Friday, March 9, 2012

Shellac!

Today's Nail- Classic French
Romantique & Cream Puff

I  wanted to take the time to do a complete write-up about CND (Creative Nail Design) product Shellac. For those  who don't know me personally, i am also a licensed nail tech, but I am also a sufferer of extremely thin, weak, ridged, too pliable nails, that are also prone to peeling with any chemical exposure (read cleaning products, ie. Clorox wipes etc.) It's probably one of the main reasons I decided as an adult to go to cosmetology school and get my license in the first place.
I first was licensed in 1999, they heyday of acrylic enhancements, and crazy nail art. I truly enjoyed both- from having sturdy long, smooth nails for the first time ever, and having free reign creatively to make some fabulous nail art. The big problem came with the long wear of the acrylics. I always hand filed- and never drilled to ensure I never thinned the nail plate itself- but even still my nails underneath were becoming weaker, and the acrylic was actually feeling heavy on my nail beds (not good) and they were sensitive to any pressure, also not good. Note- I was using CND's wonderful product line- which has always been a favorite of mine- due to the high quality- and frankly their innovation- they are always the first to make any system better. The fault was neither the product, nor my technique, but rather simply my nails, and their DNA. I removed them and my nails looked like waves on a shoreline-just from the weight of the acrylic. My already thin nails would tear like wet paper. I kept them trimmed them as short as possible.  no amount of strengtheners would truly work- and my nails, after a year, were better- but back to original weakness. Standard nail polish would last maybe 24 hours- but the minute they got wet the nails would bend- and polish chipped right off.
Then came my introduction to Shellac about 9 months ago. Frankly it seemed almost too good to be true. I did research, checked out other pros using the line- and was so excited I went out and bought everything I needed in one day! I watched videos, joined a forum-found people on facebook- you name it! it take just a bit of practice to really ensure edges are well sealed, coats are thin, etc. I've found the cream colors help by building a well of color at epinychium and pulling downward- helps keep it from streaking. but I have had astounding success- and it has surpassed all my expectations!
Color created by layering
2 coats Rock Royalty w/ 1 coat Moonlight & Roses

 I will say that I do not always get a full 2 weeks- but thin nails w. almost no edge to seal, oily nails to boot, and being really good about gloves, but not perfect- are really the only reasons my Shellac may last a shorter amount of time. The Shellac makes my nails stronger, but doesn't compromise the nail underneath- it is not so heavy on the nail- even with extra coats for art. It also stays incredibly smooth and shiny the entire time- and clients can reach for their keys the second you're done- amazing!
But, truly, my favorite thing about the Shellac is that it removes in 10 minutes with no damage to the nail- no buffing and no excessive soaking in acetone.( I use, and LOVE the CND Wraps!) Other brands cannot say the same- and people who have come to me with other gel polishes on I have had no choice but to buff the rest of the color off- even after soaking for more than 30 minutes! I will show a pic of my nails directly after removing Shellac. You can see my sidewalls are very dry in this pic-( I DO solar oil nightly!) but the nails themselves are in perfect condition!


Hotski to Tchotchke
w/ raindrop design

I am also inspired by all the art possibilities- from glitter (Rock Star) nails, and raindrop design (very popular) which I have in two colors,
 to all the color layering designs-just did a cheetah print using Romantique as base, and Cream Puff, Iced Cappucino, and Black Pool for spots! etc I have only scratched the surface of what I can do! here are a few pics of some basic manicures, and colors.
Make sure you go to a licensed nail tech- as  the prep for the Shellac is very important to ensure they truly last, and look smooth and shiny, The cuticle (invisible cell layer that coats nail plate) must be removed for proper adhesion. Confirm they are using the REAL Shellac (see bottles in pics) THAT is what bottle should look like!
To maintain their beauty- simply Solar Oil at least once a day, wear gloves for any cleaning or exposure to chemicals-and voila- gorgeous long-lasting nails!

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