Tuesday, August 24, 2010

CND - Shellac

As I mentioned last week on Twitter, I have indeed been Shellac-ed!

I had mine done at a fab salon called Feeling Smooth in Port Melbourne.  Michelle, the owner, is just beautiful and very knowledgeable about how the Shellac works.

In the interests of full disclosure I paid full price for my manicure.  For those who are interested, the price was $55 which is cheaper than what I pay for gels but, naturally, more expensive than a basic manicure.

So read on for a step by step review of this most awesome manicure!  But, as a word of warning, there is a photo of my poor, dehydrated nails under the jump. I'd suggest you don't have food or drink in your mouth when viewing. :-)

My poor, sad natural nails.  In my defense, this photo was taken just after I'd gotten out of the shower and before I'd applied moisturiser.  Still, you can see they were in desperate need of attention.

To start, Michelle gave me a regular manicure.  She expertly filed my nails, cleaned my cuticles and gave me nails a quick buff.

Then it was onto the Shellac!

The first step was applying the UV Base which creates a bond with the natural nail.  After application, this was cured in a special CND UV Lamp for 30 seconds.

I had a French Manicure applied.  Boring I know but I needed something for work.  

First, Michelle painted on a coat of a sheer pink which was then cured in the lamp for two minutes.

Then Michelle painted the tips on freehand, making sure to 'wrap' the tip.  This ensures no shrinkage.  Once finished, this was cured for 2 minutes.

Once the white tips were on, it was time for the top coat.  From memory, this was also a two minute curing in the lamp.

After that, Michelle 'cleaned' the nail with an alcohol solution that eliminated any residual stickiness.
And that was it.  No, really.  That was it.

And this is the end result.

How awesome is that!  It looks wet but I can promise you that it's totally dry and rock hard.

All up, I was super impressed with the Shellac.  Having worn gel nails in the past, I can confirm that these definitely don't feel like gels but, boy howdy, they wear like gels.

Unfortunately, my Shellac did not last long but that's entirely down to me.  When I was swatching on the weekend, I used a cheapy polish remover that was supposed to not have acetone in it (acetone being the kryptonite that will dissolve Shellac).  Unfortunately, it did have acetone in it and my nails rippled.

On the bright side, Shellac is much easier to remove than gels.  You can get them professionally removed but I just soaked a cotton round in acetone, placed on the nail for five minutes and it, literally, slid off.

For me, Shellac is a great option for those weeks where I still want my nails to look nice but I don't have the time to do endless manicures.  It's easy, it looks great and it's way cheaper than gels.

I heart.


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