I went to Arizona for a week, and figured out that it was a good time to try out Shellac. To be perfectly honest, my first instinct was to go out and buy stuff to do it myself, but the rational side of me figured out that I should maybe try it out first. Not every product works for everyone, no matter how awesome they are, you know?
I went to the CND website and found a salon there – salons that appear on that site have to be certified in the system, so I do recommend doing that if you’re going to try it. There was painstaking nail prep to make sure that any hint of cuticle was gone from the nail plate, and apparently soaking your nails, like manicurists do in a traditional manicure, is actually not advised for Shellac, as the nail will swell and then contract. I’m sure that if I wanted to do this on my own at home I could, but I would expect a learning curve.
I got two colors layered (the salon I went to helpfully had samples). This is two coats of Rock Royalty topped by one coat of Iced Coral. The result is a teal-purple duochrome finish, leaning strongly to the teal side.
At first, I was in love. The finish is shiny forever, and you really are 100% dry after the last curing under the UV light. Unfortunately, I got a big old giant chip on my right thumb on day three. My pointer finger and my middle finger on my right hand are also close to going, and I have figured out why. I am unfortunately not without peelies, and Shellac bonds to your nail really well, like it’s supposed to. The problem with me is that my top layer of my nail is not always super excited about being bonded to the *rest* of my nail, so I do believe it’s actually helped some peelies along, as that bond is weaker than the one of the Shellac. I had a similar experience with the Zoya Color Lock system.
I don’t have a lot of need for wearing the same polish for weeks very often, but I had ideas of being able to put on a black, and do quick layering options throughout the week, or doing something similar with a nude color. Semi-permanent underwear, if you will. Not that manicures take a long time (thank you quick dry top coat!) but having a week of just an effect layer with a top coat seemed really appealing. But unless I can rid myself of peelies, this doesn’t seem like a good option for me. At least I figured it out before I bought a UV light.
Another con – even if this was chip-proof for 14 days, as it’s supposed to be, I don’t think I could keep it on that long. Part of the application process requires making sure nothing is touching the skin (or it will lift later), and so the gap on application to the cuticle was a little more pronounced. I suppose if one is super careful they could get closer, but growth would be annoying earlier than the 14 days.
That’s when I took it off. The foil method worked just fine. This definitely exacerbated my peelies. I’m disappointed – the staying power is clearly there, but it’s just not good for my particular nail type.