We Found the Longest-Lasting Manicure in Philly

Eight days and not a chip.


Nope, this isn’t a gel manicure. | Nicole Scott.

Gel manicures have been regarded as a godsend by most salon-goers. Perfect, chip-free treatments that last for two weeks or more, without the pesky drying time or risk of smudges. But they’ve also become controversial, as many manicurists and doctors claim that the manicures can thin and damage nails. Still, once you’ve gotten a gel, it’s tough to go back to regular manis, in the same way it’s hard to go back to cotton once you’ve worn cashmere. The next best thing? A Keratin manicure at Laurentius Salon in Queen Village. 

Keratin treatments — the savior of frizzy-haired women everywhere — get a bad rap, thanks to the formaldehyde in them. But your nails are actually made of the protein, and this waterless manicure helps strengthen the keratin that’s been weakened by harsh UV lights.

We sent an editor to check it out and, eight days later, her mani was still in tip-top shape (even after typing all day!). Here’s how it works: Robin Campbell (the salon’s awesome nail tech) fits your hands with warm keratin gloves. These contain a treatment packed with keratin, vitamin E, urea, copaiba oil and protectant Lipex PreAct, and they stay on throughout most of the manicure; Campbell cuts the tips off so that she can access the nail beds to push back cuticles and file. After about 10 minutes, the gloves come off, your hands and arms are massaged and your nails are painted. The best part? You leave with nails nourished and healthier than they were before, for just a bit more money than a regular manicure (or a harmful gel).

The Details: Keratin nail treatment, $25 at Laurentius Salon, 815 Christian Street, Bella Vista, 215-238-0764.