Here's my beef. If I pay for a manicure on a Monday, it looks like hell by Wednesday. My nails are just thin and hold polish for a nanosecond. It's totally annoying. So any polish that claims to last for 2 weeks? I'm in. I tried OPI's Nail Gel around the holidays and although it lasted about 3 weeks, it trashed my nails. I had heard about CND (Creative Nail Design), and their Shellac™ Nail Color, but just had the opportunity to try it right before Fashion Week! Who wants to bother with their nails during Fashion Week? Not me.
Launched last May, Shellac paints on like polish – base coat, color, top coat – and is cured in a UV light so there is zero dry time. The whole process takes about 30 minutes. The colors are hypo-allergenic, and “3-Free” – no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP. This game-changing product proclaims to wear flawlessly for 14 days with a high gloss shine, and is removed in minutes. Shellac, unlike OPI's counterpart, requires no surface filing for application or removal and therefore will not weaken your nails.
Like a normal manicure, Shellac application involves a base coat, color coat and top coat. After each step, nails dry briefly under a special CND UV Lamp, which also accommodates feet for perfect, long-lasting pedicures – just in time for beach season! The lamp ensures a dazzling finish for gorgeous, maintenance-free nails.
So how did Shellac compare to OPI? Well, it didn't last quite as long and the edges around the base of my nails started to peel a bit after about a week, but it still looked pretty good. I thought the OPI stayed on a little better and I got 3 weeks out of it. However, Shellac is much easier to remove (just soak in acetone for 5 minutes) and my nails were in better condition afterwards. I prefer not having my nails filed to have the polish adhere…it just weakens my already fragile nails. I also like the CND nail color selection much better than OPI's. So if I had to chose between the two, I would say the Shellac for sure. I just wish I had not picked such a lame color, but I was afraid to try a dark one just in case it chipped. I obsess if I see a chip!
It costs about $45 (at least in NYC) and I was in and out in about 30 minutes. I can't wait to try one of the other colors next time.
– Lauren Dimet Waters
FTC Disclosure: Manicure recieved for review.See the Top Ten Summer 2016 Trends for Women Over 40