There are many different kinds of snobs. There are food snobs, wine snobs, designer snobs and even outdoor gear snobs (meet my husband). I, however, am a nail snob. I abhor, truly abhor, poor nails. And by nails, I mean a manicure gone awry. I realize that this abhorrence sounds shallow. It is. But there is nothing like seeing people’s chipped, peeling, barely-there-but-not-quite-gone manicures to immediately make me judge them—and their hygiene levels—and then reach for the nail polish remover. In that order. (I told you, I’m a snob.)In this flailing economy we have been forced to cut back on all kinds of luxury expenses. And while I do concede that weekly visits to the nail salon are one such luxury, that’s no excuse for mere flashes of color on dry, brittle nails and long, hanging cuticles. Acrylics and silk tips used to be the answer. The color lasted, nothing chipped, and you could go a few weeks between salon visits. But, the damage caused to nails is just not worth it—never mind the constant fear of breaking a nail and having it rip off half your finger. (I exaggerate, of course, but you get the point.) Gel works, but it can look pretty fake pretty fast.
So what’s a girl to do? Get shellac.This hybrid of gel and polish was created by CND (Creative Nail Design) and will keep your nails chip-free for at least two weeks, has a shiny finish, requires no dry time (amen to finally being able to dig around in your purse after a manicure without fear of ruining the whole thing), and has no nail-damaging side effects.

The application requires a base coat, color coat and top coat. Combine that with alternating your hands in a UV nail dryer for 2-3 minutes at a time, and presto! In and out in less than an hour. It’s free from formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP and has no discernable odor. You can use acetone to remove the shellac yourself, but it’s recommended that your nail care professional do the job. With tons of colors, ranging from the palest shade of ballet slipper pink, to the deepest Christmas red, to electric green, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing your favorite hues.

Here we’ve scoped out some of the best places to get a shellac manicure in Denver.
Nail snobs, rejoice!

Heaven Nails & Spa Cherry Creek

Denver Nail Lounge 

Snappy Nails

About The Author

Stephanie is the culture editor for 303 Magazine.

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