Comparison: Genuine CND Shellac & Counterfeit CND Shellac

In the 5 years that CND Shellac has been launched, the product has become a preferred system with many salons and nail technicians. As with any other products, the more popular it becomes, the more counterfeit versions appear on the market.

As an official CND Ambassador who knows the CND Shellac product extremely well, I am not going to point out ways that we are able to differentiate genuine CND Shellac and counterfeit CND Shellac through packaging and any cosmetic appearance. Mainly because in the past 5 years, CND has changed the packaging, labeling and bottles a few times so therefore to eliminate any confusion, it is best not to rely purely on the appearance of the product. What is more important is the difference in the actual formula inside these bottles that ultimately will make or break our businesses.

I have managed to get hold of some counterfeit CND Shellac to conduct a mini experiment in order to compare the differences between the genuine formula and the counterfeit formula. 


The top 3 bottles are genuine CND Shellac. The bottom three bottles are counterfeit CND Shellac.At first glance, it is almost impossible to see which is real and which is not. But if you look carefully, the biggest give away is the writing on the actual bottles.



The pointer and middle finger is genuine CND Shellac.

The ring and little finger is counterfeit CND Shellac.

After applying and curing the base coat, the first coat of colour was applied. You are able to see the genuine CND Shellac is thinner in consistency,

therefore giving an almost see through appearance while the counterfeit CND Shellac is thicker and more opaque in colour.



After applying 2 coats of both formulas.

When both coats are painted on, it is almost impossible to differentiate between the 2 formulas.




As you lift both brushes from the bottles, it is possible to see quite clearly that the counterfeit CND Shellac is definitely made from a much thicker consistency to the genuine CND Shellac.


Left: Counterfeit CND Shellac. Right: Genuine CND Shellac.  




After wearing both formulas for 3 days, both formulas are wrapped and soak in the CND Nourishing remover for 8 minutes.



After 8 minutes, the foils are removed.

The CND Nourishing remover has travelled through the tiny tunnels in the genuine CND Shellac penetrating it for quick and safety removal as it should,

while the remover has not affected the counterfeit CND Shellac in any way and is still very intact with the nail.



With the use of an orange stick, the genuine CND Shellac is eased off the nail plate efficiently with no damage to the natural nail while the counterfeit CND Shellac is re-wrapped for another 20 minutes. 



After another 20 minutes, the counterfeit CND Shellac was pushed off the nail with a little force leaving a thin layer of residue still intact with the natural nail plate.  The genuine CND Shellac is removed clean off the nail plate. 


Creative Academy London Special Events

By Natalie Marshall

Creative Academy London has become a second home for me over the past few months and my first point of call for all nail education. I now jump at opportunities to attend the brilliant guest speaker events that are continuously being offered there. Each time I visit Creative Academy London, I notice subtle changes and improvements made by Anna Lee, CND Education Ambassador to make the learning experience there more effective and pleasant for students. From more chairs miraculously appearing, refreshments provided, to the new black out curtains installed to improve visibility of slide shows and presentations.

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Anna has made it her mission to guide her students and the UK Nail industry. To eliminate ignorance and recognise the benefits of CND’s products and excellent training. It is no wonder, Creative Academy London is fast becoming the training place to be for students and the ideal venue in the capital for Beauty Experts to hold seminars and events.

Marian Newman Competition Seminar

On Sunday 16 March 2014, I attended a one off Marian Newman Competition Seminar at Creative Academy London.  The event was hosted by Anna who was joined by Alex Fox and Janine Derbyshire from Scratch Magazine. The seminar was to highlight Nailympia's 10th year (2014); to encourage participation from more UK based nail technicians and to provide a greater understanding of ideal competition nails.

The tips and common sense advice provided at the event were priceless and although I did not feel confident enough to compete this year, I will definitely register next year.  By attending I gained the opportunity to network with fellow established technicians in the nail industry. I was also amongst the privileged few that received one to one mentoring from the nail industry session icon, Marion Newman. 

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FingerNailFixer® UK - Creative Academy London

I have been a fan of the FingerNail Fixer AKA Holly Schippers for some time and was very excited when I heard that her international tour would be stopping off at Creative Academy London. I booked my place immediately to avoid disappointment. The half day lectures were held on the 17 June 2014 and covered invaluable nail art tips, and recapped on the correct application of CND Shellac and offered business/pricing advice. Holly reinforced her belief that all nail professionals should have equal access to information and education.  Holly's teaching style is relaxed and took on board the qualities required in a pro nail technician and the importance of underestimating that clients' are becoming more educated too thanks to social media and can and will recognise an excellent service. Attendees were welcome to ask questions and request advice on specific nail art designs

By the end of the tutorial I felt more confident about incorporating nail art into my service menus, challenged to be more adventurous and to see the world through my 'nail eyes'. The session closed with a fabulous free gift courtesy of Sweet Squared and a personalised signed Vinylux poster by the Fingernail Finger herself. As soon as I got home I arranged for my poster to be framed and now has pride of place over my manicure station in my treatment room.

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Doug Schoon Back on Tour in London

Tuesday 23rd of September2014, hot off the back of the London Olympia Beauty Show, the internationally recognised scientist, author and educator Doug Schoon visited Creative Academy London as part of his London Tour. Doug's seminar included a state of the art 3D presentation to enhance and compliment his talk, which was packed with fascinating facts about natural and enhancement nail care. He covered in great detail how to avoid common salon/service problems, while keeping clients & nail professionals safe and nails healthy.  The information was provided in an animated, interactive and accurate way, dispelling myths and unfounded media propaganda. Doug is clearly enthralled by this subject so much so that he over ran by an hour! I have gained even more understanding of the natural nail anatomy. Many of the area's covered in the lecture I had a good understanding of from my previous training, however Doug's enthusiastic style of teaching and clear and concise methods of explaining chemistry made my understanding much more in depth.

The following special guests dropped in too. Samuel & Samantha Sweet from Sweet Squared, Marian Newman, and Helena Biggs, deputy editor of Scratch Magazine. They all mingled with the attendees during the breaks, answered questions, listened to customer concerns and even dealt with complaints! All who attended were given the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of Doug's most recent book Nail Structure and Product Chemistry:  Second Edition and we were given a gift bags full CND goodies! It was a fantastic educational day for all. 

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Fashion Makeup Awards 2014 - (E-MAKIJAZ)

 Creative Academy London are delighted to announce that it will be sponsoring international Fashion Makeup Awards 2014 by E-Makijaz Magazyn




To find out more information on how to submit your work, please check, Rules of Participation