Guest Post: Shellac Manicure!

By Voxy  

From Katrina, one of our European Beauty Correspondents!

Having read about Shellac – the new super-long-wear nail varnish by CND ( – I was curious. So when I passed a salon offering it, I got an impulse manicure to see what all the fuss was about. I went to Golden Nails in Salem, MA, and was charged $25 for the mani with shellac varnish (and I immediately contacted Foxy Voxy on twitter to tell her I’d be trying it).

The varnish is applied with several layers of base and top coat, and each coat is dried with a uv lamp before the next is applied. One thing the Shellac system offers is blended shades, where a shade is created by layering two others, and their colour charts demonstrate this. The salon I went to didn’t have precisely the colour I asked for, but I got a blend of a dark red with a pale dusky pink. The result was a vivid candy apple, which though it hadn’t been what I was looking for originally, I quite liked. The finish is super glossy.

I had some small disappointments with the manicure, but that was more with the application than the product. The manicurist was a bit sloppy on one thumb – I pointed out the missed spot and when more varnish was smeared on, I ended up with ridges. So that was annoying (and unlike regular varnish, I couldn’t touch it up myself!). It wasn’t very noticeable, but my advice would be to go to a manicurist you know is super-perfectionist with application. Because you will indeed be wearing this polish for a LONG TIME. I had expected to be writing a review saying it was a load of marketing hype. I was wrong. This stuff is INDUSTRIAL STRONG.

At the end of two weeks, nail regrowth is starting to show a little. On the 14th day, I did get a large chip, the result of lugging suitcases in and out of cars. I am impressed! Sadly, I am home now in Munich and there don’t seem to be any salons here that offer it. (the catch with this system is that it has to be removed in salons too – apparently regular nail varnish remover won’t cut it). So I’ll be waiting with my one chipped nail (the others looking pretty amazing actually) til I find somewhere!


[the first pic is straight after they were done, the second two weeks later]

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  1. avatar Yemaya
    Posted October 5, 2011 at 10:26 am | Permalink | Reply

    Does anyone know if using a pure acetone remover and taking the stuff off yourself really cause damage, or is that all marketing hype?


  2. avatar froggie
    Posted February 22, 2011 at 9:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Well, a biologist – it’s not like it’s hard for the likes of you or I to come by pure acetone ;)

    I’d love something like this the next time I have something to dress up for (whenever that might be…). My nails are super soft and bendy too, and it seems to be this might be a better option than extensions, nail-health-wise.


  3. avatar a biologist
    Posted February 21, 2011 at 11:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    You mention the polish has to be removed in the salon. What is the process? Will it weaken your nails?


    • Posted February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      It turns out that the removal basically involves pure acetone. They put it on little pads and tape them to the end of your fingers, so that it can soak in for a while. The manicurist then still has to scrape off the rest of the shellac. I don’t know if it’s optimal for nail health, but it means Shellac won’t just come off in contact with other solvents.


      • avatar chaosbydesign
        Posted February 23, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink | Reply

        I actually use pure acetone to take off regular nail polish as it’s quicker and I’m impatient!

        I really like the look of this stuff. I’ve been trying to find nail polish which does not need to be redone every day for ages!


  4. Posted February 21, 2011 at 2:52 am | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think my nails are especially hard. They tend to be quite breaky and flakey at times. But this manicure definitely added strength.

    (I also found somewhere near where I live that offers it, but charges €55 – so I won’t be springing for that very often!)


  5. avatar marigolds
    Posted February 20, 2011 at 5:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

    WOW. It looks great. Now I want one!! Do you have naturally hard nails, Katrina? Mine are soft and bendy, and I worry it would crack the polish, which looks like hell.


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