Be a “Shellacer”.

Be a “Shellacer” – How to get a Salon Manicure or Pedicure with professional nail colour that really lasts. Copyright © 1996-2011 By Sherry Miller  – Ask a PHD (Professional Hair Dresser)

Have you been “Shellaced”? If not, it’s time for some “Shellacing”…

Pardon the pun & pithy comments, all joking aside, there is some serious science here ladies!!

For the past year women all across the nation have been lining up for this revolutionary Hybrid Nail Colour. Shellac® is just the latest invention by a world- renowned company called Creative Nail Design or CND for short. Co-Owner, Global Educator, & Fashion Icon, Jan Arnold has pioneered her Company since 1979 to be a leader in many Salon & Spa Beauty enhancement and Nail Industry firsts. Jan has followed in her Father’s footsteps. She is the daughter of a brilliant Dentist and Organic Chemist named Dr. Stuart Nordstrom whose discoveries & patents launched the CND Company. In the 1970’s Dr. Nordstrom, a practicing dentist by day got the idea for a new nail enhancement product when one of his patients (a manicurist), remarked that the material used to prepare temporary caps smelled like the material used to sculpt porcelain nails. Dr. Nordstrom spent his nights as a chemist in his garage/lab until he was able to turn ideas into reality.

Some of Dr. Nordstrom’s work included the industry’s first ever monomer formulation for greater nail strength and flexibility – and the first ever to deliver natural, non-yellowing nail colour called SolarNail®. SolarNail® was foundational. Later on CND would continue with multiple innovations that would pave the way for not just beautiful hands & feet but lots of smiles as well!

CND is a solidly science based. The Company understands that chemistry remains a core competency paired in the hands of professionals who know how to use and apply their products. To the Salon Professional it promises to be grounded in performance and is known for it’s high quality. When most companies were outsourcing R&D this family owned business invested millions in their own custom-built lab. CND is one of only a handful of nail companies to maintain an in-house Research & Development lab that still creates individual formulation for each of the current 24 Shellac Shades building it to 36 by this years end (2011). According to Jan, the R & D to create Shellac ® took 5 years.

So what is Shellac ®, how does it work, & what does it do? You ask. Shellac ® is a hybrid nail colour that goes on like a polish, wears like a gel, and removes in minutes. Safely & effectively it allows salon clients to grow & maintain their own natural nails by providing flexible support without any damage to the nail beds. This UV cured nail polish has ZERO downtime. When professionally applied the results leave your nails chip free, smudge proof, flawless, stronger, & protected lasting 14 days on hands and 1 month on feet. A Shellac manicure looks very high maintenance but requires very little, and is as simple as booking your next salon appointment. Regular 2-week salon visits will ensure proper results. Take-home product Solar Oil ® is also recommended and should be applied nightly before bed to help keep cuticles hydrated.

Shellac is hypoallergenic & 3 FREE – containing no formaldehyde, toluene, or DBP. The formulation of solvents, monomers, oligomers, & polymers is what has made Shellac a trusted Salon Industry breakthrough and is no longer just a craze but has become a staple for the Salon Professionals when performing nail services.

Why did I choose Shellac ® for my Salon? Character counts and reputation is worth more than gold.

Shellac Group Shot

Shellac Colours Available at Sherry Miller's Salon, Spring 2011

It is important to me to simply provide the very best service experience possible for my clients with the longest lasting results. After doing my homework Shellac sounded to be the least evasive on the natural nail and provide a longer lasting color than traditional nail polish. Shellac may not be for everyone though (at least not without some professional in-salon tweaking). I would have liked CND or my local distributor’s to have provided more hands-on education in the Rochester, NY area since one cannot effectively YouTube the real experience of attending a professional classroom with other professionals. I have found that Salon professionals that do not work for the manufacturer or distributor often provide more education/tricks of the trade/techniques than the educator, especially if they have worked with several different products that can be compared. Some information available on the net was helpful but some was simply incorrect. It’s a sticky wicket on the net when trying to discern great marketing from the real life perspective. Perhaps it is time for Cosmetologist’s to take education into our own hands when it is not provided by the manufacturer. It’s time to change the face of education in our field and give it a well needed  makeover by holding our own professional educational seminars so we can get the correct information we need, network with others, and talk shop amongst ourselves without bias. 

Shellac does not do well on its own with people who have soft nails and are aggressive in their activities/work environments (like mine) but is really better for those who have naturally hard nails. In my salon, I found it is beneficial to apply an additional CND product prior to Shellac to make it the most effective for all nail types or to choose another product brand altogether that is more gel based than polish to tailor it more for those individuals . There is a difference between Colored Gel products and Hybrid Nail Polish. Gelish by Hand & Nail Harmony, OPI AXXIUM & other Colored gel brands are a mix of direct dye and gel.  A gel product is recommended for soft or weak nails over a Hybrid Polish because it is harder and will build another layer of endurance.  Currently, Gelish boast’s the most color choices available. Gelish like most colored gels requires pre-filing/buffing/scratching on the natural nail to remove the shine off first before applying it to adhere properly. Shellac does not require any removal of the nails surface to work because it is in a new category of nail colour completely new science, in a ‘league of it’s own. Shellac is the first ever true “Hybrid” UV nail colour. Hybrid in this case means a combination of gel technology; polish technology, & new technology developed especially for Shellac. The science behind this product is why it is a superior product

Oscar Wilde once said, “Everyone knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.” Now you know why as a seasoned Salon Owner I don’t mind paying a little more for something that is worth so much in the long run. I have invested the most in education and finding the right products to work with as an artist. The right combination is priceless.

 Shellac is designed for the Natural Nail Client who normally cannot keep polish on for a few days or who ends up “dinging” a fresh manicure/pedicure before it is dry. It is the answer for all clients that want gorgeous, shiny, just polished looking nails but do not have the time to maintain them. Shellac is for the weak, thin nails, as well as the hard, brittle ones because it adds a strong yet thin, flexible resilient coat for protection. Even those clients who have previously not been able to wear nail polish products because of lifting, allergic reactions, onycholysis, or time constraints will be able to successfully wear Shellac. This product is applied easily by a Salon Professional keeping the total manicure time to 30 minutes & can be done while hair color is processing. It is also easily removed at the salon in 10-15 minutes with no risk or damage to the client’s nails or skin.

So what are you waiting for? Get the best of both worlds – low maintenance & High fashion. Get “Shellacing”!! Then put on your UGG’s (it is still cold here in the Northeast as I write this article, but remember no down time smudge worries putting on those boots right after a pedi), Jimmy Choo Cruise 11’s, or Tory Burch flip-flops, & go shopping for a Spring Break VS bathing suit. It’s time to get your tan on now that you have Salon Manicured, beach ready, hands & feet with the first ever Hybrid Nail Colour that really lasts!!

*Sources: YouTube – CND Shellac Say Hello, Creative Nail Design, Jan Arnold,, Modern Salon Spring 2011 Beauty Biz Trend, Salon Geek, A&A Beauty, Cosmoprof, Paramount, Royal Beauty Supply, OPI, Hand & Nail Harmony.

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