The Future of Manicures

Posted: November 5, 2010 in Ramblings

A couple years ago, I bought the accoutrements necessary to do gel nails at home.  A special 36-watt UV lamp is required to cure the gels that are used.  The main purpose of gel nails is to create artificial length, but I was always able to grow my nails easily, so I used it more as a bulletproof  manicure.  The steps to complete it were many, and a full manicure took at least an hour to do.  Afterwards I had beautiful shiny nails that were rock hard, and the manicure lasted forever.  The only time I needed to remove it was when the new nail growth started looking goofy behind the red nail polish.  On the other hand, I frequently fiddled with the thick layer of plastic that was on top of my nail, and all that fiddling usually meant that the entire “manicure” layer would pop right off my nail.  So in that respect it was less than thrilling.

Lately I’ve been hearing about this new “gel nail polish” from Creative Nail Design, called Shellac.  Still requiring a UV lamp, it is only a 3-part process, just like regular (non-gel) manicures:  base coat, color coats, and top coat.  Curing times are 1 minute for the base coat, 2 minutes for each of the color coats, and 2 minutes for the top coat.   I ordered the Shellac items and they arrived yesterday.  Last night I did my test case manicure.

The Shellac products are the same consistency as regular nail polish (more or less), instead of thick goop like the old gels.  That’s a plus.  They spread easily, whereas the old ones were thick and had to be sculpted in order to be flat on top and to fill in the sides of the nail.  That’s a big plus.

The Shellac process is, as mentioned, easier and quicker than the old method.  That’s a big plus.

The one place where they “tie” is that (allegedly) the Shellac will not chip or wear off, so when I start getting new nail growth, I’ll need to remove what’s on my nails now and do a new manicure.  With the old method, I would have to file down the top of the nail, including the new nail growth, and fill in the back area and redo the top.  With Shellac, I’ll have to sit around for 10-15 minutes with my fingernails in a full-acetone solution.  Might be a problem.

But I can’t find anything where Shellac is worse than the old method.  So I’m hoping this is a good new trend – with all the typing and knitting I do, I used to get frequent chipping with plain old manicures.  Maybe Shellac is the solution to those problems.  I will report back (with a picture) in 2 weeks, unless it gets to be disastrous before then, in which case I’ll report back when the nails look disastrous!

Yes, my application is a little sloppy.  And I forgot to do the leading edge of the nail.  I’ll do better next time!

Just an update:  here is is November 8, and they still look just as shiny and new as in the original photo.  No chips, no edge wear!  AND I figured out how to fix the blog formatting!  Whee!

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