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Shellac Is the New Gels: The Beverly Hills Mani-Pedi That Lasts 3 Weeks

A new kind of polish long-term application for nails is healthier than the alternative, resists chipping and damage, and might actually save you money.

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Stylish women all over the world are now very familiar with last summer's finger and toe polish phenom: gels. Gel polish lasts three to four weeks, and is now being applied at salons all over the world in a variety of colors -- that's the upside. The downside is that the gel process makes it very hard for the gel to be removed: one must go to a salon, have acetone applied and pressured onto the nail, then the polish gel is peeled off. It can leave your nails very dry and thin and damaged, and they charge more to have it removed when you show up to restart the process.

There is now a better option for those with vacations, trips to Cannes and Venice, and the Paris couture coming up: CND Shellac. It has the same effect -- your polish on your fingers and toes can last three to four weeks and won't chip, no matter how many suitcases you're dealing with. CND Shellac does not come in quite as wide an array of colors as gels -- but it does come in bright red, black, white and a cool navy blue, and the colors can even be combined to create a unique moire effect. We tried the black and a white layered together, resulting in a chic summer bronze.

The best (and only) master of shellac that we know right now is Vita at Rossano Ferretti Salon. Vita is a veteran nail artist from many years at Louis Licari. She has her own private area at Rossano Ferretti upstairs and she presides over the hands of feet of many famous people, whom we are not allowed to mention. But trust us -- they're very famous and very picky.

A CND Shellac application for hands is 50 dollars; for feet it's $75, and Vita is far and away more serious than a walk-in manicurist. She knows how to match the colors to your skin tone and she knows when to tell you, "No, that will not make you happy." You can book a shellac application with her, and we promise you'll get hooked. Plus, if you have been paying 15 bucks (plus tip) for a manicure every week, getting shellac is actually money-saving. It is definitely time-saving, which is almost the same thing.

Rossano Ferretti Salon is located at 345 N. Canon Dr. in Beverly Hills. Vita can be reached at 310-598-6780 or 818-439-7554. If you can't leave your office or film set, she will come to you.

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