"Real Simple" is chafing my friend, Aqua Nettie, on a daily basis. As for me, I found out more about the soak off gel manicures they were pimping to "change your life (and make every day a little bit easier)" in this month's issue. The manicure is supposed to be completely dry "within minutes" and last two to three weeks without chipping.
It turns out that they are often done improperly and don't last as long as they're supposed to. Also, many manicurists are not interested in removing them correctly because soaking them off takes too much time. Instead they just file the gel off, removing enough natural nail material to damage and weaken nails in the process.
The gel can be removed at home if you want to make sure it's done right. To do so you have to soak a piece of cotton in acetone and wrap it around your nail with aluminum foil for ten minutes - a little labor intensive and you have to involve aluminum foil.
If you want to do your own gel manicures at home you need to invest in the curing lamp for them, the gels and brushes. The article I read didn't mention how you clean the brushes. Probably more acetone. So you're generally better off going to a nail salon and hoping they're perfectionists.
A (truly) simple google reveals all. (That's where I got my info)
Personally I'm fine with regular nail polish which I can do myself when I have the time and inclination. There's also Sula peel off nail polish which dries very quickly and doesn't require a solvent to remove. It's not meant to last much more than a day though. Speaking as a color fiend, that doesn't bother me - I can change Sula colors a few times a day if I want to.
So, "Real Simple," to you again I say: PHOOEY.
Also, I was flipping though the latest Williams Sonoma catalog (at least it's obviously trying to sell me things rather than pretending to care about my too-busy life) and wondering who the hell buys that stuff. I mean, I admit I lust after some of the knives (I LOVE good knives) but there is absolutely no point in owning an avocado tool. Unless your kitchen drawers are waaaay too empty and you think they look lonely.
Look how bulky that thing is.
Maybe later I can work myself into an amusing tizzy and put in a full report.