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Tried & tested: Nailed it with Shellac

GIRLS, once you go shellac, you’ll never go back.

I have a fear of anything requiring glue or complicated removal on my nails. I know they are dead skin, but there’s real, live skin underneath, and how the heck was it supposed to ‘breathe’ if it was all covered in adhesives?

On the other hand (ha ha!) I was sick and tired of spending dosh on a proper manicure that, once I started living my life, would go manky in a heartbeat. Particularly since I go horse-riding: riding gloves are hell on varnish.

So it was with a dose of scepticism that I sat down across from Jenny Lloyd, manager of Nail Zone on Clery’s ground floor.

Simply put, CND (Creative Nail Design) Shellac goes on exactly as nail polish and wears like gel. The manicure itself, superbly conducted by Jenny, is just your normal, everyday procedure. In fact, that scepticism was raising its eyebrows when the final coat was applied. But wait! It wasn’t the final coat: following application of the colour, Jenny rubbed the nails with a finishing lotion, like an alcohol rub, and there were my nails, gleaming, perfect, and dry as the desert in July.

My heart leapt! Would a long-lasting manicure finally be mine? I treated things gingerly for two days, and then thought, ‘Hey this is Tried & Tested!

I better try and test these!’ So I took my manicure horse-riding . . . And one hour later, I still had perfect, shiny, gorgeous nails.

They held up for the fortnight as predicted by Jenny, and I returned to have the colour removed. This is a drawback, if you’re looking for one, as regular nail-varnish remover doesn’t make a dent in this stuff. You can do it yourself if you soak your nails in acetone for 10 minutes; me, I’m happy enough to keep going back, because I’m in love with this process, and want to try out every colour.

The 12 standard colours cover every mood, outfit, or event, and the French manicure looks amazing. I cannot imagine ever bothering with regular nail varnish again. Now I’ll just have to try the pedicure.

A manicure with CND Shellac is €30, and removal is free if you get another manicure.

Contact the Nail Zone through Clerys on 01 878 6000