Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nails for the DIYer

Hey hey! How are ya? I’ve FINALLY been pulling out the Christmas decor around here. Being away for Thanksgiving made me feel totally behind – especially since (like every year) I have delusions that I’ll be able to get it ALL out before December 1st.

Ummm…like every year, it’s just not happening. ;)

But I’m taking my time and thoroughly enjoying it. I’ve pulled out a few things here and there, and one of my favorites is ready to go -- the cutie Santa hats are baaaack!:

santa hat craft

With Rudolph on the TV in the background – could it be more perfect? :)

You can see how I made them here. It’s been two years and they’ve held up GREAT! The Bub was so excited to see them too – it’s like Christmas officially starts when they come out.

I also finished up the Christmas decor on the new mantel tonight and I am in luuuuurve. Can’t wait to show you it when our holiday parties start next week!:

holiday home blog parties

Thanks so much for the sweet comments on the new fireplace set up by the way. It tickles me pink that some of you felt my pain all these years and are just as excited as I am with the change. ;)

So tonight I’m sharing a little something different – you know I like to share when I find a product that I love, and I just had to do a post about this one. This will probably be the one and only fashion-related post ever at TDC, but I couldn’t resist it!

I’ve mentioned before that I never get my nails done – mostly because it’s just not worth the money for me. I get them painted (I never do the “fill” – is that what it’s called? Just painted.) and then within days (sometimes less than 24 hours), they are destroyed.

Manicures are not the DIYer’s best friend. :)

Until now. Whoo HOO!!

I read about shellac nails at Emily’s site – I think it was a few months ago. I thought they sounded awesome but since I never have mine done, I didn’t try it out till a few weeks ago.

Let. me. tell. you. This stuff is incredible!!

I got my nails done with it and then loved it so much, I did it again before our vacation last week – nine days ago. (Usually I have them done two times in a year – so that tells you how happy I am with this!)

They still look like this:

shellac nails

(I’ve decided my hands just don’t photograph pretty, no matter what.)

I’m not kidding you – this stuff is impossible to mess up. CRAZY awesome. 

I’ve sawed, cleaned, bathed (duh), painted, drilled, scrubbed, scraped…ev.er.y.thing.

They still look brand new.

The only thing that has slightly done anything to them is a few wires sticking out of the garland – they got minor scratches. You honestly can’t even tell though.

As far as I can tell, the only reason to have them redone is because they grow out:

Isn’t that AWESOME?? They price isn’t bad either – just a few bucks more than a standard manicure. (At least at the salon I go to.)

I’m going to wait another week and then have it taken off for a while (they have to soak your nails and then scrape it off, so you I think you have to go into the salon to have it removed).

I’ve heard that the shellac can damage your nails, but with it on, my nails are SUPER strong, especially for the winter. Usually I have issues with them breaking easily in the cold months.

Of course I say that and tonight look what happened:

GAH!! You gotta be kidding me! Funny though – the polish is still perfect. ;) It’s not flaking off at all.

So there you go – if you love pretty nails but love power tools even more (like me) – you finally have a solution! I get to feel like a girl every once in a while now and I’m pretty stoked about that. And they are WAY more economical – at least I figure, considering the polish lasts so much longer.

Have you tried the shellac? Love it, hate it? Did it damage your nails? I’d love to hear!

55 comments:

  1. I've been decorating for Christmas too. Your nails look amazing! I have to try that. I love getting manicures but they start chipping after a few days.

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  2. Oh my gosh I LOVE this stuff. It seriously lasts forever. I do a lot of DIY stuff... plus my part time job involves a lot of all-weather outdoor lifting & scraping as well, and they stay until I have them taken off. They'd stay MONTHS if I let them I promise (I did once, turns out it takes like 6 months for my nails to grow out all the way) You DO need to go to the salon to get it taken off though if you don't want to wait 6 months for them to grow. It's trying to pick it off yourself that damages the real nails. :) Now I want to go get mine done again!

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  3. I LOVE the shellac. I had the same problem, get a manicure done and within 24 hours it was $35 down the toilet. Well I get my nails done every three weeks now with the shellac and it is only because they grow out.I have had to budget in the money because now I can't go without.

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  4. I love Shellac Manis...but be careful! I had mine done three times in a row and as much as I loved it, it did damage my nails. It's taken about 3 months for them to grow back out again without any ridges. But I would say go for it every few months as it is nice to have a mani last longer than a few days!

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  5. My sister had shellac nails and loved them.
    She learned a trick from a friend to get the paint off without going to the salon.
    - You soak a cotton ball in nail polisher remover. Place it on your nail and then wrap your finger in aluminum foil (so the cotton is on your nail polish). Do it to all your nails and wait about 10 minutes, possibly a little more. Take the aluminum foil off and just use nail polish remover and the polish should come off pretty easily.
    It all sounds pretty weird but she did it and it worked!

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  6. Yep, I love my Gelish nails! Haven't found any damage to my nails after a year.
    I've grouted and painted and sawed and glued, all with no problem to my manicure.

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  7. I love the santa cones! I remember first seeing them last year and I can't wait to make my own.

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  8. I love the santa cones! I remember first seeing them last year and I can't wait to make my own.

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  9. As a hairdresser it's really hard to keep polish on my nails. That was until I discovered 'Seche Vite top coat'. I actually own the Shellac system and have used the Shellac several times. But with my hands always in and out of water, it didn't last AND it did cause some damage to my nail bed (mostly from having to "roughen" up the nail bed for the Shellac to adhere properly). I started following some nail blogs, and a lot of them used the Seche Vite. I tried it and I'll never go back! In the busy salon, working 10-12 hr days, my hands are in constant motion, my nails last at least 3-4 days. Which I think is AWESOME for me. And yes, there was a lot of housework in those days, too!! Four kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats and a husband create lots of work for me! =]

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  10. I have the stuff to do my own shellac at home and all I do is acetone on cotton ball then wrap with aluminum foil and leave it on for about 10 minutes and then wipe it off sometimes it takes a little more and a little scraping but I just do it while watching tv. I don't roughen my nails up before hand just a light buff and they are fine. I change it about every 2-3 weeks because I like a change :) last much better than the 2 days with regular polish! Love it!

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  11. I'm on day 13 of my first shellac manicure. It's awesome. Like you, I never get my nails done because it's money down the toilet. I plan to go back next week for another round to help carry me through the holidays. I too broke one nail, but that was a week ago, and the polish never once chipped from the break. I wish my nails didn't grow so fast because I think it would last forever. :)

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  12. I was JUST writing a post about the miracle that is shellac! It's my first time as well, so time will tell how it will hold up, but I've been super impressed with it so far! The toughest part for me was picking a polish color I knew I could live with for a few weeks :)

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  13. I have done this and loved them. The girl that did mine told me how to take it off at home. All you need to do is buy pure acetone, soak them for a few minutes and it peels right off. Very simple...nothing like removing acrylics. I promise it is easy and just the cost of acetone and about 10 minutes...or 30 if you get caught up watching a tv show...like I did. :)

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  14. I made the mistake of taking it off myself. Let me just say that is not a diy project ;) I really messed up my nails and they are just now (after over a month) looking better! Definitely go to the salon to have the polish removed.

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  15. I swear by shellac. Mine lasts for almost 4 weeks sometimes! I get it done routinely just because like you said, you can do anything and it's just fine (: Spray paint comes off your nails with goo-gone by the way! (:
    xo
    Michaela

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  16. I am a licensed nail tech that uses Shellac. First of all, if they are roughing up your nail, that is improper application. All they need to use is a product made by CND called "Scrub Fresh" before starting the application process. I have never roughed up a nail to apply Shellac. I wear it myself, and the only reason I have buffed on my nail before application is to clean up from grown out cuticle. It should NEVER damage your nail. The only damage you will is if you peel the product off your natural nail, which is pretty obvious, or flat out break the entire nail. There are other companies out there that make a hybrid nail polish. I saw someone mention Gelish and OPI is also launching their line. I see more out all the time. Also, the removal is very simple and only 15 minutes max (apply the wraps and allow acetone to strip the polish). I don't recommend "soaking", but using the Shellac wraps and only leaving on the allotted 10 minutes. You don't want to dry out your nail plate any more than necessary, right?!?! For the "thrifty" DIYer, I think the cotton balls soaked in acetone wrapped with foil is sufficient. Something about the containment of the liquid and wrap allow it to come off quickly with no mess. Then all you do is push it off with a wooden cuticle stick. That is the other key to not damaging the natural nail. I suggest if you are getting damage to your nails, try a different salon that offers this service.

    It's funny that this isn't new, but so many people aren't aware of it. I LOVE seeing everyone so excited about it! It is a GREAT product!!!

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  17. I got my first Gelish manicure last week and am instantly obsessed! No chips, even after all the thanksgiving dishes and handwashing china! Normally a manicure for me would last two days if I was lucky. Now I don't know what to do because it's going to be a costly addiction ;)

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  18. You can be the Gelish manicure set at Sally's Beauty Supply and do it yourself. You do need to buy the nail color separately and light to cure the polish though. I had my nails professionally done 2 times and they used the same product. The kit even comes with a DVD explaining how to use it. I have done my nails 3 times now with this kit and I LOVE it!! The cost of the kit is about the same as having your nails done in a salon and can be used multiple times. Just google Gelish and you can find all the info about it.

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  19. OMG! I want to try this out so badly! I rarely get my nails done at a salon because the polish never lasts. This is something I'd like to try at home because my nails grow so fast, I don't have the time to sit in a salon every so often... I always have "projects" to do around the house and of course a toddler to tend to!
    I am going to check out the Sally Beaty store and see what they have! I also like the idea of using that top coat someone above mentioned. I have so many polishes at home that I love and would love to see them last longer! Soo excited! Lol

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  20. Hey TDC,
    I have been getting shellac for almost 2 years and you are spot on, they soooo rawk!!! You can take them off yourself, I like to to do it at home, so I can spend less time at the nail shop. You can purchase onyx pure acetone polish/gel nail remover. It's one of those all in one jars you just stick your fingers in. I do it in front of the TV since I have to be doing at least 2 things at once at all times. I also wear gloves if my hands are going to be in water or use cleaners....seems to keep them from lifting. Enjoy!

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  21. Ok, everyone else is talking about nails, but I really want to comment on how cute, cute, cute your Santa hats are! To quote you, luuurve!! And I think it's so sweet that your son gets all excited over them! My girls are 17 and 20, and they just don't get excited much anymore... ;^( Miss those days!

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  22. Sarah, Just to let you know, you can take the Shellac off yourself. Just buy 100% pure acetone and soak them for about five minutes and the polish will start to peel off. I've done it everytime on my own when Ive had shellac on. That way you don't have to pay to have it taken off by the salon. Just soak for five minutes, scrape off residue and then wash your hands with soap and water. Repeat if all does not come off. You can get acetone (100%) at Walgreens or Walmart for like 2 bucks. Enjoy they look great!

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  23. I had my first gel mani done a few weeks ago for my sister's wedding. I wanted French nails but hated how I always ended up with at least one chip before I even got home! The gel manicure was awesome! I finally had to remove them this week and I just peeled them off ( gasp!). I know you aren't supposed to do it that way, but it was easy and didn't cause any damage.

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  24. Good to know! I might need to do that over the holidays so I can still work on my projects and not show up to all the holidays with wrecked nails like I normally do.

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  25. I had shellac on my nails twice in a row and only didn't do it again because money was getting tight.
    My wonderful stylist told me that I needed to put cuticle oil on daily so that my nails wouldn't dry out. Well, I didn't. Then I had a nail break (like yours) and I cut it off with clippers, filed it, but the shellac was slightly separated so I picked, picked, picked at it until the polish came off. Then I picked at other nails. So, when I finally got the rest off, my nails were dry and brittle.
    I accept full responsibility for not taking proper care, but I have to say the shellac looked great for about 3 weeks each time, then my nails just grew out too much.
    Next time I will do a better job of taking care of them! I loved the shellac and it is a much better value than a regular salon manicure with polish that lasts only a day or two.

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  26. First of all, LOVE LOVE LOVE the new fireplace wall! Best project of yours - hands down!! Now, the shellac nails - LOVE them too! I had one of those manicures at the end of summer and couldn't get over how awesome it was and held up like nobody's business! I didn't go back to the salon to have it removed though. If you wait long enough, like almost 8 weeks for me, the edges will start to pull away and you can peel it off. The nail lady said it could damage your nails if it isn't removed professionally, but mine were totally fine. Plus, there was an extra charge to have it removed, at the salon I went to anyway. Plan on doing it again soon so they look dazzling for the holiday season!

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  27. I too have tried this and was very happy with the results...but, be warned. Dermatologists are seeing quite a jump in skin cancer on top of hands due to the light to dry them. I've not researched on the true numbers of cases but I'm not doing the shallac nails anylonger. Another something that could be bad for us. Dang.

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  28. I love Shellac manis - I've been having shellac manis for over a year now and I haven't seen any damage done to my nails at all. That may be because I go on a regular basis - every two or three weeks. A couple of times I couldn't get to the salon and had to take it off myself, and that was a real pain, so now I try to schedule my appointments well in advance. Pedicures are another story - maybe because I left them on too long (a couple of months because my toenails don't grow as quickly and the polish still looked great) but then my toenails were damaged. This happened after about 10 months of Shellac pedis every 2 months. So I have taken a break and will probably go back to regular pedis. Still getting my Shellac manis! Tried Gelish which was good too, but I prefer Shellac - it felt stronger to me. I have kind of wondered about the health issues - my nail technician says there's no issue, but I've read you shouldn't do it when you're pregnant. And now reading Debbie R's comment above makes me a bit concerned about the lights. Going to check this out with my dermatologist before I go back!

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  29. Aww yay! I'm glad you got them done and love it too! I think it's way cool and I haven't had any damage to my nails at all. I know everyone here said you can remove them at home and you can, but I'd rather just have the salon do it for me. I'm too impatient and sometimes they really have to "scrape" the nail to get the last bit off. Something I don't want to do. :)

    Thanks for the linky love too!

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  30. I LOVE my shellac manicures. I get them done every 2 weeks. They don't use acetone in the spa I go to. She simply puts regular fingernail polish on a cotton ball, puts it on my nail, and wraps a lil piece of foil around it. Waits a few minutes, and it scrapes right off.

    I disagree....I do not think that the shellac manicures damage your nails. They don't rough up your nail bed as they do when you get acrylics put on.

    Mine hold up very well...with all the yard work and furniture painting/staining I do, and I work in a Bar on the weekends and my hands are in water.

    My friend bought everything to do her own.

    LOVE the stuff!! =)

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  31. I am going to have to try this! My problem with manicures is I work as a dental hygienist and the latex or nitrile gloves will take the polish off the tips of the nails within a day. More like within an hour or two. if this will stay on, I will be thrilled, especially with wiinter since it is so tough on my nails. Now, I know what I am treating myself to for Christmas.l maybe, my daughter will get one, too.

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  32. As a MAJOR DIYer, I've always felt torn regarding my nails. Luckily, I grow good nails... but even keeping clear on them is a pain. Your post on shellac gave me HOPE! Found the system online (on Amazon) so now this DIYer can DIY the shellac... Thanks!

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  33. I love Shellac as well! I am a pretty classic nails gal, so I usually get the French Mani, and it is gorgeous, and holds up so well! The last time I did it was when I 'knew' the boy was gonna propose, so I wanted my nails looking extra fresh to show off my new ring : ) It was worth it! I love your Santa hats btw!

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  34. I loooove it, but as someone who has skin cancer, I'm concerned it is uv rays focused on your hands....a lot..... I have read of akin cancer under the nail......
    That being said, I am gonna have it done for Christmas at least....

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  35. I love, love, love the Santa hats! Definitely going to have to try my hand at that! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

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  36. Want to caution all of you thinking about buying a system to thoroughly do your research. There are the right and wrong products to use with the system, and there are right and wrong ways for application. It could make your DIY experience very costly, frustrating and unsuccessful. I also highly suggest following the manufacturer instructions for application. It won't be successful unless you follow them exactly starting from the nail prep process. Also, keep in mind, these polishes are more expensive, it requires extra products for prep and finalizing that most of you possibly do not already have on hand, and you must use the UV light with the proper wattage to make this work properly. Lamps are not cheap! You do not want to use cuticle oil daily because it will cause the product to lift from the nail plate creating a harboring ground for bacteria/fungus. This too can happen if proper application technique is not used. Dark colors make it difficult to see this happening. It is best to take it off and reapply every 2 weeks no matter how long it will wear. Just to be safe! :)

    I already posted one comment, so please go back and read it too. Shellac is a GREAT product and I don't want anyone to be disappointed by not having proper knowledge. Good luck DIYers or please go see your local nail tech!!! Thank you for posting TDC, and contact me if you have specific questions. I'll be glad to answer them.

    ~Mandie
    Licensed nail tech and Shellac user

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  37. This is so funny because I noticed your manicure in the fireplace post and i thought, "wow.. Sarah is looking like a trophy wife with the dark polish." ;0) My friends love the shellac, it's a little pricey here in Denver. My friends said, "just don't start picking at them." Thanks for the nails.. I thought you were posting on some sort of new {metal} nail.
    laura@imnotatrophywife.com

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  38. I adore your santa hats! I just blogged about holiday DIY. Now I must try to pull off some santa hats!

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  39. I just went & got my nails refilled Sunday! I've gotten the Shellac before & I really like it too.

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  40. I tried the shellac nails over the summer and they are awesome. I get tired of the color before they start to look bad. Wait til you get a pedicure with them, it lasts all summer long.

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  41. I loved the way my shellac manicure looked and how strong my nails felt. Alas, I think my lady didn't do something right because four days into our Hawaiian vacation a few of the nails started to peel, taking the top layer of my nails with it. By the end of our trip my nails were destroyed. It was so bad that my fingers actually hurt. Now I have terrible ridges on three of my nails that I'm being told are permanent. Such a shame because I really, really, really loved how the shellac looked.

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  42. I've never heard of Shellac but for my wedding in April I did a Gel Nail and it sounds similar. My real nails but extra stong staying power! I decorated for my wedding, had the wedding, went on a honeymoon to Mexico and my nails were still FANTASTIC!! I bought the Acetone nail polish remover (the one you would buy if you had fake nails)and soaked them that way to remove the stuff but mine lasted weeks. A-MA-ZING! And my nails were a little brittle but nothing a clear coat can't help with! Good luck on the removal!

    Melissa

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  43. I luv your Christmas Santa Cones...the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! p.s. luv the nails too.

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  44. You guys! I just skimmed through the comments (until my eyes began to blur and my speech began to slur... Sarah, you have way too many readers, I can't keep up with this chatter! j/k) and I didn't see anyone mention The Pioneer Woman's analysis of shellac from a ways back. http://thepioneerwoman.com/homeandgarden/2011/03/shellac-manicure-update-the-removal/
    You know, Rhee, she took some great pics of how to get them off at home. Since she done live way out der in da hicks an' she don' git ta town too much.

    Word.

    Loves ya

    angie

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  45. I love your santa cones! Thanks for the idea, I'll be makin' some! I did the candy corn ones with yarn for Halloween this year. So inexpensive, so many complements!

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  46. Celestial Moon might have a solution for me--Seche Vite. I had solar nails for years and LOVED, LOVED, LOVED them. When I found a company that offers all safe, non-toxic products (from sulftate-free shampoos to dishwasher detergent with no chlorine bleach, etc. and laundry and cleaning products) that work and are cost effective, I converted my home. Well, I walked in to my salon to get a balance on my nails and what came out of my mouth was "I want them off"!!! I just didn't want the chemicals any more. So she suggested the shellac, but when she told me I'd have to soak my fingers in nail polish remover every time I went in for a a re-do, I said no thanks to that too. Do I miss perfect nails? Absolutely! Do I hate how nail polish chips? Oh, yeah...but I'm still happy to not have the chemicals being absorbed into my body. Are there others concerned with that? BTW...I love your Christmas transformations, and your nails DO look great! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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  47. I didn't read all the comments so I don't know if anyone suggested it but you might try Red Carpet Manicure. It's a diy gel manicure kit. Buy the polishes & the LED lamp & do it at home!

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  48. As a Master Nail tech Shellac will NOT damage your nails.. You know I'm just down the street form you @ The Nail Room in Fishers IN. Be careful on where you get them done.. If they are done the RIGHT way You will never have anything go wrong..... they are very safe and I LOVE it and so do all of my clients.... SHELLAC ROCKS..

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  49. Hey it's Pattie at The Nail Room again.. You know I thought about it for a min. and sense it's Christmas time I'm feeling generous. So I am going to offer Shellac Manicures to everyone that reads or comments on this that lives close by 1/2 off . You can look me up via my Blog or The Nail Room in Fishers IN..

    MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE....

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  50. Ok, I have been doing Shellac too, because of the same reason - my manicure always chipped the next day.

    You CAN take them off at home and its really easy. All you do is soak them in pure acetone (although nail polish would probably work, too). After a few minutes of soaking, they come off like wax. No damage.

    The only way they will damage is if you try to break them off and don't soak them first.

    I use a wooden scaper type thing that my nail tech gave me to scrape it off when its waxy. Just like you would scrape wax off your countertop or something.

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  51. My Mom, Sisters and I get OPI's "No Chip" polish and it's AMAZING! I usually get a french and it lasts at least 3 weeks or more (before obvious grow out) and it's like $40 per mani...a bit hefty but SO WORTH IT! I am laughing as I see your Christmas pics...we have many of the same decor "items"...like the giant bell (which I am painting white this weekend...too much brown!) I agree with your decorating theory, I'm done taking everything down and replacing it all with new holiday decor...over it! Now I try and add to decor that is already there...a touch of sparkle or some lights makes everything seem festive without having to redecorate your whole house!

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  52. Love the Shellac Nails. The first time I got them, had them done professionally. When I discovered Sally's had everything for me to do them myself, I immediately loaded up on everything and figured it would eventually pay for itself.

    Now if I could just figure out how to do my eyebrows without them ending up into some weird shape, I would be all set in the do it yourself beauty department.

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  53. I just got my nails Shellac(ed) for a fancy event. I NEVER get my nails manicured. It looked GREAT for 2 weeks. then, my nails really started growing out and lifting at the base. Well...long story short, I picked it all off. It was driving me crazy. It was fun for a couple weeks (especially since my nails are NEVER painted).

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  54. My Shellac started chipping the second day I had them, and definitely damaged my nails afterward!
    But I'd still do it again, because they lasted well for the most part and looked better than when I polish them.

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  55. Where I am from, Dahlonega, Ga about 1 hr north of Atlanta, they call it Gel Polish! I love it and have had it on my nails for about 3 months in a row. I go back between 2-3 weeks and change up colors. I don't feel like it damages my nails unless I peel the polsih off the day before I go get them done. I would definitely suggest that you let them soak off as to not damage your nails. And you are right about the price!!! For just a few dollars more, you have PERFECT nails for 2-3 weeks!!!

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I LOVE your comments, thank you! (I read every single one.)

If you have a specific question I will do my best to answer you back here! Be sure to check out the FAQs tab at the top of the site and my Projects page for paint colors and DIY projects as well.

THANKS so much for reading!