Shellac Manicure Diary

I’m sure by now you have all heard about the latest frenzy surrounding Shellac manicures. If you are not familiar, it is sort of a hybrid between regular nail polish and gel nails. Shellac polishes are the brainchild of CND and they claim that Shellac manicures have a “14 day wear, mirror finish, zero dry time and no nail damage.” I decided to put this manicure to the test, and I thought, what better time to test it than during my 2 week vacation to London, Paris and Barcelona?

So, a day before my trip, I went to my local nail salon and asked for a Shellac manicure. The nail technician immediately pulled out a swatch of Shellac colours for me to choose from (the colours were a little limited, but most of their colours are pretty wearable). I picked a pinkish-nude shade and the tech immediately got to work on my nails. The process was essentially the same as a regular manicure, except after applying each coat of Shellac polish, I was asked to place my hand underneath a UV lamp. While the whole polish application process took longer than that of a regular manicure, there was absolutely NO waiting time for my nails to dry. I instantly had perfectly manicured nails and could even reach into my purse to grab my wallet sans smudges! I was, however, a little disappointed with sheerness of the colour I chose – it looked a lot more pink on the swatch but came out pretty much clear on my nails.

Anyway, I did a photo documentation of my Shellac manicure throughout my trip. Throughout this photo diary, you will see how my manicure wears over the 11 days (no, I did not document all 14), and you’ll also get to see some photos of my adventures in all three fabulous locales. Please note that I did not take a photo of my manicure everyday, so you will notice that some days are skipped… and in case you are curious, day 14 looked pretty much the same as day 11.

Have any of you tried the Shellac manicures? What are your thoughts? Love it? Hate it? I think I’m leaning towards loving it, but it does have 2 caveats – they are pricier than your regular manicure, and the polish is not easy to remove on your own. However, if you go to the nail salon regularly to update your manicure anyway, it wouldn’t be much of a chore – the nail tech can easily remove it for you!

Oh, and for those of you that missed it, I was beyond ecstatic to be featured as Blogger of the Week on Medium Magazine last week. Click here if you want to read the full interview :)!


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  • AKB

    I used the Shellac-like products from OPI all last summer while I was in NYC. I was put off by the price and the damage it seemed to inflict on my paper thin nails. I think it’s a great product for the length of wear and to achieve a natural look. But in the long run I had to step away … I went to full-on fake gel nails. Haha! I’m a salon whore, what can I say? Now I’m stuck in North Carolina and no one is doing Shellac in these parts just yet. If I had the option, I would probably switch on and off between gel and Shellac just to mix it up. They both tend to get boring after awhile with their specific lists of pros and cons.

    • Connie

      Haha, each option definitely has its pros and cons. One day – they will come up with the perfect solution that only has pros :)

  • Rachel

    Hi AKB,

    Are you sure CND Shellac is not offered in your area? I would visit’s Shellac Salon Locator to double check…and believe me, it’s not even the same category as OPI Axxium. Axxium is a gel, whereas CND Shellac is a power polish that is totally safe for natural nails – no filing or buffing during application or removal.


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  • Kelsey

    I actually hadn’t heard about Shellac yet. That sounds awesome! I’ll have to keep an eye out for them. I rarely get my hands manicured, maybe twice a year, but maybe I’ll buy some online and try it myself.

    • Connie

      HI Kelsey – you should definitely give it a go! It may be a little harder doing it yourself though unless you have the proper UV light to harden the polish. Let me know how it goes!