Saturday, December 11, 2010

CND Shellac experience: uh, guys, it's kind of awesome. (warning: FEET!)

I loved the idea of using the phrase "getting shellacked" when I first got Shellac done at the end of October. But then the midterm elections came along and people started overusing the phrase "got a shellacking" or "was shellacked" all over the news in any story even remotely related to politics. So now it sounds weird to me to use that phrase to refer to the nail polish process.

Anyway! When I was in New York at the very end of October, I met up with Piff to get Shellac pedis at a salon. We took a few pictures of the process (and I'm pretty sure I don't have permission to post the photos of Piff's feet). But I'll post some of my pics after I ramble for a bit. I know some people are sensitive to pictures of feet so please... don't read much further if you don't like 'em.

I got Wildfire and Piff got Tropix.

First of all, I'm loving Shellac and I'm still wearing my Wildfire pedi. I think we got our nails done on October 28th and it's mid-December! Even though it's grown out a bit (and a little worn at the tips), it's still almost nearly as glossy and bright as it was when I got it. What is that, about six weeks? I'm not one to change my pedis too much because I hate painting my toes -- they're tiny and it usually ends up with me painting most of my toe -- so I'm pretty thrilled when a pedi looks good for so long. Typically, at this point, any other pedi I've had would've looked pretty ratty and worn; typically, I would've replaced it by now or put glitter over it to refresh it.

To me, the longevity justifies the cost. I don't remember exactly how much it was but I remember paying a total of around $90... though I also got talked into an eyebrow waxing (I needed it) by the aesthetician so subtract at least $15 from $90. That's how much I like Shellac right now: I liked it so much that I didn't bother to remember how much it cost me to get it done.

Also awesome: it really was rock-hard dry by the end of the CND Shellac topcoat and the UV light curing. I mean, this thing could not be dented. Unlike more traditional manis, it doesn't really look like nail polish on my nails as much as it looks like a thin coat of glossy plastic over my nails.

The Shellac process is probably familiar with people who have done anything that's UV-cured. Basic process: basecoat, UV curing for a couple of minutes, color coat, UV curing for a couple of minutes, second color coat (all I needed though Piff needed three on her slightly lighter color), topcoat, UV curing for a couple of minutes. Then done! Totally, utterly done. Didn't need to waddle around on the balls of my feet or anything; when it was done, it was actually done.

Putting on the basecoat.

Applying the first coat of color.

I was sort of annoyed that the woman literally painted right to the very, very edge of my cuticle but I'm grateful for it now because it looks so much less grown out than it would've if she had left a gap.

Second coat of color.

UV curing after final topcoat step

Finished pedi! (Not a particularly good photo though...)

The one thing I do not like about Shellac (besides that I can't really afford to do it on a regular basis or buy the entire Shellac system) is that the color range is currently very narrow. I've heard that new colors are coming out but what they have so far is mostly your typical reds, pinks, nudes and a couple of vampies. Basically, colors I almost never wear... (though you wouldn't know it from my posts since coming back from my hiatus from the blog).

CND Shellac Wildfire, six weeks later

Why yes, that IS an Xbox controller on top of the most recent edition -- 6th? -- of the American Psychological Association's Publication Manual. If you added cough drops and antibiotics to the picture, it would be a very good summary of what my quarter has been like. Thank heavens it is OVER. OVER OVER OVER.

I'm told removal's a bit of a pain but I haven't tackled that yet...

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LadyLuck27 said...

how much this cost?

Kira said...

Be aware (or reminded) that UV curing lights are as dangerous as suntan beds ... just with less extensive square footage exposed. I do not recommend that you use these with regularity, the health of your skin is too precious.

Luckily, companies do seem to be working on LED cured products, but as the lamps cost more, consumer demand will have to drive the acquisition.

Piff said...

I was wondering how yours was doing! Mine has been holding up well (no chips) but I think my toe nails have grown a bit more than yours. So mine's a wee bit unsightly. Glad to hear you're easing up with the work.

KarenD said...

I thought about doing Shellac on my fingers before vacation but didn't manage to fit it in. I don't know if I'd do it on my toes since regular pedis seem to last on me for weeks anyway.

Lucy said...

Interesting process. Love the shade on your toes. You also have cute toes that shouldn't make anyone cringe! This would be nice on your fingernails. It would be nice to have your manicure last long. Then again you'd never get through any of your polish collection.

Une Ruxi à Paris said...

there's gelish which deoes the same thing and I think that the kit with 4 shades of nailpolish is around 200 dollars.

flinty said...

@ladyluck: about $60 for a pedi, less for a mani.

@kira: Thanks for the reminder. :) I definitely can't afford to use it regularly but it's good to remember that there are good reasons not to get it done too often.

@Piff: I FINISHED MY LAST FINAL PAPER EVER TODAY. EEEEEEE!! After all these years in school... I finished my last REQUIRED class. I could choose to NEVER have "homework" or "midterms" again. Do you think you would get Shellac again?

@karenD: I think it'd feel like too much money for a mani but for a pedi, I thought it was worth it. A bit of pampering and pretty toenails. :) (Pedis last a long time on me too. But they don't usually look this good after this amount of time, for me anyway.)

@lucy: thank you! I always thought of my toes as kinda funny looking. :D And no, it'd almost be a waste to have a (relatively) indestructible mani done when I have so many untried polishes to plow through...

@une ruxi: Thanks for the tip, I'll check that out!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this review. Let us know how the removal process goes. :-)
I'm still afraid to break out my Shellac paraphernalia - I think I have a commitment issue!!

Piff said...

Congrats!!!! The power, THE POWAH!!!!!

I would - but not there. I'd want like a real pedicure (i.e. soak and scrub my feet) to go along with it when I pay 70 bucks. I'd also wait for new colors.

Kerry said...

I recently got a Shellac mani before going on holiday. I got Tropix and it looked awesome for almost two weeks! This is unheard of for me, a manicure is lucky to last two days on my hands. The greatest thing was that it was rock solid dry the moment it was done. However, I am also concerned with the UV exposure - I'd recommend wearing sunscreen prior to the treatment. I got a voucher so the mani only cost me NZ$29, but it is usually around $40 I think.

Charlotte said...

I had never heard of this before reading your post and just made an appointment to get myself Shellacked on Wednesday! We're on vacation in Australia till January 2nd and the idea of having lovely fuss free nails sounds perfect for the holidays!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Shellac F A B U L O U S ??!! Actually Shellac removal is a breeze! I rip a cotton ball in half, soak it in acetone and wrap the nail in foil. Pull the whole thing off in 8 mins! For any little pieces of Shellac that remain, take an orangewood stick and gently scrape it off. It's no different than soaking off a heavy glitter polish.

And to LadyLuck27 that commented about UV lamps being as dangerous as tanning beds... That rumor is so silly. Your average nail UV lamp is 36 watts. Your average tanning bed is 160+ watts. A 5-10 min exposure in a nail lamp every 2-4 weeks is extremely unlikely to result in skin cancer. You get more UV exposure driving in your car or walking down the street than a 36 watt UV nail lamp.

To put this rumor to rest please refer to the blog:

Kira said...

According to Drs. MacFarlane and Alonso in their journal article for "Archives of Dermatology," a correlation was found between UV Nail lamp exposure and multiple hand cancers in two women.

Both ladies presented with squamous cell carcinomas, common with photodamaged skin. One patient had nail treatments with UV lamps eight times per year for several years and the other twenty-four times per year for fifteen years.

Journal Citation
MacFarlane, D. F. and Alonso, C. A. "Occurrence of Nonmelanoma Skin Cancers on the Hands After UV Nail Light Exposure." Archives of Dermatology 145 (2009): 447-449.

Being Cheeky - Nail industry experts saying UV nail lamps are safe kinda reminds me of all those tobacco industry experts that said cigarettes were safe, too - close cheekiness.

I think the "report" on the nailsmag blog is a faulty procedure. Hands don't get much direct UV exposure, our noses and ears get the most UV exposure. This is why most skin cancers developing from photodamage appear on the nose and ears.

And why the journal article on skin cancers found on hands, linked to photodamage, should give you reason to pause and contemplate.

I take back my comment on LED lamps, instead of using a different light source, they probably are just a higher concentration of UV light, rather than visible. And I do not encourage use of such.

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