Shellack

I’m still not convinced that’s how it is really spelled, but so far Chrome has not underlined it in red, so that’s what I’m going with.  I’ve decided to give the shellack manicure a try as a possibility for the wedding, given that we are traveling to Central America directly afterwards and I want something durable or nothing at all. See previous post about things I never saw myself doing before I got engaged.  If you’re not aware, shellacking is basically a gel coat over a regular coat of nail polish that is supposed to resist chipping and, yes I know you’ve stopped reading by now.

Since this is a blog, I’ve decided to go for the personal experience angle and do a trial and error, just for you, Internet.  Full disclosure, I actually wanted the pink, slightly nude color that matched my toenails, but the guy doing my nails seemed to think a French manicure would look better.  I’m guessing, anyhow, because that is what I came home with.  At some point I remember him pointing to my fingers and saying something about the tips of my fingers, and I said, “Sorry? Oh, yes. Mmm hmm.” And now my nail tips are blindingly white. What can I say, I’m a coward.

I have to admit I was skeptical, but in the 10 hours since the manicure, I have done a ton of laundry, cooked dinner, taken a shower, gone grocery shopping… Ok, this is depressing. I’ll post again after the beach tomorrow and see how they do.  Also, never realized how awkward pictures of hands could be to take.

So, here’s what they look like Day One.

So far, so good

And here’s about a week later.  The tips are still fine, but the clear polish has started to chip off around the cuticles.  The gel coat puts an extra couple of millimeters of polish on your nails, so it makes them super strong but it took me a long time to get used to.

As a point of reference, I’m really hard on my nails. I do everything with them, which is why I generally do not wear polish in the first place, because it’s ruined the first day.  A little over a week after the manicure, I went to the beach then came come and dug around in the garden without gloves. That’s when I had the first casualty. Keep in mind, though, that it continued to look like this for the rest of the week, without further peeling away or chipping (and I’m OCD about peeling things.  If it were possible, I would have scraped it off).

A week after this, I went in the field doing sturgeon work and it all went to hell. I didn’t bother with pictures.  Basically I could get some off by peeling them, and others wouldn’t budge. I ended up weakening my nails by removing the top layer of nail… stuff. Whatever.  Oh and FYI Nail polish remover does not touch it.  So I ended up having to go back to the salon to have the few remaining nails taken off.  They soaked them in something (acetone?), then scraped off the flaked polish with a metal tool, which also removed the top layer of my nails.

So, end result: Not doing this for the wedding.  If I were having it here, or even honeymooning anywhere with nail salon near by, I would definitely consider it.  Also, Simon said he thought only 16 year olds got French manicures, which pretty much ruined it for me. I’ve tried to do a couple of manicures using light pinks at home, and both have been disasters (on Sunday I managed to squeeze the bottle out from between my knees and twirl nail polish all over my coffee table and area rug).  So, I’m thinking a clear coat will probably do it.

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