I’m taking a break from the usual Wednesday advice column to bring you the conclusion of a story that began months ago. I know from my analytics that many of you have checked out my previous posts about no-chip nail polish here and here. A recent comment from Tiffany reminded me that I haven’t posted the final installment of the saga.
The summary: If done properly, Shellac no-chip gel polish is good stuff. If done incorrectly, you’ll kick yourself for ever getting involved with this process in the first place.
Here are the things you need to know:
- Don’t let the salon mix and match products. The original salon used Shellac and Gelify products interchangeably — base coat of one, color of another. They’re not designed to work that way. I know Shellac best from my experience, but I can only assume that the other brands’ colors are designed to bond to their proprietary base and top coats.
- The process works best with a Shellac UV lamp. Although in truth, I’ve had it done with a regular CND Brisa lamp and it works fine.
- Remove the polish only with Shellac removal wraps. A woman that I’ve chatted with says that her salon uses a soaked cotton ball wrapped in foil and says that it works ok. When done properly, the polish should flake right off and shouldn’t have to be scraped, filed or otherwise abused.
Whatever you do, don’t let your salon:
- Soak your fingers in a bowl of acetone.
- Peel the polish off your nails. (Yes, seriously. I’ve heard horror stories.)
- Scrape the polish off with a rough file or Dremel. (Yes, this really happens.)
The best way to guarantee the success of the process is to find a salon through the CND salon finder. My manicurist tells me that in order to be listed on the CND site, you have to sign a pledge that you follow the proper procedures and are open to an unscheduled drop-in from a company representative to ensure that you’re following the rules. That sounds a little silly at first, but it tells me that the company knows that they have a huge PR problem when it’s done incorrectly, and want to do what they can to ensure good results.
How do I know that it’s not damaging my nails? I went to my new manicurist for about two months — four or five 14-day cycles. My nails appeared to be growing back strong and healthy, but I wasn’t entirely sure whether my nails were really doing ok on their own or if it was the Shellac coating that was making them durable. But last month my manicurist and I couldn’t connect due to some scheduling conflicts, and I was on my own for two weeks. Even with Shellac-free nails, they were still strong enough to continue to grow.
If you have any questions at all, feel free to ask in the comments!