Nailed It | Shellac Manicure


As one of my New Year’s resolutions was to grow my nails, I realised that five weeks into 2014 it wasn’t going so well. My nails were weak, chipped and short. And don’t get me started on my cuticles. I decided that the only way they would grow was if they looked nice to start with, and were in a healthy condition. I’ve gotten a few Shellac manicures before and they have always helped my nails to grow, as the polish doesn’t chip and can’t be peeled off. As a result, I’m ultimately left with no choice but to watch my nails grow until three weeks have passed and the polish has to be removed. It’s like rehab for your nails.

If anyone isn’t familiar with Shellac, it is basically a three week manicure. Special nail polish is applied and left to dry under UV lighting, which prevents the polish from chipping. A base coat is applied first to protect the nail, then two to three coats of the colour of your choice are applied. You place your hand under UV lighting between each coat and the colour dries instantly. The result is a shiny, gel-like finish which lasts between two and three weeks. The polish has to be removed professionally, or there are many tutorials online where you can find out how to do it yourself. One of the best things about Shellac polish is that it dries instantly. Everyone knows the pain of needing to go to the bathroom as soon as you’ve given yourself an at-home manicure.

I went to Sparkle in Fairview, Dublin to get my Shellac manicure today. It’s my favourite salon around and I love the experience of going there. They have a huge range of Shellac colours – it takes me about 15 minutes to finally make a decision on what I’d like on my nails for three weeks! With a Shellac manicure costing €30, I wouldn’t get it done on a regular basis, but it’s a really nice treat to reboot my nails and get them in good condition so I can paint them myself.


I know, my nails aren’t exactly hand-model material. This was after the manicurist had trimmed my cuticles, filed my nails and given them a make-over. They looked 100 times worse before this, I’m afraid to admit. This will be the last time my nails are that short, though. Three weeks from now they’ll be longer and stronger. I may buy some Essie nail varnishes for motivation to keep them at that length 😉


I chose a nude-pink colour in the end, although a sparkly purple was calling my name, I thought this colour would match with more outfits. I’m really happy with the finished result, my nails are shiny and feel stronger already! I just got a manicure today, but Shellac pedicures can last around six weeks as our toenails aren’t exposed as much as our fingernails are – that’s a total bargain in my eyes! A lot of places do Shellac manicure and pedicure deals if you’re interested in getting both.

I hope that everybody is having a great weekend, Share a Smile Sundays #6 will be up tomorrow!

*There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind*