Beauty, Geekiviews

geekiviews: CND Shellac Manicure Part 1


I decided to put aside my fears of gel manicures as a TIFF experiment. High View Communications and CND invited me to Shellac SpaManicure Day where guests would be treated to a Shellac manicure and meet CND president and founder, Jan Arnold. The event was just in time for TIFF and I liked the idea of CND reps doing my nails.

There are a couple of things that make me wary of these types of manicures.

  • I like to change my nail polish up a lot. I worry about being bored with the one colour.
  • The colour palettes aren’t as extensive as regular polish
  • I’m pretty good at doing my nails myself. I don’t get a lot of manicures during the year
  • I have a large amount of nail polish colours
  • Hmm, I need to return to the salon to remove this stuff.
  • UV lamps, pure acetone and protective masks
  • Nail recovery horror stories

The CND team setup their manicure pop-up in the Hazelton Hotel. I browsed the CND lookbooks while waiting for my nail tech. I was feeling adventurous when I accepted the invite and the runway looks from the fall winter 2011 – 2012 season fueled the fire. I would give the nail tech free rein over my nails. My only condition was to use the new Hotski to Tchotchke colour which is a bright teal colour. It was the first time I found a colour I loved from CND. I also learned about the 15 effect polishes that combine with the base coat to produce finishes like shimmer, pearl and sparkle.

Jen Mather of Polished Nail Design Group was my skilful nail tech. She commented on how I didn’t have any visible veins on my hands. Black don’t crack she quipped at me. I laughed my ass off. I was an open canvas to play for Jen to play with. She used Hotski to Tchotchke as the base and Purple Purple (I think) on the tips. Gold foil was part of the initial plan but soon turned into fine blue and green sparkles which she placed in a way to create a sparkly blue-green gradient effect on my nails. I loved it.


The Shellac process is way faster than I expected. My nails had the glossiest shine I’ve ever seen. I was smitten with them and I couldn’t stop starting at them for days afterwards. I can see the appeal now in my pre-removal euphoria. The real test is will happen in a week or so when I book my removal at twitter approved, Tips Nail Bar. I’m hoping for an easy transition back to regular polish.

I love my nails but I’m getting a little bored with them 6 days later. They are holding up very well. There is some wear at the tips but not chips. The glossy shine has dulled a bit too. One of the great things about CND is that you can use regular polish over your Shellac layers. Regular polish can be removed with a non acetone based nail remover without damaging the underlying Shellac layers. Chanel Peridot here I come.

Look for Part 2 of this review, when I get my manicure removed.

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Anita Clarke is an Engineering Storyteller and the founder of the fashion blog β€œI want – I got.” She was one of the first and most prominent online fashion writers in Toronto and Canada.