What is Shellac Nails?

Shellac nails refer to nails manicured or pedicured with a special in-salon gel-polish hybrid developed by nail polish brand Creative Nail Design.

What do you get after mixing the long-lasting nature of nail gel and the glorious shine of regular polish? Shellac nails. Best known for its sleek, shiny finish, shellac manicures are taking over the nail scene. If you are still not in the loop about what shellac nails are, here is the low down.

Shellac is a polish-gel hybrid that comes in over 100 color choices. Interestingly, Shellac is not a type of manicure; it is a product by Creative Nail Design. Since it was the first polish of its kind to come in the industry, people started referring to it as shellac nails, the same way we use Tupperware and bandaid as a generic term for something.

That said, CND Shellac is half gel and half polish, so it brings the best of both worlds. Because of the gel aspect, Shellac must be cured with UV light, making the dry time instant and long-lasting. On average, this type of manicure lasts a good 14 days without chipping unless you spend a lot of time in the water.

How is Shellac different from Gel Manicure?

Shellac and gel polishes are applied the same way, cured the same way, and result in a shiny, long-lasting manicure. The two come in a myriad of colors to choose from, and there is no limit to how creative you can get when applying. Two things differentiate them, though;

Shellac doesn’t last as long as a gel. Since Shellac is mixed with regular polish, it does not last as long as gel polish. Shellac will give you a good two weeks of service, while gel can last a month or more.

Shellac is easier to remove. Again, the constituents of Shellac polish make it easier to remove. With gel, you must use a buffer or nail file to scrape off the top coat before soaking the nails with acetone. You don’t need to file shellac nails, and the soak time is ridiculously short.

How to Apply Shellac?

The application process of Shellac is similar to gel polish manicure;
•    Start by cleaning the nails and scrubbing the lower arms.

•    Remove the cuticles, followed by filing, buffing, and shaping.

•    Dry and ensure the nail plate is completely oil-free.

•    Start by applying a thin layer of Shellac base coat and hold the hands under a UV light for ten seconds.

•    Follow that up with a coat of Shellac color and cure again for a minute.

•    Apply a second layer of color coat and repeat the curing process for a minute or two.

•    Finish up with the last layer, which is a Shellac topcoat, and cure for two minutes.

•    Wipe off the sticky top layer with an alcohol-based wipe. The polymerization process leaves a sticky residue, but it easily comes off with a simple wipe.

•    Apply some nourishing cuticle oil around the cuticle area to counteract the harshness of the polish.

While it’s possible to apply and even remove Shellac polish at home, we recommend having a professional do it at the salon. This will ensure flawless and long-lasting results. As for taking care of the nails, make sure you wear plastic gloves when doing house chores involving water and keep your hands moisturized.