I had a lovely "me" weekend these past couple days and man, was it great! One of the things I checked off my list was getting my first ever shellac manicure and I am happy to say that the most difficult thing I had to do was decide on a color that would be on my nails for two+ weeks so it was a success.
I know what you are thinking, how is this the first time you are getting a shellac manicure? You have been missing out, it lasts forever! You will love it! It won't chip! One of the best things ever! Yes, yes, I have heard them all and I have to say that post treatment, I could not agree more. But, if you are like me and are new to the game, I figured I would share a bit about what you can expect because who wants to look like a rookie? No one, that's who.
First things first, there are a few terms being thrown around referring to this manicure like shellac, gel based and gel polish. No need to fear, these are all referring to the same thing. Now if you don't know, one of the main benefits of a shellac manicure is that fact that the color will last 14 days or more on your own nails so there are no fake nails involved. How can this be you ask? Well, this is a special type of polish (gel based) that is essentially cured under UV light to give you a lasting manicure.
There are three steps or layers to complete a shellac manicure. After your nails and cuticules are trimmed and ready (note: your nails should not be buffed or shiny before the polish is added. It will stick better this way), the first coat of the base polish is applied. Each hand then spends a couple minutes under this funky UV light contraption that sets the polish. There are two coats of the base applied. Next is the actual colored polish and as you can see, I went with a solid shade in the brown family that works for fall though a french tip is also an option. One coat of the color, then UV light, another coat and another stint under the light. Lastly, there is a top coat that seals in the whole procedure and sets the nails. Another perk of the shellac process and the use of the light means that the manicure is totally dry when you get out of your chair so I had no fear of smudges when heading to the outlets afterwards and perusing the clothing racks. So all in all, solid experience and the whole thing took a little less than an hour.
There are a couple things to look out for because like most things, this may not be for everyone. Some people's nails do not take to this process and the polish will essentially be peeling away from the nail or "slide" off. Luckily for me, I have not seen any signs of this so I think I am safe. There is also a special way to have the shellac taken off your nails. You can do it yourself at home by soaking your nails in acetone nail polish remover for about 10 minutes but it really should be part of your service at the salon. They can properly remove the shellac from your nails after it starts to grow out so talk to your manicurist and find out if is included beforehand.
Because of the durability of the shellac, this works great for trips to the beach, special occasions or in my case, holding up against doing dishes, cleaning my apartment and watching Friends on Sunday. But let's just pretend I did something a bit more exoctic.