Hard As Nails

This is Part One of a two part post about new nail ‘revolution’ Shellac nails. You may have heard of them, you may not, but as usual I’ve been doing my research on your behalf.

Gel nails, and their little sister Shellac, seem to be the nail obsession de jour. The hype suggests that, using a specially developed polish and UV light for setting, your manicure will stay put for at least 14 days. And the best bit? It won’t chip, scratch, or smudge, withstanding a variety of activity and chemicals.


In my job I struggle to keep my nails looking nice for two days, never mind two weeks, so I got straight on the phone to book an appointment. After checking out their website I called Newcastle Hair & Beauty Salon who offer the Shellac nail treatment 2 minutes from my front door for £35, currently £25 in their Summer newsletter.

I’m especially pleased to read that the polish should be totally dry within 10 minutes. Pleased but skeptical. I haven’t yet managed to go to a salon, have a manicure, and reach home without smudging it at least a tiny bit. Not once. So this time, with a post-manicure lunch date arranged for after my appointment, I was hoping that 10 minute boast would prove true. Trying to use a knife and fork with wet nails is simply not very dignified.

The process, as I discover, involves a brief tidy-up, a clear gel base coat, followed by 20 seconds under a UV light, two coats of lovely colour or the French style polish I went for and 20 more seconds under the lamp for each. Finally a top coat, another 20 seconds, a few drops of cuticle oil and I’m done! And miraculously they’re dry and ready to go. The technician explains to me how to remove them with acetone (or to make another appointment to have them removed and redone) and gives me a few care tips. She tells me that if they start to look a little dull to give each nail a quick swipe over with some ordinary nail varnish remover. She laughs at my horrified then downright doubtful face and tells me to “be brave”.

I’ve actually just this minute tried this and she was of course right, none of the polish budged an inch but they are once again impossibly shiny.

So far I’m impressed with the Shellac treatment. It has thus far lived up to its promises and the hype surrounding it.
But naturally I cannot yet vouch for the longevity of the gel so that’s where Part Deux of this post will come in. I’ll continue the tale in, oooh, about 12 days time..?

Stay tuned for the rest of the review.

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • Laura says:

    Ooooh glad to see you’ve done a post about Shellac! I’ve had my eye on getting that done for ages! Will definitely have to check back for the next post to see how well they lasted.
    Laura xoxo

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