Gettin’ myself Shellacked

May 12, 2011

That sounds a little naughty. But it most certainly isn’t.

For 27 1/2 years (or very close) I have bitten my nails. My parent tried everything growing up to get me to stop, from tape to hot sauce. (Tape is for weaklings, I love Tabasco.)

It has been a source of great embarrassment to me over the years. From the manicure 7thΒ  birthday party of a friend where her mom told the nail tech, “Don’t worry about Diana, she doesn’t have nails to do!” and laughed. To the humiliation of being a grown woman signing forms and pointing out things only to remember how ugly my hands looked.

I tried to stop many times, but in just a few days something would come up, I’d get nervous or stressed, and I’d bite them off without really even thinking.

Going to Georgia also meant going to the land of beautiful skin and hair. It was like the humidity loved me – and in doing so also blessed me with super long nails in a week. I didn’t bite them there for some reason. Maybe it was the comfort of being with Sam. Maybe it was the sheer shock of looking down and seeing an actual nail there.

Whatever the case, I headed home to the Land of Dry Air knowing that they would break, peel, and since getting on a plane is something that makes me incredibly nervous, that would be the end of that.

But as I sat there, the plane bumping along through turbulence and me mentally replaying “Lost” over and over again, I refused to cave in. And when I got home, I made myself a promise, “No more. You are an adult, and you have self control. It’s a dirty, nasty habit and you aren’t going to do it anymore.”

And so, 4 weeks later…



I decided to treat myself to something I’ve never had. A manicure. My sitter is here this afternoon (you know, the one I hired so I can be a truly terrible mom 3 hours a week), and in between running errands I’m doing a shellac spa treatment.

I’m nervous (because I don’t know much about shellac other than what Google and Twitter people have said). I am excited. I am proud of myself for sticking with something.

Shellac is a form of half gel/half polish (if I’m wrong here let me know) that is applied in thin layers and dried almost instantly under UV light to be a super tough manicure. You don’t get chips for up to two weeks, and you can crack open a beer can right in the salon without thinking twice. (Although, I wouldn’t. Very white trashy. Wait till you get out the door.) It’s a real manicure, only lasts longer.

The salon guy convinced me it’s a must do – that I haven’t really lived until I’ve been shellacked. (And yes, I googled it. That’s the correct spelling. It still doesn’t look like a real word.) So pinning all my hopes and dreams of beautiful nails forever on his words, I agreed.

I’ll post tomorrow on what happened and how it looks! For now, I’m off to reput Bella down for a nap. Again. (That’s a whole other blog post.)


  • Kelly

    May 12, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    Your nails look great! I’m a nail biter too and quit for 2 years but once I had my daughter and my hormones were regulating, they started cracking and snagging and I started biting again and haven’t stopped. That was 2.5 years ago.

  • Noelle S.

    May 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Your nails look so good after just a few weeks. Thats an awesome accomplishment! Can’t wait to see how amazing they look after your manicure.

  • Lori

    May 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I LOVE a (good!) shellac manicure! I’ve gotten about 4 and when they are done correctly they are amazing! Enjoy a little pampering. πŸ™‚

  • Rebecca

    May 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    I’ve been super curious about this treatment. Can’t wait to hear all about it and see pix! I used to be really dedicated to painting mine but not so much after the baby came too much work just to have them chip the next day πŸ™

  • Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy

    May 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    it’s called a no chip manicure here but I loved the first one I got from Mario Tricocci. I got it redone at a hack salon and wasn’t happy. But just don’t go and try to peel it off like I did. my normally great nails are a wreck now because i was too cheap to get it taken off the right way

  • kim

    May 12, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    I can’t wait to see the finished mani!! And I’d totally wait on cracking that beer . . I’d go for some wine. Bring your own bottle. Really. Who drinks beer in a salon? What a bad mom. *shakes head* πŸ˜‰

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      And since I don’t drink either…


      Can you imagine? Throw a 6 pack up on the nail techs table and start in.

  • Mrs. MidAtlantic

    May 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Four weeks without biting is definitely worth a treat! Great job on your accomplishment!

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you! I am so excited to go get it done – finally!

  • Erika @NaMammaSte

    May 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    hehe… funny! I actually tried to start a nail biting habit in high school because I thought it was cool, but it didn’t stick πŸ™‚ Good job kicking the habit! Your hands look beautiful!

    lol on the bear can… after my uncle’s memorial service my family was cracking open beer cans in the parking lot. I asked my mom if she wanted one and she said yes until she saw there were only cans. She said “I don’t drink beer out of a can”. And I though, “why? Because you’re DEFINITELY more classy for drinking beer out of bottle in the funeral home parking lot?”

    1. Erika @NaMammaSte

      May 12, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      ugh! beer can!

      1. Diana

        May 12, 2011 at 2:08 pm

        Lol, this made me laugh! I can see your mom saying that because I think mine would too. πŸ™‚ Standards.

  • Beth

    May 12, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Diana, you and I have the same freckle on the same finger on the same hand. Mine’s up a little higher though. Were we separated at birth or something? And I’m a nail chewer too. eeerie…;)

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 2:07 pm

      I read this and got goosebumps! How strange – and I have no other freckles on either hand.

      Hand twins…

  • Alyson

    May 12, 2011 at 11:34 am

    ANOTHER 3 HOURS TO YOURSELF? YOU ARE SO SELFISH… πŸ™‚ ahahahaha. Just kidding, your nails look fabulous and enjoy your partial day to yourself!

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm


  • Suz

    May 12, 2011 at 11:32 am

    I saw that my nail salon started doing them. You’re the second person I’ve heard of trying it (I think PW was the first). Can’t wait to hear & see what you think.

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 2:06 pm

      I’d never heard of them before this – perhaps we’ll all have to get shellacked before BlogHer. πŸ™‚

  • Not There Yet

    May 12, 2011 at 11:29 am

    I have heard of that. It comes in very cool colors!

    You know – the no-biting on location thing is weird. I used to bite my nails TERRIBLY as well – then I went to Italy and looked down and I had nails. I just did not bite them there. After that – I never bit my nails again. Ever. Perhaps the GA trip will stick with you like that too. I FULLY agree that if you take care of them with manicures, you will bite them even less. And its nice to pamper yourself every now and then!

    If you want to super-size your nails, get back on the prenatal vits and take some fish oil supplements. Its good for you anyway and it makes your hair and nails super strong.

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      I have to remember to start taking those.

      I think I’m going to get them french manicured. Not quite sure.

  • JM

    May 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I lurved my shellac manicure a ton- so much so that I did it twice in a row! It lasted about 2 1/2 weeks, longer if the re-growth of the nail hadn’t gotten so annoying. When they took it off for good, my nails even looked fine! They were a little sensitive, but not bad.

    About a week later, they started to get all cracked-windshield looking and breaking if I hit the tips against anything. It’s just on my thumbs now, but they look a hundred times worse than they did pre-shellac πŸ™

    Big sad face ’cause I loved it. I hope you end up with better results!

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      SEE – that’s what I’m TOTALLY freaked out is going to happen to me. zomg.

  • Amber

    May 12, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Interested to see if the shellacking (?) lasts as long as it promises to. I’m horrible about keeping pretty nails. I’m a nervous biter, too.

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      I’ll be interested too, I plan to blog on it in another week or so (after I do tomorrow just to show what it looks like).

  • Samantha

    May 12, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Woot woot! They are gorg!! So jealous, and I’ve always wanted to get shellacked. I work with my hands a lot as a designer and it’s so hard to keep them all nice and pretty.

    Can’t wait to see pics!

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      I find myself washing mine a lot with Bella around,but I slather on the lotion like no one’s business. Also – Sally Hansen has this great nail stuff.

  • Devan @ Accustomed Chaos

    May 12, 2011 at 10:29 am

    wah hoo! look at those nails – good for you! looking forward to reading tomorrow post. enjoy yourself!

    1. Diana

      May 12, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks! I am excited to see how they turn out.

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