CND’s Shellac Manicure Promises Flawless Nails

If you're the type to smudge or smear your manicure immediately after leaving the salon, CND's instant-dry, extremely durable Shellac is for you

Credit: Jen Mah

Applying the first coat of CND’s shade, “Not Tonight”

According to Creative Nail Design (CND), with the Shellac manicure, you no longer need to worry about chipping, smudging or scratching

A new gel-based nail polish has the manicure industry buzzing: CND Shellac is boasting a wear time of 2-3 weeks, with zero dry time and a mirror finish.

The company says it took five years to perfect the Shellac product, which is derived from a resin found in the female lac bug, and that it functions as a natural primer, sander and varnish.

Shellac looks and feels like regular nail polish, but uses a UV light in between each coat to seal in the colour. First, a base coat is applied, followed by two colour coats and a final top coat. All in all, the entire process is a half-hour affair.

Though Shellac nails are more expensive than your regular manicure – it can cost anywhere between $30 and $40 dollars – they follow through with their promise of durability and shine, and have prompted the scrambling of a few companies to produce similar products.

While CND’s Shellac colour range is still expanding, it already includes bold turquoises and hot pinks, along with your basic beiges, reds and classic whites.

Every CND-produced colour is also hypoallergenic and falls within the “3-Free” category, meaning they contain no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP.


Possible Shellac Drawbacks

Before dishing out twice what you’d usually pay for a manicure, there are a couple of Shellac drawbacks to consider:

  • A UV lamp is required for the Shellac to set properly and the CND only sells the product and lamps to licensed professionals, so touchups aren’t something that can be done from the comfort of your own home
  • Shellac does not damage your nails, but it does require a special removal process. The good thing is that it’s relatively quick at only 10 minutes, and is done using the Shellac Remover Wraps, which don’t involve soaking or filling


So is Shellac innovative? Yes. For everyone? Probably not. If you’re a true DIY-er, you may want to steer clear, but if you value a long-lasting, high-shine manicure and don’t mind a trip to your nearest salon, Shellac might be the manicure magic you’ve been waiting for.