Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PRODUCT REVIEW: Shellac by CND (CreativeNailDesign)

Photo: Creative Nail Design

On Friday, May 7th I went to Creations to see the lovely Jennifer Kopolow for a VERY new product out in salons now called Shellac. This product is essentially a gel-polish that is painted on like regular nail polish, but "cured" under a specifically designed UV lamp, kind of a mini tanning bed for hands/feet. That process is vital to the product in that it's the way it "sticks" to your nails. It is also what makes the product "rock hard" and keeps it on and fairly impenetrable for 2 weeks or more. I was on day 5 and aside from a bit of tip wear (noticeable in a few instances), a few little "gashes" and "cuts" and some edge-lifting, they still looked great. You'd have to be really looking at my hands up close to see any of those issues, and this is still a record with me, gel nails and acrylics lasted all of 2 days on me before they were terrible looking and lifting enough to worry about.

Creations salon is located in St. Charles (Zumbehl at 70 in Dierbergs Plaza) which was in no way convenient but I tend to have Fridays to do whatever so I used that as my reasoning. And I had lost 2 lbs or so the scale told me, and yknow, I needed a reward that wasn't Ted Drewes and 4 Vitamuffins. When I set it up I was originally told 645. When I called back to confirm, she told me 745. This was the receptionist, not the nail girl. So the nail girl expected me at 645. I showed up for 745. Which was not good. The client set for 745 was INCREDIBLY gracious and we ended up sharing, and Jennifer simultaneously did both of us. It was so cool of both of them, considering I just drove an hour to get there. So if either of you ever see this THANK YOU! And really, doing two clients at once could be pretty smart.

I ended up getting a French style, though if there is a next time I am just doing the sheer pink...well I guess pale pink, itll be more opaque that way. I really like the pink (yes I really did just say that). I am only meh on French Manicures, but the other woman did it so I said what the hell. Gives me a better angle when I review it.

The application was quick, and similar to getting a regular nail polishing. She starts with a basecoat, then puts you under the product-specific UV lamp for about 15 seconds. Then she does the first coat of color, in this case one coat of a pale pink called Negligee. Then under the lamp for 2 minutes. Then she does the 2nd coat, which in this case was just the white tips. Then again for 2 minutes under the lamp. Then she does the top coat, and you do another 2 minutes in the lamp. Then she wipes your nails with alcohol, and applies cuticle oil and lotion. Max of a half hour start to finish. I do know that when you have it removed (if you go back for another session of the product), they remove it with some specially designed pads that are acetone soaked. It takes 10 minutes for the removal according to the company. I can honestly say that's pretty accurate, however now I feel my natural nail is ...in some way compromised. Despite the lack of filing, it still feels like my nails are weaker.

They are effectively like a gel nail without the sanding of your real nail or the layers. They were dry and shiny and great when I left. I have been taking photos with my DSLR every other day in an attempt to give a fairer assessment of wear over the 2 week period of wear. Everyday being awakeness destroys my hands so I might not have to work too hard to destroy them, though I did say that if they are wearing well I might run some tests...well I can say at day 15, I didn't need to test anything, they were very destroyed all on their own, and surprisingly quickly...  I have orders to finish and a lot of folding of letters and stuffing envelopes at work so that helped tear them up. If it sticks around right, can see myself going back with just the pale pink each time, and maybe doing the same on my feets. This stuff would be great for a pedi.  But after this 2 week period, I am thinking this is a not-during-wedding-season product.

It costs a little more than a regular mani. I think it was $28 and I gave her a big tip for working it out. The screwup with the schedule was not her fault. She also knows a nail tech in South County who will be doing this product also so we exchanged phone numbers. That was great, though, I REALLY liked Jennifer and might be very willing to drive out there every few weeks, esp on Fridays. The South County salon is pretty convenient, though, and I did try to make an appointment and was told they won't be doing this product on clients 'til probably the first week of June.  Since Jennifer was out of town this week she did refer me to a friend named Marsha who works at Par Excellence in Bridgeton. If I was smarter than I actually am, Id have set it up for Saturday when I was up there for hair and car work.

Keep in mind I like NO white to show on my nails (part of the lack of frenches) but that's almost required--even just a sliver because they have to paint the stuff over the tip and it shrinks a little under the lamp. So don't cut your nails super short like I do because it won't stick as well.

I will say this: If you have ever had lifting issues with gels or acrylics, this might not be for you. I have always had that issue when I would get fakes, and it appears to be doing the same with this. It's not really super obvious day-to-day, but I like to inspect things, so you know I am over here going nuts and obsessing.

Friday the 21st is day 15 of wear on this product, and while I might try it again after wedding season, I won't be doing another round right away.  For the average person, this will be a great product, and if I don't look at it closer than 12" from my face it's fine. But my hands are ravaged.  There is extreme wear and very serious lifting.   But considering half of each nail is still covered with product that's not a bad thing.  It comes off on paper, despite promises that it doesn't. And it, just like any polish or gel product, doesn't fare well around paper, especially not the exquisite papers that I work with for invites. I have had to discard several sheets that were printed already, as well as a few backing layers because the product either scratched off onto it or scratched the paper itself and removed or damaged ink. That is something I cannot have occur, and is the exact reason why I don't do nails and keep them cut so short there's no white area. That doesn't happen when I do my normal nail pattern. 

Removal was not my idea of a good time, it required soaking in the little wrappy things they supply, for 10 minutes. You feel like a freak with those things on, you can't use your hands even.  Anyway...after those wraps are removed then comes the scraping. That is not pleasant. Hurt isn't the right word but it's not really comfortable.  And it left my nails kind of scratchy and peely. It's been 6 days and they still are. She put clear polish on which I just took off, but even that looked odd. Anyway...

Here are pics kind of detailing the time passing, though it's really hard to get the details when you use an almost clear shade. The last day of this project left me with a massive hunk taken out of my thumb. Sweet. 

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1 comment:

  1. Nice Ame! Could you do a review on Mirena? A little odd, but I'm thinking about getting the 5 year...and I've been told you know about it. :)


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