CND Shellac Manicure: Better Than Gel?


Photo: courtesy of CND

CNDs Shellac hybrid nail color has all the benefits of a gel, without the scary removal process. Dipping my hands into a bowl of acetone and having someone drill the color off my nail beds has kept me far, far away from regular gel manicures. I know pain is a part of beauty, but I always thought manicures should be more about pampering than torture luckily the folks at CND agreed.

This hybrid polishs promise of two weeks of shiny, chip-free nails was appealing, but the thing that really had me running to the salon was its claim of zero drying time. I usually spend upwards of 20 minutes under the dryer and still end up with a smudge before I get to the car.

On the day of my appointment, I arrived skeptical, but hopeful. With only 12 colors to choose from, I opted for a fellow clients suggestion of layering two colors together: Fedora, a dark cocoa shade, with Red Baroness, a deep, shiny crimson, on top.

The Shellac manicure has most of the same steps as a traditional one, but theyre performed out of order. The technician went right to work pushing my cuticles back, removing any dirt or oil, and buffing and shaping my nails. She was very thorough, because chipping only occurs if the polish wasnt applied to a perfectly smooth, prepped surface.

Then came a special UV Base Coat and just ten seconds of setting with a UV lamp, followed by a thin coat of each color and two more minutes under the light. The manicure finished with my favorite part, the hand massage, using a very yummy sounding Sparkling Champagne lotion, another fab, new CND product.

I really couldnt believe my nails were fully dry, so the technician insisted I rub them quickly against each other. After another moment of hesitation, I did it, and she was right! They were 100% dry, and the polish had completely hardened. Suffice it to say, I continued to marvel at them the entire way home, and it was especially nice not having to ask a stranger to dig through my bag for my keys.

Day 1:

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Photos: courtesy of Lisa Brown

For the next two weeks, I really put Shellac to the test, although I did make my boyfriend open all soda cans for the first couple of days. Amazingly, after three batches of cookies, one too many sink fulls of dishes, scrubbing the bathroom clean, peeling stickers off apples daily, god knows how much typing and eventually opening my own diet cokes, the only discernible difference from day one is the bit of new regrowth on each nail. It does seem like the edge of polish near the regrowth will start peeling soon, but it hasnt yet.

Day 14:

108176 1294064679 CND Shellac Manicure: Better Than Gel?

Although removing the polish only involves a simple acetone wrap, it should still be done by a professional. No problem there, since I cant wait to get re-Shellaced. Only having to get one manicure this holiday season saved me so much time, and I cant wait to test out the Shellac pedicure this summer, especially since 12 new colors will be introduced in March!

Click here for more info and a list of salons in your area that offer the Shellac manicure.