How to Nail It This Year

Nails are big this year—literally and figuratively. We asked Sindy Mark, owner of Wild Orchid Nail Spa, to, yes, nail down for us some of the “whats,” “whys” and “hows” in the world of manicures.

What colors are popular right now?

Nude tones are in, along with a lot of dark, dark browns and army colors—greenish tones, anything military-ish. We like to embellish a lot of the gels with glitter, we add a little bit of gold, and it’s a fading, graduated shine, like you dipped your hands in 24-karat gold.

What’s the wildest design you’ve done?

We play with a lot of material on nails. We can use feathers, lace, magazine clippings, photos of your children, if you want. But snakeskin has been the weirdest. A client brought it in, and we’ve done it a few times. Using real snakeskin, we’ll airbrush it with a little color that picks up all the details of the natural layers and the scales. We embed that and use clear gel or acrylic, and you get this stained-glass finish.

Describe your nail style, and how do you function with talons?

I have stilettos—they’re like heels, thicker on top and they come to a point. They’re about 3 inches long, embedded with feather and lace. As a female, you do what it takes to keep them long. I have two children, 5 and 3, and I do everything with them. You just kind of do it.

A salon with a touch of lunch

Pop-ups are all the rage, from bookstores to shops to restaurants, combining a hint of the unexpected with a dash of guilty pleasure. Taking that to the next level, we love beauty businesses with surprising asides that blend two of our cravings into one. Great Bao Asian Café in Touch Salon & Spa, for example, offers tasty Asian sandwiches that can be devoured before or after a relaxing pedicure or manicure.

What’s even better is that big-name-Strip-restaurant-alum Sheridan Su is at the helm, cooking up steamy buns stuffed with savory fillings such as duck and pork for about $3.50 each. 4965 W. Tropicana Ave., Suite 105, 545-0101,

– Melinda Sheckells

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The Birch Effect: Who will take UNLV's last open spot?

The Birch Effect: Who will take UNLV's last open spot?

By Ryan Greene

Two weeks ago, UNLV was a program with no concrete ties to Pitt transfer and former McDonald's All-American forward Khem Birch. Dave Rice and his assistants were just trying to get a foot in the door. On Monday, that door came off of its hinges. Birch, a Montreal native who ranked as the No. 9 recruit in the 2011 senior class by, committed to UNLV, choosing the Rebels over Florida and a handful of others.