Before Christmas I got a shellac manicure done. You may have heard tell of these: it’s basically an extra-hard mani that’s dried with UV lights and is super long-lasting.
I got mine done on 16 December and it stayed glossy and perfect until 13 Jan. However, there is a sting in the tail. You can’t remove shellac by yourself at home with a bottle of Cutex: oh no. It has to be done in the salon, and to add insult to injury, they will charge you £10 to do it, which brings the total cost of the mani to a whopping £40 – £30 for application and £10 for removal (or it’s free if you get another shellac, but, you know, there are limits).
I didn’t feel like trekking back to the salon in Hampstead and paying for the removal so I did the gross thing and peeled the polish off myself – literally just peeled them, like a sticker or plaster. Two weeks later, my nails have been peeling and are still horrible and scuffed-looking. I don’t know if that’s because I went freestyle on the removal or if it’s because shellac damages nails – the local beautician told me this was the case but she may be biased as her salon doesn’t do any shellacking. A shame because it really is an incredibly long-lasting polish.
Overall, I enjoyed my shellacs but I’m not sure I’d get them again. I think they’re best if your nails are quite strong to begin with and you’ve budgeted the price of removal into them. Here’s a link about removing the polish at home if you’re feeling brave …