Until recently, I was a Shellac Virgin…
It’s true, I had actually never actually taken myself off for a professional manicure and I really didn’t “get” why women love caring for their nails so much. I think my hands look like Elton John’s, but more grubby, chubby, tired and dry. Far from the epitome of French glam, I’m more of the dog walking, hands in soil kind of girl and honestly, I can safely say my hands looked atrocious. As I’m heading into my 40th year ( arghhhhhhh ) I decided to take some top beauty and skincare advice from a pro. I met up with Claire Jones of Vata Beauty who is a very talented France based make up artist in Poitou Charentes and now I can’t believe the secret everyone has been keeping from me! The nails are prepped, polish applied and then the colour is dried super fast in an LED machine to set.
I absolutely love my Shellac manicure and cannot believe that two weeks on it is still perfectly in place – unheard of for me. I keep on waiting for it to chip, but it just doesn’t. It’s incredible. I’m now of the belief that a Shellac is a crucial bit of pampering that every girl should treat themselves to at least once.
Here’s Claire Jones of Vata Beauty on why the revolutionary CND Shellac is key to glamorous French style.
1. Claire, you’ve transformed my hands, I can’t believe it. Are manicures key to looking good?
Well looked after hands and nails totally finish a woman’s look in my opinion. It can complement any outfit and speak volumes about your character. Sadly, hands and nails can be overlooked in favour of a stunning pair of shoes or precision perfect make up.
What is important to understand is that our hands are part and parcel of the way we communicate. We use our hands to gesticulate and emphasise our point, in essence, they are as important in our every day communications as the words that we chose to impart during conversation. There is nothing more appealing than well tended nails, whether polished or not. Although a beautiful high shine nail polish will always grab others attention and the wearer look and feel top notch. Soft hands are so easily achieved by applying a hand scrub a couple of times a week and moisturising daily. When silky smooth hands, that glow with health, are complemented with a coat of sumptuous polish, how could anyone feel anything less than fabulous?
2. You’ve used CND Shellac today and the colours are amazing – is it quite new to France?
When I first arrived in SW France four years ago it occurred that although I offered CND Shellac not many people had even heard of it here. I made it my mission to share the magic of CND Shellac with as many ladies as possible. Today, CND Shellac is definitely one of my most asked for services and clients who have tried it always come back for more. In my opinion everyone should at least try it once.
3. So true, I can’t believe I was a Shellac virgin! What is it about the Shellac finish you like so much?
As a beauty and spa therapist the health and well being of my clients is paramount and it is equally important to me that all the services I provide cause no ill effect in any way to anyone. Unlike gel polishes, a CND Shellac application does not rely on the nail plate being filed back at all. Preparation of the nail plate is meticulous using specific products to clean the nail in readiness for the CND Shellac polish. I love that the nail is not only left in its natural state prior to polish application but that also, due to the porous nature of Shellac, nails can be nourished with Solaroil for the entire time that a client wears their chosen colour. You don’t get that with a ‘gel’ polish. Removing Shellac is a breeze and kind to clients’ nails as it can be soaked off quickly, again avoiding harmful filing and damage to the nail plate.
4. How long does a Shellac manicure take to apply?
A CND Shellac service takes between 60 and 90 minutes. The service I provide runs closer to 90 minutes as clients are given a nourishing and moisturising hand treatment prior to the polish application. A good amount of the service time is taken up with proper nail prep which is vitally important to a truly magnificent manicure finish.
5. How long will it stay on for? And, actually – can you put it on your feet too?
A CND Shellac application is a guaranteed 14 day plus, high shine, hard wearing manicure. Many of my clients can get longer that 14 days out of their manicure with some wearing it for an astonishing 5 weeks without experiencing chipping. That’s pretty impressive! The polish can be applied to both finger and toe nails and due to the fact that toe nails grow at half the rate of finger nails a CND Shellac polish application can last for weeks and weeks.
6. What’s so good about CND Shellac compared to other long lasting manicures?
CND Shellac is top quality and the finish outstanding. Before I have even applied the high shine top coat my clients are impressed with the gleam from their Shellac polish. If I could capture all the gasps of awe from my clients once the top coat has been applied I would and I would share them with the world. CND the company contact all their registered and licenced nail techs on a regular basis to ask for feedback on colour trends within the CND salons worldwide which in turn allows CND to create new and wanted hues for nail technicians and their customers. The reason I use CND Shellac is largely down to the quality of the products which has given CND a reputation globally as one of the very best. In my treatment room only the best will do for my clients.
7. So, you’re offering high quality Shellac in France, are French women onboard with the trend?
For French women I believe that CND Shellac is one that is little known as most French therapists seem to favour gel polishes, possibly due to the cost implications. Gel is infinitely less expensive than CND Shellac and therefore more profitable but at what cost to client’s nails? For me, there is no question that clients nails should be treated with care and respect and therefore CND Shellac is a no brainer for me.
8. What’s most popular, natural or more striking tones?
In my salon the choices my clients make is predominantly colour with a capital ‘C’. It never ceases to amaze me how adventurous people are with their nail colour choices. Red and pinks, purples and also blues and greens feature heavily and at Christmas time you can couple this with a layering of glitter. When CND release a new collection my clients wait with baited breath to see what arrives in the salon and can’t wait to try all the new shades out.
9. What are your favourite Shellac colours for SS 2016?
Without a doubt my favourites for Spring 2016 are Art Basil and Magenta Mischief from the Art Vandal Collection. Both of them are vibrant colours that will bounce into the new season looking nothing less than sensational.
10. What French inspired outfit will you be showing off your Shellac with this season?
I am not much of a trend setter and living in rural France does have its limitations. Long gone are my Choos which are just not up to the local terrain so this year I will be sporting capri pants, pumps and most probably my favourite navy blue ‘v’ neck sweater from Crew Clothing Company accessorised by a light weight scarf tied a la francaise in a jaunty knot and my nails as always will be a classic French CND Shellac manicure.
You are so chic Claire, don’t believe a word of it! If you would like to know more about Shellac here’s a great article by CND on 5 Reasons to try a Shellac.
Contact Claire Jones here –
Shop Claire’s signature spring French Style –