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Shellac Nails - FAQ's

Creative Nail Designs - Shellac Nails

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CND - Shellac: Negligee

CND - Shellac

Image provided by Hillary Fry

Are you looking for information on Shellac Nails? We've got it! Below is a FAQ written by nail artist, Hillary Fry. She answers some of the most frequently asked Shellac questions. Start with that and then, if you're thinking you'd like to try Shellac at home, check out DIY Shellac Nails which will give you all of the info you need to do it at home - plus to pros and cons of at-home Shellacing, a color swatch with links to buy the polishes and a page dedicated to Reader-Submitted Shellac Reviews. (Feel free to add your own!)

Shellac FAQ's

What is Shellac? Shellac is the brand name for a new, patent pending nail product created by Creative Nail Design. It is a hybrid, meaning half nail polish, half gel.

The product is thin and strong enough to be applied similarly to nail polish, but it is cured in a way that gives it great flexibility and durability. It also has the incredible shine associated only with gel nails.

Who is Shellac best suited for? Shellac is for people who want to maintain natural nails. The formulation looks as good from day 1 to day 14, but does not appear to damage nail beds. (see photos)

Who is Shellac least suited for? Those looking to lengthen their nails. You cannot use Shellac to create a longer nail. Also, Sellac isn't for clients with extremely damaged nail beds, split or peeling nails. It is best to get on a corrective program with your manicurist before thinking about Shellac. If your nail is peeling off, it will take Shellac with it.

How is Shellac different from the traditional polish manicure?

Typical nail polish dries by evaporation, which means your manicure is not cured until 2-3 hours after your service. Think about it – most of your manicure time is spent waiting for polish to dry.

But Shellac is cured by UV light, and within minutes. Your nails are completely dry by the time your manicure is over, and strong enough to withstand accidental knocks. It acts like a plasticized coating, suitable as a long lasting polish.

How is a Shellac service different from traditional nail enhancements (fake nails)? Drills are never used or needed with Shellac, and removal does not leave nails dry, thin, possibly torn.

Can you apply Shellac at home? No, Shellac can only be applied by a licensed, trained manicurist. Improper tools or techniques will give a less than desirable result with Shellac.

Are the UV rays from the lamp dangerous? I began researching this back in February. Standard use of the product (every 2 – 3 weeks) is minimal, but there is no real data. Use sunscreen if concerned. (I recommend Neutrogena pure & free baby, spf 60+ or Renee Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30). Wash off or wear out after service. Sunscreen for your hands is a good thing anyway.

Can you take Shellac off at home?

You can. It requires the use of 100% acetone. Removal at home can be done; proper removal is only 10 minutes overall. However, removal at the salon very minimally increases the time and may be less of an inconvenience for you.

Wait, what is wrong with artificial nails? On the whole, nothing. But as a manicurist and proponent of natural and organics, there is nothing is more exciting for me than seeing natural nails on a client.

While I love the creativity made possible through gel nails or liquid & powder, I think artificial nails are often used to mask a nail problem (peeling, splitting, flexible) when a focused regiment can improve the condition.

As a former skincare formulator, the most rewarding part of my job is identifying clients’ troublespots, and working out a program to bring the hands, feet and nails to the point of perfection. Knowing Shellac can withstand even the rigors of salon life, the focus for the everyday woman can be more on care and maintenance of skin and nails - leaving perfect polish in the hands of Shellac.

Hillary Fry is a beauty writer, blogger and site designer with a marketing background. She is also a licensed manicurist at Harpo's in Whitefish Bay, WI. Drop her a line via www.solessence.com and www.solessencespanails.com.

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