I LOVE Shellac. I think you may have gathered that by now with my numerous Manicure Monday posts revolving around this special polish. I have come to realise I never gave itthe proper heads-up so this post is dedicated to my love for CND Shellac.
What is Shellac?
The first time I heard about shellac was when I was working at a nail salon doing manicures and pedicures. They told me about this amazing service that offers the wearer a guaranteed 2-week manicure (full 14 days worth of wear) before it needs to be removed. Shellac is the actual name of the CND’s branded gel polish however as it’s become so popular, the generalised term is used to describe all kinds of soak-off gel polishes is ‘shellac’. It’s applied on to the nail like standard polishes but needs to cure a UV or LED to set. A base coat is needed, then two coats of the colour, then a top coat application and that’s it.
Here are some quick facts about Shellac…
It’s a gel polish that cures under UV or LED light
Shellac comes in all different colours. You can get opaque, sheer, semi-sheer, metallic, and glittery ones.
It’s relatively easy to apply and takes only 1-2 mins to cure each layer which is super fast and there is NO DRYING TIME so you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve cured the top coat.
Removal is also super easy. It takes about 10 minutes and just needs to be taken off with foil wraps.
Why I like it:
It’s uber shiny. Chip-free. Smudge-free. There’s no drying time… What more can you ask for in a polish?
Gold – H&M nail polish in ‘The One’
Black – L.A. Colors nail polish in ‘Black Velvet’
Black and Gold
Ease of application:
15mins touch-dry, 30mins fully dry
Why I like it:
This is a new technique that I love to do. It’s called a crescent moon design as the base colour (gold) peeps through the nails which I’ve made it contrast against the dark black polish. It’s a twist on the traditional french tips technique. It’s easy to do, just a little bit fiddly to get the crescent moon (smile line) nice and neat.
So two weeks ago, I had my nails done with CND Shellac in Tropix. I am happy to say that two weeks on, they’re still pretty good! Shellac is definitely worthy of a try if you haven’t had a chance to try them yet. I’ve converted my youngest sister to it as well as her friends already. 🙂
Please excuse the excessive shine, I had just applied the cuticle oil around my cuticles. I actually painted these about 4 days before I posted it up – you can tell slightly as the polish has grown away a tiny bit from the cuticles.
Here is the photo of them 12 days on, almost two weeks after application:
Sorry it’s not a great image (indoor lighting + iphone = crap images) but you can see from the nails that they have grown out more and the free edge has also worn away slightly which can be typical if you are very heavy-handed like me and do a lot of things without hand protection i.e. washing up without gloves, picking or scraping objects with your nails. It’s still just as shiny as the first day of application.
The photo doesn’t do the nails much justice, I will try to upload a better photo soon! I can’t wait to take this colour off and do another colour now. I really love CND Shellac and hope I’ve made you want to try out a gel polish too! You really don’t have anything to lose and if you, like me, like to get your nails done regularly but hate the chipping/smudging/drying time then it’s time to try out the gel polishes. I can’t comment on the other brands out there like OPI’s gel polish or Gelish etc as I am very loyal to CND. AS a nail tech, I find their system really easy to use and hassle-free.
So, after a long time of only shopping online, I finally ventured into the outside world and went to my local TK Maxx store for a bit of shopping. I could’ve bought so much more but my budget was stretched enough with the stuff that I got. Here’s what I got for around £60.
Sakroots Beauty Bag, £14.99
I love this makeup case/beauty bag so much! When I saw it I was instantly in love with it. I found loads of other Sakroots makeup cases but this one was my fave because of the unique shape and the wonderful embroidery at the top edge of the bag. It’s got a beautiful lining inside as well complete with a small side pouch that has a zip.
Super Facialist Deep Clean Mattifying Moisturiser, £4.99
I really couldn’t believe how cheap this was so had to purchase it to test it out. I’m currently using my Dermalogica Oil Control lotion with my Aveda Outer Peace moisturiser which is proving a bit costly especially when I am trying to save for LO’s bday I need a cheaper alternative. It’s lightweight but not watery and leaves my combination-skin nicely moisturised. It also contains salicylic acid which is a key ingredient for acne-prone skin as it helps keep blemishes at bay.
Skin Smoothie Retexturising Glycolic Pads (10% Glycolic acid), £9.99
While I had fun looking for a new moisturiser, I also got super giddy when I found these bad boys. These glycolic pads were going to be my new best friend. I’ve had glycolic peels in the past at Skin Clinic which was fabulous but I really couldn’t afford £60 every 2 weeks to maintain it. These pads are not as strong (concentration wise) as the clinic’s however they will do the job for now until I can afford it. I gave a pad a try yesterday and thought it worked a treat on my skin. After I applied it I could feel my skin tingling away and within minutes, I noticed my skin looked a little smoother and glowing. There’s 16 pads in there which should last for at least 8 weeks if you’re using 2 pads a week.
OPI Nail Polish in “Barre My Soul”, £3.99 I love OPI polishes so when I discovered this sheer nude shade I had to buy it! It will replace my Barry M polish in Nude which is running out. Both are very sheer shades so I’m expecting to put on about 3 layers before I get the colour I want. Sheer shades can be hard to apply as they can become streaky but if this OPI is anything like my Barry M it should be a doddle as it’s not a streaky colour. I paid £3.99 for this full sized bottle which is a seriously good price for an OPI polish.
Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat, £3.99 From my nail salon days, I loved using Seche Vite’s top coat. It always goes on the nail beautifully and the shine is amazing. Luckily, so far most of my polishes have been shiny without a top coat but I’d always recommend using top coats because not only does it make the polish extra-shiny, it also helps to keep the colour on for longer.
That’s all I got for my beauty haul. I also bought a couple more things; Ralph Lauren sandals for LO which are amazing and looks comfortable on him and a vanilla & honey scented reed diffuser. I am going to return the diffuser as I really didn’t like the smell of it – it smelt nothing like honey or vanilla but a weird sweet smell instead.
I recently purchased some vanilla-scented reed diffusers from Poundland which were amazing. The smell was lingered for ages and at only £1 I’d be mad not to return the one I got from TK Maxx for them.
As you all may have known by now, I love subscription boxes and adore Birchbox – they are the best box that I have bought so far and I am usually pleased with everything that I get in the boxes. I was thrilled with April’s Birchbox (see my April review here) which had a cute theme in honour of Kate and Will’s baby that was due – we now know it’s a girl! Welcome to the world, Princess Charlotte! 🙂 The products were amazing and this month’s box lived up to April’s one.
As you can see in the images, this month’s packaging was very creative and allowed the owner to become the designer and decorate their box however they wished! You can find plenty of people’s boxes on Instagram and Twitter coloured in all sorts of different colours and mediums. I haven’t touched mine – I’ve only tweaked it a bit but for me, that is enough. I adore the design of the box too much to tamper with it.
So what’s inside the box?
Let’s take a look:
Number 4 Lumiere D’hiver hair masque
Birchbox coloured pencils pack
WAH London nail polish
Parlor moisturising sea salt spray
Caudalie tinted moisturiser
Absolution youth-activator face mask
Jelly Pong Pong duo bronzer
… a lot of fabulous goodies! 🙂
My absolutely favourite product from the whole box would have to be the Jelly Pong Pong Bronzer Duo. I have always been searching high-and-low for a great bronzer and this has to be it! The pink and tan colours are perfect with my olive skin tone. The pink is more muted and slightly mauve whilst the tan colour is indeed of a brown shade and not an orange shade which together, works fabulously on my skin. I am very happy with it and will consider buying the full sized product when my current Sleek highlighting kit which contains a bronzer runs out.
I also need to give the Caudalie tinted moisturiser a try as it’s received really positive reviews on the website but as it’s a 01 Light shade I am not 100% convinced that it’s going to be a good match for my summer-tanned face… we’ll have to see. I can always use it then apply my foundation on top for a better colour match and more coverage.
If you are interested in what else is inside this month’s Birchbox, click here
Hope you enjoyed my mini-review. If you’ve just received your box, let me know what you got in yours!