Beauty Review: CND Shellac™ Nail Color

March 3, 2011 • Beauty, Yahoo

Shellac Group ImageLR
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.

Salon where I had my Shellec manicure

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.

Shellac™ Nail Color by CND

– Lauren Dimet Waters

FTC Disclosure: Manicure recieved for review.

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8 Responses to Beauty Review: CND Shellac™ Nail Color

  1. Jeri says:

    I am sick to death to keep hearing “Axxium ruined my nails” Shellac ruined my nails” acrylic ruined my nails”. It is not the product that is ruining your nails! It is the improper application and removal of the said product. It is you the client picking at it after it has been applied. Keep going to a nail tech that doe not know what they are doing and that is what you get. There I said it!

  2. Lauren-Second City Style says:

    Um, Jeri, settle down now. I did NOT pick at my Axxium manicure at all. AND I went back to the same salon to have them remove it. Now maybe THEY removed it improperly, but do NOT blame me. You don’t know what you are talking about. There! I said it!

  3. bnails says:

    proper applications should be followed that is why it is called directions. you also have to educate your client on proper care at home

  4. As a Nail Technician for 22 years I will tell you my mixed feeling on these products!! We used the Axxium first off. It was a bit harder to apply but last on my nails for almost 5 weeks!! No peeling or cracking! When I removed the product which was completely soaked off in acetone it took longer to remove (30 minutes) but afterwards my nails were completely damaged! This product was put on clean nails, with no pryor acrylic product or such. Then maybe a month later I try the Shellac, it is applied much easier like nail polish but started peeling a few days before the 2 weeks were up. I removed with acetone it came off quickly in 5-7 minutes. My nails were not damaged afterwards. So I guess it all depends on what’s important to you?! It would be great if they had a product that had it all but this stuff is all new to us so far!

  5. Lauren- Second City Style says:

    I literally had the EXACT same experience. My nails were very clean before I had either. Besides, I have not had acrylic nails in over 15 years. One, they look gross. Two, the ruin your nails. Three, I am allergic it turns out. The CND was MUCH easier to remove and my nails are exactly the same as they were before using the products. When I removed the OPI (which took a half hour soaked in acetone)my nails were trashed.

  6. Kristi says:

    I LOVE Shellac! I’ve worn acrylic forever and a couple of months ago I switched and couldn’t be happier…well, I’d be happier if there were more colors…which are coming:). I have not had a problem with peeling or chipping and my real nails are grown out as long as they were when I wore acrylics. I’m very hard on my nails so I was surprised how well they hold up. I’ve been almost three weeks between sets & they still looked amazing. I’m definitely a fan!
    Lauren…what color did you pick? I think it’s pretty, not lame;)
    I did the dark brown/wine color until my nails grew long enough that they would’ve looked “vampy”. Now I’m wearing French;)

  7. Lauren- Second City Style says:

    It was 2 colors actually. The first coat was a light pink and the second was like a pearly white. Not sure of the exact names. The woman who did my nails suggested the combination. It was actually perfect, but next time I want to try the mauvy-purple from the new colors. It’s really pretty.

  8. Kendra says:

    Loved my shellac nails for the first four applications but now after two months and over 6 applications it is absolutley wrecking my nails…no longer stays on for 14 days (chips) and nails are splitting down low.

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