Friday, October 7, 2011

Shellac Manicure: Don't Do It

Author: Cindy

I'm not one who gets a lot of manicures. For one, I don't like people fussing over me. Additionally, I'm lazy and I don't care about having polished nails all that much--they're like a special occasion thing, or sometimes a bonding experience with my daughters.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I was going to a Pajibacon (which definitely qualifies as a special occasion), so I thought I'd get my nails done. I decided to go to a salon that was close to home, even though I'd never been there before.

I walked in and the receptionist started telling me about a new type of manicure with a product called Shellac. He hyped it up as a popular option because as soon as the color was applied, it would be dry and it would last two weeks. Supposedly one could go fishing for keys or money immediately after the manicure. This description is slightly deceitful, but it's true that when the manicure is complete, your nails are dry.

I agreed to try it, picked a nice shade of red, and sat down. After the guy doing my nails started filing, the receptionist informed me of the price--$35.00--which is much higher than a regular manicure. I stuttered for a minute and then figured, what the heck, I might as well test it out. Ah, spontaneous decisions!

The whole process took about 40 minutes, I'd guess. After the normal filing, the nail technician roughed up the top of my nails a bit. I wasn't thrilled about it, but he didn't ask me first, so onward we went. There were several coats of this and that, including the actual color, and in between each coat was time under a UV light. The UV light sets, or cures, each coat. When my manicure was done it was indeed completely dry and I didn't have to worry about bashing my hands into anything. I asked how to remove the color and I was told "just regular remover." Ahem.

The manicure looked great and held up quite well for about ten days. There was no real sign of the polish fading or chipping, but that's actually what concerned me. I did some interweb investigating and read that I was supposed to soak my fingers in acetone to get the polish off. Suddenly, it was all I could think about--getting the polish off.

At home I filled two small bowls with acetone remover, soaked my hands for about five minutes, and tried not to inhale the fumes. Even after five minutes, vigorous rubbing did absolutely nothing to the polish. I stuck my hand back in and waited a few more minutes. When I took out my hand the next time there were some tiny flecks in the bowl with the remover, but rubbing the nail with remover soaked towels was still not doing much. I got a wooden orange stick and began trying to scrape at the polish and slowly began to get somewhere with the removal. To make a long story short, it took me a good 45 minutes to get the majority of polish off. Underneath, the surface of my nails were still scraped up from the filing. Let's not even think about needing the acetone to basically eat the polish off my fingers--I'm guessing that's super healthy!

I'd give this process (and the salon I went to) exactly zero tentacles. The salon wasn't forthcoming with correct information about the whole process--and I share the blame for not checking it out beforehand--and the removal and damage is not worth this so-called instant-dry manicure. Don't do it!

Rating: 0/8 tentacles

1 comment:

  1. Most salons don't want to tell you how to remove UV gel polish (Shellac, Gelac, Axxiom, etc.) because they also charge for removal and they want you to come back and pay them to do it. However, it is easy to do yourself. First, you use a nail file or emery board to rough up the shiny surface of each nail. Then soak a cotton ball in acetone, put it on your nail, and wrap it in aluminum foil (to keep the acetone from evaporating). It is best to do this one hand at a time. Wait about 10-15 minutes, then remove each foil, pressing gently and twisting as you remove it. Repeat with the other hand. The UV gel polish will come right off. You can also get wraps specially made for removing UV gels at Sally Beauty Supply, but foil and cotton balls are cheaper.
    As for roughing up your nail, the shiny surface of the nail has to be buffed or the UV gel won't adhere to the nail. A good nail tech will just barely rough up the nail surface with a very fine grit buffer.
    I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but don't let that sour you on UV gel nails or manicures in general. It's like going to a therapist - you just have to find the right one!