I hate to bust anyone's bubble, but there's no such thing as "Solar Nails." Well... then again, maybe sort of...
Fortunately, none of the salons in my backyard are trying the old "solarnail" farce, but it has become SO prevalent throughout the country-- and even several other countries-- that it's really worth discussing!
I realize that I'm getting old. As in officially a "grown up" now-- which has it's own ups and downs that go WAY beyond the nail world! But let's talk nails!
Back in MY day, we didn't have a little nail salon on every corner offering cheap-ass nails with no appointment!
Acrylic nails didn't really become affordable for the average person until the early 80's, and many folks my age probably doesn't really remember anyone they knew actually getting nails until the mid-80's.
You had to get out the phone book, look through the yellow pages, and start calling salons to find out what they charged and when you could get in. Most salons charged somewhere between $40 and $60 for a full set, and $25-30 for fills. No one did pink and white nails, and EVERYONE did handpainted nail art!
Very few nail techs used tips back then. Tips were what they pulled out and dusted off when they had to put a set of nails on a really bad nailbiter.
So you pretty much called back the cheapest salon and tried to get in THAT day! Which was almost never possible, so you either ended up making an appointment and waiting for your nails, or you chose a salon that charged more, but could get you in sooner.
Well, 20-some years later, there IS a salon on every corner offering cheap-ass nails without an apointment. They slap on some tips and use a fat-ass brush to throw some clear acrylic down on top, they file it fast and airbrush you on your way out the door. The technique is almost universal, no matter what salon you go to, no matter what city you live in.
Except, after awhile a lot of people who were going to these places started noticing that these nails LOOKED cheap. They turned yellow, they were crooked, and several of us old-school perfectionists that still take pride in our work were referring to them as "chicklet" nails because they often lacked an arch in the middle of the nail and it looked like someone had just pressed a big ole chicklet onto the nails. Yuck.
Now they do something called "Solar nails." "Solar nails" differ a little bit from salon to salon, town to town because "solar nails" is a made up name to describe a technique-- not a product-- like Rockstar nails, which we've heard my rant about!
In most cases, "solar nails" are pink and white, and carefully shaped and squared off, and many salons actually sculpt "solar nails" on top of forms old-school style, instead of using tips. OR they use a white tip with a clear or pink acrylic overlay.
The problem is that there are SO many girls getting their nails done now who are too young to remember the good ole days! Many girls have never stepped foot into an upscale salon, or been to a salon where they had to make (and were expected to keep) an appointment! And even if they are aware of such salons-- it's probably some boring, expensive, hoity-toity place where their moms or grandmas go.
Awhile back I was hearing a lot of people referring to "solar nails" as "new." They aren't new! They're JUST pink and white acrylic nails! Same as I've been doing since before I even got my license!
They aren't fancy, they aren't new, they aren't special, and they aren't different from acrylic! They are still acrylic, they are just pink and white acrylic.
And acrylic isn't SUPPOSED to turn yellow!
Basically "solar nails" is just a marketing gimmick. It allows these salons to compete with upper scale salons by stepping up their quality. It also allows them an opportunity to make more money by differentiating services.
And let's face it... these people need to make more money! Common people! Really? You think $15 is a fair price for a full set of nails? Even if it only take half an hour, by the time they cover the cost of products and overhead associated with the cost of doing business, they don't even come close to pulling in minimum wage! All too often, many of these salon workers are working in situations that most of us would consider sweat-shops.
I-- and many state regulatory agencies-- have some issues with the sub-standard business practices and disregard for public and worker health and safety, but beyond that, it's just a shame that so many people are out there working so hard to make pennies on each dollar earned.
Anyway... my point was to help everyone understand the truth behind "solar nails." That they ARE ACRYLIC NAILS, not something different, better, or special.
Acrylic, btw, is still an excellent scuplting medium for artificial nail enhancements! It remains the cheapest, and the most durable product available. Acrylic products come in a staggering variety of colors, and quality of product! Just because one product turns nasty yellow colors, or gets brittle, or lifts on you, doesn't mean that ALL acrylic will. There is a BIG difference in products, and not all acrylic is the same!
One more thing: there is a product manufacturer named "CND" which stands for "Creative Nail Design." CND has been manufacturing nail products for decades now. They produce very high quality products for the professional nail industry and you can see their ads in many of the fashion magazines.
CND makes a product called "Solar Nail." This was their big selling acrylic line in the 90's when I got into the biz. Now they make "Retention +," "Moxie," and "Radical Solar Nail," among other lines. "Solar nail" remains a registered trademark of CND. It is the name of a specific line of acrylic-- and it is almost never the type of acrylic used in salons that offer "solar nails."
Now you know. Don't get duped. Choose a salon that knows it's stuff and is willing to talk about it! These are CHEMICALS that are being applied to your fingers! You deserve to know what's in them and how they work!