mani monday: got nails?

jazzi comes clean about her nail biting habit and the secret product that kept it hidden from us all.

by jazzi mcgilbert

Hi, my name is Jazzi and I am a hopeless nail biter. Even so, I'm addicted to super long, pretty nails and brightly hued polishes, and refuse to be left out of the nail art party. As far as the nail biting goes, I'll say it again: I'm hopeless. I've tried everything, from those unsavory polishes to moving to New York City. I'm ashamed to admit the daily grime of the city didn't keep my fingers out of my mouth. And as far as the long, pretty nails go? I tried gels, tips, press-ons, and acrylics, which were a workaround for years but left my natural nails brittle and my wallet totally dry. So for a while, I'd lost hope. Then I stumbled across what looked like an infomercial (aka full of false hope) called Custom Nail Solutions. Don't be fooled by the Barbie pink pouch and well, kinda cheesy marketing: it's what's inside that counts. Here's the sitch: They are indestructible nail veneers molded to your fingernails.

Yes, nail veneers as in tooth veneers, except not. They were invented by a cosmetic dentist for a similar purpose: to give you the long perfect nails you may not have been born with. The idea is that your nail bed is as unique as your fingerprint, so custom fit nails look natural and the medical grade plastic lasts forever and ever. And they work. Plain and simple. For $199, they'll send you the plaster molding kit to take impressions of your nails at home. It's easier than it sounds. Then a couple weeks later, they send you back a custom set of nails that you can polish, paint, and everything in between (nail wraps! 3-D art! omg!) - just like real ones. Sounds a little crazy, right? I know.

But I gave it a test drive anyway and here's what I've learned after using them all summer long: - You pick the length (you can file them later, but they won't grow back) and the base color. A neutral soft pink or french tip. Until french tips are cool again, we'd suggest the pink as a base. - You put them on with glue and take them off with acetone. It's not all-natural, but it work. My nails underneath have been just fine. - They stay on for nearly three weeks (or until you feel like taking them off). - They are tough enough to scratch your head and pick at your face. You know you were wondering. - Nail polish actually wears longer and looks better on the non-porous plastic surface. - I haven't been to a salon in months, which has saved me tons of money. - My friends are fascinated. - I'm obsessed Confesstion: My nails are still stubs underneath, but that's our little secret. -- JAZZI