Frequently Asked Questions
Do you offer Dip or Acrylic?
The Glitter Lab does not offer Dip or Acrylic services. We have use resilient UV gel coatings. See next question for more info.
Why don't you offer Dip or Acrylic?
Let me preface this with: there is no coating that can harm your nails. Its the person applying it or removing it that causes damage using improper techniques, OR it is the client picking/peeling it off that causes damage.
The simple answer: there are so many other UV cured products on the market that use the latest technology, are sanitary and low odor, and don't lend themsleves to harmful application or removal techniques. Continue reading for my long anwer.
Dip is a form of acrylic that is applied over natural nail length or tips using powder and adhesive. It has recently surged in popularity yet it has been around since the 90s (just like mom jeans and fanny packs). Though dip feels "hard" and resilient the main ingredient in the adhesive is cyanoacrylate which actually breaks downpretty quickly when exposed to water and moisture. We offer many different types of UV gel coatings which are much more water resistant and durable than cyanoacrylate-based nail coatings. UV cured coatings are the most modern coating available on the market. We can use it over natural length or extend your length using tips.
Simply for *vibe* we don't offer acrylic. The monomer has very potent odors and vapors that don't bode well for a small space like our studio (clients hate it, to us nail techs it smells like money LOL). UV cured coatings have little to no odor and offer a much more pleasing environment. Acrylic, when mixed, applied, and maintained properly can be a transformative nail coating. Unfortunately we run into many of the same problems with nail damage as we do with Dip- rushed/improper application and removal, so it tends to get a bad wrap.
If you'd like more info on the subject please continue reading. I can go on for hours about nail coatings and their pros and cons. I chat even more over mimosas. Call me?
Proper removal of a dip or acrylic manicure is very time consuming. The product takes 3-5x longer to remove using acetone than the Shellac we use in salon (which removes in about 5-10 minutes with no nail damage). Because your traditional walk in nail salon makes money based on how quickly or how many services can be done in a day, dip removals are often rushed with peeling and prying the coating off before its ready, or it is filed off using overly aggressive methods, either way leading to nail damage. Repeated nail damage like this can lead to your nails being very thinned out and sensitive and can also cause permanent, irreversible damage to your nail bed or nail matrix. (If they are hurt bad enough you can lose your nail or it will permanently grow in malformed.) If we charge for time, and it takes an hour to remove your dip + an hour to apply a new color, you're looking at a very expensive one color manicure. We can eliminate all this hassle and added cost AND keep your nails healthy by using the gel products we have in our salon.
In addition to this, many nail salons double dip clients in the powder which is sooooooo unsanitary and can lead to infections. The powder can hold moisture which is a breeding ground for so many things like pathogens and fungi that you don't want on your nails or skin. Bottle and brush services are much safer as nail polish and gel polishes contain no water, and all pathogens need water to survive, therefore eliminating the threat.
Another reason is there is a form of Acrylic called MMA which had been banned for use on nails. This form of acrylic (Methyl Methacrylate) is a bonding agent that has been associated with adverse health effects. It bonds the coating so strongly to your nail that when a trauma happens (hitting your hand, catching it on a door, etc) the nail coating will not release from your nail bed and can rip your natural nail right off- this is the worst pain, perhaps even worse than child birth. ALSO MMA can cause allergies and one of our nail artists is VERY allergic to this ingredient. We do not accept acrylic or dip removals from other places as we can not verify what ingredients are in the products used other places.
What if I have Dip/Acrylic on now?
You will have to get the product removed or remove it safely yourself at home. We do have instructions available for download here.
There is a form of Acrylic called MMA which had been banned for use on nails. Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) is a bonding agent that has been associated with adverse health effects. It bonds the coating so strongly to your nail that when a trauma happens (hitting your hand, catching it on a door, etc) the nail coating will not release from your nail bed and can rip your natural nail right off- this is the WORST pain, perhaps even worse than child birth. MMA can cause allergies and one of our staff is VERY allergic to this ingredient so we do not accept acrylic or dip removals from other salons as we can not verify what ingredients are in products used elsewhere.
But, dip is the only thing that works on my nails. I've tried everything.
I get it. But unless you've given us a chance you won't really know, will you? We customize what base layer to use as we consult with you on your nail condition, lifestyle, occupation, etc. Not all gel polishes are made equal. We use high quality gel polish and our nail techs are highly educated in safe application and removal techniques. Heck, Richael, the owner (actually HI! That's me!) is an educator for CND, which is the brand we use 90% of the time. If you've had a gel polish experience that was underwhelming at another salon, I encourage you to give us a chance to wow you.
I love your nail art, but it's just not for me. Can I still come in?
Nail art is our passion! But what most people forget is that a one color manicure is just as beautiful as an intricately designed one. We won't think you're "boring" or "plain" or say you can't come in! I say: you're classic and polished, and sit right down. Anyone that loves a good manicure is a friend of mine.
I have no idea what I want! How do I pick a look?
You can come in with or without an idea. If you don't have a particular look in mind you can bring any sort of inspiration: a color palette, pattern, or mood. We are happy to create a custom design for you but it is helpful if you give us some sort of "prompt" to work with. I'd suggest booking an "Artist's Choice" manicure for those that don't know what to do.
I know exactly what I want but don't know how much time to book!
You can reach out to us in advance or refer to our nail art guide!
Do you do children's manicures? Can I bring my child with me?
We do not have services that are suitable for children. We also prefer to maintain an 18+ vibe. If you have an appointment, we ask that you do not bring your child(ren) with you. Our capacity is limited due to COVID restrictions, and in general it's kind of a faux pas. The salon has chemicals, sharp objects, expensive velvet chairs and very hard concrete floors. It's a liability nightmare for unattended children. *Occasionally* we make exceptions and will do a child's manicure, but usually not until we get to know you first. Read between the lines: If my client of 7 years asks me to do her a solid and paint her little cherub's toes for his/her birthday, sure, maybe. A feral child I've no prior experience with: probably not. Also, before you come at me, I'm a single mom of an 11 year old. I have 7 nieces and nephews. I know exactly what happens when kids come in for a service and usually we all regret it! LOL.
Unpopular/Unsolicited Opinion: Play nail salon at home with your little one. They will cherish play time more with you than having a stranger paint their nails under the stress of behaving correctly. If they are little enough they won't care what the end result looks like. Learning how to paint nails is an awesome fine motor development tool and if you find the kiddie peel off polish you get the added fun of sensory play! Older kids will love bonding over messing up and trying to perfect the craft with you; also a practice in patience. Teens will hate you for something else even if you give them the nail salon experience of their dreams. Save the money for their therapy later in life. Besides, save what little alone time you get for yourself. We all need a slice of life that only belongs to us.
For more info you can read an article I wrote about it for NAILS MAGAZINE here.
My teenager wants nail extensions, but he/she/they is under 18.
Welp. We all want to make our kids happy. I'm a mom, I know the drill. We absolutely will NOT do nail extensions on anyone under 16 anymore. In some cases, after a consultation, we will do them on someone 16+ We are more flexible with gel polish, but we do not offer children's pricing nor is our environment very kid-friendly.
The younger you are the more oils you have on your skin, hair, and nails. Oil and nail coatings do not mix. The more dehydrated we can get your nail plate during prep the better the adhesion will be to your nail coating and the longer your set will last. (Using cuticle oil after a set is done is different, if we applied cuticle oil to your nail plate before application the whole thing would pop right off.)
Teenagers aren't as responsible for the home maintenance as adults can be, and often time can be more susceptible to picking and prying off their nail coatings, which can cause damage. I really don't want to be responsible for anyone causing themselves permanent nail damage at such an early age.
Because nail coatings don't last well on younger clients and our prices are higher than your average nail salon people usually get very disgruntled when, as we warned, the coating pops off or doesn't last two weeks. Honestly, it's just a headache and we end up in an awkward "I told you so" situation which puts us in a pickle. Do we give you a refund despite you going against our professional opinion? Do we just shrug and say I knew that would happen? Do we risk getting bad reviews if this all goes down? Nope, we just avoid the situation all together. Sorry, kids! (Read between the lines: we've tried, we've warned, we get complaints, we give up, this is why we can't have nice things!)
My suggestion/unpopular opinion: Have your teen play with press-ons or regular polish until they are old enough to have nail extensions- unless you don't mind wasting money on nail services that don't last. If you take them to another salon that does dip/acrylic, perhaps read my FAQ on that first.
I have an appointment, can I bring someone with me?
The short answer is no, covid is stealing all our fun and socializing. If the person you are coming with has an appointment around the same time as you, then yes. Depending on the day of the week we may have room for friends. We ask that you just ask in advance, as occaisionally we can accomodate your request.
Do I have to wear a mask?
If you're unvaccinated or sick, yes. Fully vaccinated and healthy clients may remove masks. We will ask you to wear a mask if you have a cold or experiecing symptoms that may spread to others. If you are very unwell please reschedule your appointment.
Do you offer services to all genders?
In the words of the almighty Lady Gaga: "No matter gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgendered.." If you have nails we will paint them (oop, I mean if you're over 18). Send us all the shes, the theys, and the gays. No matter your color or your creed. We are a no hate zone. Glitter and colors rule our daily lives. Of course we are open to all. <3
I'm here but it looks like an apartment building. Am I at the right spot?
LOL yes! We are on the ground floor of the apartment building closest to Portland Ave. Head towards the sidewalk, you'll find us.
Is there parking?
Yes! There is FREE 3 hour parking in our lot in the white lined spots. Please don't park in the yellow lined spaces as they are reserved for the residential and commercial tenants.
Can you do side by side services or accommodate a group?
Yes, well, sort of. Only Paige and Jess offer pedicures. Richael only works Tues-Thurs, Paige is the only one that works Saturday. We are all independent and have separate booking sites and schedules so coordinating side by side services can be a little tricky. You'll have to toggle between the three of us to see if anything lines up. I suggest just opening each of our booking sites in a separate window to compare. We do book out pretty far in advance so the further out the date is the easier it will be.
Of course you can call if you need help, but we will direct you to complete the booking online as we require a credit card to reserve your appointment.
Why do you have fees for short cancelling or no showing?
When you reserve time with us that is time that we depend on to make money. You sign up for two hours of my time, you don't sign up for a service. When we don't get adequate notice on cancellations (the minimum is 24hrs) we cannot fill that time- even if we have a waitlist- and therefore you still need to pay for the time you reserved as agreed upon when you booked.
If you're contracted to work at your job for 40 hours a week and suddenly they cut your hours to 20 hours a week without notice, halve your pay, and then expect you to return to work happily the next week, would you do that? Over and over again?
We know emergencies happen, but if you think about the fact that we might get a several "emergency cancellations" in a week, or even a day, it can really add up. We love what we do but we do need to make a living. These are our careers, they are not a hobby or a side gig. Our cancellation fees aren't here to rob or scam you out of money. They protect our time from being abused. I've had these fees set up for myself for over 7 years and I can count on one hand the amount of times I've had to charge someone for a no show. It sets a boundary of respect and communication, and that's all we really want.
There is a little difference if you are an established client vs a first time client. If you have a good history of showing up and not cancelling we can sometimes be flexible and waive or lower the fee. If you no show on a first date, it's a bit of a red flag for us (kind of like that time I gave Derek a second chance after he stood me up at the bar. I should have walked away then). I encourage you to book an appointment when you know you have childcare, no other appointments, and can't be called in to work. We would love to see you!
I don't want to put my credit card information on file to come in. Can I still book?
Entering your information online to reserve has the same security as paying with a card in salon. It gets processed the same way. We cannot see your card number, it is immediately encrypted. You may pay with cash, gift card, or another card at the time of your visit. But you must hold the appointment with a vaild credit or debit card.
I have a giftcard, do I still need to reserve with a credit card?
We can accept other forms of payment when you are here for your visit. The credit card will hold your appointment and only be charged if you no show or short cancel. If you are in contact with us about not coming in and wish to deduct your fees from your gift card instead we are happy to accomodate that.
Do you take walk-ins?
If you happened to walk in and one of us is available for a service we most likely wouldn't turn you away-- but the chances of that are pretty small. In fact, I think I've caught a unicorn more times than that has happened! We strongly encourage booking in advance. It makes the process so much more enjoyable for everyone. :)