I first found out about this special type of manicure from raina1up who saw that some celebrities were wearing "nails that look like they're made of metal or chrome!" (possibly not a direct quote). I had no idea what they looked like, but I was curious so I started to google "chrome nails" and only found nail polishes with metallic shades. Finally I added "mirror-like" to the search terms and voila!, I hit the mother lode aka "Minx nails!"
After searching the salon directory on the Minx site, I painstakingly identified all the Los Angeles area salons (three or so) and found one whose website looked promising enough: Chi Nail Bar and Organic Salon
. It was easy to navigate and I liked how they included a guide on nail care
and seemed to be quite conscientious about using hygienic tools. Plus, their description of Minx nails
was more informative on their site than on others': "Minx Nail Armour is a durable, flexible veneer, which is applied using a special heat lamp & voila! Instantly dry with no smudges. Fantastic fingers & toes everyone will be envious of. Easily removed, with no damage to nails. Durable & fashionable, Minx can last up to 6 weeks alone on your toes!"
So I made an appointment and parked in the parking structure around the corner that offers 2 hours of free parking.
Even though I was a half an hour late because I got lost, Fawn, the owner, was quite gracious about it and gave me a glass of water (cucumber flavored!). She showed me the different patterns available (see here
for some examples) and advised me that the gold color ("Golden Lightning") would look good on me since I wear gold jewelry.
It took about an hour and included polish removal and nail shaping plus the application of the nails which looked like stickers. Heat is used to mold it onto the nail for a smooth creaseless finish. Then the nail coverings are trimmed/filed off and the edges are smoothed. Then they put a hot moist towel over your feet and you're good to go.
The results are really cool and the toenails are supposed to last up to 6 weeks (whereas the fingernails usually only last 1-2 weeks). I've never had such shiny toenails.
Anyway, I rated this a 4 because it's a bit costly (see price ranges in the Wiki entry) even though the treatment lasts several weeks. Also, the heat lamp gets pretty hot at times -- which I suppose is a bargain for toenails of gold!