The world of gel polish can be a bewildering place. I have always put my trust in CND and I have never been disappointed yet. Not all products are created equal and this has been proved time and time again. Luxe is a superior gel polish that offers exceptional adhesion and strength, while delivering the fastest removal on the market due to its unique formulation. It also eliminates the need for base coat by offering an all in one, self-adhering colour coat for a streamlined, 2 step application. High gloss shine topcoat provides a protective shield.
CND have introduced this brand new innovation, CND Shellac Luxe. Now this is not a replacement for classic CND Shellac and classic is most definitely here to stay. I think of Luxe as more of an extension of the Shellac product range, enabling us as nail professionals to better customise a client service. When used as a system, and for the right client type, Luxe will still provide the 14+day wear that we are accustomed to with classic CND Shellac. Classic Shellac is stronger and perfect for normal to weak nails whereas Luxe is a softer coating better suited to lift-prone or normal to hard natural nails. However – another wonderful point to mention is that all of the classic CND Shellac top coats are interchangeable with the Luxe system. So for example, if a client is desperate for a Luxe exclusive shade but has less than stellar natural nails or a higher activity level, you could try using DuraForce topcoat to help ensure longevity. This will enable us to customise levels of protection, finish and removal for each individual, and provide a truly tailored service. The removal times will vary when finishing Luxe with the classic topcoat range – each time will be less than its time when used with the classic system though!
One of my favourite features is the new brush and comfort cap. Believe me when I say that this brush is the future of precision! Italian custom design with over 200 individually polished bristles that lay flat from the side to expertly hug the curve of the natural nail. This allows the product to ‘squeegee’ on the nail, providing a smooth and even application with amazing coverage. The shape of the brush from the front view is designed to mirror the cuticle line for easy, precision application. The comfort cap, while very different to the classic Shellac cap, aids with application as it is so easy to hold and control.
If you have already been working with classic CND Shellac then you’ll be familiar with the PEP process. This stays the same for Luxe, with the exception of CuticleAway. A dry PEP without the use of CuticleAway is preferable as it offers the best possible natural nail surface for product adhesion with no risk of residue to impede adhesion. However, if there is an extreme cuticle build up that needs more thorough removal, CuticleAway can be used but it MUST be thoroughly removed. This means soap, running water and a stiff nail brush and thoroughly dried before continuing on with application.
Luxe colour coats are a softer coating. Due to its softness, it is possible that dents and marks may show after application – these will be temporary. It will be less scratch resistant than classic Shellac but removes so much faster – and as further curing takes place during wear, Luxe will become tougher and more scratch-resistant over time. Luxe also boasts a much thinner application. The first layer should be applied super thin and translucent to allow the self-adhering polymers in the colour coat to properly cure and adhere to the natural nail keratin. This ensures the light energy penetrates all the way through the coating. The second layer can be applied marginally thicker and will provide colour opacity and additional coverage. For best results, always use the CND 5 point polish method to ensure precise, uniform results and that the free edge is capped with every layer of application. If Luxe is applied too thickly then wrinkling and shrinkage may occur. This is due to the surface curing and leaving uncured product below as the light energy cannot penetrate thoroughly.
Luxe works well on normal to hard natural nails and clients with lower activity levels. Perfect over enhancements and superb for toes. As with all CND light cured products – all the luxe range should be cured in the CND LED or UV lamp for a proper cure, to ensure a beautiful result and to prevent service breakdown. Just like classic shellac, all Luxe colour coats are cured using preset button 2S and top coat using preset button 3. UV lamp users will use the 2 minute setting for each coat. A little tip for removing top film from Luxe is to do so gently with 99% isopropyl alcohol, there’s no need to scrub, and use a clean section of the pad for each nail to ensure no residue is wiped back on to the rest of the finished nails which could cause the product to dull. For those of us who provide enhancement services, Luxe is a fabulous finish – providing beautiful colour without adding bulk to the end result. For liquid & powder techs, just smooth the enhancement with a 240 grit buffer followed by 1200 grit, such as the Koala buffer, cleanse thoroughly with 99% isopropyl alcohol and go straight in with application. Brisa users will need to seal the finished enhancement with Brisa Gloss and apply Luxe directly onto the top film. Whichever enhancement system you use, Luxe will need to be filed off prior to rebalance. Clients at my salon have been loving Luxe over their enhancements, Liberte, Charm and Femme Fatale have been particularly popular, along with Whisper, Vivant and Brazen. Luxe is also awesome for pedicures, and this is one instance where the speedy removal really comes in handy, removing Luxe from toes is super easy and fast.
Finally, Luxe has been launched with 65 colours in the range. 50 of these shades match the most popular colours in the existing shellac range 12 reds, 12 pinks, 10 nudes, 7 darks, 4 blues, 4 glitter/metallic and 1 green. There are also 15 shades exclusive to luxe which have bridged some gaps in the classic shellac and I can honestly say that I am a fan of each and every one. Satin Slippers, Aurora, Charm, Femme Fatale, Liberte, Vivant, Brazen, Boheme, Chandelier, Grace, Temptation, Phantom, Silhouette and Whisper.