Gel Nail Polish: Long Lasting Shellac Manicure for Natural Nails – Photos & Details Day 1

Thursday, January 20th, 2011 | Nail Polish, Photos, Product Testing, Swatches

Meilily: CND Gel Manicure 1

Meilily Product Pick, Photos & Swatches: Long-lasting CND Shellac Gel Nail Polish Manicure!

If you’re like me and can’t help but mess up a manicure before even leaving the salon chair – painted nails a scraggly mess by day two – then you’re in luck! There is a revolutionary new nail polish, gel nail polish, that is rapidly rising in popularity. It is a cross between a regular polish and gel nails set with UV light.  This gel polish is painted onto natural nails just like regular polish, but cured under UV light layer by layer.

I recently tested out this new gel manicure and came away with my fingernails transformed into glossy, shiny gems of polished goodness, an effect that lasted two whole weeks!

The salon I went to used CND Shellac polish and also Harmony Gelish products. The shade I tried on and photographed is CND Shellac in Strawberry Smoothie. Love it!

Meilily: Gel Manicure Closeup

See how glossy and shiny each nail is?! Nails will easily stay this glossy over time – Amazing!  You can also see subtle layers of shimmer sitting atop each nail, and shades can be combined.

(Note: The shade shown is actually not Romantique, the lighter pink CND shade. The Strawberry Smoothie bottle just makes you think it will be much darker pink than this.)

Meilily: Gel Manicure Glossy

The Gel Nail Polish Process:  [may vary by salon]

Prep, file and clean nails as usual…

1. Cleanse and wipe nailsHarmony blue-colored cleansing spray

2. Paint on layer of clear pH prepHarmony pH prep gel

3. Layer of base coat + Curing under UVCND clear base coat for UV gel nails

4. Layer of gel nail polish + Curing under UVCND Shellac gel polish

5. Repeat above for a second coat of cured color 

6. Layer of clear gel top coat + Curing under UV

Each layer is typically cured one hand at a time so that one hand gets painted while the other cures.  The timing works out well, but they usually say to give it about 50 minutes total.

The brilliant part is, once the last layer cures, you’re all set to go and use your nails!  No more waiting for delicate nails to dry or harden!  Plus, a gel manicure lasts for about two weeks, or until you can’t stand to see your nails growing out.


Gel polish manicures vary in price by the salon, but I found a salon in San Francisco that charges $28 while another salon in the same city charges $37!  So, shop around!

Check out CND Shellac shade info here or find a Shellac salon here.

Day 1 and counting…

Stay tuned to see how this new gel polish holds up over time and see how I remove it!
Next, check out these photos from Day 5!

Meilily Product Photos & Nail Swatches: Shellac Gel Nail Polish!

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5 Comments to Gel Nail Polish: Long Lasting Shellac Manicure for Natural Nails – Photos & Details Day 1

MarciaF (beauty info zone)
January 20, 2011

One of my friends swears by this. She’s been doing it for 3 months and loves Shellac. Where I get my nails done they charge $40 though so I’m not sure if I’m going to try it or not. Your nails look terrific.

January 27, 2011

Hi Marcia!!! Thanks so much for the comment. My nails normally don’t look so good – I will definitely never get a regular manicure again! Love the gel mani a million times more! You should try and let me know what you think

[…] find photos and swatches from Day 1 of my Shellac manicure here, with details on the gel manicure process and where to get it […]

April 14, 2011

Do you remember what the color on top of the strawberry smoothie was? I have gotten strawberry smoothie before, and it didn’t look like this! love the color!

April 14, 2011

Hi Erin, would love to hear how Strawberry Smoothie looked on you! On me it turned out much lighter than I expected in the sun. This was two layers of Strawberry Smoothie according to the manicurist! I initially thought I might want Romantique, but it is too light and sheer. How did yours turn out?

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