I hate long fake nails- the acrylic kind. For starters they look, um, fake and they damage your nails. I also cannot stand the commitment of going every so many weeks.
For a long time, I have been getting basic manicures. I love they way the look at first and in just days they are already chipped and looking ratty- that is if I don't mess them up before I get home!
Finally I have found the solution and had to share... Gelish, Shellac, and Axxium.
No, not a foreign language. These a 3 different brands of a similar product that all do the basically the same thing- NO DRY TIME, NO CHIP, and NO SMUDGE. Let me explain....
Each product, is made by a different company, but all will provide a flawless, quick dry manicure that will last about 14 days. Each is applied in a similar fashion- with the color being applied to the nail, hands placed under UV light and like magic you have beautiful DRY nails. As soon as you get them done, you can wash your hands, grab your keys from your purse, and drive home all with no worries of the dreaded nail polish smudge.
The removal can be done by a soak off at the salon or by pealing it off. Again it will last about 2 weeks (by then your nails have grown) and will help promote nail growth (it keeps your nails from breaking). The cost is higher then a traditional basic manicure, but is well worth the no dry time!
For the most part they have a good color selection in the different brands and you can even get french (I did for my wedding and my nails remained flawless throughout my beach honeymoon). Each site provides salons in your zip code that offer the service. I go to my local "Asian" salon who has the Gelish brand and it costs $23 for the application and takes about 15 minutes.
Right now I'm wearing a lovely pink, I believe it's called Pink Smoothie :)