Makeup Review Monday: CND Shellac and Harmony Gelish

I have been bursting at the seams to tell you all about what I am reviewing today!

I have an absolutely terrible habit of biting my nails. For as long as I can remember I have bit them, and for just as long I have been trying to stop. I have tried lots of different things to stop, and the one thing that I have discovered really helps is keeping my nails neatly manicured. The only problem, is that when the polish starts to chip, I continue to peel it off then bite my nails. I find that polish only looks good for a day, and by the second day I am chipping and biting. This means that I am polishing my nails three to four times a week. While it is fun, the fumes are getting to me.

Over the last six or seven months I have been reading about a lot of different products from Calgel Nails to CND's Shellac, all promising long wear color for two or more weeks. I was initially drawn toward Calgel, but came up short because I had a hard time finding a salon that offers it in Atlanta. The more I read about Shellac, Harmony Gelish, and OPI's Axxium, I was sure this was the way to go.

So on Friday February 19th, my friend, Stephanie, invited me to go and get our nails done that had these products. So I went, hopes high, excitement seeping out of me at the thought of long wear, no chip nail polish.

When I got there I found out they only had Harmony Gelish, which was fine, I wanted to try any of the three. I went with Gossip Girl which is a bright pink with a tiny bit of shimmer only visible in the bright sunlight. One thing I can say about the Gelish over the Shellac is that they have a much wider range of finishes. I went with a basic color knowing I would be wearing it a while, but there was a metallic gray and a gold glitter that caught my eye. Below are some day by day photos of the Gelish manicure. To be honest, they lasted well, not great, but I do partially blame that on my pre-damaged nails. I did not go in with perfect tips for a manicure and I did not expect them to be sheer perfection for the first round, so overall I am pleased with the wear. I had a few chips, but when they chipped a little, it stopped. Unlike with most nail polish, one chip means the manicure is shot. You can see significant chipping on my middle finger by day 4 in the photos below.

However; Friday, Feburary 26th tragedy struck, I was on a conference call and picked most of the polish off. When I start, I can't stop. I DO NOT recommend doing this because the top layer of your nail will come off. So if it comes time for you to remove it, please do this like a normal person and use some acetone remover.

So, after I chipped all of the polish off in my wrath, I started freaking out. It had been a week since I had gotten my nails done, that was a week of growth that I rarely ever see. So I quickly made an appointment for Saturday at a salon that was close to me in Atlanta that had the CND Shellac. I selected Tropix for the color of this manicure which is a neon coral. My camera did not quite capture the summery joy of this color, but believe me when I say it is bright!

The application process is generally the same for both Gelish and Shellac. Both are UV set and dry instantly, which may be my second favorite feature of these polishes. The drawback to the Shellac, is that it seems most of the colors are cremes, which I love them so this is not an issue for me, but if you are a lover of sheers or glitters, this may not be the best for you. That being said, since you'll be wearing it for about two weeks, glitters are not always appropriate.

My technician at this salon did a FANTASTIC job! The main reason for my praise is that she did not flood my cuticles. I feel like this is extremely rare to find a tech that understands this concept. The manicure itself is better than the first with the Gelish. Now, I have not gotten to wear this for more than 24 hours yet, but I will do an updated post in about two weeks telling you if this one lasts longer for me.

Here are the overall Good things:
  • Lasts for a long time
  • Instant drying
  • If chips occur, they are minimal
  • Nice colors
  • Looks like regular polish - It is not thick like an acrylic nail
  • Pretty affordable - I have seen the manicures range from $18-$30 in Atlanta
Here are the overall Bad things:
  • Growth is apparent after about five days
  • Does not remove as easily as normal polish, but still not a huge deal
  • If you are one to get bored with colors easily, this might not be good for you
  • Range of colors and finishes are still small in comparison to regular polishes, but growing

If you are a chronic nail biter/destroyer or just hate having a manicure ruined after two days, I highly recommend trying this out. Have any of you had the opportunity to try any of these products? What were your results?