Monday, December 6, 2010

Longer Lasting Nail Color! Introducing CND's Shellac!

Hey, gals! You are looking at nails that were painted 5 days ago! Notice that there are no chips, dings, smudges, or flaking! This past weekend, I cleaned house, did laundry, took out my holiday decorations from the basement, decorated the house, assembled and decorated my Christmas tree, and cleaned scores of dishes. Even after all the chores were done, my nail polish survived totally intact! If I was wearing 'normal polish' like OPI, Essie, or China Glaze, my nails would be wrecked. So, how did I manage to get such iron-clad color? CND Shellac, of course!

What is Shellac? CND, or Creative Nail Design, has created a gel nail color system that is applied on natural nails.  Shellac made its debut earlier this year. The system contains a gel base coat, gel polish, and gel topcoat. The three polishes are applied separately and a special UV light is used to cure each layer. Unlike most gel formulas, Shellac is applied directly onto the natural nail with no buffing or sanding. Thus, the natural nail is not damaged in any way. The finish result lasts about two weeks and when it's time to remove, the polish is soaked off and re-applied.

I first found out about Shellac when I was in South Florida for Thanksgiving. I went to a local salon to get my nails done with my mother-in-law and her cousins. I saw promotions for Shellac and when I got home, I googled it and  was instantly intrigued. 

I love having my nails painted in vintage reds.  My favorite color is bright red cream with a blue base.  Whenever my nails are bare, I feel incomplete. I enjoy doing my nail polish myself but the color chips in about a day! I wear gloves when doing the dishes and I try to refrain from using my nails when opening things. Despite my efforts to make my manicure last, I still end up with flaking and peeling polish!  After reading how Shellac works on the CND site, I felt like my polish dreams came true! I searched on the site for a local salon my area and to my surprise, I found one near my office.

I walked into the salon and I was able to get an appointment right away. I sat down in the chair and the manicurist soaked my hands in warm soapy water. After a while, my softened cuticles were pushed back and trimmed. My nails were then shaped and filed. I was told to wash my hands and when I returned to my chair, the manicurist used an acetone-soaked cotton ball to prepare my nail surface for the base coat.

The clear base coat was applied to my right hand which was then inserted into a small, open UV box-shaped light with a timer set for 10 seconds. My left hand's nails were coated in the base coat then inserted into the light for another 10 seconds. The bright, true red gel polish, "Wild Fired," was applied in two separate layers that required a two-minute curing time in the UV light. ( For a total of 8 minutes for color).

To finish, a clear topcoat was applied to each hand and cured for two separate minutes (for a total of 4 minutes). After my nails were done, they were dry! I was floored! No more gingerly reaching into my coat pocket for keys or driving with my pinkies out while I wait for my nails to dry! After my nails were 'shellac-acked,' the manicurist gave me a lovely hand massage with an intense moisturizer. I felt so great and my nails looked amazing.

So, if you love polished nails but hate the up-keep from standard lacquer, you have to check out Shellac! Here is the CND site for more information:


  1. I think I need to try this out! I love red nail polish and am never without it, but I am horribly hard on my nails, which means I am always touching up my manicure.

    Thanks for posting this!

  2. I really like the color. I might have to go pick some up.

  3. Amanda,

    You have to try Shellac! I bet it will be a worthwhile investment for all your photo shoots and events! I still cannot believe my nails look flawless after 5 days! I am tough on my hands too and I feel like I am always re-doing my polish as well! I also like how the CND Shellac website has a salon locator! I just looked on the locator page and there are TONS of salons in Phoenix that offer Shellac! There are only two red colors right now, the true bright red I got called Wild Fired and a deeper, violet-toned, cranberry red.

  4. Michelle,

    The color is amazing! It is a perfect vintage red! Right now, Shellac is only available in salons. You can visit the site's 'salon locator' page to see if there are places that offer Shellac in your area.

  5. If I ever go back to non-acrylic nails again, I will try that for sure!

  6. Kim,

    I used to love gels and and acrylics but due to all my clumsiness and roughness on my hands, my nails tend to lift and turn yellow when I get fills. I just keep them short and now that I got Shellac, I can maintain flawless color with less upkeep!

  7. oh nail polish is always chipping..the only one that doesnt really chip is a cheapy brand..I found at the local swapmeet back home..Red Sprakle from Kleancolor
    "oh go enter mi give away doll."

  8. hahaha!! we do that at our salon! i was about to wirte a review on it too since i know how to do it!! haha! you beat me to it ;)

  9. its basically like a gel mixed with nailpolish! its better thatn a gel because its safe on the nails. and it has these specail proteins that enables your nails to grow longer and stronger with out that harsh line that gels and acrlyc does to your nails. just remember to moister your nails with solar oil beacsue the paint is a felxible paint and when you did your nails the manicurist made sure you nails have no oils so put them back to last for even a month! :D

  10. I've had this done a couple of times and can attest no chipping! I was unhappy with the thickness of it but that was probably more to do with who did it than the product. If I could experiment more with different people I would do this permanently and no damage to the nail!

  11. La Dama,

    If you can get Shellac in the UK, do it! It is un esmalte milagroso! I used to think Lippmann polish was amazing but it chips too. I love how I can be rough with my hands and my nails look amazing!

  12. Thank you for the advice, Miss Amethyst! I have heard that solar oil is amazing for gel polishes and keeping the cuticles soft. It has been so dry and cold here in the DC area and as a result, my hands are dry! My poor cuticles look wrecked! I will be sure to buy some Solar Oil today! Thanks again!

  13. Fiona,

    I thought my nails would look "thick" too but thankfully they are not! I think that thickness or lack thereof depends on the manicurist. I once had gel nails that were so bad that I had them taken off by another salon the next day! They were fragile and bubbly-looking! Ick! I also had gel nails that looked so real even my picky sister could not tell the difference! Overall, I am pleased with Shellac! It is day 6 and other than dry cuticles, my nails still look great!

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  15. Love Shellac nails! This is the perfect way to transition out of acrylic nails.

    Can you tell me what color is on the nails in the first picture?