Last Friday, I got a manicure with Shellac by CND. The product really intrigued me, because it provided the benefits one would get from a layer of gel or acrylic nails, but wouldn't buff down my already very soft nails.
For me, the other options weren't good either. With the cooking (and clean up) I tend to do, a regular manicure would probably last 4 or 5 days. Silk wraps helped me years ago to get stronger nails, but users are discouraged from letting them sit in water. The above mentioned clean up, plus the pool would water log those wraps. Pass.
Here we are, one week later and I am amazed. Take a look for yourselves:
My nails look like they were just done-shiny, chip free and in this case, sparkly. This color is Baroness and it looks like a Candy Apple red car. I've maintained my usual activities, which results in at least one or two broken nails a week due to being so soft. I added a marathon cooking session, which always broke nails-I still have ten ravishing red nails. And the best part?
There are only two minor blemishes that no one else would notice. I know one came from scrubbing a pot with a brillo pad. It wasn't noticed until yesterday after I took pictures. I'm not sure what caused the other one, but I was messing with the copier and files at work yesterday, and the blemish is on a nail on the left hand, so it's likely that was the culprit.
The negatives to this are completely my own doing. My nails have always grown very fast, so the new nail underneath is already visible. At quick glance, though, the average person is not going to notice this. I'm curious to see how much my nails really do grow in two weeks, since the Shellac has not chipped at all.
I'm a picker. If there's a rough edge, I'm going to fidget with it until it's smooth. So there are some uneven edges at the bottom of two nails because I couldn't leave them alone. With the nails growing out, a third one started to annoy me last night, but I went and got my nail buffer and smoothed it that way. The cool part of that is the nail still shines, even though I rubbed it down (admittedly with the lowest grit I could).
Katie, my nail tech, suggested using top coat if the nails didn't look their best, but I only did that last night to the one nail that had a blemish. If I took a picture of all ten, I'm not sure you'd be able to identify which one has top coat and which are the original Shellac-ed nails. Seriously. (Maybe I'll get someone to take a picture later and post it as a test!)
If you're wondering about the value of a Shellac manicure, my opinion is it's worth it. To cook, do dishes, and go about my daily tasks without destroying my nails is taking some getting used to, but it's a new development I like. Heck, I'm looking over the colors to decide which I'm getting next week.
(As I did with the first post, I'll add day by day pictures to this one to show the longevity of the manicure.)
It looks like I have a small crack in one of my nails. The index finger had a black line running up the right side. I'm not sure if I scratched it on something or if it happened itself. If you look at all of them, the nails are fine
I did put a layer of top coat (INM Out The Door) on it to prevent any further cracking)
Overall, though, they still are strong and shiny.
Ed looked at the nails last night and commented "Hey, they still look great, but you'd never get more than two weeks out of them!" Darn fast-growing nails!
Another benefit is that Katie had said that this treatment can dry the nails and cuticles, so be sure to use Solar Oil or other nail mosturizer daily. I normally don't, and usually have ripped cuticles or an occasional ingrown nail. Since I've been doing this, the cuticles have been much better behaved. I've got Beauty Secrets Nail Matrix next to the laptop and Seacrets Cuticle Oil (that was in some skin care kit of Jane's that she'd only use the body lotion out of) in my desk drawer at work.
The recommendation is to treat the nails once a day, but I am an excessive hand washer, so I'll do them three times a day. You can tell that I hadn't done that yet today when I took the pictures, though!
I figured out why the Shellac cracked, and it has nothing to do with the product and everything to do with me. What I'd forgotten is that one of my nails is slightly warped, and it gets worse the longer the nail gets. To get an idea, take a look:
Whenever my nails get really long (rarely), this is extremely obvious. The difference is that regular nail polish isn't as hard or durable as the Shellac, so it just would roll with the nail.
I'll ask Katie what I should do about this in the future, as this nail has always been warped. Perhaps it got slammed in a door or something when I was really little. (One of my big toes is warped and has a scar from being slammed in a supermarket door and a friends front door the same week. Ow!)
I did a lot of studying yesterday, so the nails didn't get a workout, other than all the typing I did. (That may be part of the reason why they grow fast, as the same thing happened when I played piano all the time.)
Shopping later this afternoon, though I don't see that as being too taxing on the nails...
Or 'the day where you start to notice the color wearing away' day.
Still, there's so much shine on my fingernails that it's only noticeable in pictures.
I absently picked at the bottom of one of the nails, so now it's ragged. Other than that, all that's happening is the nail underneath is growing rather fast.
New manicure Thursday...
I'll take pictures in the morning before heading out for the manicure, but I don't expect much change from these that I just took at 7pm at night:
This product is definitely worth the money I spent. Now, to decide what color I'm getting tomorrow!
Going for a manicure in a couple of hours, and this is what they look like before: