DIY Strawberry Peppermint Foot Scrub

Give yourself a sensory experience while softening up your feet in preparation for an at-home pedi. Erika Katz, beauty expert and author of Bonding over Beauty, has created a DIY Strawberry Peppermint Foot Scrub that is the perfect mix of delicious fragrance and skin-softening ingredients! Just follow these simple simple Read more

IT Cosmetics Cushion Compact Review

Last spring and summer while in Southeast Asia, I became intrigued by cushion compacts. Cushion compacts, like the BB cream, are the beauty brainchild of Korea...I really would like to go on a beauty passage through Korea. They seemed to be everywhere and I made mental note to myself to grab a couple before Read more

Foods That Stain and Whiten Your Teeth

If coffee, cigarettes, red wine and food have left their mark on your teeth, you’re not alone. "The rule of thumb is anything that can stain a white T-shirt can stain your teeth too," says Sharde Harvey, D.D.S and principal in New York-based Smiles Park Avenue, a practice that Read more

The Perfect Pink Lipsticks and Lip Glosses for Dark Skin

Sometimes with my dark skin tone, it can be a bit hard to find the right lip color, especially when it comes to pink. So I was super excited when I received several different shades of pink lip glosses and lipsticks from NARS, Mehron and Uslu Airlines. I'm pretty sure a lot of Read more

DIY Coffee Grounds, Baking Soda, Lemon Body Scrub

This past Saturday night all I wanted to do was stay in and have an at-home spa night. Spa as in facial, hair masks, mani and pedi as well as total body exfoliation. Luckily, I had most of the ingredients for my perfect at home spa night with the exception of Read more

led gel manicure

Pros and Cons of Shellac and UV Gel Manicures


Pros and Cons of Shellac (TONS of comments on this post - good and bad!)
When I first heard about Shellac, UV and LED gel manicures, I was over the moon excited. I could finally have polish on my nails sans chipping and polish peeling for more than 3 days and all without having to apply fake nails. In August, while at Cosmoprof, I received an awesome manicure from CND in Hot Pop Pink (pictured below.) The manicure took just as long as having acrylic nails or wraps put on (an hour) and the result looked just as amazing. I remarked to the manicurist just how gorgeous her own nails looked, as they were long and it didn’t even appear to be naturally her own. She told me they were and that wearing the Shellac helped her achieve the length. I believed her, until my own experience has led me to believe otherwise.


My CND Shellac lasted me 3 weeks. I was ecstatic. I applied CND’s SolarOil to my cuticles and under the tips of my nails on a daily basis as instructed by the manicurist. My nails had grown a bit during this time and I was excited to go for round two of another CND Shellac at my local salon. This time I went for a French manicure CND Shellac. My nails were finally long enough to adorn some white tips and I was stoked. I went about applying the SolarOil again daily, but this time it only took 3 days for one of my nails to peel and the Shellac to come off. Day 4, one of my nails broke and it became clear how brittle my nails were becoming. By day 5, all of my nails were either peeling (the nail itself, not the polish) or breaking.

Looking at my very soft, peeling nails, I decided to not apply any polish at all for 2 weeks, but continued to put the SolarOil on them. But sadly, they didn’t seem to recover. In the meantime, I had been sent the complete Red Carpet Manicure LED Starter Kit and as I was about to have my first television appearance, I knew my nails had to look amazing. So I used the kit, which comes complete with a portable LED light and is a DIY home LED manicure kit. Colors were gorgeous, time was still about 1 hour to complete the manicure and I used their Revitalize cuticle oil daily. But by day 3, my nails were peeling and even more brittle. I now had stubs for nails (even shorter than pictured above.) Finally I asked fellow friends in the salon business and fellow bloggers if they experienced the same of gel manicures, and it was a resounding yes.

Pros:

Manicure can potentially last up to 3 weeks
No chipping
Manicure is instantly dry upon last UV go round
Mirror finish (nails look wet, but aren’t)
Can DIY and look just as amazing as at the salon
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous

Cons:

Very drying to your nails
Repeated application (without a breather) will result in brittle and peeling nails
Wear time gets less and less with each application
If you don’t apply the cuticle oil daily, your nails will dry out a lot quicker
Costs add up, especially if the manicure doesn’t last 2-3 weeks
CND Shellac requires it’s own Remover Wraps
According to some doctors, the UV lamps can cause skin cancer (but the jury is still out on this)

So it appears that, at least for me, a CND Shellac or UV gel manicure will only happen for special events (like holidays, TV appearances, events) and cannot be worn all of the time. Unless I want to continue having man hands with my stubby nails.

In the meantime, I will be in nail re-cooperation with Qtica’s Cuticle Repair Balm and Qtica Nail Growth Stimulator to regain my length.  I’d love to hear from you: what has your experience been with UV gel manicures?

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Posted on by Shannon Smyth in beauty, Nail Polish 65 Comments