Skin Deep: J. Steiner Salon

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The colorful nail coverings, which began as a West Coast phenomenon, are offered at select salons in Columbus. One of those is J. Steiner Spa & Salon, which just opened in October.

In addition to being a full-service salon, J. Steiner offers facials, aromatherapy and deep-tissue massages, waxing and eyebrow or lash tinting.

"One of my clients said she was driving to Atlanta to get Minx put on," said salon owner and Minx nail technician Windy Steiner. "I was on the website that day and ordered my starter set."

Buzz about the polish-free product went into high gear when the likes of Beyonce and Victoria Beckham were seen sporting the nails. The best way to explain them to the unfamiliar (and the terminology used on is that they're nail "coverings."

The designs are printed on nail-shaped strips, and they skew toward the colorful and crazy. You can choose from houndstooth, pink cheetah print, blue flames, bright silver and gold chrome, to name a few.

Although Steiner does have some routine customers, most come in for special occasions. Minx are especially popular with teenage girls, she said.

So how do these nail coverings work, exactly? Steiner, who completed an online training course to become a Minx stylist, applies the adhesive-backed strips to each nail, sets them in place under a heat lamp, and files off any excess length before setting them once more.

The designs will last about a week on fingernails (longer on toenails), and don't do any damage to the natural nail.

Minx will only adhere to oil-free nails, so the initial manicure is "dry" - no lotions or oils are used, but the nails are shaped and cuticles are removed.

J. Steiner's full lineup of manicure services includes acrylics, an aromatherapy manicure or pedicure, and a spa-erience manicure. A paraffin dip add-on is also available.

Minx nails come with their own set of maintenance tips.

Although customers don't have to worry about messing up wet polish, chemical smells or chipping, Minx coverings must be treated gently to keep the edges from peeling or rubbing off. If that does happen, reheating strips with a hairdryer and setting with a clear topcoat can help.

To remove Minx at home, you just warm the nails with a hairdryer and peel the coverings off.

J. Steiner Salon & Spa

979 E. Johnstown Rd., Gahanna