October 11, 2012

The Shellac: Part 2

My darling boyfriend, Erik is very much a "do-it-yourself" kind of guy. He makes his own beer and wine, cheese, cream cheese, and if we were allowed to have chicken in our backyard we'd have our own eggs too. He knew how much I loved the shellac, and how I was trying to save as much money as I could to pay off my final school debts. He proposed doing the shellac myself at home. This sounded like an incredible plan, until I started researching the price of the materials (eeek!). 

For those of you who do not know how shellac works, it requires a base coat, 2 coats of colour, and a top coat (just like regular polish), but each layer needs to be baked up to 3 minutes under a UV light. The polish is very specific as well, and cannot be purchased at any beauty supply store or drug store. 

 Sina? Lina?
I got online and went to my favourite Chinese webpage DHgate.com. I know I should support the local economy, but their prices and selection are just too good to pass up! I purchased a UV light for around $30, and a base and top coat for $10. In Canada, each colour or coat coats $30 and lights can go as high as $200/each. I didn't have this kind of budget. 

The really cheap stuff I originally bought, called Lina or Sina (the first letter is very hard to decode) was TERRIBLE. It would bake on, but never adhered to the nail. I went back and did a little research and bought some better quality stuff for $20, but five colours of polish for $25. My little home business was up and running for under $100. 

It took many attempts over several months to really get my shellac to last more than a week. As an art teacher, I am constantly getting my hands dirty and wash them about 20 times a day. The shellac on my index fingers and thumbs couldn't handle the rigorous challenges I was putting them through. Finally, on a desperate attempt to really get this stuff working, I went one more time to the salon to watch a professional apply the polish. I knew there was a special way to apply the polish, and since I paint a lot, I knew I could handle it if someone showed me how. 
Problem chips!
The trick I was missing was that I wasn't "wrapping" the nail with every coat. I found the tips of how to do it hereThis was the pivotal part of the puzzle that I was missing!!! Three weeks later I soaked off the polish with acetone, and applied the polish slowly ensuring I was wrapping each coat and not getting anything on my cuticles. So far its been a bad success! I was so excited I went back and ordered 5 more colours. 

Today my nails look great, they don't chip, and 30 minutes every 2 weeks is all of the time I have to spend on my nails. I know Erik is very happy he doesn't have to hear about my nails every day anymore!!

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