Nailed It PART 3: Shellac/Gel Manicure Review

My most recent nail product exploration: shellac. I had been hearing about this from friends and clients for a while and thought, That sounds pretty bomb. I was told it wouldn’t chip or peel at all and that once it was applied, it would be completely dry. So when Emily, a hair stylist/licensed cosmetologist who does work for my company, started offering the service, I felt it was time to go for it.

I chose a gorgeous red color called “Hollywood,” and Emily did the rest. I tried to pay attention as much as possible, but this was close to a month ago, so I’m not sure I’ll get it all. From what I remember, there was some cuticle pushing back, a base coat, two or three coats of color and a top coat. Also involved was a UV lamp (or little oven, as I called it in my mind) that my hands were placed in after each coat. The whole process took around 45 minutes.

When it was done, my nails were completely dry. Even so, I still acted like they weren’t. If there was one person in the history of the world who could somehow mess up a shellac manicure, it would be me. Don’t get me wrong–I completely trust Emily and know that she wouldn’t lie! But I couldn’t get used to the idea that my nails were dry, even though I knew they were.

I got the shellac manicure a couple of days before Thanksgiving, which was the perfect time to test it out. At my parents’ house, we have a Big Italian Thanksgiving, which means that roughly 400 plates, bowls, serving dishes, wine glasses and utensils need to be washed. And guess who is part of the dish washing crew? Miss Hollywood Shellac Nails.

My nails made it through Thanksgiving without even a miniscule chip. And since shellac makes your nails stronger while it’s on, I didn’t break any nails either (I always break at least one nail on Thanksgiving–our dish washing is intense.) For a total of three weeks, I did not get one chip or break a nail. And the polish stayed shiny the entire time. The only reason I had the shellac removed after three weeks is because my nails grow quickly and you could see a gap with natural nail showing through at the cuticle.

There’s a way to remove at home, but I went to a salon instead. It’s only $5 in my area, so I decided that was worth it. After the shellac was removed, the nail tech was nice enough to apply a layer of nail strengthener. I did have a nail break the following day, but I imagine there may have been more breakage without that strengthener coat.

I would absolutely, 100% get this done again. A three week manicure with nary a chip (that people frequently compliment)? It doesn’t get much better than that. Out of my three nail product purchases, this was the most expensive (ranges from $25-$45 in my area), but it also lasted the longest. It took the most time to apply, but there is also no dry time involved.

If you’re a low maintenance nail gal (or fella) like me, a shellac manicure is a great way to go. Once the application process is over, you don’t have to pay any attention to your nails for a few weeks. (Except to stop and admire how great they look, which I did regularly.)

So that’s the end of my Nailed It series. Anyone have any other easy nail products or techniques I should know about?

Have a beautiful day 🙂

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