Dec 282010

Nail services have always been a mixed bag of satisfaction. Nail extensions provide flawlessness and durability, but at a relatively high cost with necessary scheduled upkeep. (Plus, emery burns are no fun, and the feeling of newly acrylic-less nails is pretty shiver-inducing.) Natural nail manicures feel pampering and look good for the first 30 seconds, but if you’ve ever nicked a freshly painted nail fishing out your payment method or car keys, you know they have their drawbacks, too.

When I first heard of UV gel manicures, I was skeptical. The durability of artificial nails combined with the understated look of a standard manicure and a relatively low price? Is there a bridge in Brooklyn you’d like to sell me? Still, curiosity won out, and I was soon under the lamp of a local nail den to test out CND Shellac. The nail tech filed and shaped my abused nails nicely, and launched straight into the painting part of the process.

A coat of clear was applied to each hand, then they were set to cure under UV lamps. I selected the dusty pink Rose Bud, which was applied in individual coats before a final clear coat. I grilled the tech about rumors I’d gleaned from the internet during the 30 minute service. Removal was easy, she said, and there would be no damage to the natural nail as with acrylics. I wasn’t routed to the dryer station either- as soon as my hands left the lamps, the hot towel and massage portion of the manicure occurred. This was my first clue that the hype was believable- nary a dent or a bubble appeared in my vinyl-shiny nails, and the tech said I could freely touch things, wash dishes, clean the bathroom, or change my oil.

On to the real test- durability. As the week wore on, I glovelessly exposed my lovely manicure to every indignity I could. I clawed boxes open, scoured the bathtub, soaked them in water- no damage! My nails were as glorious on day 8 as they were immediately after the polish was applied. Inevitably, my nails grew in and I planned to get a new color, but a blizzard walloped the New York area, and I was required to remove the polish at home.

Using a basic acetone solution, I soaked each nail for 1-3 minutes. An orange stick cleared the polish with little effort, and my nails felt normal immediately. The advent of CND Shellac and similar products is so exciting- if you’ve found manicures and painted nails to be gorgeous but incompatible with your lifestyle, there’s finally an option to sport gorgeous, strong and perfectly styled nails. Prices vary, but the service was $20 in my area.

Have you tried the CND Shellac or similar nail services? Has your experience measured up?

  7 Responses to “Review: CND Shellac Gel Manicure Utterly Exceeds Expectations”

  1. Shellac makes regular nail polish obsolete. There is no reason to get a regular manicure now. I will never use anything else- it’s the best!

  2. I’m a Nail stylist in DC metro area & I Love offering Shellac Manicures!

  3. I had also heard about the wonders of gel nails but never believed it could be non-damaging to nails. Now that I have your review as proof I feel more confident about it. It’s different when the person selling you the process is espousing its virtues ;)

  4. I no longer polish manicures with regular polish. All my clients LOVE the Shellac. They become very demanding about the product, and they can not wait for the new colors to come out. Thank you so much CND for creating a polish that does what it says.

  5. I tried the OPI gel manicure several times, and was always disappointed, it never lasted more than a week, and my nails were damaged. I am already starting week three of my CND Shellac Manicure and am amazed at how good my nails still look!

  6. I’m so excited everyone unanimously agrees this is the best thing for manicures ever since the French Manicure! I can’t wait to go back.

  7. […] Angelo David Salon I thought what a great opportunity to review the salon services. I reserved a CND Shellac manicure, precision cut and […]

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