Wow what can I say I am obsessed with this product I love doing my nails and shellac . Lasts so long has a gorgeous range if colours and is lovely to apply !!! Buy it all the time have about 25 of them !!
I am a polish fanatic. I maintain a huuuuuggeee Chanel collection - I have some from the 80s still and they are still great. So, what am I saying here? CND Shellac is the saving grace of my manicures. I am a trained esthetician and used to own my own salon, and I have always had long wonderful nails, which I kept up by applying top coat every day and filling in chips. Then, as I got older, my nails became more brittle and developed ridges. Then I move to a super dry climate, and my nails literally started to split and look just plain awful and my manicures, which I still do myself, would only last for 3 or 4 days, which made me crazy.
On a cruise in early 2013, I needed a mani/pedi. My father had just passed, and I wanted someone to do my nails and hair for me. The nail tech suggested CND Shellac, and although she had zero decent colors, I said ok, time to try. I hated the color, but loved the way my nails looked, and they lasted until I took it off, 3 weeks later.
OK, so I looked into buying the whole shebang. I picked up the CND UV lamp off of Craigslist along with two large bottles of the base and top coat, as well as a whole assortment of colors.
I read the directions online, watched some youtube tutorials, and the first one I did was Midnight Swim, a dark blue/green. It came out amazing, lasted for a really good two weeks, and I had compliments galore.
It's been over a year, and I am still using it. I have learned a number of things. First of all, it is very easy to do. There is no big secret why you need to go to a salon and pay, you don't even get a great manicure with it because your nails must stay dry. So, don't be scared, invest in the CND lamp, the CND UV base and top coats, and one color, something clear like Negligee or Moonlight and Roses.
Note: The big thing about the CND Shellac colors is that they will change if you paint one color over another. Regular polish does not do this. That is the beauty of the colors in this system - you can create your own unique color and look. Just be sure to cure between each color.
Now, here is what I do: First, I apply an SPF on my hands so it can soak in and protect in the lamp, although there is really no evidence of damage, but SPF on the hands does not hurt. Then I prep by making sure first of all, my nails are dry, haven't been soaking or anything. I put the CND cuticle remover on my cuticles and use an orange stick to make sure there is no cuticle on the nail. Wash my hands with soap and water, then I use vinegar or acetone or alcohol on a lint free pad to dry the nail out. Your cuticles will be very dry, warning you now. Because I have a bunch of colors, they do an amazing job of mixing. I do the base coat, thin and be sure to cap the tip of the nail, UV for 10 seconds, then I put a darker color, Rock Royalty, whatever, UV cure for 2 minutes (thin coat and cap the tip each and every time), I may do a second coat of the same dark color, again cure for 2 minutes, then I may put the lighter color, Moonlight and Roses is my first pick, on top as the second or third coat, and voila, the color changes completely, and I again cure for 2 minutes, then the top coat, it is goopy so what I do is spread it over 3 or 4 nails, then work on it until it covers but it is still a thin coat, then cure for 2 minutes. Remember, you can play with the polish all you want until you cure. Also, if you are going to do nail art, do it before the top coat, curing between colors.
Ok, so now you have a tacky top coat. Take a minimum of 91% alcohol and any cotton pad will do and rub it on, and the shine will come out. You can always do this and it will reshine your nails. But do not soak in it.
Then I put CND Solar oil on the cuticles and nail, and I do this once or twice a day (if I remember). Actually, I also use a very heavy vaseline like cream, I use Theraplex Emollient, all over my hands and put them in gloves for an hour or so as well. Your edges may be rough, expect that, so be diligent about applying cuticle cream every night (Dior Apricot cuticle cream is my fave).
Now, here is the fun part. It is true as one reviewer mentioned you can use your own colors. Her way works, but this is my way - I do everything, base coat, middle coat of Negligee or something light or completely black, then the top coat. I am done, nails look clean and nice. Then, I put whatever polish I want on top. I love to change colors all the time, and you can - just use non-acetone to remove! So, for example, I was at the Chanel counter earlier today to see if they still had Magic, and yes they did, in the meantime, I tried a couple of others I had not yet bought. She was shocked I was putting it on top of my brand new manicure, then I asked her for some non-acetone nail polish remover and took it off and bought my Magic (she had one bottle squirreled away, she didn't even mention it I had to ask...they always hide for themselves of their friends hard to get colors). She was shocked, asked what was on my nails.
See in this way, I can wear Magic one day, then take it off and wear Orange Fizz the next, etc. My nails always look so prepped and healthy, no ridges, strong, uniform, and it takes like a second to put a coat or two of the alternate color and go. This is how I roll for two weeks, till the Shellac really needs to be removed because it begins to lift on me, but I will keep it as long as possible.
To take it off, do NOT peel, as satisfying as that is, because you can peel off tiny layers of the nail which will make them soft and bendy and you don't want to do that. Take acetone and soak a cotton ball, put it on the nail and wrap with foil and wait 15 minutes. Sally beauty has a nice wrap kit but really, I think just the cotton ball and white tape does the trick. Anyway, then use an orange stick to scrape off the polish. That's it! You can immediately manicure again since your nails are not wet.
I had this done in Fedora and another color I don't remember the name. Both times the nail color didn't stay. I don't know if it was the nail tech's application, but it didn't last the whole two weeks like promised before it started chipping terribly.
Shellac is the best nail invention ever!! OMG. I have been getting a shellac manicure/pedicure evry other month for over a year now and it has never failed me! If, like me, normal polish only lasts on you for a couple of days then this is for you. Up to 2 weeks of gorgeous shiny colour without damage to your own nails :-) FAB.
I have tried many shades - Fedora, Hollywood, Wildfire, Strawberry Smoothie, Grapefruit Sparkle, Gotcha, Pink Binkini, Tropix, Cocoa.. and probably some more! They are all lovely and whoever says that the colour choice is rubbish doesn't appreciate this product!!
My Shellac costs £20 for fingers/toes and £40 for both, however i know a lady who will come and do them at home and charges £38 for both including removal.. that is very good.
I have lost count now of how much i have spent on Shellac and so i finally took the plunge yesterday and have ordered the CND UV Lamp, scrubfresh, base coat, top coat, solar oil, my fave 4 colours and some removal wraps. It was a lot to shell out but hopefully it's going to be worth it!!!!!! x
Love. Shellac is an HG for me.
I tend to be hard on my nails and a bit fastidious about chips, so standard manicures aren't a good choice for me.
But shellac is amazing. As others have said, light cured, said to last 2 weeks.
For me, I find application matters. I had shellac done once (at a certified salon) but they didn't follow the recommended timings on the Uv light. That manicure lasted less than a week and caused my nails to peel so badly I couldn't get another's oxide for a full month.
But the other salons I've been to have been great and I get a minimum of 14 says per manicure. At 14 days there's some 'wear' on the tips and growth at the nailbed. But, they still look pretty good. I've even worn polish for 21 days.
I prefer my nails shorter - so I often trim my nails with a nail clipper at about 10-14 days. I don't file the nails, just a quick clip. I don't think you're supposed to do this, but I haven't noticed any problems and if there's any 'wear' on the tips (especially if I'm wearing a darker color) that makes the manicure look fresher.
For me the main problem is cuticles and nail growth. I have bad cuticles and they need maintenance more than every other week. I am vigilant about applying N aha cuticle reducer. Even so, I do go in a carefully push back and even from my cuticles after about 1 week.
Removal takes some getting used to. You can do it home with acetone, orange sticks, aluminum foil, and some patience :).
Solar oil is recommended. I have used solar oil even before getting shellac, but it is an oil and may take some getting used to. Supposedly, it works better than other cuticle products to strengthen the nail. I can't speak to that since I use it anyway.
So, for me an HG. I think application matters, so I tried a bunch of salons til I found one I love.
Downsides. Application takes 1-1.5 hours. Limited color selections. Expensive manicures. Any flaw in application is with you for 2-3 weeks.
This stuff is amazing. I alternate between UV gel nails, Shellac, and doing my nails myself. CND Shellac was the only "gel polish" that actually did what it claimed on my nails. OPI Gel polish peeled off within a week. With CND Shellac my manicure looked absolutely flawless for THREE weeks. No chips, no peelies. Shiney and beautiful. This is amazing for me, since regular polish applied to my natural nails chips off within 1-3 days. Shellac also helped my nails stay strong and hard since the polish lasted so long and worked as a shield, thus letting my nails grow nice and long. I did notice a bit of nail damage, but nothing crazy and nothing a nice manicure couldn't fix. I wish my nail salon offered more CND Shellac colors. OPI Gel and Axxium did not work for me like lovely Shellac.
I will have everyone know that you can totally paint your nails with regular polish... Let them dry completely, then apply base coat (2 min cure) and then top coat (2 min cure) and they last just the same! (Obviously wiping after curing with a lint free pad and alcohol) I'm a licensed cosmetologist so I do my own at home with the lamp (bought on amazon for 30 bucks) and this product is SO expensive in the professional beauty supply store! I'm so excited that I can still use all my regular polishes (which there are a million options out there) and they don't cost 16 dollars a bottle! Ill splurge on the top and base coat for shellac no chip but the color options just aren't enough! HOPEFULLY THIS HELPS PEOPLE SAVE SOME MONEY AND STILL HAVE FABULOUS NAILS..with ANY color/brand they want:)
I took my acrylics off after 15 years. My nails underneath weren't as bad as I thought they were going to be. I was painting them on my own for a while with good results but decided to go back to the salon for this. After a few months my nails were worse than after I took my acrylics off. They're breaking and snagging on everything. tearing and look like hell. I think it's the pure acetone used to take this system off. Waste of money and time. All of my nails were over an inch long. Now I have to start all over again. Good for special occasions but I'll stick to painting my own nails and saving a few bucks. Hopefully I can get them back to being healthy again.
OMG this is a gift from God I swear. This saves me money and time from having to travel to the salon to get a fresh coat. I don't like the price cause here in NYC salons charge $40 and up if you find spots that charge cheaper than you're lucky just make sure they are using shellac cnd products and not scamming you using some other brand close to it cause it's NOT!!!!! I got the hot chillis shade for the holiday it's like a shimmery pink red color very beautiful. I'm on week 3 and the top of my nail has not chipped even with washing and scrubbing dishes using harsh chemicals the color managed to stay on my nails. I'm going back to get a new shellac mani. They do have tons of colors check out their website.
Love this gel system. I love dark polishes, but ever since having my son, hardly ever done those because my nails usually chip at the tip in the first couple of days and with a kid you don't have or want to spend time doing your nails every 3 days + wait forever for them to dry, only to wake up to sheet prints ; ) But this staff works. Since I am not a nail professional, it does take me a little while to properly apply all the layers (capping the free edge), but at the end without the drying time that the regular polish usually takes, I probably come out ahead in time saved.
Aslo, I have recently tried using shellac base and top with REGULAR nail polish in between!!!. I have so many polishes that are left unused, but now I am looking forward to using them with this system. I have heard that some polishes might not work, but OPI does and I am going on week and a half and have regrowth already and one chip (my fault). The only downside to using regular polish, you still have to let the polish dry before sealing it with shellac top. And after u apply the base, u need to cure it as per instructions and then wipe the sticky layer off with alcohol.