Shellac by CND

The other day, I mentioned that I was tweaked about hearing of an alternative nail product that could provide the protection of a gel manicure, without making my already soft nails weaker. Today, I had some pampering in the form of a manicure with the CND Shellac UV nail polish.

Here's what it looked like an hour later when I arrived at work:
I spent the good part of the afternoon handling paperwork very gingerly, because I didn't want to smudge my nails. If I didn't think about them, I was fine, but if I looked at them, they LOOKED WET!

See, this was taken out in my car at 5 tonight, almost six hours after I got them done. They've got that 'just painted' look:

I'd done a bunch of reading about the different brands of UV Gel polishes, and this one looked top notch to me. (I love OPI colors, but apparently, finding a salon with it locally is near impossible-plus the feedback was a little better for the Shellac). In fact, I read most of the information on CND's site for nail technicians and even watched a few of the videos.

This stuff is expected to last two weeks, so I was all over the idea of a product that not only would protect my nails, but that I didn't have to go and get fills once a week because my nails, while soft, tend to grow very fast.

There will be update pictures while I see how it holds up, but there's not a lot of feedback out there from consumers who have used it and plenty from professionals. So far, I'm impressed.

If you're considering it:
Yes, the nails DO dry that fast! Katie, the nail tech who did my nails, had me run my fingers through my hair as soon as the top coat came out of the dryer.

Yes, UV. I'd read about that prior to going and if you're concerned about UV rays, slather up those mitts with whatever SPF you prefer about an hour before you have your appointment. That's my plan.

It takes about an hour and fifteen minutes with an experienced nail technician doing the work, due to the preparation involved and the drying time under the lights. That said, you do walk out with nails that are rock hard and bone dry.

If you don't have solar oil, make sure you have some on hand before you go or buy some when you're getting the nails done. Like acrylic and traditional gel, your nails do dry out. (I got a big bottle at Sally a while back and it's going next to my computer to make sure I dab daily.)

If you're concerned about cost, average it out. Mine was $27, but that's $13.50 a week-about the price of the average regular manicure. On the other hand, there's substantial time savings in that you're not waiting two times for your nails to dry.

I'm liking the idea of pretty nails that look just polished for a long time.

P.S. If you're local, I can give you info about the nail tech who did mine today. :)

UPDATE: 24 hours later

Note: all the pictures will probably be of my left hand, since the shutter release on my camera is on the right. My gorilla pod is weight rated for 1 pound and the camera with the lens is almost two. I'll play around with it and see if I can get full manicure shots. (Ed is leery of handling my camera...)

Day Three:

Day Four:
Upon close examination, you can see that my nails grow fast, but the average person wouldn't notice this yet. I'm wondering if this will last two weeks, but grow out so much that I need to have them redone sooner. Time will tell.

Day 5:
It's strange, the last two days, the pictures show a drop of water on my middle fingernail. I think it's just the angle I'm shooting the pictures, because there is nothing there.

I did a bunch of filing yesterday, and that used to net at least two ripped nails. Score: Shellac 1, files 0.

Day 6:
This is where I am extremely impressed.

You would not know from these pictures that I spent an evening cooking and scrubbing dishes, like with a brillo. Not only would that have destroyed any other manicure I've ever had (and has), I definitely would have lost at least one nail in the cooking frenzy. I still have ten and they still look like they were just done.

I'm thinking the next color may be a little tamer, because the new nail is showing up visibly. Bummer part is that I love this color, it's kind of like a candy apple coating on a car.


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