I had the chance to try out Creative Nail Design’s Shellac nail polish (compliments of CND) a few weeks ago while I was at a clothing preview event. I had never heard of Shellac before and was really excited to try a nail polish that claimed to stay put for up to 14 days! I can barely get a manicure to last 7 sometimes because I’m pretty hard on my nails between working in fashion, cooking for myself and just being a general klutz. Shellac is sort of a nail polish/gel hybrid. It looks like regular nail polish and is painted on your nails like usual. The only difference is that you stick your hand in a UV lamp in between coats. I had a hard time choosing which shade to try out but in the end the beautiful deep Fedora color called out to me.
First thing I notice was how quickly the polish was dry and how glossy it was. It was like I had a mirror finish on my nails. Unlike regular polish it wasn’t only surface dried but it was fully cured and ready to go. I could sort through racks of clothing without fear from the instant I came out of the UV lamp. It was my first manicure at a preview that I’ve gotten without smearing a couple nails before heading home.Day 1 – After a day where I’ve been fairly rough with my nails they are perfectly intact. Typing, texting, using pins for a fitting, cooking, the list goes on. No signs of edge wear. For a moment I think I spot a dull spot and realize it’s not a surface scratch but the manicurist missed a spot of residue when she was doing my nails and it easily rubs off with a few swipes of the pad of my finger. My fingers look like deep richly colored little mirrors.
Day 2-5 – Seriously hardcore finish. Glossy as Day 1, still looks pretty much perfect on the left hand, while the right hand is showing minimal edge wear at the tips of 2 nails that is so minimal (it’s about the width of a strand of hair/less) that you wouldn’t notice unless you were really staring for a problem.
By Day 6-7 my nails are glossy as ever but a closer examination will reveal minor surface scratches. The minimal edge wear is on 2 fingers on my left hand and 3 on my right on my most used fingers (the thumb, the pointer & the middle finger).
Day 8-9 – Still shiny for most part but due to surface wear there are some slight dull patches that are only discernable with intense staring at a distance of about 6 inches. The tip wear has extended from only a hair deep to about ½ a mm on certain parts of nails. Nails are really starting to grow out so there is a 1 mm gap at my nail bed. My ring finger, pinky and surprisingly my thumb are by far the most pristine, with hardly any edge wear and no dull surface scratch spots. Not too shabby for over a week of hard use. From less than 2 feet away my friend comments that my nails look freshly painted from the nail salon. (On a side note my Sephora shipment came today and I’m itching to try my new nail polishes I ordered…but I must endure)Day 10 –While I was out at dinner my nail caught the edge of something and the first signs of truly noticeable damage occurs. It’s funny because I complained about my nail chipping to a guy friend and he actually commented that he had thought that I just got my nails done.
Day 11 – The damage on my left middle finger increases a bit. The nail polish seems very flexible like a sheet and once the seal is broken it just sort of seems to want to give way. My right hand however still looks pretty darn good. Day 12-13- There is very minimal change from Day 11. On Day 13, there is a slight chipping of the middle finger by the cuticle but otherwise very little change.Day 14 – I think I was working with my hands on a broken piece of jewelry and I managed to dent up the polish in my right index finger and thumb a bit. While the nails are still generally glossy I think that I’ve trashed them to a point of time for removal.
Day 15 – I know that you are really supposed to use special cuticle wraps in acetone to remove this polish. However, I just started picking at them while I was sitting and realized that Shellac’s strength is it’s flexibility that allows it to sort of stick together and come off in sheets. I ended up peeling off all the nail polish off my fingers in a matter of minutes sans acetone.
Overall, I really enjoyed my Shellac Manicure. I loved how shiny it stayed even til the very end. I did however after the 10 day point get a bit color stir-crazy but I really think that if you have a busy lifestyle or want to ensure great nails while you are on a vacation, Shellac would be the perfect answer. While it does cost a bit more than a traditional manicure, it makes up for it in staying power.
Shellac is available in 12 fashion colors but requires a trip to the salon as it needs the special UV lamps to cure the color. To locate a salon near you click here.