From Katrina, one of our European Beauty Correspondents!
Having read about Shellac – the new super-long-wear nail varnish by CND (http://www.cnd.com/Consumer.aspx) – 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]