Frustrated by my tendency to chip and smudge polish however (no matter how many times I tell myself, I just lack the patience to sit still while they dry), I decided to try Shellac after hearing people rave about this '2-week manicure'.
The deal with Shellac (by nail geniuses CND) is that it is a half polish-half gel product. It applies like a polish but has the strength, flexibility and durability to last like a gel, the general lifespan of a Shellac mani is said to be approximately 2 weeks. After painting the nail, each layer is 'cured' or set with brief exposure to UV light. Once this process is completed for all layers (base, two colour coats and top coat), you're good to go and are left with nails that are immediately 100% dry!
Shellac is available in a limited range of colours (although my manicurist assures me a broader range is on the way!) that all finish with a beautiful shine similar to what you would expect from a gel and best of all, lasts up to 2 weeks.
Looking at my un-chipped, shiny soft baby-pink nails as I type this, I think I'm a convert!