Until just a few months ago, manicures were a short-term beauty dalliance. Nicks, chips, and peeling were just part of the rules of impermanence, which allowed us to experiment with trendy colors without commitment. Oxidized copper anyone?

Now, CND, a spa hand, nail, and foot beauty brand which creates some of the most cutting-edge manicures for designers during fashion week, has made a spa manicure that dries instantly, doesn’t chip, and lasts a solid two weeks.

Called Shellac, the toxin-free polish (no formaldehyde, toluene or DBP) contains semi-permanent polymers of a gel acrylic, which is applied in base, color, and top coats. Each coat is interspersed with a two-minute spell under a UV lamp, which essentially cures the polish dry. (Those concerned about the UV exposure, like I am, can wear sunscreen – your hands remain dry during this manicure, so it won’t be wiped away.) You can choose from the 12 Shellac shades or customize your own: I combined Negligee with Fedora for deep plum. A colleague got shimmery taupe nails by mixing Negligee with Iced Cappuccino.

The polish dries instantly under the UV lamp, which I didn’t quite believe. But just seconds after the treatment, I got the go-ahead from my nail tech to reach for my wallet and keys. It felt wrong – but my nails and emerged from my handbag unscathed – and they’ve remained that way for two weeks now. The manicure costs $20 more, but saved me 15 minutes on my lunch hour. It’s been an entirely different experience having Shellac-ed nails – my first fret-free manicure ever. For a spa or salon near you, visit

Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Take Our Survey!

We want to deliver more of what you want, the deals you love, and stories that inspire you. It will only take a few minutes.