Hard as Nails

Serenity Day Spa has the cure for chipped nail polish


I’ve never really considered myself a girly-girl. I don’t like to shop, I’m not a big fan of jewelry, and my friends would never come to me for makeup tips. But one thing I’ve always loved is getting my nails done. A fresh coat of polish has been known to give me a much-needed pick-me-up from time to time. Still, I tend to go long stretches between manicures, not because I don’t love having my nails look clean and beautiful, but because it never seems to last long enough. Between working out, washing dishes and typing on my laptop - you know, everyday living - I use my hands a lot, and my manicures usually suffer as a result.  

I recently had an appointment for a manicure at Serenity Day Spa in Middletown, and as I drove there I realized the last time I’d had one was almost a year ago, the day before my wedding. Needless to say, I was due for some serious nail grooming. The spa’s owner, Shari Magill, greeted me as I came in, and walked me to the nail care room. It gave me a chance to check out the spa and get a feel for its cozy, welcoming atmosphere. Shari spent several years working in high-end day spas, so when she decided to open her own place she knew exactly what she wanted: a place where clients could escape from the stress of their hectic schedules and enjoy a relaxing, rejuvenating experience.

We sat down at a manicure station and Shari took a look at my nails. Because it had been awhile since my last manicure, they needed some TLC. I told Shari that though my nails are strong, my polish usually starts chipping just a few days after I get a manicure. She suggested I try a Shellac manicure, and while I’d heard about them, I’d never had one done on my nails. She explained one of the main differences from a regular manicure is that Shellac polish can last between 10-14 days. I was sold.

As Shari soaked, groomed and shaped my nails, we chatted about our families (we’re both doting aunts), the upcoming Bristol Fourth of July celebrations (yes, it’s almost that time) and, of course, the spa. She said that when she started working in the spa industry, she felt like she had found her calling. She finds satisfaction in pampering her clients and giving them an escape from their everyday lives. I definitely loved the soothing environment of the spa, and could tell that Shari took extra care to make my hands feel and look beautiful while she worked on them.

As a product, Shellac polish is different from regular polish in that it is actually half nail polish, half gel. Shari explained that it’s kind of like a coat of armor for nails - it doesn’t make them stronger per se, but it makes them more durable, which is why it lasts so long. And unlike regular polish, which needs to air-dry, Shellac is cured by UV light during the manicure, so nails are completely dry as soon as the manicure is done.

As I left Serenity Day Spa sporting my neutral Shellac polish with a pretty shine to it, I was curious to see how the product would hold up. On my way home I stopped for coffee, and as I rummaged through my purse for my wallet, I momentarily forgot that I’d just had a manicure. I was sure I’d have some smudge marks on my nails, but I was shocked when I looked atthem and they still looked absolutely perfect. As of writing this a week later, my Shellac manicure is still going strong. I think this product has found its new number one fan.