Sorry my nail pics have all been swatched on a nail wheel of late, I've had Shellac on my nails for the last 2 weeks! The colour I had was Rosebud, a muted baby pink.
For those of you that haven't heard of Shellac, it's described as a gel/polish hybrid and that's definately what it is. Its applied like a polish (including base and topcoat) but "cured" with a UV light between each layer. After its all been done it looks lovely, have you ever applied a thick layer of polish that looks gorgeous but will never actually dry properly? That's what it's like but dry! The colour is really glossy thanks to the topcoat that's applied, and it looks like it should feel all gooey and jelly like but it doesn't, it's rock hard.
These nails lasted for 2 weeks and still looked really glossy with no tipwear, the only reason they looked a bit tired was because of a bit of a gap at the bottom where my nails had grown considerably. Having the Shellac on definately helped protect them and stopped them snapping/flaking too - I was doing washing up, having showers and baths, handwashing clothes, painting my toes, and at one point whacked my finger at such an angle that I thought the nail would be straight off, but it wasn't!
Since I actually enjoy painting my nails and changing the colours a few times a week (plus the fact my nails grow pretty quickly), I'm definately not going to be a full time Shellac convert but I'm still pretty amazed and pleased with it. Will definately be getting Shellac on my fingers and toes if I go on holiday (I think Tropix would look gorgeous on toes in summer), I never have the time or inclination to do my nails when I'm away. I'd also recommend this for anyone who's trying to grow their nails but doesn't want the committment of getting gel or acrylic nails or anyone who can't be bothered doing their nails all the time but still wants to look groomed.
I just found out that with my mani and pedi qualifications, I can actually buy Shellac from the supplier to use - I didn't realise, I thought I had to have gel qualifications. Someone hide my bank card please!
For details of salons doing Shellac near you, you can go to http://www.cnd.com/Locate/Shellac-Find-A-Salon.aspx.