Shellac

08. August 2011

Have you been “shellacked” yet? I have, and it’s great! (And no, I’m not talking about what happens to the San Diego Padres when they can’t mange to get a run!) I’m talking about the “shellacking” I got at my nail salon recently, and I’m looking forward to having it done again.

Seriously, when I first heard about CND Shellac, it sounded too good to be true. The sign at “Tammy’s Nail Salon” in Hillcrest touted the benefits of the new procedure – a “30-minute, in-salon manicure that dries almost instantly, promising perfect polish for two weeks!” Right.

Hey, over the years, I’ve tried it all. Maintaining acrylic nails was too much work and left my nails paper-thin. None of the gels last and are a mess when they start to peel. But going “natural” hasn’t been all that great either. My nails constantly chip and crack and most polishes last about a day (especially after swimming in a chlorinated pool!)

But as I prepared for a recent vacation, I thought about the sign at Tammy’s and how nice it would be to have a manicure that would hold up more than a week. I decided to get my first Shellac and boy, I’m glad I did! Amazingly, the iridescent pale-pink on my fingers stayed fresh and entirely chip-free for 21 days! Now in the middle of my second Shellac – I’m sold!

Here’s how it works:

Shellac combines acrylic with the solvents in classic nail polish to form a liquid that brushes on in thin layers, but sets to a hard, shiny finish.

A base coat, two coats of color and a top coat are painted on just like regular polish. Between each step, you slip your hand (or foot) under a UV lamp to set the polish (10 seconds after the base coat, two minutes following each subsequent coat.) Two minutes after the top-coat has been applied, your nails are completely dry. Go ahead. Dig through your purse for your keys. No problem!

The price can range from $25 to $45 for a manicure, depending on the salon. (I paid $26.) You’ll pay between $40 and $60 for a Shellac pedicure.

Shellac is removed by a 10-minute acetone soak. Some salons use acetone-soaked cotton to remove the gel and polish. (The company recommends having your Shellac removed at a salon.)

Growing in popularity, Shellac is now available in 24-chip-resistant colors. Also, please note, because of the UV light exposure, you might want to apply sunscreen to hour hands before your appointment.

Another plus – I went from Shellac to regular manicure and back with no problem. The procedure doesn’t affect the integrity of the nail so once I’ve done it, I don’t feel “stuck” like I did with my old acrylics.

So, if you haven’t already tried Shellac, go for it! I think you’ll like it.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.