O's Beauty Hits and Misses
O editors test the latest new-fangled gadgets and beauty products.
O, The Oprah Magazine | From the May 2009 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
Clickety-click-click-clickety-click. That's the sound of my nails softly tapping my keyboard as I type this. They're strong and marble-smooth, with milky-white tips. Last week I (reluctantly, in the name of investigative journalism) glued ten Kiss Everlasting French Nails ($6, drugstores) to my own. And, as a woman who generally eschews aesthetic enhancements that won't wash off, I'm shocked to tell you that I can't stop admiring my new look. That's right: I actually like wearing these plastic nails.
The kits come in flat (for women with flat nail beds) or regular (if your beds are more curved), and "real short" or medium length; each box contains two dozen variously sized nails so you can find the perfect fit for each finger. (A mini nail file, tube of glue, and orange stick are also included.) Even the short length is significantly longer than I'm used to, and some maneuvers are definitely tricky with my new nails (slipping a credit card out of my wallet, zipping my pants, unzipping my pants)—but I'm adjusting. And unlike the chunky Lee Press-On generation of fakes, these nails are superthin; even my most eagle-eyed friends haven't questioned their authenticity—just complimented my perfect manicure.
Update: Kiss recommends removing the nails after seven days; although mine were holding up beautifully, I obliged. After soaking my fingertips in a tub of acetone (Kiss All or One Artificial Nail Remover, $7, drugstores)—about 15 minutes for each hand—the plastic became gummy and I could wipe it off each nail. Though my fingers were pruny afterward, my nails appeared no worse for the wear. But I called Nia Terezakis, MD, clinical professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, to make sure I didn't have any surprises in store: "If your skin is sensitive, it could become inflamed if it comes in contact with the glue, but otherwise, these nails shouldn't cause a problem," she assured me. "And the acetone you remove them with isn't permanently damaging to your nails. It's just drying, so you should moisturize a lot after using it." — Jenny Bailly