Shellac is a hybrid of the gel manicure and promises weeks of chip-free wear. The application process is more or less the same as a regular manicure, except that the bottles of Shellac polish are opaque and each layer of polish on your nails needs to be cured under a UV lamp.
The pros of a Shellac manicure are:
- long wear, obviously. You can expect two-four weeks of chip-free manicure and will likely only need to remove it because of nail growth.
- Shellac manicures are instantly dry after UV curing, so there's no smudging your nails reaching for your wallet to pay.
- a Shellac manicure allow your nails to grow long with minimal chipping. You may never have seen your nails so long and hard.
The cons of a Shellac manicure are:
- if your nails grow quickly, you may see regrowth at the base of your nails much more quickly than usual.
- your nails need to be strong and healthy before you get a Shellac manicure.
- you need to see a professional to get a Shellac manicure; there's no do-it-yourself at-home Shellac manicure kit.
- you also need to see a professional to get it removed, although if you do a Google search you can find how others have removed it themselves.
- you have to want to have the same manicure for weeks. So there's no changing up your polish week to week.
- you can file your nails but you can't cut them if you want to keep them looking nice.
I chose a deep burgundy red, as I often do, with a bare half-moon at the bottom of my nails. I like the retro style of this and also, I knew the regrowth of my nails wouldn't show as much with this style.
The deep burgundy colour was a little sheer so my nail technician used a taupe colour underneath to give it opacity. The whole manicure took about 40 minutes and my nails were super-shiny when it was finished. They almost look wet and actually, they still did weeks later.
Here's what my nails looked like on Day One.
After about two weeks I noticed that the back of my right thumbnail was snagging on fabrics and although there were no cracks on the surface or at the tip, at the back, it seemed that the nail was splitting. I used a nail file to file down as smoothly as I could.
Here are my nails on Day Ten. I was impressed that I could see how quickly my nails were growing. I was very glad for the half-moon manicure.
I booked my appointment to have the Shellac manicure removed a month later. I know now that I'm not a big fan of my nails too long. I'm much more a short and vampy nail length gal. Also, I'm a bit bored by the look after a month. After about three weeks, I began to see some wear at the tips and overall, my nails were feeling a bit scruffy. I'm glad I tried the Shellac manicure and will get it again if I want my nails to look great for a long period of time, like vacation or for Christmas.
|My first chip - Day 23|
|Chips - Day 23|
Any Shellac purists out there? Can you live without it?
Oh and if you're curious, my first manicure after the Shellac was this one - short and inky blue metallic: