I’ve been hearing all the hype about shellac / gel manicures, just as you probably have.
When I found out that I would be embarking on two trips in a short space of time it felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a go and see for myself.
Photo Credit: http://www.CND.com
I’m pretty picky about my nails. Since I was going to be traveling and had varying appointments, I was intrigued to see how the shellac would hold up.
- Lasted: 17 days
- Price: $43 + tip (manicure only)
- Brand: CND (Creative Nail Design)
My Usual Routine:
I try to do a mani plus polish once a week and typically use Essie or Butter London. When I’m in the mood, I’ll go to my local salon and pay $20 + tip for both a mani & pedi. The salon is young, hip, includes a message chair, and is a great bang for your buck.
- The hype says that it lasts anywhere from 2 to 3 weeks.
- In my case, it’s been 17 days and the product is still going strong.
- The hype also says that it won’t chip, nick, peel, or crack. I have found all of these to be 100% true.
- What stands out to me is not the product, it’s actually the nail. Your nails will not look pristine for 2 – 3 weeks. I found myself tending to my nails within the life span of the shellac. In 17 days, I have trimmed my cuticle twice and actually trimmed my nails once because (for me) they were getting too long. I could actually continue the manicure closer to the 3 week mark, but my healthy nails have grown so fast, the entire quick (half-moon) is completely exposed.
- Pretty good selection of colors to choose from.
- I picked a beautiful translucent champagne color. It has a gorgeous golden shimmer when the sunlight hits it and it stretched out the life of my mani.
- As your nails grow and more of the quick is revealed, a more opaque color like red is going to make your nail growth really obvious.
- I did some digging and found that the national going rate is about $35.
- I live in West Los Angeles and I paid a steep $43 + tip.
- The shellac is applied in 4 layers and every layer is dried by a low wattage UV light. My manicure was 100% dry before I even got out of the manicurist’s chair! I typically have zero patience for dry time and this was ideal since I still had to pack and finish up trip related errands.
- Also, it’s hypoallergenic and 3-free (containing no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP.)
- I could see how this would work well for travel. However, If I’m going to pay top dollar, I would rather not have to tend to the nails at all.
- Shellac will stay perfect as you’re on the go. I haven’t babied my hands. In fact I’m still banging away on the computer and am quite hands on with tasks.
- While traveling, my tips are at the ready for appointments, special occasions, and just an overall polished look.
- I would bring a small mani kit just to tidy things up along the way. Shellac will save you from having to bring extra polish for touch ups and from having to bring polish remover and pads – a major plus for prized toiletry real estate!
Would I do it again?
I have mixed feelings. I loved that it dried instantly and that the product held up perfectly for such a good amount of time. However, $43 + tip for a mani alone is too steep to do on a regular basis, especially since I did a bit of maintenance along the way. If I find a manicurist that would do a quality job closer to $30, I’d consider doing this before every major trip.
Have you tried it? I’d love to hear your experience with shellac / gel manicures on the go.
Disclaimer: I paid for this manicure. This post is not sponsored.