I love beauty magazines


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The Geek

Grand Master Geek
Premium Geek
Jan 9, 2003
Reaction score
Leeds, UK
The old saying "Don't read beauty magazines because they only make you feel ugly" is so very true.

Whilst cruising through one of Mrs Geeks magazines, I stumble across a slaughterhouse piece on the nail industry.

Beauty mags make you feel ugly.

The plethora of wisdom and general well-being-ness that one derives from immersing oneself in their pages can be glorious and triumphant.

A few weeks ago I snagged one such magazine from Mrs Geek in a bid to pass a few moments of good reading. Whilst cruising through Company magazine at high speed, I came across a three-page article on nails. “Glorious hallelujah! About time we start to get some good “write up” I screamed from my comfy reading chair.

What followed was about as enjoyable and fun-filled as having a tooth extracted with a dull spoon whilst wondering if the anaesthesiologist was going to turn up.

Sterilize? HIV? Mould? ACK!

I began to thumb through slowly reading about the terror one can go through without proper sterilization in the salon. And … hey .. wait a sec … sterilization? I’m sure they mean sanitation. Surely they are aware that sterilization requires tremendous heat and pressure (e.g. Autoclave) and can only be done on metal implements? Maybe they were referring to disinfection or sanitizing? Well, you know how these big consumer magazines can be … sometimes they can get those big words mixed up.

So I continued onward learning about how the nail can lift and once water or dirt gets into the gap the water becomes stagnant and grows mould…
“HOLD THE FREAKING NOKIA A SECOND”, I shout from my oh-so-comfy chair. “What the hell is this”? Surely it was common knowledge now that mould is not a human pathogen and is not going to grow anywhere on your body no matter how hard you try. ‘Greenies’ is the result of massive bacterial mitosis. When a nail enhancement coating separates from the natural nail, bacteria (usually Pseudomonas aeruginosa and/or Staphylococcus aureus are the culprits) begins to metabolise oil and moisture. The green is no more than a stain left behind from this mitosis. While not pretty to look at, it is significantly easier to contend with than a fungal infection like Mould would be like.

The situation went from bleak to black as the article progressed by stating that there was even a risk of contracting HIV through salon visits even though most services I can think of do not include sharing needles or having unprotected sex. HIV is a very difficult disease to catch with standard sanitation especially as air kills the virus. There has never been a case of HIV being transmitted through a salon visit. You might as well state that HIV may be transmitted through reading beauty magazines.

Who to blame?

To my dismay these quotes were not all coming from an uninformed beauty editor, many were coming from the National Training Coordinator for a well recognised chain of salons.

For years I have watched as the industry has tried to shake off old and tired myths about such silly conceptions from ‘nails needing to breathe’ (I have never witnessed, nor performed mouth-to-nail resuscitation) to ‘Mould growing on nails’. I have watched as consumer confidence slowly rose higher and higher as the standards of professional technicians were brought to new and higher levels.

Only last week there was a discussion on the nail geek site about how consumer magazines are starting to take a solid and positive interest in nails. I was under the impression that nails were finally coming into their own … only to be let down by industry spokesmen pulling out the proverbial rug from under our own feet.

Closing thoughts...

What is the solution to all of these woes the article lists? Very little. There was a call to moving toward a licensed industry, as they have in the U.S. (I hasten to add that there are far more licensed technicians in America that believe that ‘mould grows on nails’ … and … ‘you can get HIV’ through a manicure, then there are anywhere else). Licensing is not the ‘be all and end all’ answer to the problem. The real problem stems from ignorance and a lack of quality-driven continued education. While I firmly believe in a national standard I feel that the people voicing their desire for it should at least be able to pass any exam required for it!

I mean heck, you have a higher chance of growing another butt cheek from eating too many walnuts than you do growing sterilized HIV mould from a nail service.
When I first got my license I went to visit a friend (fellow Tech) so she could give me some "real life" pointers and while I was waiting I picked up a mag with beauty tips....

Some were like "never color your hair at home, alway let a pro do it... blah blah blah...."

The tip for nail care was just like the above article - saying never go to salon to have your nails done because of all the infections and diseases you could get - just push your own cuticles at home and buy solar oil at your local drugstore.

I asked her if she knew that article was there, she said no, apperently she didn't think it was big deal - I was thinking if I was there to get my nails done and I was reading this while I was waiting (and I didn't know better) I might have had second thoughts.....
a serious article but i couldn't help laughing . you have a way with words Sam.

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