Since I knew I would be gone for two weeks at Christmas, I didn’t want to 1) worry about my nails chipping, and 2) lug all my nail stuff with me. I had heard about CND Shellac manicures and they sounded like the answer to my dilemma. I located a salon in my area (CND only authorizes salons to perform the manicure) and made an appointment. The process begins with a ‘dry’ manicure: no soaking of nails in water. The technician scrapes back any cuticle growth and preps the nail bed with a CND solution. She applied a clear base coat, 2 coats of Vexed Violette (a greyed purple), then I requested a little bit of sparkle. She applied a fine, clear glitter that took on a pinkish tone once it was cured and gave my nails an ombre effect. She then topped off the manicure with a clear topcoat. Between each coat of polish, the tech cured my nails in a UV light bed for 30 seconds to 2 minutes depending on which coat she was doing. After it was all done, she wiped my nails with a cotton pad soaked in alcohol which removed a post-curing sticky residue. Total time: 35 minutes from sitting down in the chair to walking out the door.
My nails lasted the full two weeks we were gone with no chips or cracks. There was a bit of exposed nail at the base from grow out, but my nails felt strong and in good condition. I took the polish off at home, then deeply conditioned my nails and cuticles with some beauty oil.
Would I do it again? You bet. Though I think I would probably choose a more neutral color – 2 weeks was a long time to look at the purple.