Sunday, August 28, 2011

My journey to discovering CND Shellac (Part 2)

Fast forward 2 weeks and I'm due for a mani-pedi date with the bestie. I did a lot more research and discovered a place that was CND-approved for Shellac; further research on the internet had nothing but positive reviews so I was sold. To celebrate the last few weeks of summer, I decided on a bright and fun colour: Tropix (a coral shade).

The nail tech (who also happened to be the owner) removed my nail polish and I was horrified to see all the damage that had been done to my nail beds! They were rough (from all the filing) and little white spots were evident on some nails from the acetone soaking a few weeks earlier. This was overshadowed by constant reassurance that my nails would grow out and that I had been blessed with good genes given that I naturally have long nails.

The regimen had been applied correctly this time and boy did it live up to it's hype (so far)! I tweeted, "Eep, my nails look so pretty, I can't stop staring at them!" and embarrassingly enough, it's true. There are no cracks and/or chips...just a beautiful super glossy manicure and pedicure. Have a looksee yourself! The owner of the nail salon took advantage of a little free marketing and used my hands and feet to promote Shellac to other clients while I was still there, and that was fine by me. A snobbier side of me likes to flaunt off the fact that I got good genes for nails from my mama. ;)

Looks more pink than it really is.

I plan to go for a Shellac manicure in two weeks time and go for the mani-pedi routine in about a month. While I am smitten with Shellac, the only downside is the cost; I am not so sure it is cost-effective when is nearly double that of a normal mani-pedi package. When the cold weather starts rolling in, I am sure I will resort to having a DIY pedicure instead.

If you are considering Shellac, I strongly advise you to look up a salon on the CND website. Trust me, it will save you time, money, and your nails in the end. You can use this link to do your research:

DISCLAIMER: I paid for the salon service myself and was not endorsed by the aforementioned company for my review.

My journey to discovering CND Shellac (Part 1)

Finding a nail salon that offered CND Shellac...and actually CND-approved, was a 4-6 week process. It didn't have to be if I had done proper research from the moment I decided I wanted my nails to get Shellac'd; but it was a spur of the moment thing that ended up costing a lot of time, money, and put my nails through hell and back. Let me explain.

My best friend and I decided to go for mani and/or pedi dates every 3-4 weeks. The second time we had our mani-pedi date, I noticed the salon offered CND Shellac. I heard about all the benefits of Shellac and decided in the spur of the moment to try it out. Hurray, my nails would look prim and proper for a good two weeks. Little did I know that the treatment was being applied wrong given that I was a Shellac virgin, but all of these signs pointed out to trouble:

1) My nails were buffed as if they were going to get gel overlays --- your nails don't have to be buffed to that extent with Shellac.
2) The Shellac regimen wasn't followed AT ALL --- Shellac works like regular nail polish; it needs a proper base coat, two coats of color, and finished with a top coat. Each coat is cured under a UV light for two minutes before the other coat is applied. When the top coat is finally cured, it is rubbed with alcohol and voila, you're Shellac'd! *NOTE: You must have ALL CND Shellac products used in the process for it to work.*

There my nails stood in all of their glory - super shiny and in Strawberry Smoothie. I was in awe until a few hours later when they started to crack like crazy. I tried to fix them over the next day but to no avail, I had paid an extra $20 on top of a regular manicure to get this glorified treatment done only to have my nails looking like crap. I decided to find a place close to where I work to get my nails fixed. I called up a nail salon that claimed they also offered Shellac but when I arrived for my appointment, they had a different brand instead. I figured I didn't have much to lose as I watched my nails being soaked in pure acetone for a good 15 minutes and then buffed down again. This time, the whole regimen was followed minus the fact that it wasn't a CND brand.

My nails held up for a few hours longer than the previous time but one by one, started to crack. After putting up with cracking and chipped nails for 5 days, the salon offered to remove the treatment and give me a regular manicure instead at no cost. Not surprisingly, my regular manicure lasted a good week and a half (with a coat of Seche Vite applied every few days). However, I didn't know the extent of the damage that had been done to my nails.