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.