Shellac Manicure: Everything You Need to Know

You may be familiar with traditional manicures like gel, acrylics, and dip powder. You probably might have come across shellac manicures and assumed they are the same as the gel manicure. Read on to know more.

What is a Shellac Manicure?

Shellac is a patented nail product by the company CND (Creative Nail Design), a popular nail brand that first developed 14-day-wear gel polish. It is a mixture of different ingredients, such as nail polish and gel. These ingredients are like pre-mixed acrylics, which undergo a chemical reaction once cured with a UV lamp.

Experts suggest that Shellac is technically a gel polish and regular polish hybrid, and the formulas bind together when cured under light. Shellac manicure is a quick, effective gel manicure that results in smudge-proof, chip-proof, and glossy nail color that lasts weeks. It applies as quickly and easily and requires little preparation beforehand, making it one of the fastest kinds of manicure available.

While Shellac offers various benefits to many people, it isn’t meant for everyone. There are several factors, both positive and negative, that you must take into consideration before choosing a shellac manicure.

Benefits Of Shellac Manicure

1. They Have Great Staying Power

Shellac manicure offers rich, glossy color that can last for weeks. It gives a shiny mirror smooth finish to your nails, and in most cases, it lasts without chipping or fading away.

Moreover, because it is fade-proof and smudge-proof, you benefit from the perfect color for weeks. You only need to touch up the paint when new nail growth comes in to make your nails look neat and attractive daily.

2. They Dry Faster

Shellac manicures can be done within 40-45 minutes. Your manicurist will set your shellac manicure under a UV light so they will be completely dry by the time you leave the salon. Because it dries quickly, you don’t have to worry about smudging, chipping, or damaging the finish.

3. They Are Easier To Maintain

Maintaining a shellac manicure is easier than keeping up with a traditional one. Shellac manicures last longer than traditional manicures, and the application and removal process hurt less than the procedures for acrylic nails.

Drawbacks Of Shellac Manicure

1. Removal Process Is A Pain

Shellac manicures involve so many hardened layers of polish; the only way to take it off is by soaking the nails in strong acetone. This can be a very painful experience, especially for sensitive skin, and it can also damage their nails.

Also, frequent application and removal of shellac manicures can result in broken nails and brittle or peeling nails. For the safest and most effective removal, always visit a professional manicurist.

2. Lifting

Because Shellac doesn’t chip, scratch, or smudge, it can peel and lift, especially at the edges of your nails. Keep in mind that shellac nails start peeling after a few weeks because of the errors that occurred in the application process. To avoid this, go to a reputable salon for treatments and ensure your manicurist leaves no overlay and applies it correctly along the edges of your nails.

How To Do A Shellac Manicure

It’s so easy to do a shellac manicure; all it takes is a little patience and a little practice to get quality results.

Step One: Gather Your Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need to achieve a perfect shellac manicure;

  1. Shellac Base Coat
  2. Shellac Top Coat
  3. Shellac Color of Your Choice
  4. UV LED Gel & Shellac Nail Polish Curing Lamp
  5. A cleanup brush
  6. Acetone-free nail polish remover

Step Two: Remove Existing Nail Polish And File Nails

Use an acetone-free nail polish remover to remove existing nail polish. Then buff and file the nails into a shape you like. Make sure you buff gently and not too hard.

Remember, the more you buff, the longer your nail color will last. Afterwards, push your cuticles down and avoid cutting them on your own. Remove the dust from your nails gently with some wipes or a nail polish remover, and make sure they are clean.

Step Three: Apply Base Coat

Apply a base coat the same way you apply nail polish. Then cure the polish with LED light lamp for 30 seconds.

Step Four: Apply Color

Choose your color. Apply one coat and cure your nails with the LED lamp for 30 seconds.

Step Five: Apply Topcoat

Apply one layer of top coat and cure for 30 seconds under LED lamp. Once your nails are completely dry, remove the moisture layer on your nails with acetone-free nail polish remover.

Is Shellac Different from Gel Nails?

A shellac and gel manicure is generally the same: Long-lasting polishes cured under UV lamps. The only difference is that gel manicure is the term for nails done under a UV lamp, while Shellac is a patented gel nail brand from one manufacturer: Creative Nail Design (CND). Neither Shellac nor gel damages your nails. If your manicure is applied, removed, and cared for properly, you will not have any problems.

Shellac nail polish is much thinner than gel, so the manicure lasts two weeks. Meanwhile, a gel manicure can last a bit longer than Shellac, up to three weeks. Simply put, a Shellac manicure is a semi-permanent polish, while a gel manicure is a semi-permanent gel.