Fifteen days have gone by since my last manicure. It still looks like I got them done yesterday. Once you go Shellac, you don’t go back.
Earlier this summer I released unto you my Inner Manicure Monologue, where I admitted to never having tried Shellac by CND or any other such long-lasting, time-saving manicures. I had my reasons, but now, after my first Shellac attack at Tres Jolie Beauty Boutique in Chelsea, NYC, I’m extremely impressed. First, let me introduce you to the totally vibing ambiance of Tres Jolie. Above is a mural painted on the wall – the big wavy black hair starts at the top of the staircase and ends at the bottom. Here’s the main level.
Cookie is their chirpy little salon puppy with quite good style. SO CUTE!
And below is la piece de resistance: Tara “Chee Chee” Carpenter, my manicurist. I am just going to say it: I have NEVER in my entire life met someone who is so in love with nails. She’s been doing people’s nails since she was 13, started getting paid to do them at 19, and we spent just about every minute of the appointment talking about nails. She had a wealth of tips to share; did you know that doing a dry manicure (not lubricating your cuticles before cutting) will make your cuticles stay neater longer? (That’s what she did, and I have to say I’m impressed.) Polish aside, Chee Chee gave me what might have been the greatest filing/buffing/cuticle maintenance in all 14 years I’ve been getting my nails did.
After having performed and received literally every manicure that’s ever existed, Chee Chee has decided wholeheartedly on her all-time favorite: Shellac.
With a number of celebrity clients and an incredibly loyal following, Chee Chee operates out of the lower level of Tres Jolie. She does all sorts of manicures – from regular ones to nail art – but her treasured nail care prize is the Shellac. In fact, to keep her Shellac color collection safe, she keeps the polishes hidden in a draw rather than sitting out with the rest. She took them out a handful at a time to show me my color options:
I chose Tropix for the main color and Tutti Frutti for the middle finger. The process was much the same as a regular manicure, and I’ll take it as Chee Chee’s perfectionism that it took a bit longer than usual. I dried under UV in between each coat, and interestingly, she did my thumbs separately, specifically so they wouldn’t be turned to the side for an uneven dry in the dyer. Here’s what they looked like moments after (totally hardened before I walked out the door!).
As promised by the lovely makers of Shellac, there were no nicks or smudges, and it really did last for the entire time with hardly a chip. (My thumb actually chipped/peeled ever so slightly the first day, but then I didn’t get another chip until yesterday on my left ring finger.)
Here I am today in the office – you can see my nails growing in slightly but they’re still looking quite amazing! I’ve been getting compliments for 15 days now; I’ll definitely be succumbing to the Shellac way of life on a more frequent basis.
I think I’m going to continue on with this mani for another week, until the “roots” become unbearable. Although manicure time is fun, it’s been a real pleasure not having to squeeze in an appointment during my busy weeks. So yes, I’ll keep this still-glossy thing going for as long as I possibly can. Because you know what I’m NOT looking foward to…
Shellac Manicure with Chee Chee: $35
Tres Jolie Beauty Boutique
166 West 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
Disclosure: Service was comped for editorial consideration