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Shellac

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I always wanted nice, long nails.

Not talons, but nails that actually reached the end of my finger and looked shiny and polished; nails I wasn't embarrassed for people to see when I was showing them rings on my fingers. 

Nails kinda like Molly Ringwald's elegant dusty-rose ones in The Breakfast Club.

Alas, my fondness for chewing my own nails off at any given opportunity since I could chew has left me with fingers that I hide at any given chance.

That is, until I got them done at the Salon at The Shelbourne Hotel.

The Shelbourne is such a gorgeous place to begin with, and the Salon oozes opulence. 

I was greeted by Rani, possibly the friendliest woman on the planet, who made me feel right at home straight away.  

I sat in the salon surrounded by stunning blooms and people getting blow-dries and pedicures and to get the vibe of how fancy this salon is – there was an Eiffel Tower of macaroons beside me.

My nail technician, Maria, arrived and looked at my bitten nails but thankfully, they didn't bother her at all and she set to work on them.

I was getting CND Shellac so the first thing Maria did was shape my nails with a file.

This was miraculous – by actually shaping them and then – step two of pushing back the cuticles, my nails looked longer already.

Now, I am embarrassingly bad with pain (I can't even pluck my own eyebrows) so the pain I felt at getting the cuticles pushed back and later, the excess skin around my nail beds removed, probably wouldn't be that painful for most people. 

(My editor even said she enjoyed the sensation – ehhh, no.)

The nails were then sanitised and the excess oils on them gotten rid of – so the Shellac would stick.

Then, Maria applied a layer of the CND Shellac Base Coat and after each layer was applied, I put my hand under a UV lamp for 10 or so seconds.

I chose the shade Negligee, which was a barely-there pink and Maria set to work coating it on. 

The UV lamp dried them and the third coat to be applied was the top coat, followed by drying it under the UV lamp. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by The Spa & Salon (@shelbourne_spa_salon) on

All the while this is happening, Maria regularly checks to see if I'm OK and if it hurts and Rani arrives with a glass of champers for me to sip on.

The whole experience was so relaxing and my nails are beautiful – for a girl who doesn't have much of them.

While I was there, I was surrounded by women who had come in groups and I have to say, it's a perf place to bring someone as a gift.

You can opt for a few different packages – there's the Corporate Couture one, ideal for those who have busy working days.

You get a blow-dry of choice, make-up application and buff and polish.

If you want to go all-out, I'd recommend The Hollywood Legends package which is where you can get a luxurious blow-dry and manicure while having a glass of chilled champagne.

Coming up to Mother's Day, it would be an ideal day of pampering for you and your mum. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Salon itself is absolutely stunning – open seven days a week, it's a haven of calm with cream interior that just oozes glamour. 

It has the ultimate pampering facilities for hair and beauty connoisseurs and a highly trained team of experts in the fields of hairdressing and beauty services including luxury manicures, pedicures and facials.

The Salon also offers express facial treatments, by the world-renowned brands Elemis – something you should definitely try. 

If you're heading somewhere important early, the Shelbourne Breakfast Club Executive Blow-Dry is for you. 

It will give you an amazing blow-dry in minimum time, along with a gorgeous pastry and a tea or coffee. 

In short, the Salon at The Shelbourne is something everyone should experience. 

My own experience has shown me that with the right treatment, you can clean up your nails – no matter what shape they're in – and have them looking FAB.

The Shellac should stay for two weeks – and in that time there won't be a single nibble because I'll be heading to Maria for another treatment, that's for sure. 

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Getting a manicure is one of those things that just makes us feel 'done.'

Rather than committing to falsies or nail extensions, we love a good slick of Shellac to keep our digits looking on point. 

As the year draws to a close, CND have revealed the most popular Shellac nail shades of 2018 – and the list-topper definitely isn't surprising. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Mark Broumand (@markbroumand) on

Taking the crown as the most popular is FieldFox. 

Often raved about by bloggers and influencers, the taupe shade is the perfect low maintenance shade for nude nail lovers. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Salon | Medi Spa | Cobourg (@house_of_attitudes) on

In second place is a ravishing red, in the shade Wildfire. 

The colour proves that a classic red nail will truly never go out of fashion. 

We can see this being a firm favourite at this time of the year, perhaps with a top coat of high-impact red glitter? 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sheek Nail Designs Alex (@sheeknaildesigns) on

In third place, we have Negligee, a powdery pale nude favoured by brides the nation over. 

Negligee is the ideal 'your nails, but better' shade that looks stunning and understated.

Did you opt for any of these shades in 2018? 

FieldFox, Wildfire & Negligee

Feature image: Instagram | Charise Mariel Garcia

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There's nothing more annoying than spending your precious time and money on your nails, for them to be destroyed just days later. 

That's why we are SO excited to share a nail secret that we've just been informed of.

The nail industry has just been revolutionised by a simple technique, so you can say goodbye to chipped nails. 

 

A post shared by CND (@cndworld) on

Shellac Luxe and the incredible people at CND have let me in on a new technique they have developed called the Wiggle.

The Wiggle gets those nails looking sharp and keeps them on point for two weeks.

It is a new way to paint nails and caps the nail properly to avoid chipping and breaks.

Samantha Sweet of Sweet Squared spoke to SHEmazing about how the Wiggle was conceived with Shellac Luxe, which removes in just sixty seconds.

"Team CND obviously do a lot of training on application…rather than paint a nail traditionally from the cuticle up, they do this wiggle technique, where they are almost going backward on the tip of the nail first, it’s almost like you’re sealing the edge," she explained. 

"The brush in this product is so awesome, that when you actually apply this wiggle technique, it just does this beautiful sweep, then they apply [the polish] normally."

After speaking to the nail goddess that is Marian Newman, she told me all about the way the Wiggle is changing the industry as we know it.

Marian has worked in every aspect of the nail industry, which includes over 50 British Vogue covers to her name and years of working on fashion shows for London and Paris Fashion Weeks – so she knows a thing or two about nails.

"I think the Wiggle technique is amazing," she said. 

 

A post shared by Marian Newman (@mariannewman) on

"With any nail coating, you do have to cap the free edge because the layers end there, so that is where they get the most damage, that's where water can seep and make the layers blow apart, so you do have to cap the free edge," she said.

"And a lot of people cap the free edge but they get polish underneath and if you get any underneath, traditional or gel polish you end up picking it out and then you have broken the seal.

"Everyone knows this is such a fine product [Shellac Luxe] – when I say fine, I mean sophisticated, it’s superior.

Marian went on to explain that with the Wiggle technique and using Luxe, you cap the tip of the nail without getting anything underneath, so you don't break the seal. 

 

A post shared by CND (@cndworld) on

Marian also added that it's crucial for nail techs to get the wiggle technique down properly, so you get the best results.

"[Shellac Luxe] is thin and you don’t get the bulbous piece at the end, it's just an easy way for every nail professional to remember, what to do and get the best possible results because this is very technique sensitive. 

"If you don’t put it on right, then you’re not going to get the best out of it."

 

A post shared by CND (@cndworld) on

Our hands are in front of our face all day long.

Making the effort is worth it, as staring at beautiful nails all day makes us happy.

When asked why they want other nail technicians to lose bad habits, and to adopt the wiggle and Shellac Luxe; The answer was simple – "the integrity of a natural nail."

 

A post shared by CND (@cndworld) on

"We are in the beauty industry, we are not here to trash natural nails. The integrity of a natural nail should be the first priority of a nail technician, keeping those nails beautiful," explained Samantha. 

"Now with traditional Shellac and Luxe, you don’t need to use an abrasive or a file on the natural nail, so already you haven't done anything to the nail to thin it or anything like that."

"If nail techs stop doing those type of things, and then you've got a product that comes off so easily, so the nail underneath shouldn't be harmed in any way, then you've got a better experience for the customers."

"Clients should not be going to a salon to get their nails trashed, and yet there are so many people that still do that."

 

A post shared by John C. Nguyen (@jcnguyen88) on

Shellac Luxe knows how to treat your nails properly and removes in sixty seconds, leaving behind a clean, healthy nail.

The range has expanded by 15 brand new shades, with Satin Slippers being our ultimate fav.

However, if you're feeling peachy and summery, Charm is your way to go.

If you're walking on the darker, moodier side of life, Dark Cherry (it's a rouge-noire) will be one to get your hands on!

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When it comes to our regular manicure, most of us are creatures of habit.

While every now and again we leap outside of our comfort zone with a neon nail for holidays or a glittery gold for the festive season, most of us have our ‘go to’  shades for the rest of the year.

We have a tendency to go for nude nails each and every time so for today, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most requested shellac shades in salons, did your trusty fave make the cut?

Luckily these fab shades are all available in both Shellac and Vinylux so you can pamper those pinkies both in salon and at home!  If you are after application inspiration the Met Gala attendees always deliver some great inspo.

1. Field Fox

An amazing beige with mauve undertones – the perfect polish.

Field Fox CND Shellac- New favorite color!! Looks more purple toned in natural light and more gray in artificial light

2. Wildfire

The best red polish a girl can get.

CND Shellac Wildfire! #classy @belgiumoronails

3. Lobster Roll

A gorgeous orangey-red colour.

SUMMER SPLASH 2013 - 2 Coats Lobster Roll

4. Blackpool

Nothing beats a witchy, black manicure.

Most recent video ∙∙∙∙↠ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=218gE7yAk-k ↞∙∙∙∙

5. Masquerade

The perfect shade for the festive season. We love a hint of shimmer.

Image result for Masquerade shellac

6. Satin Pyjamas

A creamy brown polish creating that decadence luscious look will make anyone beg for your attention.

CND shellac manicure - Satin Pajamas

7. Cream Puff

Nothing beats a crisp set of white nails.

CND Shellac (cream puff with zillionaire) done by Whitney @ Rumors Salon Johnson City TN

8. Tinted Love

An opaque dark fuchsia, with rich hints of cranberry.

9. Tropix

Get a taste of Island life with this tropical wonder.

Image result for tropix shellac

10. Rose Bud

The most perfect pink EVER.

Image result for rose bud shellac

 

 

So now you have the top colours to use – why not consider some nail art to really make a statement?

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Some of us have been Shellac converts for years, while others have yet to dip their fingers in this unknown world of nail care.

Whether you prefer to go au naturel with your nails or you’re a dab hand at a DIY manicure, there’s a lot to be said for availing of a Shellac treatment from time to time. (Or more often, if you become totally addicted to this ‘manicure miracle’.)

The treatments tend to be relatively inexpensive, the majority of salons offer free removal and there’s no denying that longevity plays a massive role in Shellac’s popularity!

But what exactly is Shellac, why is it often referred to as a ‘manicure miracle’ and what should you expect from a treatment?

Here are some questions you may have pondered if you’ve yet to treat yourself to this revolutionary salon treatment.

1. How is Shellac polish different from normal nail polish?

Normal nail polish tends to chip right? Well, Shellac polish is a whole lot thicker than your standard varnishes; a treatment requires three coats and each coat is then ‘set’ under a UV light which makes it virtually chip-proof!

2. How long does it last?

It is recommended that you have your Shellac removed after approximately two to three weeks because this is when natural nail growth will become visible.

After this point there will be a stark contrast between your natural nail colour and your chosen Shellac shade, and yes that’s the case even if you opt for a French polish!

Some lucky girls, however, can get up to a month out of a Shellac treatment before their own nail begins appearing!

3. What is the upkeep like?

Many therapists advise their clients to use cuticle oil on their nails twice a day while rocking their Shellac as this will nourish the nail beneath the treatment.

A small price to pay to ensure we’re looking after our own nails beneath the polish, right?

4. Does Shellac have an artificial look?

Shellac doesn’t lengthen or thicken your nails in any way, so your nails will look as natural as they normally do when you apply polish, but will last a whole lot longer!

5. What are the downsides of the treatment?

Shellac is not without its cons, but if you’re aware of these issues, they are very easy to avoid.

Shellac can damage your nails if you don’t have it removed professionally, something which is normally included in the cost of the initial treatment.

Picking and peeling at your Shellac treatment will have a detrimental effect on your nails, leaving them broken and very brittle, so be sure to take advantage of the salon removal!

The verdict

Shellac is a wonderful treatment to have because you get serious bang for your buck, manicured nails do wonders for your overall look and there’s something seriously indulgent about having someone tend to your hands and nails, right?

Beware though, you will spend more time than your boss might appreciate staring dreamily at those fab nails of yours, so maybe you should opt for your first treatment over the Christmas holidays!

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