The No-Chip Manicure: Pros, Cons and Everything In Between

Shellac. Calgel. OPI. Minx. In other words: the no-chip manicure.


Nail enthusiasts and experts alike have been up in arms or, in this case, hands, about the newest manicure trend to hit the nail salon. We got the skinny on the process, the pros and cons and even how to make it work for a no-maintenance summer style.

On average, the no-chip manicure lasts for two to three weeks with—you guessed it—no chipping! It can and does work for anyone and this concept is here to stay.

“The no-chip manicure is not a trend; this is new, high technology, on the cutting-edge, and it is only going to get better,” says Alan Kossof, general manager at Teddie Kossof’s SalonSpa.

Here’s what you need to know about the process:

  • Nails are painted similarly to a regular manicure.
  • One at a time, nails are placed under a UV lamp.
  • The UV lamp cures and dries the polish instantly, which means there’s absolutely no drying time!
  • The total curing and drying time takes about 10 minutes, and then you can walk out the door with totally dry nails.

Depending on which process you select, the color selection may vary. For example, Teddie Kossof’s offers Shellac as well as OPI, and each manicure is priced at $45. Kossof says OPI has been found to provide better structure for weak nails, while the Shellac is intended for a healthy nail bed. Each manicure offers a variety of colors, including a layering technique from the Shellac line that combines colors.

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The no-chip mani is perfect if you are active in the summer and don’t want to worry about your nails on vacation. “It’s ideal for people who are going away or don’t have time to come into the salon every week,” says Yana Vodovoz, nail technician at Anasa Salon and Spa. Anasa offers Shellac with 12 colors available, priced at $49.

We do speak from experience when we tell you that removal is difficult if not done properly. It’s best to have it removed at a salon, since nail technicians apply acetone to cotton pads, then wrap your nails in the cotton and foil, place them under a heat lamp and scrape off the polish.

Whatever you do, don’t peel the polish off without first softening it with acetone. It’s tempting if a corner starts to lift, but peeling the polish also peels off layers of your nail—a big no-no.

The removal is the downside to two weeks of worry-free nails.

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