9 October 2011

Does Shellac Wreck your Nails?

As you may or may not know, I am a qualified nail tech (although not in fibreglass or acrylics) and regularly use the products Artistic Colour Gloss and more often Shellac which are types of long lasting nail varnishes/power polish/gel polish.


Fake Shellac from Ebay

I am getting sick and tired with people, especially beauty technicians who don't do these procedures, slagging off Shellac and Gel Polish as was the case in the comments here http://www.misslucyloves.com/2011/10/all-rage-artistic-colour-glossshellac.html?showComment=1318157872680#c9221557406999121875 saying that it WRECKS your natural nails.  

May I just say for the record that it DOES NOT wreck your nails.  The product has helped many of my clients stop nail biting and grow their own long and strong natural nails and they love it as much as me.

However there are many unscrupulous salons/technicians who do not know how to apply it or remove it properly which CAN wreck your nails.  So we can conclude that it's not the product, but some foolish people applying it wrongly that is the problem. Or to nick a phrase from Greg from Young Nails "it's not the tools, it's the fools that cause the damage".

What to look out for to ensure that your nail salon is doing the CND Shellac Procedure CORRECTLY.

Some things that a lot of beauticians have been doing that are not right are:

Removing Shellac/gel polish by dunking hands in acetone - this is not correct procedure for removal, they are supposed to be wrapped with either cotton and foil with acetone or dsolve or the shellac wraps.

Not removing the sticky inhibition layer at the end of the Shellac/Gel manicure and leaving it sticky...this is insane! Fluff and all sorts of things will stick to it! To ensure a fabulous shine this needs to be removed with the brands corresponding cleanse product or in a pinch alcohol or hand sanitiser will remove it if this has happened to you at a salon and you have none of the pro products.

Using FAKE products! Would you buy a fake Audi TT and expect it to drive the same as a real one? Would you buy a fake Chanel bag and expect it to be as nice as a real one? Well buy fake Shellac of ebay and it's not going to perform as well as the real one either! If your salon is not using the right lamp and bottles - leave! You are being conned.

Not giving people aftercare! You of COURSE need aftercare for your nails after any treatment. With long lasting polishes you must use cuticle oil or solar oil daily to rehydrate the nail, solar oil's particles can reptate through Shellac right down to your natural nail and this is why I recommend it to every single client and really, if you are recommended this as a must have so your nails are hydrated, you can't really complain if you don't use it and your nails are dry can you? It's exactly like using a hair conditioner every time you wash your hair. Simples!

Here is a fab video on youtube that will help you make sure they are scrupulous and use the right products for a CND manicure:

For a gel manicure the only real difference is that there is a light buffing to the natural nail with a very fine buffer before your gel is applied - that's it! There should be no hard filing or buffing or even drilling of your natural nails. You should NOT feel any burning or stinging or pain. 

And finally, if you are going to a salon where they wear masks, drill your natural nail and don't even adhere to basic hygiene rules then read this > http://www.polishednailstudio.co.uk/ARE-YOUR-NAILS-TOXIC(1458105).htm  it is a fabulous insight into what these people use on your nails and the problems it can cause. And then get outta that salon fast!

I hope this helps people realise what the product is really capable of and that you do have a choice which salon you go to, if one is doing things wrong, find another one! Base your salon choice on quality. 

If you have any questions or want me to recommend a salon or tech near you that IS using the products correctly then please let me know, I am more than happy to help.

I of course use all of the correct products and buy everything from Sweet Squared in the UK to ensure that it really is a CND authorised product although you can also buy direct from CND academies around the country and via Ellisons.

I hope this helps.


  1. I love Shellac and Artistic, I don't feel in any way they ruin my nails! I'm a huge fan! x x

  2. I keep having to comment on ignorant blog posts/comments. So annoying. Great post.

  3. My nails were in good condition before and they haven't got any worse from frequent shellac and gelish etc. But I wouldn't go to any of my local nail salons, I don't trust them to be using the proper stuff or do it properly. Definitely a good post, will be sending people here when they ask about shellac xx

  4. I think it's worth pointing out that a lot of people tend to not remove gel nails/gel manicures properly - they tend to bite or rip them off so no wonder they are complaining its damaged their nails - its not the products that have caused the damage!

    I love shellac and artistic not so keen on the jessica gellish x

  5. I have been having shellac and biosculpt gel for 4 years now and it is the best thing ever. I go to the same salon because I trust how she does my nails!

  6. I've never had Shellac before, but thank you for your tip! I think most of them are common sense, but some are really techie. The video was informative as well!

  7. I offer Shellac and not one of my clients has had an issue with their nails. If anything, they're better from all the Solar Oil!

  8. Thanks for this informative post - I am not a salon user myself - I just use regular polishes, and mention of some of the bad things that get done in salons mentioned here is pretty scary! I have seen Shellac manis advertised on Groupon, and considered buying one for a friend, but now wonder if it would be done properly! Is there an official list of Shellac authorised salons?

  9. I had the 3 week manicure at Nails Inc (I think it is kind of the same right?) and whilst it didn't wreck my nails, it did leave them pretty weak. I applied solar oil every night before bed too, and they removed the manicure with the method you described so not too sure why that happened. I am keen to try Shellac next but your post is kind of offputting -I don't want someone to ruin my nails :(

  10. This is a really great post, it's annoying reading people complaining about gel nails when you know they're probably ripping them off!

    Amelia @ Ugly Duckling


  11. Great article. After nearly 8 years of acrylics, gels and everything in-between turning my nails to a paper thin, fragile mess I presumed these would do the same. Now I'm desperate to give them a try.

    Thank you!


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