........A Chicago area beauty blogger's foray into day-spas, med-spas, and countless beauty counters........

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I Finally Tried CND Shellac

Damage from acrylic
A week ago I gave up acrylic overlays over my natural nails and switched to Creative Nail Designs Shellac No-Chip manicure. I've had acrylic for over 10 years, but I was tired of the maintenance--corners lifting, having to remove lifting acrylic which is painful, sitting through an hour long appointment every 2 weeks. But what I did love about acrylic is the ability to have long uniform nails, and the polish doesn't go anywhere until you take it off.

All acrylic off
Removing the acrylic was a long painful process of soaking, scraping, pushing and pulling. It took 3 hours and I did it at home by soaking them in pure acetone. By the time I got to my nail appointment later that day, my natural nails were already breaking because the nails under the acrylic were so soft and damaged. Unfortunately this means my nail tech had to file them down super short for the Shellac process. I'm hating that.

Shellac right after application
I was told that Shellac would be a good alternative for someone switching from acrylic nails back to natural nails because it would keep the nails strong so they could grow out in the damaged phase and still be long, and the polish wouldn't chip.

1 of 5 chipped Shellac nails
It's 1 week later, and I'm not liking Shellac at all. The day after Shellac was applied the polish on the corner of my right thumb nail chipped off and then the corner of the nail broke, later in the day the same happened to my pinky nail. The next day 2 more nails chipped and broke. The day after a 5th nail. Yesterday, 1 week later, most of the polish on the thumb nail lifted all the way off. The polish is chipped on half of my nails and they look terrible, but I was advised not to soak the product off myself, so I've got to walk around for another week looking like a nail biter/picker. If I had an event to go to there would be no way I could go like this.

It wasn't like I was cleaning and scrubbing floors. All I've done for the week are regular activities--typing on the computer, texting, but nothing that puts nails under a ton of stress.

I don't know if the product just doesn't work on nails that are damaged from acrylic (which is the opposite of what I was told at my salon), or what the deal is, but I don't like Shellac for me. I've decided to have it removed, and then just do my own regular manicures with nail hardeners until the acrylic damage grows out over the next couple months and then maybe try Nutra Nail Gel Perfect UV-free no-chip manicure that I can do at home because it really can't do worse than the Shellac has done for me.

CND is a great brand, and I'm sure this product works for a lot of people, but at $40 an application while it's falling off my nails every day, it's not worth it for me.

In the meantime, I have to find something to make my natural nails healthy again!