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hand and foot spa

CND Shellac Manicure

The Blurb:

The underground haven of pampering is decked with lavender, slate and stone with pops of green foliage and a large TV playing a reel of tropical fish plus a swish cocktail bar.

I arrived to try out the manicure I have heard so much about, Shellac; the brain child of Californian company, Creative Nail Design, more commonly known as CND. They say it took five years to perfect the product. It is frequently described as the hybrid of the popular gel manicure as it comes in a typical polish bottle but unlike traditional polish it dries under a UV lamp like a gel.

The Process:

I have had a gel manicure and was impressed with the staying power but not with the state in which my nails where left after the harsh buffing and endless acetone soaking. I also didn’t like how thick my nails were after the sheer amount of layers of the gel – they looked too fake even if they only coated my natural nails.

My fab manicurist Christine showed me to my nail station, which was intimate and peaceful with dim lighting and mellow lounge music. As we giggled over what the in-laws had got us for Christmas, Christine started treating my nails to a trim, file, cuticle pushing and a base coat.

I then selected a London bus-red out of the shades available. Just like your average manicure, Christine applied a base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat. The only difference is I placed my hands under a UV lamp in between coats (if you’re concerned about UV exposure, the UV bulbs are low-watt that filter out most of the damaging rays and are safer than the exposure your hands get from driving in the sun without gloves).

The Result:

My nails were mirror-shiny, chip-resistant over the Christmas period of opening presents and washing up and have only just started to grow out after two weeks with my natural nail. The application process takes about half an hour that is a fraction of the time of gels and the removal involves a lot less acetone soaking. Now I know what all the fuss is about

CND Shellac Manicure, £52 for 40 minutes.

The Hand and Foot Spa, 153 Fulham Road, London, SW3; www.handandfootspa.co.uk; 020 7589 1070

Tried & Tested |