I love the confidence that comes with knowing I can thrust my hand into my handbag without breaking a nail, and that my nails are going to look good from morning till night. I can never go back now, and just love the look and feel of my 'gelled' nails.
I've always had long, strong nails until the past six months or so where they've started to peel and split like Mum's. One day a few months ago, my friend and I were driving home after a ridiculously long shoot and we were both pretty miserable and she suggested we get a bit of Shellac to cheer us up. I've never really spent much time in nail salons but, that day, we got some much needed pampering and walked out of there new women with shiny, Shellac'd nails.
A few weeks later, I booked in again because the Shellac had run its course. I was going to just get a normal manicure but then I remembered how happy the thick, shiny look of the Shellac and went for a bright coral after a couple of weeks of black.
I love the strong, thick nails and the shiny polish resulting from Shellac and always envy Mum's gel nails, but it's something I will probably save only for special occaisions because of a number of things:
- I really like to change my nail polish colour when I want to. Some times I will leave a colour on for only a few days and get so excited by a new hue that I want to immediately remove the existing colour. This is most difficult when you have Shellac or Gel nails (self removal can prove difficult, plus who do you think inherited Mum's massive collection when she switched to permanent gel nails!?).
- You could buy at least one nail polish (maybe more depending on your price point) for the price of two weeks of Shellac. So many pretty colours!!
- I have very pale, freckly skin and a history of skin cancer on both sides of my family, a major reason why I stay out of the sun and avoid any kind of UV. Despite the very short amount of time with my hands under the UV lamps (three minutes for each coat, so probably about 10 minutes in total), 10 minutes every two weeks for years adds up and it is still UV that I would rather I didn't have anywhere near me (there have been reports of women developing skin cancer from the dryers and although I tend to take those reports with a grain of salt, for me, it's not worth the risk!)
- My nails were strong and pretty amazing with the Shellac, but it didn't help the strength of my nails overall. I'd rather work to strengthen my nails than cover them up.
- I can't speak for the Gel range – Mum seems to have a really good variety of colours to choose from – but the colour range currently available for Shellac is very limited and this can put a dampner on your mani experience.
- Over an hour in the salon every two weeks can put a bit of a dint into the already too-short weekend!
I hope I haven't brought down the fun of getting a Gel or Shellac mani! Mum loves her gel nails and the multi billion dollar industry can't lie. I had a great time being pampered at the salon – everyone needs a bit of that sometimes – but with my budget and the other factors I considered, I think this will only be a special treat for me when the occasion really calls for it.
We'd love to hear your thoughts! Do you go to the salon for some TLC time or is it a regular thing? Are you a Shellac girl or into acryllic?