4 Special Manicures to Try

We all know the classic manicure that every salon offers and it can be a great way to pamper yourself after a long, hard week at work, but for those who want a little something extra, here are 4 special manicures that you should try on your next trip to the spa.

Hot Oil Manicure

Does the colder weather have your hands dry and desperate for moisture? Try the hot oil manicure. Using natural, heated oils, your nail technician will massage the oils into your skin and cuticles for the ultimate hydrating experience.

Spa Manicure

Although this sounds like a regular manicure, it’s far from it. Rather than pampering your face, this one pampers your hands. This longer manicure includes an oil massage, a salt scrub, and a hydrating mask to finish it off.

Paraffin Wax Manicure

Another manicure that is sure to up your hydration levels is the paraffin wax manicure. This one works by soaking your hands in warm, liquid wax and then wrapping them in towels, followed up with lotions that leave your hands feeling silky smooth. This is the manicure to get before going out on a date.

Hot Stone Manicure

This manicure is perfect for someone who uses their hands all day for work and leaves the office with achy joints and fingers. In addition to the massage that you receive with all manicures, this manicure includes the use of hot stones that are known for their tension-relieving properties as the warmth soaks into the muscles and tendons for a truly relaxing experience. 

Contact your local spa to see what special manicure services they offer. Sometimes, these special manicures that have been mentioned are available as add-ons, making them a splurge that you can afford and treat yourself to without feeling guilty afterward. What are you waiting for? You deserve it.

Cuticle Health & Safety

You may have noticed a thin layer of clear skin at the base of your nail. This is called your cuticle and it’s an important part of your nail as it protects new growth from bacteria as your nail grows out.

However, this part of your nail is extremely delicate and can get damaged or even infected if not taken proper care of. Today we’ll discuss how to take care of your cuticles to avoid such infections.

The easiest way to take care of your cuticles is to soak your fingertips in warm, soapy water for 10 minutes every few days or so to keep them hydrated, soft, and most importantly: clean. Nail salons and online retailers also have a product called cuticle oil that can be applied to the base of your nail to soften the cuticle. This can also prevent dryness, peeling, and cracking.

Despite the fact that nail salons push back and cut the cuticle when you go in for a manicure, this is actually not recommended. As mentioned previously, the cuticle plays a vital role in keeping bacteria out of the nail bed so when it’s gone, your nail is more prone to infection.

Ask your nail technician if a simple pushing back will do the trick to avoid the actual cutting and leave the cutting to the hangnails. Trimming the cuticles is okay, but completely removing them as most salons do is where the problems start.

To safely trim the cuticles, they need to be softened first. To do this, soak them in warm water or have a bath or shower. Once they’re soft, you can use a cuticle pusher to push the cuticle back against the nail bed. From there, you can safely trim away excess skin and hangnails.

You can find cuticle pushers at most beauty stores and drugstores as well in the cosmetic and beauty aisle. Cuticle oils and moisturizers can be found in the same area.

For your other nail needs, order a bottle of Plei Nail Strengthener to prevent cracks, chips, and peeling of your nails.

Why Are There White Spots on my Nails?

Noticing white lines or dots on your nails that were not there before? You have nothing to fear. These white markings are called leukonychia and are completely harmless and more common than you might think. However, aesthetically they are not very pleasing to most, so getting rid of them is commonly desired. 


There are a few things that can cause leukonychia.

  • Allergies
  • Fungal infections
  • Injuries to the nail
  • Poor nutrition

Allergic Reaction

Although rare, some people are allergic to the ingredients in certain nail polishes, harderners, and other nail products. Frequent use of gel and acrylic nails can damage the nail and leave behind white spots or streaks.

Fungal Infections

Onychomycosis is a common nail fungus which can cause small white dots on the nails.

Injury to the nail

The most common cause of leukonychia is an injury to the nail bed. Depending on your health, it may take less or more to make the white streaks appear. Some people develop leukonychia only by slamming their fingers in a door, while others only need to knock their nail against a hard surface. You may not know what injury caused you to have leukonychia as some injuries take up to 4 weeks to appear.

Poor Nutrition

Leukonychia can be linked to poor nutrition. If you become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, leukonychia can appear on your nails. The most common nutrients associated with leukonychia include zinc and calcium.


There is no need to visit a doctor regarding leukonychia. If your leukonychia is caused by an injury, just be careful in the future and avoid injury whenever possible.

However, if you notice that your leukonychia is becoming worse or is persistent, make an appointment with your doctor to find out the cause.

If your leukonychia is caused by a mineral deficiency, your doctor may order tests to find out what mineral it may be, and then request you either take a supplement or do some lifestyle changes to combat the deficiency.


The treatment plan will be different depending on the reason for the leukonychia.

Allergic reaction

Discontinue using the products that were used before you noticed the leukonychia. If that does not improve your condition, consult with a doctor.


An oral or topical antifungal medication will be prescribed by a doctor. Typical treatment time is around 3 months.

Nail injuries

There’s no treatment plan for nail injuries other than to let them heal over time.

For those with weak nails that need a little extra support, try Plei Nail Strengthener, available through our website.

Fall 2019 Trending Nail Shapes

With Autumn just around the corner, you’ll want to ditch your summery-fun nail looks that you’ve sported this sunny season and go for something a little more updated. But are last years trends the same as this years? Let’s find out by looking at the top 4 nail shape trends that you’re sure to spot this upcoming September.

#1. Medium-Length Almond Nails

As one of the most practical nail shapes, it’s no surprise that this one is on the list this year. This classic nail shape is not too long so that it becomes a burden when it comes time to pick up a pencil in the upcoming school year, but it is also not so short that it doesn’t make an impact. And the best part is, you can be as normal or flashy as you want with it. While simple colours look great on the almond nail, there is also enough length present should you want to add some cute nail art.

#2. Long Stiletto Nails

Bring on the bold. If you’re not worried about your ability to be able to write properly and you want to make a bold statement, the long stiletto is the nail for you. Long, thin, and pointy as can be, the stiletto nail is reminiscent of its namesake: the stiletto heel. Pair this nail with a bold colour and for added drama, feel free to add some nail art to complete this dramatic look.

#3. Short, Natural Round/ Oval Nails

Another practical choice that has been making its appearances in runways and magazines as we gear up for a blustery September. This nail shape is more for the reserved type of person who doesn’t like to make too huge of a statement with their nails, but likes to feel pretty. To do this, pair these nails with a natural or light colour.

#4. Medium-Length Coffin/ Ballerina Nails

Considered to be a more edgy type of nail, competing against the likes of the stiletto nail, the coffin style/ballerina nail gives the wearer the most opportunity for creativity with its wide edges and chunkier look. While these nails were created for people to unleash their creativity, simply having a bold Autumn colour to cover them with will certainly make a statement all on its own.

Which nail trend are you most excited to try out this Fall? Make sure to leave your answer in the comments below and don’t forget to use Plei Nail Strengthener for strong, healthy nails.

Paraffin Wax

When booking an appointment at a nail salon, you may have other add-on options that are available to do that aren’t necessarily directed towards your nails. One of these options is paraffin wax. Have you heard of it before? If not, here is a breakdown of what paraffin wax is and what it does.

What is paraffin wax?

Paraffin wax is a soft wax, either white or colourless as it is made from saturated hydrocarbons. It’s used in salons as a skin-softener, but it also has uses in pain relief as it relieves sore joints as muscles. As such, it is applied most commonly to the feet and hands during spa services.

Outside of the spa environment, paraffin wax is used to make candles and crayons, and can also be used as a lubricant.

What are the benefits of paraffin wax?

Cosmetic benefits:

As mentioned above, paraffin wax is used as a skin softener because the wax is a natural emollient. After applying the wax, it boosts the skin moisture levels continuously after the treatment. It may also have the effect of removing dead skin cells and helping to open the pores of the feet, letting anything trapped beneath the surface escape.

Therapeutic benefits:

Paraffin wax is heated and therefore can be used as a form of heat therapy to increase blood flow in the hands and feet and reduce the amount of stiffness in the joints. Paraffin wax treatments are also beneficial to those who have sustained a sports injury such as a sprained ankle or wrist.

Is Paraffin Wax Safe?

Yes. Absolutely. Paraffin wax is completely natural and although it is heated, it has a low melting point, meaning that it will not cause burns or blisters on the person it is being applied to, provided that the technician has heated it to a safe temperature.

However, those who have sensitive skin may want to steer clear of paraffin wax as it may result in a heat rash.

Others who should avoid paraffin wax include those who suffer from:

  • Numb hands and feet
  • Diabetes
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Rashes and open wounds
  • Chemical sensitivities

Paraffin wax is usually an add-on option that you can pay extra for with your manicure or pedicure, but some spas may also have it as a separate service. Call your local spa in advance and see what options they have for paraffin wax and try it out today!

Ingrown Fingernails

Although ingrown nails are commonly associated with your toenails, they can also affect your fingernails as well if certain steps are not taken to keep them from happening. When left alone, ingrown fingernails can also lead to a painful infection that may require medical intervention depending on the severity and can make everyday activities such as typing on a keyboard or holding a pen much more difficult than usual.

What is an ingrown fingernail?

You might already know that your nails are made of a material called keratin which forms the shape and keeps everything together. Fingernails are generally good at keeping their shape and growing in the way that they’re supposed to, but sometimes when the shape is altered, it can cause the nail to grow into the sides of the skin surrounding the nail, which is classified as an ingrown nail.

Several things can be the cause of ingrown nails including:

  • Injury
  • Fungal infections
  • Growth rate
  • Incorrect nail trimming
  • Nail biting


Luckily, ingrown fingernails can be treated at home quite easily and very rarely will require medical attention unless you have a special medical condition such as diabetes that would require you to see a doctor. To treat an ingrown fingernail at home, follow these steps:

  1. Soak the finger in warm water for 10-20 minutes, or apply a warm compress.
  2. Apply antibacterial cream or a prescribed cream if an infection or fungal bacteria is present
  3. Cover the area with a sterile bandage
  4. Repeat this process 2x a day until the ingrown fingernail has healed.

However, if you’re an individual who happens to have a more serious case, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments in order to fix your nail.

Medicated Cotton Wedge

This procedure can be done either by your doctor, or by yourself if you’re comfortable enough. A small wedge of medicated cotton is inserted under the nail so it acts as a barrier between the nail and the inflamed skin. By lifting up the nail, it can relieve pain also allow the nail to grow back properly.

Abscess Draining

Sometimes ingrown fingernails can turn into an abscess in which case it will need to be drained by a doctor. Using a local anesthesia, your doctor will make a small incision along the abscess so that it can drain. Abscess’ with significant drainage may require a wick to be placed so that it can continue to drain over the next day.

When to See the Doctor

As mentioned above, the majority of ingrown fingernails do not require the care of a doctor and can easily be remidied at home. However, there are few things to watch out for and if you notice any of these signs, come into the doctor straight away for an examination as they may be signs of a serious infection.

  • Severe pain that worsens instead of getting better
  • Increasing redness
  • If your fingertip becomes completely red
  • Joint pain/having trouble bending the joint
  • A high fever

Remember to take good care of your nails and follow all general care instructions to ensure happy, healthy nails. For dry, brittle nails that are prone to breaking and causing ingrown nails to happen, use Plei Nail Strengthener.

A Complete Guide to Polygel

You’ve heard of gel nails, you’ve heard of acrylic nails, now get ready for the ultimate fusion of the two: Polygel. It combines the best of both worlds: it stays put and doesn’t level like gel, and it won’t harden unless it is put under a LED or UV light. So, why choose Polygel over acrylics? Let’s find out.

If you’ve ever gotten acrylics before, the one thing that comes to your mind is the strong smell. This is off-putting for clients and can give them headaches when they’re not used to the smell. Acrylic can also be quite messy as the dust particles are released into the air. Polygel, however, is free of monomers and hardens faster, making the air much cleaner. The base that is used to form the Polygel is called slip, and since it is not a monomer, it has a mild, almost pleasant scent to it, making it appropriate to use in smaller spaces where ventilation is limited.

Polygel is also more lightweight than acrylic, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any less strong. Although more flexible than the traditional acrylic nails, Polygel is still harder than gel, which again, makes Polygel the best combination of both acrylic and gel nails. The drying time for Polygel is very fast: about 30 seconds under the LED or about 2 minutes underneath the UV lamp. Unlike gel nails, there is no tacky overcoat once removed from the lamp, so touch ups aren’t necessary. 

Polygel Application FAQ

Do I Need LED/UV Light For Polygel?

Yes. Gelish has an LED lamp that they recommend using for curing Polygel as they are the creators of the product. However, you are welcome to use other LED lamps as well. Although Polygel can be cured with UV lamps as well, it is not recommended.

How Long Does It Take To Apply Polygel?

For an experienced nail technician who has worked with Polygel before, it can take as little as 45 minutes if the client is only going for a single colour. More extensive and complicated patterns and colours can take up to 2 hours which is still a relatively short time.

How Long Does Polygel Last?

Polygel can last up to 3 weeks before a visit to the salon is needed to touch them up.

How To Remove PolyGel From Nails?

Polygel can be buffed off, usually down to 10% to leave a protective layer on the nail.

Is PolyGel Bad For Your Nails?

No, but like with acrylics and gel, give your nails a break to breathe every few months or so to maintain strong, healthy nails.

Why is Biting Your Nails Bad For You?

As a child, you’ve been told over and over to keep your fingernails out of your mouth because it’s a dirty habit and it’s bad for you. But besides giving yourself jagged fingernails, are there actual health concerns linked with nail-biting? The answer? Yes.

Your hands are one of the most used parts of your body, touching hundreds of objects and people a day, most of them in public areas where sanitization standards aren’t quite at the level of your home. By putting your unwashed hands in your mouth, you’re exposing yourself to germs and bacteria that can cause something as minor as a cold, or something as serious as pneumonia.

Biting your nails also affects the skin around it, peeling back the protective layer and exposing the inside where an infection can occur. If you have a wart or some other infection, having open skin only increases the risk of it spreading to other areas.

Picking and biting at your nails can also cause some cosmetic effects that can either be temporary or permanent. If you have a habit of picking and biting at hangnails around the base of your nail, you can actually alter the shape of your nail over time if the area is constantly inflamed or infected as that is where the fingernail is made and originates from. Repeat trauma from pushing back the cuticles can also warrant similar results.

Your teeth can also be affected by repeatedly biting your nails as it can wear down the enamel, or even potentially cause a break.

If you need help with helping to stop biting your nails, take a read through one of our previous blog posts: How to Stop Biting Your Nails for helpful tips and tricks.

Nail Hardener vs. Nail Hydrator

Unless you’ve been blessed with some powerful genetics, brittle nails are bound to happen to you, especially if you have the habit of picking or chewing on them. Now, there are two different kinds of products on the market that can help with this: nail hydrators and nail hardeners. Which one is the best for you? Let’s take a closer look at both.

Nail Hardeners

There are two options here. One being cross-linking hardeners and the other being reinforcing hardeners.

Cross-linking hardeners: To explain how this one works, let’s think of your nail as a ladder. With brittle nails, the rungs on the ladder to wobbly, weak, and unstable. However, if you add a cross-linking hardener, it’s like getting extra rungs to help support the ladder. Cross-linking hardeners work directly with the protein in your nails by using ingredients like formaldehyde and calcium.

Reinforcing hardeners: This product works on the outside of your nail rather than the inside. Simply put, reinforcing hardeners add a protective, hard layer on top of your existing nail without changing the actual nail underneath. Reinforcing hardeners achieve this by using ingredients such as nylon and sulfhydryl protein.

Cons: You may think that having hard nails will protect them from cracking, but the opposite is actually true. With cross-linking hardeners, nails can become so hard that they are unable to bend, making them more likely to snap. With reinforcing hardeners, it can be a pain to constantly reapply the protect in order to ensure proper protection.

Nail Hydrators

Nail hydrators make the nail bendy rather than stiff, preventing unwanted cracks. The product is thicker than hardeners, almost like a cream which works really great for your cuticles and skin around the nail as well when applying. Nail hydrators often use ingredients found in extra strong moisturizers such as mineral oil and beeswax. They are best used on people who have issues with their nails peeling rather than actually breaking.

Cons: Like with reinforcing hardeners, nail hydrators need to be constantly applied in order to be effective as creams wash away. 


First, find out what your nail problem is. If your nails are prone to cracking and breaking, a nail hardener is your best best. For dry, peeling nails, go with nail hydrators. Be aware of the pros and cons for each and for any serious nail issues, consult your doctor.

Acrylic Nails vs. Gel Extensions

Long gone are the days when you pop into the nail salon and only choose a colour for your new look. Now, you can choose different shapes, nail art designs, and even go the route of having fake nails. Most nails cannot stand the pressure of being so long and will chip, crack, or completely break the first chance they get, so the fake nail route is much more popular in this generation. However, even here there is a choice: the choice between acrylic nails and gel extensions. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both.

What Are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylics are probably the more common one of the two, probably because of their affordability. Acrylic nails are made of a combination of liquid and powder and are applied over the natural nail, adhering to the nail tip which is created if any extra length is needed. Then, a brush is dipped into liquid monomer and then into powder polymer. This creates a small ball which is then patted onto the nail bed until the desired thickness and length is achieved. The material is then dried and shaped, adding more as necessary.

Pros and Cons of Acrylic Nails

Because of their popularity, you can get acrylic nails at almost every local nail salon. As mentioned above, acrylics are also very affordable, costing on average between $35-$45 for a full set, and then $15-$20 for refills when they grow out. You can find even less expensive prices if you’ll allow yourself to be a guinea pig for local beauty school students. The disadvantage of the second one is that it may be more time consuming, and depending on the current skill of the student, certain options like nail art and special colouring patterns like marble and ombre may not be available. Nevertheless, acrylics are extremely strong and have little to no chance of breaking off or chipping so long as you’re not doing things like construction work every day.

No matter where you go though, there is always the chance that your acrylics may look horribly unnatural if they are applied incorrectly. In this case, you may want to remove them right away, but unfortunately, removing acrylics is no easy task without damaging the nail bed. Nail salons will remove the acrylics for you, but it will come with a price tag attached to it, usually between the $15-$20 mark.

Gel Nails

What Are Gel Nails?

Gel nails are becoming increasingly popular in nail salons, and although they are not quite as popular as acrylics, they’ve definitely made their mark in the beauty world. Firstly, a nail tip is applied if needed for the desired length to be achieved. After that, two to three layers of gel polish is applied with each layer being cured, aka dried, underneath a UV lamp. After the final layer has been dried, the nail is then shaped, filed, and the colour is applied.

Pros and Cons of Gel Nails

Unlike acrylics, gel nails have a more natural look to them and no damage is done to the nail bed if done incorrectly. So, if for whatever reason you are not satisfied with your gel nail extensions, removing them is a very easy process by just soaking the nail in acetone.

Unfortunately, with these incredible benefits, there are cons to this nail treatment. First off: price. Gel extensions are more expensive than acrylic nails, ranging up to $65 for a full set. Also, though not fully proven, the use of the UV lamp for drying the nails has concerned some about the risk of skin cancer because of the exposure to the UV light. Gel nails are not as strong as acrylic nails as well and the gel can be prone to peeling if not taken care of properly.

At the end of the day, both are good options with an equal number of pros and cons for each. It all depends on which one is best for you, your budget, and of course your day to day life. Check with your work to make sure that you are allowed to have extended nails as some workplaces forbid having them for functionality and professional purposes.

Also, remember that Plei Nail Strengthener can be used with both acrylic and gel extensions to keep your natural nails healthy, strong, and ready for their next set.