The best beauty product of 2010: CND’s Shellac

THE PEOPLE AT Creative Nail Design are pure genius. The claims that come along with their Shellac line of nail polishes may seem hard to believe, but when they say “14-day wear” and “Zero dry time,” they damn well mean it.

‘Shellac’ uses a patent-pending UV3 technology that is touted to combine the durability of gels with the ease of a regular nail polish.

It looks like your average bottle of nail polish, and it’s applied the same way, too. The only difference is that in between coats you place your hands under a special UV light machine that both sets and dries the color.

Upon finishing the last round of “drying,” your nails are completely dry.

Let me repeat that.

Immediately after you remove your hand from the lamp, your nails are completely dry.

In fact, the manicurist will rub your nails clean with a cotton pad right after drying. This can be quite unsettling at first! My manicurist told me that some women even yank their hands back in surprise.

I will say this: it’s really pretty cool not having to worry about smudging your nails as you open your purse and reach for your wallet, or even when you have to get your car keys or open your car door. Nope, you can do it all and more and trust me, those babies won’t smudge at all.

Plus. they retain their glossy shine for weeks afterwards. I’ve gone almost a month without removing the Shellac color and it was still as shiny as the day it was applied. Yeah, that’s pretty cool.

The color will grow out long before it chips, as it did for me, and I’m fairly rough with my hands. I generally can’t be bothered to remember to be “dainty” with my manicure. I’ve even lost my mind once and started scouring my oven the same day as I got a manicure (and gloveless, to boot! It’s a long story…), and it wasn’t until halfway through that, in a shriek of remembrance, I yanked my hands out and frantically scanned for what I assumed was the carnage of my beautiful manicure. And… there was nary a scratch. Nothing. Not even a chip or… anything. My nails gleamed brightly at me from underneath a thin layer of oven grease, pretty as ever.

I got my last Shellac mani on November 29th, more than one month ago, and here is the current state of my nails:

I took the photo with my cell phone, so please forgive the less-than-stellar quality, and I didn’t include my index finger because I suffered a rather ugly oven burn on that  finger and trust me, I’m sparing you from a yucky sight. But, as you can see, my manicure has endured. It has certainly grown out, but it has barely chipped or scratched. Pretty impressive, right?

I’ve only had about eight Shellac manicures, and while I adore them, I don’t think I will get them regularly anymore. First, it’s difficult to find salons in my area that offer the service. And secondly, and most importantly, they’re just too expensive. When they first started offering them at the Coldwater Creek Spa in Simi Valley (where I have been getting mine done) they were priced at a reasonable $35. Unfortunately, after just a few months, the spa must have realized how popular the product was and soon a pretty little sign appeared at the front desk announcing a ten dollar price increase to the Shellac Manicure. Grrrr. I could rationalize $35 in my mind (just five dollars away from thirty dollars, which I can replace by skipping Starbucks and buying generic or store-brand items for two weeks) but $45?? That was just five dollars away from fifty dollars, which was waaaay too much for a manicure. Right? At least too much for me to pay every two weeks or so.

If you have the money, I am telling you, spend it on a Shellac manicure. My picks? Negligee over Romantique or Romantique over Strawberry Smoothie. Of course, a classic french or red can’t go wrong, either!

Thanks for reading!


Dry immediately upon completion

Virtually chip and smudge-free

High gloss finish that stays glossy for the life of the manicure

Colors can be layered and combined to produce new colors/effects


Limited color selection

Limited availability of salons/spas that offer the service

Difficult/nearly impossible to remove yourself

Can be expensive, depending on the salon/spa

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2 Responses to “The best beauty product of 2010: CND’s Shellac”

  1. Most of the blogs online are pretty much the same but i think that your blog can be an exception. Grats !

  2. nail salon…

    The best beauty product of 2010: CND’s Shellac « Kiyokotown…

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