Cuticles form an occasionally contested border between skin and nail. Learn how nail technicians can safely get them into good condition with Groupon’s investigation.
No one pays much attention to cuticles until they start causing trouble. Either they grow thick enough to intrude on a uniform manicure or they tear and cause pain. But the clingy strips of skin at the bottom of each nail actually perform some important functions. First, cuticles act as protective barriers that help new keratin cells grow into long, healthy nails instead of short, creepy talons. Second, they help keep bacteria out of the nail bed, where it can cause painful infections.
Though some nail salons offer to trim your cuticles during a manicure, the risk of infection—even with properly sanitized instruments—may outweigh any aesthetic benefit. After all, cuticles will grow back no matter what, so even a temporarily neater line at the base of the nail is unlikely to last for more than a few days. But nail technicians do have ways of fashioning smooth ovals or almond shapes without exposing the nail to dangerous intruders. First, they’ll avoid tearing the skin by making sure it’s as soft and supple as possible. An intensive moisturizer will help, as will a soak in a bowl of warm water. Once the hands are well-conditioned, the tech will begin carefully, gently working with a cuticle stick, first pushing the cuticles back and then, with a tiny circular motion, buffing away any dead skin remnants and dried-on cupcake frosting still clinging to the nail.
Expert nail tech Helena Jones deploys an army of microscopic architects to renovate nails during her specialty mani-pedi services. Not only is she certified by Creative Nail Design, but she's also a certified Shellac master painter. In addition to CND polish options, clients may request other high-end brands in non-gel formulas such as OPI and China Glaze.
Growing up on the shores of the Black Sea in Romania, Maria Suciu found herself surrounded by beauty. Her appreciation for aesthetics was not only inspired by the breathtaking beaches, therapeutic resorts, and glassy waters—which are believed to have curative powers—but also by her mother, who taught her how to fetchingly care for her skin, hair, and nails. After years of helping others strengthen their businesses as a public-relations adviser, Suciu shifted careers paths and traveled to America to share all she had learned about inner and outer wellness.
Suciu is now the owner and managing aesthetician of Callatis Spa, where she uses European-style techniques and organic, herbal formulas to pamper skin and boost outer allure. Callatis, which translates to the most beautiful, was the name of an ancient Greek colony that once inhabited the same shores that nurtured Suciu’s passion for performing cosmetic treatments. As a reiki master, Suciu also aims to balance the body and mind, targeting negative energy caused by palling around with delinquent magnets. Soothing fragrances and relaxing music permeate the spa's interior, which is small and intimate for highly personalized services.
Dawn, owner of Dawn2Dusk Holistic Center, employs seven years of energy-work experience to nurture the mind, body, and spirit with a range of holistic applications. Dawn soothes the nervous system and stimulates circulation during relaxation massages, and she promotes proper energy flow through reiki and chakra sessions. Along with bodywork, Dawn promotes overall well-being with raindrop technique and aromatherapy, offers intuitive services such as tarot-card readings and psychic readings, and warns against counterintuitive products such as tar toothpaste.
Working out of a charming rehabilitated brick warehouse, four massage therapists perform six types of massages inside private treatment rooms, including classic Swedish, hot stone, athletic, and pregnancy. They also offer relaxing couples massages for duos looking for an alternative to traditional dates involving dinners, movies, and mammoth hunts.
In addition to scissors or clippers, your stylist may pull out a razor. Learn what it does with Groupon’s look.
Shears are often considered the tool of the trade, but stylists carry an oft-forgotten but equally important tool in their arsenal—the straight razor. Deciding which one to use depends on a variety of factors, the texture and density of your hair chief among them. Though shears can create virtually any style from any angle, the result is always a straight, blunt cut—lending the hair definition but potentially making it look thick. A razor, on the other hand, cuts with a single fine blade, forming a softer, feathered appearance more akin to a peacock's majestic bouffant.
For people with fine to medium hair with a fairly smooth texture, this can create a dynamic, tossable style with lots of movement. If you have coarse or very fine hair, however, scissors might still be the better bet, as the razor might end up making it frizzy. Curly hair raises somewhat of a dilemma; though its coarse texture seems to demand shears, the tendency for ringlets to accumulate as a single, thick mass means a razor might be able to reduce the hair's weight and boost its movement and playfulness.