From Our Editors
Shellac Polish: An Indestructible Allure
Select salons offer Shellac polish, which can last—chip-free—for weeks. Read on for our look at this resilient manicure style.
After five years of testing and development, CND unveiled its secret weapon. It was virtually impenetrable—a veritable suit of armor. And it was just waiting to fall into the right hands. Dubbed Shellac, CND's new nail polish could last 14 days—336 hours—without a chip or smudge. The formula itself was a hybrid of regular and gel nail polish, combining the thick, durable layers of gel with the easy, brush-on application of ordinary lacquer. Between each of four coats, a special, low-watt UV lamp cured the Shellac, hardening it and leaving it dry within seconds. After a single appointment, customers could leave the salon with a gleaming manicure that could last for weeks.
Available in more than 45 shades, Shellac polish is no longer new technology, but only trained technicians in a certified salon are eligible to apply it. The UV curing process—safe for the skin—is so effective that Shellac polish must be removed at the salon using strong acetone, most often by slipping a special soaking pad over each finger for a few minutes. Although the polish may not last on dry or flaky nails, healthy fingers generally retain their shine, only losing their color as the roots of new nails start to grow in from the cuticle.