Hello, sexy vixen in the red polish! How do they do it, those women with the perfectly manicured, fire-engine-red nails? This year, that will be me. I learned a new secret; it’s called Shellac. I love to get a manicure for the holidays, but without fail, I have a chip in my nails by the time I get home—not to mention what they look like by the time I make it to the events I wanted the manicure for.
At this time of year, I think it’s worth the price upgrade to get a Shellac manicure. It costs about twice as much as a regular manicure, but it lasts about twice as long. Shellac is a breakthrough technology that combines the ease of polish with the permanence of gels, giving your nails a resilient shine, a mirror finish, zero dry time, and almost no chipping or pilling. So, if you’ve got a list of holiday parties lined up, or you’re getting ready for vacation or a wedding, this could be perfect for you. You can also extend the life of your manicure with with some Shellac Top Coat.
The Shellac process is similar to a regular manicure. The technician applies a base coat, two color coats, and a top coat. Between each step, you put your hand into a small UV lamp for two minutes to bond the polish to the nails. Afterward, the technician swabs an alcohol-soaked cotton ball over each nail to harden the polish, which makes the nails instantly dry to the touch. This means I could rummage through my purse for my keys on my way out the door and not worry about dinging my nails before I’d even left the salon.
Shellac nail color is hypoallergenic and is advertised as formaldehyde-free. That said, just to be safe, I still wouldn’t recommend a Shellac manicure if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
The downsides? If you like to switch up your polish color every couple of days, this treatment obviously isn’t for you. There are only 12 colors available, although the company promises to add more in 2011 and technicians are trained in layering the colors to create new ones. Also, Shellac recommends that you come into the salon to have the manicure removed. Activities like doing dishes will shorten the life of the manicure, and repeated treatments are not great for the health of your nails. Nevertheless, it’s a great holiday treat. Give it a try!