This is my best kept secret yet so be prepared. If you like polished nails as much as I do you are aware of how annoying chipped nails can be. A great manicure enhances your appearance but it also takes time and effort to re-apply nail polish, and destroys your nails by using polish-removers like acetone that are harsh chemicals for your skin and nails.

Have you ever heard of Shellac? Maybe? Yes? Well let me just tell you: IT IS AMAZING!! So amazing nail salons charge you about $ 40 – $ 50 when in fact you can do it yourself just like me. Shellac consists of  half nail polish, half gel, and once applied it dries within minutes, and lasts you about 2 weeks. It barely chips, and the colors stay bright and shiny. The only downside: it doesn’t dry like average nail polish and requires a UV Gel Light Dryer. For that reason everybody else gets “shellacked” at the nail salon BUT me.
Here’s how I decided to be my own manicurist:

First I watched this instructional video.

Then I purchased the following items:

  1. An UV lamp from (between $ 50 and $ 100)
  2. The basics: 1 bottom coat polish, a few color polishes, 1 top coat polish
  3. A pair of fingertip-less gloves for UV protection (from $ 5 and up)
  4. Rubbing alcohol, cotton pads, nail files
  5. Visual entertainment while you’re waiting for nails to dry 🙂

Lastly, I had fun applying my Shellac while watching my current favorite TV show GOSSIP GIRL (be patient, application takes about 40 mins for both hands)

Voilà! Your nails are looking perfect, and you just saved yourself some serious $$$. To take off your polish you can either dip them into pure acetone for 10 mins as done in salons (not my favorite technique) or just peel the gel off your nails like me. I have been doing Shellac nails for over 1 year now, and love the freedom of looking “polished” without having to worry about my nail polish.


Petra O.



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