Saturday, December 11, 2010

CND Shellac experience: uh, guys, it's kind of awesome. (warning: FEET!)

I loved the idea of using the phrase "getting shellacked" when I first got Shellac done at the end of October. But then the midterm elections came along and people started overusing the phrase "got a shellacking" or "was shellacked" all over the news in any story even remotely related to politics. So now it sounds weird to me to use that phrase to refer to the nail polish process.

Anyway! When I was in New York at the very end of October, I met up with Piff to get Shellac pedis at a salon. We took a few pictures of the process (and I'm pretty sure I don't have permission to post the photos of Piff's feet). But I'll post some of my pics after I ramble for a bit. I know some people are sensitive to pictures of feet so please... don't read much further if you don't like 'em.

I got Wildfire and Piff got Tropix.

First of all, I'm loving Shellac and I'm still wearing my Wildfire pedi. I think we got our nails done on October 28th and it's mid-December! Even though it's grown out a bit (and a little worn at the tips), it's still almost nearly as glossy and bright as it was when I got it. What is that, about six weeks? I'm not one to change my pedis too much because I hate painting my toes -- they're tiny and it usually ends up with me painting most of my toe -- so I'm pretty thrilled when a pedi looks good for so long. Typically, at this point, any other pedi I've had would've looked pretty ratty and worn; typically, I would've replaced it by now or put glitter over it to refresh it.

To me, the longevity justifies the cost. I don't remember exactly how much it was but I remember paying a total of around $90... though I also got talked into an eyebrow waxing (I needed it) by the aesthetician so subtract at least $15 from $90. That's how much I like Shellac right now: I liked it so much that I didn't bother to remember how much it cost me to get it done.

Also awesome: it really was rock-hard dry by the end of the CND Shellac topcoat and the UV light curing. I mean, this thing could not be dented. Unlike more traditional manis, it doesn't really look like nail polish on my nails as much as it looks like a thin coat of glossy plastic over my nails.

The Shellac process is probably familiar with people who have done anything that's UV-cured. Basic process: basecoat, UV curing for a couple of minutes, color coat, UV curing for a couple of minutes, second color coat (all I needed though Piff needed three on her slightly lighter color), topcoat, UV curing for a couple of minutes. Then done! Totally, utterly done. Didn't need to waddle around on the balls of my feet or anything; when it was done, it was actually done.

Putting on the basecoat.

Applying the first coat of color.

I was sort of annoyed that the woman literally painted right to the very, very edge of my cuticle but I'm grateful for it now because it looks so much less grown out than it would've if she had left a gap.

Second coat of color.

UV curing after final topcoat step

Finished pedi! (Not a particularly good photo though...)

The one thing I do not like about Shellac (besides that I can't really afford to do it on a regular basis or buy the entire Shellac system) is that the color range is currently very narrow. I've heard that new colors are coming out but what they have so far is mostly your typical reds, pinks, nudes and a couple of vampies. Basically, colors I almost never wear... (though you wouldn't know it from my posts since coming back from my hiatus from the blog).

CND Shellac Wildfire, six weeks later

Why yes, that IS an Xbox controller on top of the most recent edition -- 6th? -- of the American Psychological Association's Publication Manual. If you added cough drops and antibiotics to the picture, it would be a very good summary of what my quarter has been like. Thank heavens it is OVER. OVER OVER OVER.

I'm told removal's a bit of a pain but I haven't tackled that yet...