Book Review: Rescue Your Nails (You Need This)

A few weeks ago I briefly mentioned Ji Baek's Rescue Your Nails ($10). Since then, I decided to take a closer look because, while I thought that I knew everything a lay person needed to about nail care, I figured that Ji might have something to teach me.

It turns out that this book is one fantastic resource! It's easy to read, informative, and has tons of beautiful color photos on every page. The information is very practical and she explains her reasoning for some quirky things (such as using a rolled up paper towel for a toe separator) so that they make sense. Her focus on cleanliness and hygiene both in at the spa and at home is intelligent and very much needed, although I admit to being too creeped out to get in one of those spa whirlpool chairs ever again.

Starting from the beginning with her "three absolutes" (nothing has to be complicated, everything is fixable, and a little TLC goes a long way), the manual is straight-forward, candid and quite charming. Ji covers every nail topic you might think of, starting at the history and allure of well-groomed nails, the basic at-home manicure and pedicure, selecting and caring for polish, caring for your skin, troubleshooting minor and major nail horrors (the idea that one's toe nail would fall off from excessive running again reinforces my long-held belief that it is not the sport for me), what to look for in a professional nail service and finally the nail-biters anonymous 12 week program to restoring some dignity to long abused tips. You get the sense that she has really poured her heart out into this book and not held anything back. The book is personal and friendly in tone, like she's your big sister telling you how it really is. It's also illuminating that there are no "proprietary secrets" behind the famed rescue manicure, only cleanliness and good sense.

As far as I'm concerned, this book really is the definitive resource on nail care. We've all read those one-page articles in magazines about at-home manicures, but those quick tips are nothing compared to Ji's exhaustive instructions. You might think Geezus Louisus, how complicated can it possibly be? But you only know the half of it, sister This book would be perfect for the nail aficionado in your life or, for that matter, any woman who is interested in how she presents her hands to the world. Definitely a must-read.

And, just for kicks, here is your daily dose of drool-worthy product lust, a collection of 47 of Ji's favorite custom designed polishes: the Rescue Beauty Lounge Nail Polish Library ($750!!!). For the woman who truly has everything.



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