mani/pedi and usually treat myself to one every month during the summer. Luckily, the nail salon I live near has a TV and they usually are playing a fun chick flick or E News. Definitely helps with eliminating the borings. I had my first shellac manicure this summer and it lasted at least two weeks, but when I had it taken off at the salon, it left a weird indention along the bottom edge of my nail. Took quite a few months to grow out. But I would totally get another one for a special occasion!

  • 17 tracy // Oct 11, 2011 at 7:12 pm


    Yes i’ve worn the wrong shoes. woops.
    i also forget to get cash for tip like EVERY SINGLE TIME I GO.

    shellac! I want shellac! my friends were just telling me about it!

  • 18 laura // Oct 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I LOVE the disposable flip flops. I am fascinated by how the sole makes the strap part. I take a pair when I travel, so that I never have to step on airport carpet or hotel carpet. (Had a friend who was housekeeping manager at a scmancy hotel, and she had to take the black light around to look for, uhm, organic matter on the carpets and bedspreads. There is apparently quite a bit of it to be found, and not every hotel washes the spreads every time…)

    I am not a girly girl, but I get pedicures about every two months or so, and I love it.

  • 19 marnie // Oct 12, 2011 at 8:13 am

    I’ve never done the walk of shame in disposable flipflops, but I see women all over town doing it in the summer, so it can’t be so uncommon.

    I do, however, smear a manicure before I even leave the salon pretty much any time I get one. Which, I think it’s only been twice or maybe three times in my life, but still. They get so cross with you!

  • 20 I Love Lists FRIDAY! › shutterbean // Oct 13, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    […] Adventures in getting my nails done. Megan got shellac! I want shellac! via Not Martha […]

  • 21 Megan // Oct 14, 2011 at 6:49 am

    I’ve totally done the walk of shame… half a mile back to my my house from the downtown shop! ha!

    Your nails look lovely though!

  • 22 marie // Oct 14, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I got a pedi a few weeks ago and my salon ran out of the disposable flip flops! Had to walk barefoot through the mall to my car. Which would normally not be an issue except that it was on impulse and I’d parked on the other side of the mall. With errands to run on the way back. And of course it had to be the day that I bumped into any number of friends and coworkers at every dang place I stopped. But at least my toes looked fab!

  • 23 megan // Oct 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

    Marie and Megan – ha ha ha! I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one. The worst I got was worrying about getting my disposable flip flops stuck in the escalator.

  • 24 Amy // Oct 18, 2011 at 9:20 am

    my mom’s dermatologist told her that the UV used for the gel polish has resulted in an increase of skin cancer rates under the nails.

  • 25 Amanda // Oct 18, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I love the spider webs on the nails. Looks awesome!

  • 26 kaylen // Oct 18, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I always forget to bring appropriate footwear!! I’ve had like six pedicures and never quite remembered.
    Last time I had to park about 1/2 mile away, through the open-air fancy-schmancy shopping area where all the glam girls shop and one of my stupid flip flops broke halfway across the mall area and I had to do this stupid penguin-esque type stupid walk, at a snail pace the whole way to the car. If the pavement wasn’t hot, I was considering going barefoot altogether-which would have been a spectacle in itself. Humbling. A horrible end to a relaxing experience!

  • 27 Kati // Oct 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    I’m a Seattleite, where did you go for that fabulous manicure?? I always chip mine within a few days.

  • 28 megan // Oct 20, 2011 at 11:39 pm

    Kati – I went to InSpa but I wouldn’t recommend them. Lots of nail places off the shellac these days, and list it on their website if they do!

  • 29 FreePlay Kids // Oct 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    I am a Seattleite too! I have done the walk of shame when I forget to bring my own sandals, but I am sooo happy my nails are done I don’t usually care. ;-)

    Highly recommend Donna (owner) at Lotus Salon in Downtown Kirkland! She is amazing and my pedicure lasts well over a month!

    Also, for any local area parents out there, check out :-)

  • 30 elizabeth harrington // Dec 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    to take the shallac polish off just put a acetone soaked cotton ball (1/2 a ball works for each nail) on each nail,press it onto the nail, wrap a bit off tin foil around the ball and fingertip…you’ll look like you have silver balls over the end of your fingers….let soak for 10 mins or so, then use a orangewood stick to gently pry, not force the shellac off….use more cotton and acetone to get the tacky bits off, then a buffer to smooth…put some nice cuticle oil on to finish :)

  • 31 elizabeth harrington // Dec 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Don’t worry about the UV light causing nail bed cancer if you have color on you nails….the UV lights should only be on for about 30 seconds at a time and the exposure is negligible….but stay out of the tanning beds!!

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