Greetings one and all!
I'm literally just back from Liberty Spa, Navan where I had my eyebrows waxed and got Shellac nails. I have a wedding to go to at the weekend but because I'm actively taking part in some home renovations (I washed and painted a few walls! and packed up some junk...) my nails were peeling, cracked, broken... shamefully awful. My nails are generally quite brittle so I always wear Sally Hansen 'Miracle Cure' polish as a base coat with standard polish but I was paranoid that this would chip before the weekend so I opted for a Shellac polish. Shellac is a UV gel polish that is cured (hardened) in a UV light box so its touch, smudge and chip resistant before you leave the salon! Eventually (1-2 weeks later depending on nail growth) the polish will peel and (with some delight) be picked off the nail. Shellac is removed with acetone which the salon offers free of charge. For €40 I could've gotten a full manicure (cuticle removal etc.) but I never have any cuticle growth so I went for the standard file and polish for €20.
The Shellac polish is available in a wide range of colours (there was a sign showing colours that could be created by layering two different colours but according to the therapist the preview colours aren't accurate) and I think I chose 'Hot Chilis' or possibly 'Hollywood'... I wasn't paying too much attention to the name but the colour was a dead ringer for the red in my dress and shawl! It is also possible to get Shellac nails done with a french tip but some length in your nail is required!
The lovely as always therapist Alex filed my nails and applied the Shellac base coat, two coats of Shellac polish and Shellac top coat. Each layer is cured under the UV light and any residue is removed with alcohol. Alcohol is very drying on the skin so Shellac nail oil was applied to the cuticles and massaged in. And that was it! Both treatments took forty-seven minutes in total including the colour consultation (me hymning and hawing over which colour and then which shade of red to go for). The end result: ten super glossy, bright red, subtly shimmering (very fine gold glitter) nails! The Shellac polish doesn't feel much different to normal polish (a very slight 'plastic' feel) and doesn't look obvious like acrylic/fake/gel nails can do. Alex assured me that unlike gel/acrylic nails, Shellac will leave strong, healthy nails that aren't sensitive or painful when it is removed.
As I have never had Shellac nails before I don't know how well they will hold up. For the moment I can say I am super impressed with the results!! Will update this after the weekend and see how much wear they can take.
Ciao for now!