Enter CND's Shellac system and perhaps slightly more well known OPI's Axxium system. After looking into this "CND manicure" I became more and more intrigued. It claims to be a manicure that lasts "14+" days. *insert jaw drop here* I was VERY skeptical. I was guessing it didn't really last 14 days. Or, if it did, it would be a major ordeal to remove including damaging the nail bed. The more I read on CND's website, (http://www.cnd.com/Products/Color/shellac-hello.aspx) I noted they claim minimal removal time and NO damage to the nail. Did I mention the ZERO dry time (no trying to fish for your keys like a wingless chicken after the mani).
While looking into CND (and doing my regular neurotic research) I came across a few other "14 day" manicures. The most popular being by polish pro OPI. They call theirs the "Axxium" system. http://www.opi.com/ In my reviews it seemed that Axxium was slightly more "durable" (i.e. you can actually paint OVER the color you got at the salon, and then remove it with nailpolish remover to see the original polish) however the down side was that reports said it took quite a bit more to remove (more time and more "doin'") and after repeated use might damage the natural nail.
In the name of fair research, my friend Sarah got the Axxium and I got the Shellac (what we won't do for the sake of science). Below are photos of our progress and the eventual "re-do". After the photos I'll give you the "low down" on what we both thought! [Note: I don't have the first few days of Axxium - I pulled Sarah into my scheme a little late in the game, but you'll still get a complete picture of the durability)]