Monday, 2 April 2012

Toot Toot! All aboard the Shellac bandwagon

On the weekend I lost my Shellac virginity. I know, I has been around for ages, I just hadn't managed to try it. I can be a tad stingy at times, so the thought of dropping around $100 (that is what I imagined that it cost!) to get my nails done seemed a tad excessive - I could get 5-10 bottles of nail polish for that price. However, it seemed that all the Shellac stars were aligning on the weekend and I was to be a Shellac virgin no more.

It all started the other night when I was lying on the couch. My husband happened to glance over at my feet and exclaimed:

'Holy sh*t! Your toenails are weapons!'

'I know' I sighed back. 'I can't reach my feet to cut them anymore' (I am 36 weeks pregnant so bending over, and breathing at the same time, is a skill I am no longer able to perform.

'Can you cut them for me?' I whined?

'F*ck off!' was his response (now before you judge him I must tell you that he has a serious foot phobia - he even hates his own feet - so I was sh*t stirring when I made that request!). He then followed up with the most wonderful words ever, 'Can't you pay someone to do it for you?'.

So, with the green light to go and get some pampering done, I started planning. I was just going to hit one of those nail bars sometime next week, a simple pedi was all I really needed. But, luckily for me, the Shellac gods were smiling. As I walked down to Thomas Dux to pick up some fruit for the Crazy Kid's post swimming lesson snack I happened to walk past a beauty salon that had a sign in the window:

Special - Shellac Manicure - $20

Wow! That was a heck of a lot cheaper than I was expecting and it caused me to make a sudden detour, much to the annoyance of a hungry Crazy Kid. 'How much is your Shellac pedicure?' I enquired. '$45 for the spa pedicure'. SOLD! I straight away booked in for a Shellac pedi the next morning.

When I got there they asked if I'd like a manicure as well - at $20 it was impossible for me to say no! Plus, whenever I get pregnant my nails become terrible and they start to peel like crazy. I usually have nails that are as hard as steel, so this is quite annoying for me. I suffered from morning sickness terribly in both pregnancies so my theory is that my body has to divert precious nutrients away from non-essential areas, such as my nails.

I decided to go for a subtle colour on my finger nails. Usually I will have the brightest nail polish imaginable. However, I know my life is about to get crazy and that I won't have time to remove the Shellac, so I didn't want to have trashy looking chipped nails for months on end. Instead, they will just have to be subtly trashy! Since my toe nails grow so much slower, and my thongs are about to go into hibernation in favour of sneakers thus allowing me to conceal any trashy chipping or regrowth for a good 3 or 4 months, I decided to indulge my love of brights. What do you think of my choices?

For anyone who hasn't heard of Shellac, it is a brilliant nail polish system by CND that gives you chip free nails for at least 14 days. Firstly, your nail is prepped to remove any bumps and completely smooth them out, then the CND Shellac base coat is applied. This is then cured with a UV lamp. Two coats of your chosen colour are then applied, and again each coat is UV cured, before a final top coat is applied and cured. When you leave the salon your nail as are completely dry so the mani or pedi can't be accidentally wrecked. The results, to me, look like acrylic nails; however, the polish can be removed with acetone without damaging your nail. Apparently, you can even apply normal nail polish on top of your Shellac manicure and your normal polish will last 14 days without chipping.

I am stoked with the results. My nails look better than they have in a long long time. The finish is so glossy that the polish looks wet. I definitely will be Shellacing again!

If anyone lives in or near the Lane Cove area (about 10 mins away from Chatswood, Sydney), I got my nails done at A Beauty, Shop 22, 45 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove 2066 (in the Lane Cove Plaza). It's not the flashest looking place, in fact it looks a tad dodgy; however, the results were fantastic. If you don't live near Lane Cove then most good nail salons should offer Shellac.

Have you Shellac'd? If so, what were your thoughts on it? Do you have an awesome salon you can recommend?