Category Archives: Manicures

What do white spots on my fingernails mean?

When you were younger, did your grandparents ever tell you that the little white spots in your fingernails were because you weren’t drinking enough milk? Or have you ever heard it was from a zinc deficiency? Both of these stories are myths.

White spots on fingernails - what they are, what they mean.Leukonychia spots (what we all know as “white spots”) are a whitish discoloration of the nails. These spots are usually caused by a minor injury to the nail matrix. White spots can appear frequently in the nails but do not indicate disease.

What most people don’t know is that these spots don’t show up right after an injury to the nail. It could take up to a few weeks before one of these spots appears. This gives us time to forget exactly what we might have done to injure our nail. It could be as simple as a soda can that was a little harder to open.

Avoiding these spots can be as easy as no longer biting your nails or using something else to open that box. So just take it easy and remember our nails aren’t made of metal.

How do you get rid of these white spots you ask? Just let them grow out. These little spots aren’t that big of a deal. There is no need to lose sleep over them. Most people experience these spots at least once in their lifetime. Don’t want to wait for your nails to grow out for these white spots to go away? Well come visit us at the Mini Spa, and treat yourself to a manicure to help hide those spots with one of our many beautiful colors!

New Year’s Eve Sparkle! Manicure and Makeup Tips

Christmas is over and there is less then a week left of 2013!  With New Year’s Eve just days away its time to think about how we will sparkle in the new year.  How about we start with nails and makeup?

Glitter Makeup and NailsWhat better way to ring in the new year then to let your outside shine as much as you do on the inside.  Glitter is hot hot hot for both makeup and nails in the new years celebration. Pinterest is flooded with all sorts of new years nails and they all contain sparkle!

The most recent favorite at the Mini Spa has been the ombre sparkle.  This specific sparkle is thicker at the tip of the nail and gets lighter as you go up.  You can do it with no base color underneath or add a hot color as the base, such as red or hot pink!  If you want to make colors really pop but don’t necessarily want any glitter, paint a white base coat then add your bright neon colors to make them really stand out!

Want some sparkle but not too much?  You can always go for our favorite the party nail, pop nail, or whatever you want to call it.  Choose one or two fingers on each hand to stand out, the most popular choice is the ring fingers though our clients have been branching out to do multiple fingers.

What about makeup you ask?  Well, lets just say the glitter doesn’t stop at your hands.  Glitter and colored eyeliners can add a pop to any makeup!  You can also add some sparkly lip gloss on top of your lipstick to add some shine while you are drinking your champagne at midnight!  Before applying any of your New Year’s Eve makeup make sure you add a primer to keep your makeup on for hours!!!

If you need some ideas or suggestions on how to do your nails and makeup make sure you give us a call to meet with our amazing makeup artist or talented nail professionals to get you ready for the new year countdown!

Do your nails need time to breathe? Fact or fiction?

We’re often asked if nails need to take a break from polish to breathe.  This question has two answers: It’s a good idea to take a polish break, but not because your nails need to breathe.  Nails get all the oxygen they need from the blood supply underneath the nail in the nail bed, not from the nail surface.

Do nails need to breatheHowever, the nail surface can get dehydrated or a bit discolored from extended nail polish wear. These symptoms appear as a yellowish tint or white flakiness.  Don’t be alarmed!  They are not indicative of anything unhealthy or sinister going on with your nails.

Taking a break from polish for a month or two will allow the nail’s surface to rehydrate and for staining to wear away.  Winter is a great time to do this, especially for us Vermont pedicure fans, since our feet are covered by warm boots for many weeks!

Getting pedicures is still recommended to keep the skin of the feet healthy and supple, and instead of color opt for Nail Envy by OPI (or a similar nail strengthener) which will deposit vitamins into your nails while still giving them a shiny, finished look.

Well cared for winter feet easily become sandal-ready when the weather cooperates!

History of Nail Polish

We all love polishing our fingers and toes right? Well have you ever thought, “The person that came up with this stuff deserves a high five!” I know we have ;-). What we do know about the person who created our awesome polishes wasn’t so much a person but a group of people in the same country and culture. It was a symbol of rank and the higher class for not the ladies but the men, that’s right boys, the men were the ones that had the right to wear color on their fingers and it wasn’t until much later that women started tinting their nails to show their rank in society as well.

One of the first countries who started to use nail polish was China, it was typically made from things such as beeswax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes and gum Arabic. The Chinese would dip their hands in this mixture for hours, which would turn the nails red or pink. Then in ancient Egypt henna was used, henna would stain the nails orange and would eventually turn dark red or brown after the stain matured. As stated, having color on the nails was a symbol of rank in society and those colors varied, but Gold and silver were highly favored at first, later black and red became popular. By the turn of the 9th century, nails were tinted with scented red oils and polished or buffed with a chamois cloth.

History of Nail PolishFortunately, we no longer have to dip our hands in dye to get polish on our nails and it doesn’t matter where you rank in society or what gender you are. We all have the opportunity to get our nails painted whenever we want and the real people we get to thank is Cutex. In 1917 Cutex got inspired by automobile paint and changed the formula to produce the first modern nail polish that we know and love today. So, the next time you are at the pharmacy and you see a Cutex label with your freshly painted nails give that box a high five and say “Thanks Cutex, you are the “I’m Not Really A Waitress” on my nails and the sparkle on my toes and for that I will always love you.”

Fall 2013 Nail Trends

As you prepare to transform your wardrobe to take on the cool, crisp air of autumn, don’t forget to deck out your digits with the season’s hottest nail polish trends. Wondering what those might be? This season still has us rockin’ some of our favorite colors but with a twist, here are some of the most popular trends.

Nail Noir

While black still cast its spell on nails, new alternatives to the moody hue have been very popular on the fall runway. Think oxbloods, midnightblues, amethysts, mossy and emerald greens.

Electric Hues

OPI Fall Nail ColorsThis trend will add a pick me up to your wardrobe and help ease the transition into fall. So you can still hold on tight to your bright pinks and fiery oranges without rushing into dark hues!

Metallic Mania

Although, gold silver and bronze are always popular because they just seem to match everything and still add a little dazzle, metallics seem to have a twist this season, appearing with holographic, shade-shifting capabilities.

Matte Matte Matte

It’s no wonder people have been gravitating towards matte, it adds body to nail colors and adds tons of character. Neutrals, like creams and mushrooms, feel more modern, while jewel tones appear velvety-smooth.

Psst here’s a little secret… You can spice this look up even more by adding some texture with either a layer of multi-flecked sparkles before your matte top coat or after matte top coat adding a french tip/design with regular top coat.

There you have it, now you can show off your extremely fashionable nails while sipping pumpkin spice lattes(or apple cider!) and enjoying the crisp air. Are you as excited to start playing as we are?

Is it safe to color your hair and wear nail polish during pregnancy?

Everyone knows that drinking and smoking during pregnancy is unsafe for the baby, but what about the grey area of cosmetic use? A definitive answer is difficult because opinions vary widely, but here’s what our research brought to light:

Pregnancy - hair color and nail polishThe two ingredients in hair color that have raised concerns are ammonia and PPD(p-Phenylenediamine). However, only trace amounts of these chemicals are actually absorbed into your system and the limited amount of evidence that’s available suggests that it’s safe to color your hair during pregnancy. Not convinced? Have your hair stylist switch to an ammonia-free color or opt for highlights or lowlights because the color/lightener has very little if any contact with your scalp.

When thinking of nail polish and chemicals, especially during pregnancy, three ingredients ring a warning bell: Formaldehyde, DBP(dibutyl phthalate), and toluene. To avoid these many women switch to natural polish but are very disappointed with it’s longevity. Good news…there’s no need to make the switch! All three ingredients have been removed from most high-end nail polish lines, including OPI, making them perfectly safe to use in a well ventilated area.

Hopefully this information, along with your doctor’s advice, has made you feel more confident in your decision to use (or not use) hair color and polish during your pregnancy. But either way we hope to see you and your baby bump very soon, a mama-to-be needs to be pampered after all!


(Written by Krista, a soon-to-be mom who colors her hair and works as a Nail & Skincare specialist)


Does OPI Nail Lacquer contain harmful chemicals?

The health of our clients and service providers has always been a main concern at Tootsies Mini Spa. With that being said in this week’s blog we thought it was about time for us to touch base on the big question: Does OPI Nail Lacquer contain harmful chemicals? The answer is NO!

OPI Nail Lacquer is safeSince 2006 OPI has reformulated all of its nail lacquers, nail treatments, and nail hardeners to eliminate DBP(dibutyl phthalate) and toluene. Although their nail lacquers have never contained Formaldehyde, some strengtheners/hardeners and polishes do. But even strengtheners/hardeners that contain formaldehyde have 4 times lower levels than what’s considered a safe level by the USFDA.

Interesting fact: According to a study done in California the levels of formaldehyde, even in a nail salon, are no higher than those found in any other work place, such as offices, where no nail products whatsoever are present. So what makes some nail salons smell terrible while others don’t? Usually that nose-wrinkling odor is caused by products used to do acrylic nail enhancements, but you won’t find any of those here at the Mini Spa.

How can you tell if your bottle of OPI polish is the old or new formula? Open the bottle and look at the size of the brush. If it is a skinny brush head, it’s the old formula; if it’s the wide brush head, it’s 3-Free!

If you’re interested in finding out more about ingredients that are in the beauty products you use, please visit





Tootsies Voted Best Manicure – Pedicure

Tootsies Winner Best Manicure PedicureWoo hoo! We did it again – Tootsies won the Daysies Award for best manicure & pedicure! We are excited and so very grateful! The Daysies are meaningful because they are awarded based on the the votes of the 7 Days readers. We strive to provide outstanding service, so this award is extra special – it means we are living up to expectations. Not to toot our own horn – well maybe we are a little – but we’ve won this award 5 years running!! See the results here.

Myth or Reality: Nails need to breathe.

As cosmetologists and nail technicians working at Tootsies, we get asked for our opinions on a lot of topics every day. “What shape would make my nails look the best?” “What’s the popular color choice this season?” “What looks right with my skin tone?”

Nails Do Not BreatheOne question that deserves a mass answer is, “Do my nails need a break from polish?”  Here are a few things you should know…. There seems to be a general misconception that nails need to “breathe”… To dispel the myth and help you understand, here is a description of the make-up of a nail and how it gets it’s nourishment, courtesy of  Nail Systems International.

Blood vessels provide oxygen and nutrients to the hand, fingers, and nails through millions of tiny blood vessels. The veins carry waste and carbon dioxide way. This intricate process is what feeds the matrix, so the matrix can produce healthy nail cells.

These healthy nail cells make up the surrounding soft tissue of the nail plate, eponychium, lateral folds, hyponychium, bed epithelium, etc. These are all living tissue. The nail bed is also living tissue consisting of a dermal and epidermal layer. The upper layer is similar the type of skin found on the inside of your mouth. This is also the layer that is attached to the underside of the natural nail plate.

The natural nail plate is a moveable solid and rides a rail and grove track to move out and grow. It is primarily comprised of keratin (just like your hair). The natural nail plate is not living – it does not breathe. Because it is made up of non-living keratin, it does not hurt to have your nails clipped – same as it doesn’t hurt to have your hair cut. The nail plate is healthy when the health of the nail bed, matrix and surrounding tissue are properly cared for – it does not need to “breathe” to be healthy.

Even though your nail doesn’t “breathe”, let me just emphasize that the nail bed, matrix, and surrounding tissue, do need to be cared for, and just like your hair, benefit greatly from regular conditioning. Taking your polish off a few days before a visit, to treat it with cuticle oil is a great way to help your nails stay pink and healthy. Another way to get conditioning is to opt for no polish with your winter pedicure. Our winter pedicure is all about treating the skin well, warming you up, and increasing circulation with our hot boots and rich Vermont made peppermint chocolate products.

Ultimately, weather or not you should take a break from polish is a personal choice…. And if your not sure, come in for a pedicure and ask us! We are always ready to talk with you about your nails and their good health.


Here is a direct link to our article source:

Who Comes Up With The OPI Names For The Polish Colors?

As clients search the shelf for the perfect color, sometimes the final cut comes from “the name”…

We are often asked “How does OPI come up with these names?” With our upcoming color naming contest, we thought this was a great time to get some insight!

OPI Nail Polish NamesOPI has a team of 6-8 people take inspirational trips to different states, countries, or movie sets to get ideas. When the collection is based on a location, the lucky team gets to try different kinds of foods and view beautiful places. When based on a current event, like movies, or up coming stars, they go right to the source (Wow, a new meaning to “business” trips, huh?).  After all their research is done everyone meets back at the Hollywood headquarters for a closed door meeting. During this meeting, team members bring food items, or other souvenirs for ideas. These meetings could go for as long as 6-8 hours (Can you believe it?!).

So when finding that perfect shade, remember, the name had thought and creativity put into it, it was not just another employer sitting at a desk.