Thursday, June 24, 2010

CND Shellac Mani's and Pedi's and a Little Minx

So the day finally arrived! It was time for me to get my Shellac Pedicure. My friend and I went to the only "local" salon that offers CND Shellac or Minx. It is about a 30 minute drive for me, but SOOO worth it. We went to Kai's Cottage in Titusville Florida. Kai was amazing and so is her salon. Kai had a wheel of all the Shellac colors and she even layered some Shellac colors together to create new colors. So we actually had more choices than just the 12 colors CND Shellac comes in. She also had two books full of the Minx options and another photo book of some manicures and pedicures she has done in the past, which served not only as inspiration on what to choose, but also did not help with my indecision! It was so hard to decide what I wanted with the infinite choices Kai offered. Here I am looking through the Minx book in the first picture and enjoying my pedicure in the second picture. (Be kind, I am makeup-less here - this is what I REALLY look like. I should have done my makeup before I went.)

Kai was great at explaining our choices and how we should maintain our manicures. (Cuticle oil or a rich moisturizing lotion daily - were you expecting some big secret? HA!) I opted for Minx on my big toes and Shellac on my other toes. My friend had just received a pedicure over the weekend, so she had Minx applied to just her big toes as well and left the rest of her toes alone, since they were already painted. 

Here is a picture in the middle of my manicure after the Minx has been applied. I opted for the pink camouflage. Look how tiny my nail beds are on my feet!
Here is some surprising Minx information we found out. The Minx last about 8-10 days on the nails. Obviously with some women experiencing better or worse wear depending on their personal daily routine. Kai said most of her clients however fall in the 8 - 10 day range for Minx manicures. That is longer than I actually anticipated with Minx. But here is the kicker, Minx on toes have lasted her clients up to 12 weeks!!! She even showed us some pictures. Now I have to say I don't recommend this! After 12 weeks of leaving the Minx on the toes it looks like a French Minx Manicure! Just imagine 12 weeks of unfiled growth. Most of her clients leave the Minx toes on for 2-3 weeks successfully though. After hearing this and seeing the proof in her pictures I felt confident using both products in one pedicure. 

The Shellac application looked fairly easy. First Kai applied the base coat and cured it for 2 minutes. While one foot was curing, she worked on the other foot. After the base coat, she applied the first layer of Shellac Color and then cured, then a second layer of color, and then cured and finally the top coat and then she cured. Once that was done, she swiped the toes with alcohol and it was done. I LOVE my pedicure.

Here is my full pedicure. I chose Shellac in Tutti Fruti for the pedicure color.
Here is my friend's and my feet together. She had the flower Minx on her big toe and OPI Peru B Ruby on the rest of her toes.
My friend's pedicure

Next it was time for our Shellac Manicures. My friend chose Red Baroness for her manicure color. Can I just say this color is amazing! I wanted to copy her and get this one so bad! But maybe I will make that my next one instead. Here are two pictures of her manicure. You can see in the first picture it really looks just like nail polish being applied. The second picture shows her completed manicure. Doesn't she have amazing nails? I was so jealous!

Here was a cool picture of my friend curing her Shellac manicure. I couldn't resist taking the picture. She must have thought I was a nut taking this! Ha! 

 As soon as my friends manicure was done, I had to just smudge my fingers across her nails. I mean they just look so wet, even though we knew that yes they were dry, I couldn't help but test it out. It was amazing. While getting her manicure we were talking about how every time we do our nails we need to go to the bathroom while they are still drying. She is 33 weeks pregnant right now and of course as soon as her manicure was done, she made a bee-line for the rest room. She came out of the rest room and exclaimed: "Look I just did my nails and I then I went to the bathroom and they didn't even ruin!" I think this should be CND's new challenge. Forget getting your keys out of your purse, can it pass the bathroom test? YES IT CAN! HA!

 CND shellac is flexible, but I have to say my nails do feel a bit harder though, which is an added bonus in my opinion. There is no buffing or filing of the nail bed for application or removal. Kai explained that removal is done with acetone applied directly to the nail to avoid damaging the skin around the nails and then using a wood cuticle pusher to just gently scrape the polish off. 

Here is my Shellac manicure. I selected Fedora for my manicure color by request of Amy. (Thanks for the suggestion Amy! I am loving it!!!) This color looks almost black, but really is a deep burgundy. It is hard to imagine that 10 years ago this color was considered cutting edge and now it is a classic color!

I wanted to add a picture of the side of my nails too so that you could see how thin Shellac really is. It is no thicker than polish! Look how thin it is!

I of course am wondering if I can last two weeks with the same color on my nails. But I guess we will see. I am looking forward to updating you all on the results in two weeks. I will be going back before my brother's wedding in July. We are driving from FL to MA and will be gone for about a week and a half. I won't have to worry about my nails while I am on vacation. YAY! I also think Shellac will get me in the salon more often for pedicures since I try to go 2 weeks without having to redo my toes. Now maybe I can get 3 or even 4 weeks out of my pedicures! Plus Kai's skills are amazing, I think I can do with a monthly pedicure pampering at Kai's Kottage. For my manicures I think I will only get the Shellac when I am going on vacation or maybe even for some big events, since I always seem to chip them right before anything major. I like to change my polish color on my hands to much to commit to one for two weeks at a time though, so we'll see. But for those women out there who want beautiful nails and just don't have the time to touch up a chipped manicure every few days, this definitely seems like it will be the answer. 

If any of you in FL and within 45 minutes or so of Kai's Kottage in Titusville, I highly recommend you plan a visit. She is amazing! Tell her I sent you! :)


  1. I love them, too! I keep doing things that normally chip my nails (normal stuff like cleaning, cooking, opening things the way I shouldn't - with my nails!) and look immediately.. then go, "Oh yeah, 'shellac'd attacked'" as Kai said.. too cute! :)
    AND BTW, you are gorgeous naturally and especially beautiful from the inside - out!

  2. Looks like you guys had so much fun!
    Doesn't look like your tips were wrapped. Is this not needed for shellac to maintain the 14 days or so wear? Did she have to do a cleanup around your cuticles before curing? if so how is the cleanup done?

    Sorry for all the questions :)

  3. Great post!And your mani and especially pedi rockQ

  4. I love the Minx on your bigtoe! 12 weeks?! That would be awesome - I hope it lasts that long for you. I'm curious about the shellac mani. How much did it cost? And 2 weeks of wear? I think I'd go in to polish withdrawls!!

  5. Your shellac came out wonderfully!! *your nails are just as gorgeous as your friends' nails* Like you - I don't know if I could keep the same np color for two weeks - but the concept is great for vacationing. Thanks for demo pics!! Have fun test driving your new nails!!

  6. Wow, thanks for this super-detailed review! It looks great, let us know how it lasts :D

  7. They really look great - Red Baroness is just a wonderful shade!

    And by the way: I think you look great without make-up! Shows your natural beauty - I like the look :o)

  8. @LeslieI know! I feel the same way. I find myself constatnly looking at my nails expecting to see a chip! I am loving this!

  9. @rmcandlelight *I'm wearing China Glaze Stella* She didn't wrap the tips and I don't think it will affect the wear. But I think wrapping the tips might not be a bad idea because I noticed a little shrinkage after curing which looks like the mildest tip wear. Of course I am sure no one else would be able to see it, but I am looking for it. For cleanup she applied and cleaned up before curing it. She used an orange wood stick to clean up anything that needed it. Once it is cured - there is no possability of clean up, so it has to happen before.

  10. @Megan HarmeyerThe oedicure cost $35 and the manicure $20 (I think). Not bad. I know two weeks! Heck I am planning on leaving the pedicure for 4 weeks if it lasts that long! Keeping my fingers crossed. The manicure I might just push it and go more than the two weeks if I can stand no polish change for that long! Let's see what happens.

  11. @Rebecca I will for sure let you guys know how long it lasts. I plan on taking photos at one week and then again at two and during removal.

  12. @PolishedSheepThanks - you are very kind. I think I can go without makeup as long as I don't slouch anywhere else. The hair has to be done, accessories on. So at least I still look pulled together. I am a minimalist with my makeup anyway, so it hardly looks like I am wearing any even when I am. Which is usually always if I know a camera is going to be around. HA!

  13. Thank you so much for showing Fedora and Red Baroness, they are both gorgeous! I can't decide which one I will get! and I am so flattered to be mentioned in the post :)

    Just one question: Do you know if the salon usually charges for removal?

    thanks for all the details.. you are a true natural, classic beauty!

  14. I think MINX nail designs is brilliant, it is shiny and doesn't need drying time, just apply to your nails and shape it to fit your nails in enough, it can make your nails beautiful for a long time. Very good. like it so much!