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new favorites: shellac nail color + tips for the shellac manicure

Throughout the years I’ve tried numerous nail techniques at the nail salon searching for a way to keep my nails looking fabulous while also having them last. Between work, the house, the kids; my nails go through a lot and I need something strong and durable. I’ve tried Acrylic tips, SNS tips, Jamberry nail wraps, regular polish, and finally shellac (or gel) polish. It’s important for me to use something that lasts but also won’t ruin my natural nail. What I’ve found to be my all time favorite is the shellac manicure, and here is why…

First, when you get a shellac manicure the nail technition gives your full nail her attention. She cuts, files, trims your cuticles, oils your cuticles, and even lotions your hands/arms. Sometimes I even get a back rub. When I have gotten tips applied, the full manicure portion is left out, leaving your tips looking great, and your full nail untouched. The manicure maintenance portion is extremely important in growing healthy nails.

Second, the shellac color lasts and lasts and lasts. I can usually get about fourteen days out of my manicure before I need to go back to the salon. Here are a couple of pictures to compare at Day One, Seven, and Twelve.

Day seven

Day Seven

You can see here at Day Seven that my nails have grown, but my polish is still unchipped, glossy, and done.

Here at Day Twelve my cuticles and nails have grown, but my polish, again, is still perfect. This is after loads and loads of dishes, kids baths, cleaning the house and car, and all around work. Having a manicure last fourteen days is priceless.

Lastly, I love using shellac color because it protects my natural nail. My nails are able to grow, become thick, and they break less. When you use shellac correctly (see tips below) your natural nails will flourish underneath the protective coats.

Here are some tips I have discovered using shellac over the past year:

The most important tip; never never never peel off your polish. Yes, the number one complaint I hear about shellac is that is doesn’t come off without returning to the nail salon to get it removed. This takes time and an extra trip, if you aren’t getting a new color, so most people end up peeling it off in layers (I’m totally guilty of this too). When you peel off the polish you peel off layers of your real nail. This can leave your nails brittle and weak. Even if you are done with your shellac manicure, be sure to go back to the salon and have them remove it. Your nails will thank you!

When you are getting a lighter color, be sure to ask your nail tech to apply three coats instead of two. This will leave your light color looking brilliant and it will last a lot longer.

To avoid nail breakage and chipping, try to keep your nails at a realistic length. Since you aren’t getting fake tips, your nails will need to stay shorter to be more manageable and strong.

What are your favorite nail techniques? I love shellac, and I really enjoy choosing all kinds of fun crazy colors. My favorites are blues, grays, whites, and that one time I went orange. 😉

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  1. Yes, a nail technician doesn’t just paint your nails. I hate when I see ruined cuticles around painted nails. You need to take a good care of your hands and nails before applying the nail polish. And after that because it’s terrible to see overgrown acrylic nails or chipped nail polish.

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