What is shellac?So, I have mentioned that it is a gel nail polish, but what does that mean exactly? Shellac consists of a 50:50 ratio of gel polish to regular polish. This means that it is not a concentrated gel, but stronger that a regular polish.
How is it applied?One thing about shellac is that it is applied just as you would regular polish, starting with a base coat, two coats of polish, then a top coat. The difference comes after the application. Your nails will be placed under a UV light to “cure” or dry them.
What is a “dry” manicure?A dry manicure is done before the shellac application. This just means that your nails will not be soaked in warm water as with a regular manicure and that the massage cream and cuticle oil will be applied at the end after the shellac has been applied. A dry manicure is essential, because the nails need to be completely dry to ensure better adhesion of the polish, as well as longer wear.
Can the UV light cause skin cancer?There is a lot of controversy surrounding this about shellac. Personally, I feel that your hands are put under the light for such a short time that it shouldn’t cause any problems. If you are a shellac “addict” and do your nails every 2 to 3 weeks, then you can take SPF with you to the salon and request that it be applied to your hands before placing them under the light. If you have any dark or prominent moles on your hand or fingers, cover it with a small band-aid.
Why is alcohol sprayed onto the nail once it comes out of the machine?Whenever I do this on a newbie shellac client, their eyes always widen and they worry that I am removing their polish, hehe. I’m often tempted to play it up! The alcohol simply removes the sticky layer of the gel that is left on the nail. Once the sticky layer is removed, the nails are dry underneath. Voila! No dry time is a bonus indeed.
Will shellac damage my nails?Women have difference opinions on this. Shellac may be a gel nail polish, but it is far less concentrated than regular gel, meaning little to no damage to the nails. If you have very weak or brittle nails, then constant shellac applications may slightly weaken them further. I recommend getting shellac for a special occasion, like a wedding or a vacation, or alternating between regular manicures and shellac manicures, to allow your nails to breathe in-between. I do not have the strongest nails, but one thing I’ve noticed about shellac that I’ve done on myself is that it has caused no damage.
Can I remove it myself?It is best to go into a salon and get it removed, as shellac can only be removed with pure acetone. You can, however, remove it yourself at home with acetone. I will do a post soon showing DIY steps.
*Don’t ever peel your shellac off as this can cause damage*
Can I get a French mani done with shellac?You definitely can! I recently did a brides French manicure and it turned out fabulous. Shellac is a high-shine polish that is just gorgeous, especially with a French mani.
Are there a big variety of colours?There are quite a few brands of different shellac polishes. My favourite, and the original, is the CND brand as they have a vast variety of colours and are continually coming out with new ones.
Here are a few of their colour selections: CND COLOURS
Tips How To Make Your Shellac Manicure Last Longer
*Wear gloves when washing dishes, cleaning, or gardening.
*Moisture is essential to keep the nails supple, ensuring that your shellac lasts longer. Apply hand lotion throughout the day and cuticle oil at night before bed.
Shellac is great if you have a special occasion and can’t risk chipping polish, or if you just want a manicure that lasts. When you book in for a shellac manicure, don’t be afraid to ask questions and use the knowledge I have provided about shellac to your advantage!
Polished nails are happy nails! Give shellac a try and let me know what you think.