Shellac Manicure: An Honest Opinion

Months ago I talked on the social sphere (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc) about getting a couple of OPI Axxium soak-off gel manicures. After reviewing the pros & cons of Axxium versus Shellac (by CND), I had chosen Axxium because I thought it lasted longer, was thicker & thus better for my nails, and came in more colors.

Boy, oh boy, was I wrong. About three weeks ago I decided to visit a chic new day spa & nail salon that opened up on Kirby Drive here in Houston. I was enticed by the gorgeous interior, the no-fume policy, and the fact that it is full-service. I noticed they did Shellac, so I thought, “Why not?”

Three weeks later, I’m a complete Shellac convert. Not only does Shellac come in more more fun (IMO) colors than Axxium, it’s thinner*, cheaper (at least in my area), faster, shinier, and lasts longer. *Why would I want it to be thinner, you ask? Well, it turns out that the thicker your Axxium manicure is, the less stable it is – something I learned firsthand when the hardened gel would start to separate from my nail after about a week or so.

I will tell you the only reasons why you should not get a Shellac (or any long wearing manicure, for that matter, including Axxium):

  • if you are impatient or otherwise indecisive about nail color & change it more than once a week
  • if you have problem nails such as fungus, pitting, spooning (not the romantic kind), or other nail conditions
  • if you actually like the look of chipped nails (um, heroin-chic? hate that word.)
  • if you’re on a budget (but I will say that I spend more on bottles of barely-used nail polish than I did on this $35 manicure)

I decided to document my first Shellac manicure’s progress, so I was sure to take a photo on the day that I went for a another manicure to show you the difference. The above first photo was how it looked right when I got back in the car from the salon. And below, after nearly 3 weeks of continuous, hard-on-my-nails, wear:

Okay, so the cuticles are a little yucky. Hey, mine have been a lot worse in the past–just trust me on that one.

The main thing you’ll notice is how shiny they still are, with no chips–and the only thing that makes you come back into the salon is the unsightly nail growth. I chose a classic red (Wildfire) first because red polish always, without fail chips on me in less than 24 hours. Always. Not black, not purple…red. I felt like this broke the curse!

Then I happily went for my favorite shade: a pale beigey pink (Romantique) – similar Axxium or OPI color would be Bubble Bath.

Have you ever tried a long-wear manicure like Shellac or Axxium? Love to hear your thoughts (and favorite Shellac colors)! Oh, and test out the tweet button — I think you’ll like the link shortener I’m now using instead of (which, let’s be honest, is such a dull domain!). ;) Use the tweet button (it should but right ^^ up there somewhere on your screen) to see what I mean!

I updated my thoughts on Shellac one year later, click here to read.

P.S. – this is not a sponsored review and is just an honest opinion. I am not affiliated in any way with the brands or products mentioned in this post. I just write what I want!

  • Jasmine

    I had my first shellac manicure recently and LOVED how shiny it was and the fact that you can walk out of the salon and not worry about being careful because it has set straight away. In saying that it didn’t last as long on me as the reports I have heard, after about 4 days it was starting to come away from my nail, but not sure if that is the salon I went to or just the nature of my nails.

    It was so good to see that my nails underneath weren’t at all damaged by the shellac so I would definitely do it again for a special occasion! I can’t remember the name of the colour but I got a bright red/orange and loved it.

    • Cindy

      Loved CND. Used it for a year THEN the problems started. If I did my nails tonight , my fingers would itch for days. I mean itch like you nerver itched.. Can’t sleep, can’t do anything but scratch!, I’ve bought the whole system. Will throw it away . Be careful

      • Anna Agbe

        Omg Is this because you have formed an allergy to the CND polish? I am new to shellac and have just bought my uv lamp & I’m about to buy the rest of the products I will need. Any chance you would be interested in selling yours instead of tossing it? :) Also, does anyone know if I can use a regular color coat and uv over & under? I have so many nail polishes- I hate that they will all be wasted when I begin using CND shellac only. Thanks!

        • Cindy

          See if you can find the Good Housekeeping article on shellac nails.. Scary!!

          I hope they correct the formula ( take out the carcinogen ). I really want them to get it right.

          I did read early that you could use regular polish with base and top coat.

          If you do continue to use the product, when you get ready to remove color, just start peeling at cuticle. It comes off quite easily and no acetone

      • Muriel

        I have been getting shellac manicures for 9 months at a nail salon. About a month ago the problem started. Just like you my fingers would itch for days. The itch would be around the nail bed. About a week or so after the manicure the skin around some of my nails was bubbling and then it would peel. It looks like I have become allergic to this product. For the days that I experienced this itch I would take antihistamines. I would also keep rubbing hand cream on that contained aloe. I was beside myself with this itch. It helped a bit but not entirely. It looks like I’ll have to do something else.

      • Marlene

        I developed an allergy and got really itchy red cuticles/fingers from gel nails (tried several different brands) a few years ago. I tried to tough it out and my nearly lost all my nails! I stopped doing them altogether. I recently tried Shellac and that product is great! I don’t have any problem, it makes my nails grow long and when I take the product off they are strong and not thin and brittle. I love Shellac!

      • Tammy

        Hi Cindy and Muriel,
        I actually had the same issue with the itching, don’t have any problems any more…….worked out that it is the end process when they wipe off the sticky residue, they were rubbing it over the edge around my cuticle. So now they soak there pad and with one swipe from the cuticle area down towards the free edge, change pads don’t reuse, don’t let them ‘rub it’ off….I haven’t had a problem since. Hope this helps…..

  • Jen

    Thanks for this post Kristina! I tried OPI Axxium once during summer before a vacation because there was a groupon for it. I loved it, up until its removal. I didn’t want to pay the $25+ to get it removed (it’s insanely expensive in Canada- to get an application is about $60) so a friend brought me some shellac remover..which proved to be awful and ruined my nails for weeks. That being said, it was my fault and I would definitely go for these manicures regularly if they weren’t so crazily priced – I love how shiny they are and us girls that type so much need the worry free durability. I’m very curious about Shellac and would definitely try it if the opportunity arose and it was priced right!

    Hope you’re having a great week and Merry Christmas in advance!

    • Erica

      FYI: OPI is coming out with a new line, not sure if they are retiring Axium or not but its called GelColor. It’ll be available in salons ONLY at this point. I used to go get my nails Shellac’d. Its a very good product but didn’t work for my wimpy nails. I ended up investing in Gelish and learning how to do it myself. Love the product! I watched alot of YouTube videos to get idea’s and hints. FingerNailfixer is wonderful. She uses Shellac and I just amend it for Gelish. She shows how to glitterize, foil and all kinds of wonderful things to make nails fun.
      As to your issue with the damage to your nails…there are a few easy things to do that will make your nails good as new in no time. CND makes a product called Solar Oil. It’s a blend of almond, jojoba, and rice oils. Use this 2-3 times a day and you will notice a huge improvement. It can and should be used over your nail polish/gel. I personally use straight jojoba oil and am thrilled with the improvements to my skin and nails.
      Hope you get a chance to treat yourself soon!

  • Rachael @ Rachael, Really.

    I love Shellac and Gelish manicures! I’ve been getting them regularly since this last spring. They last just under 2 weeks for me because my nails grow insanely fast (I take Biotin supplements, could be why) but otherwise, they are amazing. The salon I go to here in California only charges $17!!! I also soak them off myself, not that my lady charges (she’s just awesome like that.) but I hate sitting there for 15 minutes in the salon with my fingers in the bowl. I pour straight acetone into a glass bowl at home and wa-lah, they come right off.
    I’ve tried every color under the sun now. The Romantique was one of the only colors I didn’t like. It chipped on me and it cracked actually. Despite how fast my nails grow, they are very thin, so they are pliable even with the Shellac on. I think this caused the Shellac to have fine cracks in it. Other lighter colors in the Gelish sorta “bleached out” on me, like the color “Go Girl” (an awesome bubblegum pink) but I also have tried Reds, Hot Pinks, Blacks and Berries, my most recent one was called Midnight Caller by Nail Harmony Gelish and it was a titanium grey with a slight frost. It was beautiful.

    • CourtneyC

      Hello! May i suggest an easier removal technique for your Shellac manicure. You need Aluminum Foil, Cotton balls, and 100% Acetone. Take 5 fluffy cotton balls and pull them into two parts. Put Acetone on your cotton balls making sure they are wet but not overly saturated. Wrap each finger with the cotton ball placed on your nail bed and wrap a square piece of aluminum foil around your finger. let it sit for 5-10 min, and your done. you may need an orange wood stick to help remove some of the stubborn gel. This way, your not confined to a glass bowl and can move about, making the 5-10 min go by faster!

  • Kathryn @

    That nude pink looks absolutely STUNNING on you!

    XX Kathryn

  • Sarah

    Thanks for doing this post, I’ve been thinking about getting a shellac manicure and I do believe you’ve convinced me to finally do it! :)

  • Saks2Salvation

    I just had my first shellac manicure today and am absolutely loving it. It’s like this post was meant to be! Thanks for your honest opinion. I believe that these are the best to give especially when it comes to our fashionable lives. Your nails look great, too. I chose a natural french. I know boring but it’s me. LOVE your blog!

    • carole patrick

      Go get one now.I love love love shellac nails .I have had 3 done at the salon but they are more expensive here in the UK ,being £8 to remove it and £30 for Shellac so have now bought all of the kit and am going to do my own .
      I am a convert ,mine last 2 weeks or more when done properly.

  • Michelle jadaa

    I had a gelish manicure done once and i was in love.Hubby bought me all the supplies to do it myself from ebay and amazon..I checked at sally beauty supply here in Canada and it was ridiculous what they were charging for the tiny bottles.I love that it adds strength to my nails without the damage of acrylic.
    As for removal its just a pad soaked in acetone based polish remover ,wrap each finger in foil and wait for it to work.Personally i like a french manicure and after doing it twice id say it looks pretty good lol.Id love to try the pale beigey pink next :0

  • AustinMamaDrama

    Love the dark colors. Fedora is my favorite. Asphalt is a dark grey and is fun for winter. Rock royalty is a dark purple – my 3rd choice. Wish they made a shimmery burnt orange or a dark shimmery blue.

    • Erica

      I think they do make those colors. Shellac is great for color layering. You’d be amazed at what you can create. (You can check out CND’s Shellac page and scroll thru the colors. Also go to YouTube and watch Fingernailfixer’s video’s. She is amazing!) They have a color called Purple Purple. Its very pretty. They also have a color called Zillionaire. It can be put on top of any color and it brings the bling to it! A lovely bit of sparkle!
      Hope this helps,

  • Chelsea

    I’ve tried both and I have to agree with your assessment. I am an OPI devotee, but Shellac is MUCH better for a gel manicure option. Great post!

  • Charlotta Grönberg

    I actually bought a use-at-home gel lacquer for my nails and I’ve tried it once this far and love the results! It’s like Shellac, but it’s clear and you can use any normal nail polish in desired colours underneath, and it stays on for two weeks! I’m wearing a nearly black OPI polish under it and it’s stayed perfect for five days already. It’s Rio 14 days clear polish, and comes with that hardening light to use at home.

  • christin

    i loved it but then i hated it when i wanted to take it off without going to a salon. insert last year i didn’t have a job… so lots of soaking in acetone and lots of dry dry dry fingers. i think if i could have afforded to get it professionally removed, i’d be singing a different tune!

  • The Curvy Girl

    I have been reading about Shellac and now cannot wait to get one done! I am also looking at the Seacret Oil you show above…your nails look FABULOUS!!

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  • Frenchie in H-town

    I got mine done in Denver, loved it… until I went to a salon to remove it. My nails have been ruined for weeks. :( I am staying away.

  • Elizabeth

    I just got a Gelish manicure for the first time last Thursday, so it has only been about 5 days. They still look just as perfect as they did when I walked out of the salon! I went for a red with sparkle (I believe the color is called ‘Good Gossip’) for the holidays. If it holds up for the 2 two 3 weeks or so and the removal goes well, I will definitely go back for it! I type A LOT at work, and my manicures chip every single time within a day or two, so it’s pretty much a waste, but I love having polished nails! I’m hoping this is what I have been looking for. Thanks so much for your review!

  • Aly

    Maybe it’s just me but my Shellac mani didn’t even last a week. I was really sad. Especially after forking over $35 +tip for a 5 day mani. Personally I would just go the UV Calgel route. If you just get a clear or nude solid color it’s about 40-50 dollars. You can paint over the polish with any normal color and it comes off with non acetone polish remover, and doesn’t hurt the gel. When I had a Calgel mani it lasted 3 months. And looked great the whole time!

    Aly @

    • Tommie

      I had the same problem. I loved the way my nails looked but at 5 days I had three nails that had started to peel away. I went back to the salon and had them redone. I’m now at 10 days and all 10 nails (including the three that were redone) are chipped/peeled and look terrible. And I’m finding that just getting the remaining polish removed is going to cost $10-15. I don’t think I’ll do this again. I was very disappointed. :(

      • deb

        I do my own and have found through trial and error that you must get rid of the true cuticle first ,then clean the nail plate with a swab of pure acetone.The trick is to do thin coats.My last lot lasted 14 days.This is the strongest my nails have been in years and Iuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve it !

    • Geri

      What is the Calgel manicure? I got the Shellac Pedi (color was the Sea Green and it’s so beautiful..not the original name just color) one week ago & it still looks awesome & the Shellac mani yesterday. So far both are doing great but the price at the Salon is so expensive. I wish I could buy my own system but am not a beautician. But I would like to know what the Calgel manicure is if you don’t mind, Aly. Thanks for any tips. And to all these other comments I thank you, too. I was first looking to see how to take care of my Shellac manicure and have learned a lot from all these comments.

  • Elissa

    I love Shellac! Around me there is a salon that does it for 25$ so it’s even cheaper! I personally usually get Romantique also because it is nude and beautiful, but when I’m feeling fun I get the dark purple color – I think it’s called Rockstar or something.

  • Melissa @ CupcakesOMG!

    i personally use Shellac–haven’t done my own experience to compare how the two wear, but i think this is great. and i LOVEEEE the neutral pink in the last pic. looks so great and sets off your GUH-orgeous ring so well!!

  • Amber

    The salon I go to get my gel manicures has colors from many companies and I love that about them. It’s great to have that variety in colors! Their newest brand is Gelish. They have great sparkly or glittery colors when you’re feeling festive!

  • Leslie

    thank you for your honest opinion…I have often considered…

  • Nnenna

    I’ve always wanted to try a Shellac manicure but I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, so thank you for the very comprehensive review! I love the two colors you chose, both look smashing on you! :)

  • Tiffany

    I just did a review on my blog and a few days later my mani started peeling on the edges. I have teeny tiny nail beds so I am not sure if that is the problem. I LOVE OPI, but Axxium was too thick. The mani I just had was Gelish and that is what started perling :(. I want to wear polish to show off my engagement ring, but without the hassle.

  • Azu

    This is awesome. My nail polish always chips. This makes me want to go try this out now! I love the second color…it’s so pretty :)

  • Holly M

    I’ve been getting french shellac manicures for the past four months and LOVE it. When it grows out, you hardly notice because of the lovely natural color of the manicure, and if you get the white part painted on fairly thick, you can file it down as your nails grow out and it will last a full month with hardly anyone noticing! Going in tomorrow to get a nice dark wine red shellac put on my really short nails! Love the look.

    • Marla

      I also usually get the shellac french nails for the same reason. I can get a good 3 weeks out of it and you don’t really notice the outgrowth as with dark colors and I love being able to actually walk out of the salon without already ruining my mani. I was wondering if anyone else has had problems with white spots on their nails. At first I thought it could be from when they scrape the shellac off. What I found on-line about that is the acetone used to remove the shellac can damage the nail surface and there has also been warnings about putting your hands under the light curer as it is akin to a tanning booth. I decided to give my nails a rest from the shellac this last time and got a regular mani with OPI. It was only $5 cheaper and less than 2 days later the color on my nails has already started to chip/peel. Also, some of my nails seem to be very thin which has not been an issue in the past before I started getting manis. I will definitely go back to the shellac, although I am concerned about long term usage.

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  • Kristen

    I just did my first gel polish (I did the OPI brand in a taupe-y color, don’t remember the actual name) a little over week ago. I get the appeal, but I have a couple of problems. First, my nails grow like weeds, so mine have the crazy growth already, and I can’t stand it. Also, I’m a picker (ew, I know, don’t judge me) and when a little corner came up on my pinky, I couldn’t leave it alone and now have a super jacked up, naked nail. That’s more my fault than the gel polish, but there you go. All that being said, I’m glad I did it for my vacation so I had nice nails for a week, and I would do it again in that circumstance.

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  • Jamie

    I am your gel sister! Romantique is my FAVE!!! My only issue is it always picks up on the sides somewhere between day 7-10. I HATE that. But I keep going back because I LOVE the shine. I think I’m additcted

  • Natasha @OneWomansStyleEvolution

    I’ve been meaning to write a piece about this on my blog. I suck at polishing my nails by myself and regular nail polish chips before I walk out of the salon so this type of polish was a god send for me, or so I thought. I started getting these back in April, the shellac types. In August, I took them off after I returned from my vacation. They cracked (like a spider web) and they were chipping and peeling like mad and I thought that maybe it was because of all of the time I was spending in the pool/beach. I realize now that part of the problem was that they had to use 3 coats to get the black polish that I was wearing to look opaque. I also noticed before every application that they would file my nails down, I think to get the polish to stick better to my nails. However, when they removed the shellac in August (I wasn’t trying to remove it by myself), I was shocked to see the condition of my nail bed. My nails were dry, brittle and thin. I’ve been wearing them plain since then. I haven’t even tried a clear polish. I hope everyone’s experience is more positive than mine was.

    • BrooklynBeka

      btw Natasha so sorry about your experience but if it helps to know they should not be filing you down, at least that’s not procedure for the CND Shellac. It’s actually part of what I love about it. Hope your nails are all better now!
      Nail Repair is great if you still need something to help them along!

  • Lauren (BestTrendz)

    Now I’ll have to look into this Shellac manicure- like you, I spend so much on nail polish I only use once or twice that I’d rather invest in something like this and get rid of the hassle… and of course, stop buying nail polish I won’t use more than a couple of times.

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    I have also tried Axxium and Shellac and am also a Shellac convert, because it is less harsh on the nails. My Axxium mani actually lasted fine, but Shellac is more natural and comes off so easily. I like to do Shellac over the holidays or when I have an event coming up and I don’t want any chips or potential breaks. In fact, I have a fresh Shellac mani in Hollywood (my fave) right now!

    The only thing I dislike about gels is the UV light. I try to remember to bring sunscreen for my hands when I can. I’m also seriously contemplating fingerless gloves. I’m that fanatical about UV exposure.

    Great write up! Happy holidays, honey!

  • Lilly

    I have super thin delegate nails and unfortunately the shellac damaged them. I loved how they looked after the first visit, but I think due to my nails underneath they didn’t have the same long wear as other people I know. :) thanks for your post though. I’m happy your looks so pretty. You’d make an ideal hand model – no joke.

  • BrooklynBeka

    Howdy girlie!
    As I mentioned on Twitter I’m in love with Shellac. I did a bunch of research online and learned that there is a definite technique to the 3 step process and, sadly I also learned that the one time I paid the money to have them done she didn’t do it properly.
    I LOVE that they dry so lightning fast, no drilling or nail abuse, no lingering odors, and they come off with a acetone soaked pad (takes a little while). The trick is not to let it adhere to the cuticles or else it will mess them up as it grows out.

    I bought all my own stuff on eBay (I only buy original NIB branded product.) and now do them at home, still perfecting my application…takes way longer when I do them myself, but it’s worth it for how durable they are! Lots of YouTube videos out there on the Shellac process for those interested and the CND website has all the details as well!

    I’ve only tried Strawberry Smoothie, Red Baroness, and Rock Royalty. Glad to hear you love it so much!

  • Mary

    I love the shellac manicure and the way it lasts through playing sport etc – but don’t love the cost. The cheapest place I’ve found near my place is $60! If I could get a $35 mani (like my sister does in a different city) – I’d be on to it every three weeks. I’ve only had the neutral pink (which I loved).

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  • nikki

    Your nails look great!!! I change my nail polish color every 2-3 days but I would like to stop my natural nails from breaking all the time, I think I might try this manicure to see how long I can go without my nails breaking!

  • Becky @ blahblahbecky

    “spooning (not the romantic kind)” LOL :)

    They both look gorgeous, I love both of the colours you chose.

  • CosmoGirl

    I love Shellac manicures!!! I’m a cosmetology student & we offer the Shellac polish to our clients along with a water manicure for $15…it’s $10 for the Shellac polish alone. Anyhoo, we got a flyer from one of the supply house reps in the area & it had different combinations of Shellac polish to make a new shade. My favorite combo was Black Pool & Zillionaire! I love this combo! Right now we’re between semesters & I’ve since peeled the polish off but I’m dying to get it done again, however, the one “salon” that does it in the area is the Aveda School & they charge $22 for it. I’m trying to wait until after the holidays to go get it done again.

    For those of you who said your Shellac manicure didn’t last long, I was told that if you constantly have your hands in hot water, it will cause your mani to start separating from your nail. Also, sealing the polish in (a swipe along the edge of the nail) should help it last longer as well.

    • CosmoGirl

      Oops! It will cause your POLISH to start separating from the nail, not the mani!

      • Geri

        What do you mean about separating and a swipe along the edge of the nail? Help? I need to maintain my Shellac and all help greatly appreciated! Thanks, CosmoGirl!

  • Mary

    I have been using Gelish and Shellac for about a year and a half. Have never tried to Opi as I heard it is rough on your nails. I love both Shellac and Gelish. Overall, Shellac is my favorite for it’s natural feel. Gelish feels a bit more like an enhancement.

    When they first came out it was ridiculously expensive in my area; $45-$65, and no where near by did it….so I ordered the supplies and started doing my own. Very, very easy. Since then prices have come way down and are running about $17-$19, so now I do often have it done at the salon. I do like having the supplies on hand for removal or change if I feel like it/

    Both Shellac and Gelish last me about 2 1/2 weeks. I have also had good luck doing (or having done) a regular mani and applying the Gelish top it off on top, that lasts me almost 2 weeks.

  • Dana

    As a professional nail tech, I respect the opinions of the general public getting nail services. However, I see the need to correct a few misconceptions —
    1. No nail enhancement product is “bad for your nails” unless you are allergic to any/all chemicals in said product. Removal of any products also should NOT be a painful process. If it is, please do not go back to that tech; they obviously do not know what they are doing.
    2. Axxium’s removal should go like this: scratch the top coat to allow for penetration of acetone, wrap with cotton covered w/foil OR use OPI’s specialized wraps, allow to sit for 15-20 minutes, then gently push product off using an orangewood stick.
    3. The only two differences between Axxium’s & Shellac’s removals are: (a) Shellac is only 10 minutes, and (b) you do not need to scratch Shellac for it to remove.
    4. Shellac & Axxium are intended for different uses. Axxium is a true gel with color pigments in it. To make it able to soak off, it needs to be thinner than traditional gel, but it’s still A GEL. Shellac is a “Power Polish”; not a gel. If you truly want to compare similar products, I suggest comparing Gelish, Shellac, GelColor, Gelicure, etc…
    5. Shellac currently comes in 30 shades. Axxium currently has 55 shades I am aware of (there may be more). So, your statement in which you said that Shellac has more colors available is incorrect.

    I carry Shellac, GelColor, & Axxium in my salon (as far as UV cured colors go) simply because they are different products, intended for different types of nails as well as different lifestyles. But, I would NEVER say one is “better” than another because that statement is simply not true.

    • Kristina

      While I respect your invaluable advice as a pro in the field, please remember that this is a personal opinion post, and not in any way intended to serve as expert advice, nor is it your right to tell me what I can and cannot endorse as “better”. Indeed they are different products, but, I have to say–if I feel like comparing apples to oranges, I will. That being said, thank you for your insight and for bringing to light my error about the color choices. xoxo Kristina

    • Mary

      While I respect your professional opinion….I do respect my friends and families opinions as well, even if it is only anecdotal…and a have heard from at least 12-15 people that Axxium absolutely ruined their nail bed.

      Also, as the other reply to your post said, the blog asked for our opinions…and mine stands…I DO like both shellac and Gelish, but shellac remains MY favorite.

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  • Teresa

    I just had an impromptu manicure today at my hairstylists’ new salon today and decided to try the shellac as well! I went with a french manicure over a dark “wintery” color. I tend to keep my nails fairly short, and generally go for neutral shades of polish (if I go with color at all) because as a teacher, I tend to be pretty clutzy (I’ve broken toes and had stitches on both hands due to scissor and knife injuries since I started teaching 5 years ago!) and filing student work really tears my nails to shreds! I caught myself going into my bag for my keys really gingerly, because it’s habit to think that the polish isn’t dry. So far today, I’ve slammed my finger in the Jeep door, done dishes, cleaned a bathroom, and opened a bottle of wine and they still look perfect! It’s only $25 for a manicure at my salon, so I will forgo something else to afford it!! I can probably go every 3-4 weeks as my nails don’t grow really fast and the polish I chose was pretty neutral so any growth won’t show too much. I’m so excited to have found this!!

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  • Allycia

    Love this review. I have never tried the Shellac, but heard so many great things about it. I’m definitely going to give this mani a try after reading this! Great post. So glad I discovered your blog recently…love it!!


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  • http://n/a Monica

    Do they have a shellac pedicure? I’m sure it would have a lofty price, but I love the idea of super shiny toe nails for a few weeks :)

    • BrooklynBeka

      They sure do!

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  • Jenni

    I loved your post!!! I first started out doing Axxium Soak Off Gels on my clients and had lots of trouble with it destroying my client’s nails. Then CND brought out the Shellac, and I couldn’t have been happier!!! Glad you’ve made the switch! ;)

  • Kate

    I’ve been offering shellac in my salon since august 2011. Since then we have performed hundreds of services, and no clients have reported any major problems to us. You always get the odd one who isn’t as careful as they should be though!

    The main reason for my post, is to inform the consumer of what a proper Shellac service consists of and what to look out for to ensure you’re getting the real thing;

    -Your nails should be prepared for Shellac application by the therapist performing a dry manicure, which will include the nails being filed into shape and any non-living tissue being removed from the nail plate to promote good adhesion of the product. Any non-living tissue on the nail plate will cause your Shellac to lift and peel off.

    -The next step is to dehydrate and cleanse the nail plate. Your therapist should use a blue coloured liquid called Scrubfresh. This is rubbed over the nail using a lint free pad or cotton wool depending which they prefer. There is no need to buff the natural nail, if your therapist tries to buff your nail ask them why. The only time I would say that it is ok to buff the nail, is if the client has flaking layers, because you want to remove them before you apply the shellac, or it will just flake off with the nail. If this is the case, ensure they are VERY gentle and careful with the buffer.

    -Look out for the CND logo on ALL the Shellac bottles and the white UV lamp. If you don’t see CND, then you will experience service breakdown (chips and peeling) and your Shellac won’t live up to your expectations.

    You can see all of the products used here;

    I hope this post will be helpful to anyone who has had or is considering a shellac treatment :)

    • BrooklynBeka

      Excellent, Thank you!

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  • Tam @ Hello, Framboise!

    I adore Shellac manicures! I have been getting them for about nine months now, and I love that my nails always look perfect with so little effort. I get them done every 2-3 weeks, and the only reason I do them that often is new nail growth. Currently, my two-week-old mani still looks passably good. I have gotten Gelish before as well, but I prefer Shellac because it seems to be much easier to remove.

    I’m not sure what the names of the colors I usually get are as my salon just numbers their swatches and bottles, but I am currently loving the hot pink (with a teeny bit of fuchsia shimmer) I have on right now.

  • LOLBeauty

    I agree with your reasons for not getting Shellac. I only get it if I’m going away for a couple days and don’t want to take nail polish.

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  • Liane

    I’m a huge fan of both Shellac and Gellish! You can even do Shellac over acrylic nails – but it ain’t cheap! ;)

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  • Krystal S.

    Best part for me about Shellac is that if you get bored, you can paint OVER Shellac – oh yes! Just remove the new color with non-acetone polish remover (HAS to be non-acetone), and your Shellac will still be as shiny and perfect when you take the polish off. Absolutely in love with CND Shellac!

  • Jeri

    I have been a nail tech for 25 years and I am a Grand Master Nail Tech using CND products. Let me say this… No nail product is any better for yor nail than any other nail product. However the way it is applied and removed is the key to a two week wear. The nails should not be soaked in a bowl of acetone, this is too much exposure to acetone. Because this product is removed every two three weeks. Acetone is a chemica solvent and ver drying to your skin and nails. Repeated use of ACETONE will cause dryness to the nail. It is not correct procedure to rough up the nail or remove the shine while using Shellac. Your nail tech is suppose to be telling you to use cuticle oil EVERYDAY to counteract the acetone. It’s not to make money on s sale why we want you to use cuticle oil. It’s because we want your nails to
    be healthy when you are not wearing Shellac. If your Shellac is lifting at the side cuticle because it got on the skin sloppy application. I charge what I charge because I went to school and have a license. I paid big bucks to learn how to do nails. I know the bones in your body and the muscles they attach to. I can identify diseased nails and refer you to a doctor. I work with chemicals compounds and take precautions to not expose you unnecessarily to fumes and dust. If I am an employee my enjoyed takes half the money you give me for your service. If I rent a space I pay for ALL Products used on you I pay for the phone the towels. The electricity the water. Nothing is free. We must charge a fair price to make a living. You are paying for my knowledge as well as my time. If you nail tech charges under $20 for shellac and it takes her less than 45 minutes she or he is making less than minimum wage. You get what you pay for. Would you go to a Obgyn that charges $15 but doesn’t clean their tools after every client. I think not. Ask yourself why that nail tech is so cheap. Can you understand her English moe importantly can she understand yours and knows what you really want. “no speak English ” does not work in this industry. Shellac is a great product and does what it says every time unless IT IS APPLIED INCORRECTLY OR REMOVED IMPROPERLY. Please don’t begrudge me making a fair wage.

    • Erica

      Thanks Jeri! A good and educated nail tech is worth their weight in gold! Thanks for taking the time to post. The nail tech, where I used to get my Shellac done, handed me a small bottle of Solar Oil on my first visit. She told me the importance of using it twice a day to keep my nails hydrated. It kept my manicure looking great and my nails healthy. :)

  • Lisa

    Hi I’m selling all my shellac stock as I’ve just invested in gel colour by Opi if anyone’s interested x

  • Erin

    Hey Ladies, I am a nail tech in NY and I do Shellac manicures everyday! If your nails are getting damaged with this product you are or the tech are doing something wrong. It is VERY important to use solar every other day so the nail bed stays hydrated and your nail dosent get dried out. The dried out nail is what causes the product to lift off your nail bed and cause the damage to it. If you cant locate solar oil, get vitamin E oil in a bottle if you cant find a bottle get the gelcapsules and break it open onto your nails. let sit for 5-10 mins and your nailbed will be rehydrated. It is also important to not soak off your gels ina bowl. that is too much concentration of acetone on your fingers. using the foil/cotton method is how you should be removing it. Also if the salons are charging you to remove the shellac ontop of the charge for a gel manicure…go to a new salon. I NEVER charge for remove of a shellac polish its included in my 21.00 manicure fee. It takes 8-10 mins to come off and I use the time to get my supplies together for your service. Thanks for the great writeup on the Shellac manicure!

    • Jamie

      Where are you located?? I live in NYC and you seem like a manicurist ican trust!!

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  • Meagan

    Kristina – I’m late to this party, but I wanted to weigh in also. I’ve not had an Axium manicure, but I’ve had one Gelish and a bunch of Shellac manicures. I noticed you went to a place on Kirby – I’ve been going to River Oaks Nails on Westheimer just west of Kirby for Shellac and I love them for just a quick, good job. They layer colors for me to get just what I want – lots of sparkle. :) Now I want to try Polished too! My experience with Shellac has been great. I’m a picker, so right when the edges start to peel up off my nail I pick the Shellac off. I know I shouldn’t, but I do. It does damage my nail a little bit, but it’s too hard for me to get in every 2 weeks for a new coat. Other than that, I love it, and won’t pay for anything but Shellac on my nails again!

  • Anotherpage

    I just had the Opi Axxium manicure yesterday. I chose Lincoln Park After Dark… So far, so good. I am going to try the Shellac next time because of your review.

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  • Jenny

    I had my nails done with shellac for the 1st time today and I love everything about my manicure. My nails have a beautiful shine and shape to them. I’m a bit nervous about the removal process by for the time being I’m going to enjoy. My salon doesn’t speak English so when I asked how they will be removed I didn’t understand what they said. lolThe only thing that makes me question if the nail tech did it properly was that she soaked my nails in acetone (i think) and above professionals stated they shouldn’t do that. I will make sure to keep my nails properly moisturized. Great Blog!

  • Laura

    I am a fully licensed stylist (not just nails) and recently started using CND shellac. I initially offered it to a select few at no charge to see the results. We encountered some of the problems listed above especially with the french. We had new bulbs in an old lamp. After much research, a new lamp, much attention to proper nail prep, shaking of the bottle, and experienced application, we are moving right along with great results. The use of Solar Oil with is not just topical but soaks in, keeps the nail bed healthy and the cuticles very nice. Now that I feel I have mastered the application, it is time to charge for the service. For those who experienced problems, there is something missing in the proper application process I assure you. The shine is incredible nothing beats it, the staying power amazing. The polish allows the nails to bend and I am growing without breaking a thing. I will now begin experimenting with different techniques and polish options such as the sandwiching idea talked about in a previous post. I do believe that the light cure process for the traditional polish must be longer than that for CND shellac when sandwiching in the traditional polish. I will also note that experience and procedure play a huge part in the entire process.

  • bryn

    how many coats of romantique is that? BEAUTIFUL

  • Annette

    Hi, I had my nails done using the CND Shellac system and was instantly hooked! I had spent 2 days cleaning our house to rent it out and completely ruined any remnants of finger nails I used to have. They had gone soft, split and broken right down and bled on one finger :( I had them done professionally and picked ‘zillionaire’ as it was clear but with a bit of girly sparkle (I didn’t want it too noticeable as my nails were really short but wanted to know it was there!). I was so impressed with my nail growth and condition since my first manicure I have purchased a light box, base coat, top coat and a few colors and have succeeded in doing my own nails to a near on salon standard. I researched the system lots and purchased from reputable sources and have saved myself lots in trips to the salon. It also gives me precious moments to myself as my children and partner know not to bother me when I’m doing my nails :) I would definitely recommend the system to anyone who has failed to find a way of having nice nails.

  • Linda

    I came across your post while searching for ways to extend my shellac mani. Lots of good info and feedback! I’m into my third week and they still look pretty good. The grow out doesn’t show with the french manicure (I have kids in their 20s, so I feel more comfortable being subtle – although my pedi is RED!).
    When I notice the edges of the polish at the base of my nail start to lift (usually near the 2 week point), I gently file that portion and start applying a shiny top coat daily. That and using the oil seem to extend the life of the shellac.

  • Melissa

    I love Shellac manicures. I am on my 4th one now and am absolutely loving it. I got the sea blue color for my first one, and I let that on for two weeks. Since it was a darker color, I only got them redone because of the regrowth. The polished part looked fabulous still. I’ve gotten a french manicure the past three times, and that lasts me about three weeks because the regrowth is not as obvious as when you get a color. I do plan on getting colors again, but I just love how the french will last so long. I am not especially gentle on my nails either. I do type frequently and wash dishes, etc. At the very end of my previous manicure I had helped a friend paint three rooms in her house and when I scrubbed the paint off my hands that still didn’t affect them in the least. They looked even shinier at the end of the washing :) I absolutely love Shellac.

    • L

      Hoe can I treat a minor fungal infection whilst leaving the shallac in place?

      • Pretty Shiny Sparkly™

        You can’t, not to my knowledge. You need to be able to apply the fungal therapy to the nail

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  • polly

    I had mine shellac’d for the very first time in Rockford Illinois—- Minde at did them, and I think they’re beautiful, look much more natural than my nails ever have with “fake nails” and they’re mine, all mine!! All that’s different is the polish will grow out and I’ll need to have it removed and replaced—it’s my first time, so I’m going to try to eek out a three week time frame. She wasn’t expensive AT ALL, nothing like the prices I’ve seen in other places, and well worth it!

  • Eileen

    Hi Kristina,

    Interesting and very informative post. I have just had my 2nd shellac mani done today and whilst I love the super shiny wet-look finish to the shellac, I did find that my nails were extremely fragile for a number of weeks afterwards. I couldn’t explain it at first but then finally realised that it must have been as a result of the first shellac… Any advice on keeping the nails underneath strong? My nails felt thinner and definitely felt different… But is it worth it? Probably because the finish is so amazing…

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  • lee

    i have done the gel polish and it seems to always spread. if not spread then when i top it off it tends to rub off. what am i doing wrong?

  • Susie McCormick

    I had my first shellac manicure yesterday, and it started peeling off that evening. I went back, and the manicurist re-did it, and it has already chipped on one of my fingers. I am quite discouraged, and wonder what is going wrong. It is also cracking all across my nails.

    • t

      obviously where ever you are going they are not sealing the shellac properly at the tip of your free edge. Make sure that after each coat they are sealing it at the free edge so that there are no chips and it will not peel off. This is extremely important in the shellac application process.

  • Mindy

    I have had 3 shellac manicures. The first one I got color, the next 2 french. I loved the fact it last so long. However with the color you can see the growth after a few weeks so I like the french better because you can wait almost a month as you can’t really see the growth unless you look super close. I have been getting manicures for probably about 12 years and thought I would never go back to a regular. Well I got a nail infection after this last one. Have never had one in the 12 years I have been getting manincures. The doctor said they have seen an increase in infections with the shellac manicures and would not recommend anything other than a regular manicure/pedicure (no acrylics either). I have gotten acrylics probabloy half a dozen times in my life without an issue. Now I am on meds for 3 months and no Friday night glass of wine for me. Maybe it was freak incident but no more shellac manicures for me. I would just be really careful about getting them, even though they are fantastic. Not worth the risk for me.

  • Shabnam

    I’m mostly amazed by the people who have had differing experiences. I finally had my first Shellac manicure 2 weeks ago. I went with my sister-in-law – so we got the same product in the same way at the same salon- our techs did exactly the same things. This was right on the first day of a 7 day Caribbean cruise, so we spent a week in and out of water and beaches and playing sports. I sit at a computer all day and have a child who likes to play in messy things so I’m rough on my nails with the constant typing and the hand washing- she is a server at a restaurant and is rough on her hands for all the obvious reasons.

    Here I am, 15 days later and my French manicure looks as good as the day I got it. Seriously- I even spent half an hour picking up a giant boxful of tiny legos spilled across a driveway, scraping my nails across asphalt or digging though mulch with each handful. No chips, no splitting, and the nude color means you cannot see the nail growth either so I know I can maintain this for even longer. As for her, by the 9th day she was splitting and able to pick at it and peel it off. Either way, both of us had gorgeous, perfectly manicured hands for over a week

    I wonder if it’s a matter of our habits, our daily products, or just individual nails? Anyone else noticed this? I’ve decided it’s WELL worth the extra expense and will start doing them myself at home. I picked up the whole system on Amazon.

  • TC

    I have had both regular gel manicures and Shellac. I hated the gel manicure it was to thick and ruined my nails when they took it off. I went to Shellac because I read about it being better and not damaging nails…. wrong !! Think about it. Any time you have to SOAK your nails in strong acetone it has to be bad. My nails are a very nice shape, not that thin and I have no real issues with when except in gardening season when I forget to wear my gloves but the shellac removal left them dry and brittle. I was so upset with the shellac manicure damage. I am not thrilled about the cancer causing chemicals that they have in them (they are still selling the millions of old bottles) and I sure don’t think the UV lamp on your hands is good for you….. I think you buy the color your color, use it at the salon for a regular manicure and touch up your nails at home if they chip. None of it is worth it.

  • Gloria

    After several trips to the salon to get Shellac’d, I decided to buy the polish and the equipment and become a DIYer. I’ve read several comments here about how your nails become damaged. I have always wanted nice nails (mine are not beautiful) and when I polish them I feel good about how they look. I used regular polish off and on for many years before being introduced to Shellac. My nails are thin and they, too, become damaged using Shellac…but no more so than using regular polish and having to remove it every few days and re-do the polish to keep it looking nice. I let my nails rest between applications of Shellac (every second application). I liked the above comment about being able to use regular polish with the base and top coats of Shellac and will try it. I have the Solar Oil but for get to use it regularly and I wash my hands several times a day. This could also be why my nails become damaged (more likely the acetone, though). I will continue to use the Shellac and also continue to let my nails rest in between applications.

  • Susan

    I agree with so many of the posters on this site. I could NEVER keep polish on my nails- not even the ones especially formulated to last! I tried no-chip products before applying chip resistant polish – nothing worked. Then I tried the Shellac manicure. I am now a devotee! I am a little concerned about the allergy possibility. I am very prone to developing allergies to products I’ve used for any long period of time. Well, time will tell. One thing I wanted to bring out in this site (which I didn’t see mentioned) is the UV issue. I come from a family of melanoma scares. Because of the UV danger for people like me, I apply a very high-level sun block to my hands before every Shellac manicure. This may be something others may want to consider.

    • Joanne Ewards

      Use a sunscreen before you go in and make sure they use a real CND branded UV-A lamp. Some of the cheap nail salons use cheap broad spectrum lamps that do pose a danger.

  • Shanny

    I have had 2 Shellac manicures and frankly, I feel like I’m waisting my money. I was promised on both manicures that they would not chip. WRONG. Both of them peeled off, starting at the tips of my nails. I think it’s because I usually have my hands in water. Wether swimming, washing dishes, messing the garden, handwashing delicates…my hands are submerged in water fairly frequently. Apparently, this manicure doesn’t like that. It always starts to peel at the corner of nail, then it gets snagged in everything until it eventually chips off. After two tries, I’m done. I’m already out of $70 for nails that don’t last a week. I could have paid $15 for a regular manicure and had it last that long.

    I wish they made something for those of us who are hard on our hands and nails!

    • Conny

       Are you telling us that your normal standard nailpolish is lasting a week? Does it stays shinny a week also? No chips? Then you have to be more carefull with your polished nails then you Shellaced nails……

    • MarinerMom

      I think the best thing I’ve done for my hands lately is to wear gloves whenever I’m washing dishes, clothes or when in harsh conditions. Really, if you think of your nails as an investment it makes sense to protect them. Your hands will be happier, too!

      • Kelly Montana

        For me, I am giving Shellac a try because I am a bartender and can’t wear gloves since I’m constantly doing a glass here, a glass there, etc. and washing my hands upwards of 20x per day. My nails are not an “investment.” They are a frivolous treat. An investment is land or a 401K unless you are a hand model. Some of us actually live life without gloves on. Anyway, I hope my shellac doesn’t hate water as much as these posts indicate.

    • Joanne Ewards

      Sounds like either you did not get genuine Shellac or it will not applied properly.
      There are plenty of ways to stuff up Shellac.

      If you go to buy a new Mercedes Benz and you are given a used Nissan that has been serviced by monkeys don’t say Mercedes makes
      bad cars.

      BTW a drill has no place in a nail salon, NEVER! Anyone using one is a shonk.

  • Jody

    Is there a trick to getting shellac to dry I have a bottle and put it on and it didn’t dry in 20 minutes

    • Courtney

      Jody, you have to use a UV light. Shellac doesn’t “dry,” it cures.

  • Ebony

    Hi all
    It’s been great reading all these posts and there are lots of good ideas and excellent knowledge. Realistically exposure of nails and skin to chemicals especially over protracted periods of time will undoubtedly incur damage and make our nails even more prone to splitting etc, shellac/ gel or otherwise. The cuticle oil is a great idea and protection from too much water exposure will extend your salon job.

    Nail strength is largely determined by genetics, but can I suggest that anyone interested in strengthening nails do a little research on nutrition for strengthening nails. Your protein intake and your body’s ability to capitalize on calcium play a huge part. There may also be medications purple take that cause cell damage, weaken the immune system and eliminate calcium sources, which additionally could be damaging your nail health.

    What we put into our bodies makes as much difference as what we use topically. I think the idea of having breaks between shellac and other applications is a great idea for regeneration!

    Happy shiny applications! I have given my nails a huge break from acrylic as they became brittle after years of salon visits. With good foods and looking after myself in general my nails are as strong as they used to be!

  • Kim

    I can’t get the shellac to come off my clients nails. I am doing the same steps as I’ve been doing and it won’t budge!

  • Julia

    I have my first Shellac manicure on, and it’s only been 7 full days, and my thumb nail has a large looking crack down the middle of it. Did the manicurist apply it wrong? I went to a well known certified Spa. ( I loved them otherwise (besides crack in color and dent out of actual nail).
    I would love to email you a photo! I’m a mom of two, am I just too hard on my nails? (I don’t know how, but maybe?!)

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  • Deb

    Generally I would get a manicure with NO polish because whenever I did go ahead with a beautiful polish I would nick or smudge it before the day was over. Two weeks ago I tried the Shellac. OMG my nails were beautiful. Because of the color my new growth was quite evident so I went today and got Shellac French Manicure. OMG, my nails are beautiful. I did not have my nails trimmed back. I want them to grow. I AM SOLD. I LOVE MY NAILS. I will have them done over and over for as long as I can with the OPI Shellac.

    • Joanne Ewards

      OPI does not make Shellac! Shellac is a CND product.
      The Asian nail girl saying “It the same, it the same” does not make this true.

  • Bree

    I have my nails don ein the shellac french manicure and I absolutely love them! Mine only lasted 2 and half weeks but I am really hard on my nails and deal with filing and such everyday = annoying! I love them though!

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  • Jodie

    Same thing has happened to me!
    I bought the full shellac set in June, and have used it every couple of weeks since, and have had no problems, but last time, i started getting itchy toes, so I took it off, and tried it again with another colour, and my toes wont stop itching! Don’t want to give my shellac up though! What can I do?

    • Joanne Ewards

      Sounds like you don’t have CND Shellac to me. This is a professional only product set. You may be having an allergic reaction to some cheap Chinese made chemical concoction pretending to be Shellac.
      Do a course and buy the real thing, especially a real white CND UV lamp.

  • Annick Doré

    My shellac experience is one good application out of two. If you are planning on going in the water a lot. Tried a day of kyaking once and a week at the beach (il love to snorkel) an other time and the product started lifting on the sides. One things for sure, next time a go for one week to the beach, I will have a normal manucure an pedicure. Less expensive and touch-ups are possible!

  • rawkprincess

    I’ve had Shellac done once, by the actual CND product at a spa, and it’s been TERRIBLE. It was never fully hardened, it was soft and I could make dents in it with my other nails. I’ve had it on less than a week and I’m missing almost 4 nails w/ polish because it lifted off. I do not have damaged nails, I have healthy nails. The manicurist also had the polish on my cuticles, so right away it started peeling when I left the spa. Not too impressed in all honesty. I had a gel nail polish put on before and it did the same thing! I thought this stuff was supposed to get so hard NOTHING would scratch it off? Well, mine scratches off w/ no problem!

    • Halee Legge

      Sounds like you had a bum technician. I am not CND certified and do my own nails at home, with the CND UV lamp I ordered online. My manicures last 2.5-3 weeks, no peeling, chipping, or scratching. I’m an electronic engineering technician, so I’m very hard on my nails. No chips, scratches or dents here.. I hope if you try it again, you have better results! It’s truly worth it :)

    • Abshulamoon

      Sounds like you really need to find a good salon and manicurist…. I’ve gone from ten years of acrylics to a year of gels to shellac so that I could have healthy nails again. Have never had a crack, chip, lift, peel, or dent. What you are describing sounds like a counterfeit product or improper usage.

      • Shea LaRoux

        I use the CND to actually build my nails like sculpts. I use a white tip and pile on layer after layer of CND until I get it thick enough and can do a little shaping. Put the top uv coat on and I’m golden. Sculptured nails for a about a dollar! Have my own lamp of course.

    • Shea LaRoux

      They obviously did not use a uv lamp.

      • rawkprincess

        Yes, she did use a UV lamp.

        • Shea LaRoux

          Not the right uv bulbs then or they were bad

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  • Alison

    I had a manicure yesterday, already had one nail reapplied less than 24 hours later and I’m now sitting here with another two nails lifting :( so pleased it was via a voucher so didn’t pay that much as it hasn’t lasted as long as a normal manicure, defiantly not convinced

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  • Debra James

    I have gotten shellac twice. Two experience one bad one good. The first lady did them well and they lasted a while. After the second lady did them they started chipping after 2 days. So I guess it depends on who does em but I like em.

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  • Rosie

    I’m having trouble with my shellac lifting at the tip after about a weeks worth of wear. I’m a Massage Therapist and a Personal Trainer. The answer I keep getting is that the oil from the massages is the cause for the lifting. Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions

    • Joanne Ewards

      Sounds like it is not being applied correctly. Have a look at Kate’s post on how to do it correctly. They MUST use a white CND branded lamp or it won’t set properly. Also the nail preparation has to be done as per CND recommendations. This is NOT done with a drill!

      BTW a drill has no place in a nail salon, NEVER! Anyone using one is a shonk.

  • Juliette van Laar

    Since September 2012 I am a Certified Shellac Salon and I can only agree with what you wrote. Both me and my clients are very enthousiastic about Shellac. The condition of the nails gets better every week you they use Shellac. Before my nails were brittle and short. Now they are gorgious! Thank you for your honest opinion.l
    Juliette van Laar, Haarstudio Edward the Netherlands

  • Emma Louise Layla

    I’m giving Shellac a go for the first time next week… ELL Xx

  • Terilyndrake

    Love my shellac! I always used gel, and i hated how they had to dig and grind on your nails beforehand for the gel to stick, and my fingers were always so sore for days, not including the headache from the smell, and the cracking, and while working ive even ripped the gel nail along with my real nail off completely. very painful, with shellac, its been three weeks since my first time trying it, and my nails still look amazing! No headaches from fumes, no chipping or cracking, its just a nail polish so no wearing down my nails to get fake nails to stick to my enamel, and absolutely no pain! The only downside is getting sick of one color and patiently waiting for your nails to grow out so you can get back to the salon to try out a new color! 

  • Jenna Steele

    I got an OPI one, and the color was so seethrough that I had them put 3 coats on… needless to say, it separated and pealed within a week. I’ve had a much better experience with shellac. Also, my sister purchased the UVI lamp, and the shellac system. She got really good at doing it herself and now she does her own shellac. It lasts her up to about three weeks, however she can change it whenever she wants! And it looks amazing! 
    I’m very happy with my current shellac, it’s a shiny, dark, hunter green. I got it on friday and now it’s tuesday, so it hasn’t been long at all, but still looking great!

  • Candie Yoder

    I got my nails done with the CND shellac 3 weeks ago and I have now decided to invest in my own shellac kit because for the cost of one salon shellac I can do my nails many many times. 

  • pilatesnut

    CND Shellac and gel are not the same. Shellac should be removed without soaking in what is called a  dry manicure. Few salons do this as it is time consuming and many are not aware that shellac can be removed this way. Had this done the first time  correctly so far only a tiny chip in the corner of one nail. Don’t like the soaking and filing which damage nails forsure. I always wear sunblock prior to putting hands under UV lights. Good common sense and does not affect the polish.

    • La Chistosa

      I like the idea of sunblock instead of lotion the day of the manicure to counter the UV! What a sensible idea!

  • Francine

    I bought the diyshellac product. It did a good job but the problem is when I want to remove it. The instruction mention to buffur them and then to soak them into acetone. I don’t want to soak them as it is a strong chemical product. Has anyone have a method that works without soaking them in acetone and buffering them?

    • Pretty Shiny Sparkly™

      Generally all shellac/soak-off-gel products MUST use acetone. Please do not try and use a nail polish remover with acetone in it – it must be full strength – or it could cause severe allergic reactions. Some formulations/brands need you to “break the seal” on the top so the acetone can penetrate. CND shellac doesn’t require this but many other brands like Couture Gel Nails and OPI gelcolor do. As long as you aren’t buffing your natural nail too much, you should be fine.

      • Joanne Ewards

        Wrong! With CND Shellac you use the CND Shellac remover and their pads. Do not soak off in acetone.

    • Shea LaRoux

      Acetone will not hurt you at all.

  • FabAngels

    I thought it was great when i first had it on, I had, had it on for around 12 weeks (obviously reapplied) but I was moving soon so decided to leave it for a while. That was when I found to my horror that my nails just broke and I mean really broke and sore, not sure if it is the salon or just me, but they used the product then put gel on and the UV lamp, when it was taken off the filed my nails really hard that they were sore so I asked them to soak of the next time. That was worse after having that done it felt like my finger tips had, had all my fingerprints burnt off, not sure if this is normal

    • La Chistosa

      I dont think they were supposed to file your shellac off.. the layer is so thin they can actually be rubbing off layers of your real nail… They are supposed to wrap each finger with a cotton ball soaked in acetone and covered tightly with aluminum foil so that the shellac will loosen and peel of easily.

  • Shea LaRoux

    I have used acetone on my skin for over 25 years with no side effects or dryness. When acetone dries, it is inert, period. It honestly should take no more than a few minutes to soak off the shellac. I am a licensed cosmetologist and have a degree in surgical technology. Sometimes we use acetone in the hospital to remove adhesive. Trust me if your nails are dry, it isn’t because of the acetone. I have used it on my head as well and won’t go into why but there is absolutely NO side effects from it at all.

    • Shea LaRoux

      Oh BTW the reason your nails are drying out and the reason for itchy feeling, is because we cure the shellac with a sun lamp…duh! Every time you get it done you are exposing your hands or feet to at about ten minutes of intense UVA/UVB light!

      • Joanne Ewards

        The CND lamp is UV-A only, not like a broad spectrum sun lamp. You MUST use the CND lamp or the Shellac may not cure properly. This can lead to other problems. Remove Shellac with the CND Shellac remover and pads, not by soaking in acetone.

        • Shea LaRoux

          Sorry but that is incorrect. You can use any uv lamp as I have. They cure perfectly. Also, soaking a cotton pad with acetone and wrapping with some foil is the same as the remover pads. I do that as well. Where do you get your info? I have been doing this a long time and I use any uv lamp avail and only use acetone with no issues.

        • Shea LaRoux

          I do not mean any uv lamp on the market. I mean any uv lamp for gel nails/shellac.

  • Beacab Gems

    I love to do the manicure works with Shellac, they are classic and does in a real professional manner. The nail color collections are also amazing.

  • Olivia Kitty

    Will it help ur nails grow? I set up an appointment at my local salon to get Shellac :3

  • CYW

    Shellac has changed my life! Especially the shellac French manicure. My only issue is the woman where I get my nails done every three weeks or so does not have a wide variety of colours. I’d be happy to buy my own colours and take them with me but shellac only sells to professionals. *boooo*

    • Kristina

      I bought the whole kit on Amazon and do the shellac myself! Just FYI!

  • Victoria Haneveer

    I haven’t tried either, I paint my own nails, but I love the idea of not having to touch them for 3 weeks

  • peterartner

    It’s really a fine blog post. it’s quite correct that some of the lesser quality manicures do lack the longevity that we are looking.Though they may appear to be a bit more economical than some others but actually they are a bit low on the quality ,don’t last long and really may be harmful to the nails or fingers.It’s not that shellac and auxxim are the only long lasting one’s .There are many others as well it,s just that you have put ti on with some subtle alterations to suit you.Iam taking of giving the manicure a personal touches,and do a bit of touch up on it as well.You can also do it on your own with some simple home recipes and remedies. Your favorite color should always be the one that reflects your personality.

  • Joan

    I have recently had my first Shellac experience, I chose clear as I am not a colour person. why did it turn both my natural nails and the palm of my hands turn blue? every time I wash my hands they turn blue and stay that colour for ages.