I am a big fan of nails and have been painting my nails since I can remember and trying to do nail art with a tooth pick. I was dedicated…! Last christmas I got my nails done with CND shellac. And oh my goodness. It was amazing. So much so that i’ve only painted my own nails twice this year. I loved the feeling. So soft but so strong as well. And continuously perfectly painted nails. No chipping what-so-ever. It was stunning. I got so many compliments on it too! I could not not look at my nails. I had to check them out every so often. They looked amazing. CND also had a wide collection of colours and they were all equally beautiful, thus making it hard to choose from. Unfortunately I do not have a picture of my nails the day that I got it but I do have a picture before I took it off. These nails lasted me 2 weeks and you can see how much your nails grow underneath. That’s why it is very important to make sure you have your nails at a decent short length before applying the shellac, otherwise you’re going to have two weeks of incredibly long nails that you can’t do much about.
As you can tell my nail did begin to chip a little bit, but that’s because these were on for 2 or more weeks and I had done a lot of sports at the same time! I cannot remember the name of this colour but it was part of the winter collection and was a soft baby pink. Gorgeous!
As I said, these nails last a long time and they did not get in the way of day-to-day activities. When I got my nails it was an affordable price 25Euro, so roughly 28USD (30 minutes treatment). Which is a good price considering you get a base coat, three coats of the colour and a top coat, as well as a hand massage! By far the best thing about shellac is that you leave the nail salon with dry nails because you have to place your hand under the UV light. It is so quick that I didn’t even realise we were done yet! At first I was skeptical about my nails being dry and tried not too use them too much, but they were completely dry and I was able to easily cycle back home.
Last week I got my nails done again (finally!) for 23Euro, roughly 26USD, and I got treated the exact same way as last time (I went to a different place). The only difference here was that they used Essie Shellac nail polish. I love the normal nail polish from Essie, and have way too many nail polishes to admit. So I was hoping to get yet again a very nice treatment. I am happy the way that my nails have turned out but i’m a bit upset with the quality finish of the colour. It may be the fault of the application or the colour choice, but I feel as though the pigment is far more translucent than the CND shellac was. I can see a bit of my natural nail colour, and the original mint colour is turning more green in some places after a week of wear. There are also a few more air bubbles under the nail polish that somewhat annoy me, but what annoys me the most is that I can see my nail underneath, most visible on my pinky. Again this may not be the fault of Essie but rather the application.
The first few days my nails were fine, I was just shocked at the brightness of the colour. I did not expect it! Nonetheless, I still love the feeling of having shellac nails because my nails feel much stronger and I do not have the urge to rip my nails, which is a bad habit of mine. I noticed that after my first treatment I ripped my nails far less than I used to. So getting these manicures has actually helped me love my nails more and take better care of them.
I can conclude that I prefer the CND shellac because of the wider variety and the seemingly longer longevity. It may be that if I had gotten the same colour in CND shellac as with Essie, the results would be the same.
As for the removal process, you can either get it off at the salon for an additional price of roughly 10Euro or 11USD. This may be the best option if you do not have a lot of time. I however have taken off my shellac by first filing my nails, including on top of the nail polish, then by cutting strips of cotton pads and dipping them in pure acetone, then keeping these wads in place by wrapping aluminium foil on top. Then, you have to keep it on for about 10 minutes to loosen the nail polish. If you have done it correctly you will be able to get off about 60-70% of the nail polish in one go. You do still have to do a bit of scraping on your nails to get all of it off. Once you’ve gotten all of it off, it is important to moisturise your hands with a lotion because the acetone will dry your skin fairly quickly. There are a few good youtube videos that show you how to do it.
If you are considering to get shellac, make sure that your nails are strong. A woman next to me at the salon had nails that were too weak to hold the three coats of nail polish for a long time, so she was prone to losing the colour far quicker than I was. So make sure you take good care of your nails before, during and after your treatment! It is however a good commitment to make and worth the money because you’ll be spending 2, if not more weeks enjoying your perfect nails!