Beauty

Everything You Need to Know About CND Shellac

CND-shellac-gel-manicure

OPENING CEREMONY FALL 2015; IMAGE: COURTESY OF CND

When it comes to getting a manicure these days, many opt for the long-lasting power of CND Shellac’s system. It was first introduced in 2010 and the three-step nail-painting process wears flawlessly with brilliant shine for up to 14 days (or longer) after curing under a UV light with zero drying time. 

This month, the folks at CND revealed the next generation of the patented system with the introduction of the Xpress5 Top Coat and new LED lamp, which offer the same high performance and wear, but make the manicure process even easier. The new lamp uses optic mirrors to target the UV light to just the nail for an evenly cured manicure in half the time, while the top coat penetrates faster for a quicker removal time of five minutes. A CND Shellac manicure must be done at a salon by a licensed professional and costs between $35 and $50, and we went right to the source —CND — to get the scoop on everything you need to know about Shellac.

CND-shellac-gel-manicure

IMAGE: COURTESY OF CND

For starters, CND Shellac shouldn’t be confused with similar products like gel or soak-off polish. Shellac has a unique eight-patent formula and is available at almost every nail salon, while similar products mimic what CND created. Shellac is also the only non-damaging, long-lasting polish that doesn’t require soaking, filing or roughing of the natural nail. In addition, every one of the polish colors in the collection are formulated to be thin and flexible — much like a regular nail polish — with a mirror finish that resists chipping and dullness for 14 or more days.

When it comes to removal, CND Shellac should never be filed, peeled or scraped off. The brand makes a nourishing remover that is acetone-based, but is infused with macadamia and vitamin E oils to condition the nail and avoid damaging it or the surrounding skin. CND also makes Foil Remover Wraps, which are presoaked in the remover and target the nail plate directly when wrapped around the fingertips. Once the remover sits on the nails for five minutes (or eight minutes if using the original top coat), the soaked polish should be removed using an orangewood stick to avoid any damage to the nail.

Besides long wear and high shine, which are the main things anyone looks for in a manicure, the color selection that CND offers is fantastic and constantly changing. CND Shellac’s current 83 shades range from sheer to full-on opaques, metallics and glinty sparkles to create any type of manicure. Seasonal collections are also introduced four times a year and nail art can be achieved just as easily with Shellac. Now that summer is here, we think it’s the perfect excuse to give a CND Shellac mani a go — it will outlast any vacation or long weekend wedding without chipping or dullness and that in itself is kind of amazing.