How many no-chip nail polishes and manicures are currently on the market? Now there are MANY. It can be hard to even figure out which one to get, each nail salon seems to offer something different. I’d been on the no-chip nail polish fence for a while, but I got lucky for the first time at America’s Beauty Show here in Chicago. The good people of CND World were in town to promote and share the new developments in Shellac nail polish. Shellac is probably the best known, most widely praised version of the no-chip manicure. I’d already heard amazing things. And lucky me, I was allowed to go upstairs to the secret room where some of CND’s best manicurists in the country were doing Shellac manicures for select members of the press. SCORE!
My manicurist was Lauri Allore from Lansing, Michigan. In her city she’s known as THE go-to manicurist and her services are consistently booked solid. I could definitely see why. Lauri did more than just paint my nails. This was a MANICURE. Don’t be fooled, bellas – sometimes you need a MANICURE and you wind up settling for just getting your nails painted.
Lauri paid close and crucial attention to my cuticles for this manicure, using CND’s Solar Oil and Cuticle Eraser. She gently removed my cuticles and got each finger as clean and neat as could be. Then she massaged my hands with nourishing lotion.
And then the Shellac process began.
Shellac nail polish currently comes in quite a few shades – this month they unveiled 12 new shades, so now Shellac comes in 24 shades including purple! As I learned at America’s Beauty Show, Shellac doesn’t stop at just the color you see on the bottle. Layering makes ALL the difference.
My Shellac began with Black Pool. We toyed with a few ideas before deciding to layer lighter colors for a different effect. It turns out that layering Cream Puff or Negligee (two of the palest colors) over Black Pool creates a pretty, deep navy or shimmering charcoal. Both colors are quite similar, and it makes for a subtle transformation that’s still distinctive and cool.
Lauri named it French Midnight.
Basically it’s done like this — the manicurist paints your nails, then you stick your hand in a light box for…I think it was 30 seconds at a time? It didn’t take long, either way. With each layer of shellac nail polish, you stick your hand in the light box to set the Shellac. And when your nails are completely done, they use alcohol to polish the nails to a mirror shine. IMMEDIATELY after, your nails are completely DRY. As in, you can take money out of your wallet, button your coat, put your shoes on, WHATEVER. No chips, no dings, nada. I’m the kind of person who instantly chips her mani, so I LOVED the experience.
I did manage to chip my Shellac a week later, ironically while demonstrating to a friend that my nail polish was indestructible. Note to aspiring Shellac-ers – don’t be hitting your nails with coins, or opening hard-to-open pulltab cans with your nails just because you think it’s a no-chip. You can still manage to chip your situation and you’ll only have yourself to blame, and won’t you feel silly then? Yes. You will. Speaking from experience.
Other than the 2 teeny chips, my nails are going STRONG and it’s been 2 weeks. Of course my nails have grown quite a bit and now my Shellac shows how much growth there’s been…so I’ll be using the Shellac nail polish remover wraps this week. Everyone I’ve spoken with swears that Shellac is amongst the easiest no-chip manicures to remove yourself with their special nail wraps and 99% acetone – but Shellac SHOULD be removed by a nail professional in a salon for the best results.
For a Shellac experience of your own, click here to find a salon.
Have you tried Shellac nail polish? Or gotten your no-chip on another way? Share your experience with me!