Do you get confused by all the different nail treatments available these days? There are gel nails, acrylic nails, SNS, Shellac, not to mention all the new techniques that are appearing. Well, we're here to lend a helping hand by explaining a little more about Shellac.
Firstly, Shellac is a brand, not a technique. Shellac was invented by US company Creative Nail Design - or CND - and is a cross between a nail polish and a gel. Gels are polymer resins that require UV light to harden.
Shellac manicures are extremely popular because they are quicker to apply than acrylic or gels and last longer. Shellac is also very durable, so it's hard to chip, and produces a really shiny finish.
A blend of polymers and monomers, Shellac revolutionised manicures when it was introduced in May 2010. That's right, it feels as if it's been around forever, but it hasn't been that long. A whole five years in the making, Shellac was described by CND as 'a modern solution to the nail polish inconveniences that frustrate women'.
Designed to 'give women their time back', it is a great way of keeping your nails looking amazing with minimal input. Remember, though, it is used for colour and finish - it doesn't extend or shape your natural nails.
Once your nails have been manicured, coats of Shellac are applied in just the same way you would apply nail polish. However, after each coat, your hands are placed under a UV light to cure or dry the gel.
Apart from the super shiny finish, this method ensures your nails are almost instantly dry, with no risk of smudging on the way home.
Whereas normal nail polish starts to dull or chip after just a few days, Shellac nails will still be looking great after 14 days. They would probably continue to look amazing for longer, if our nails didn't grow out. Whilst Shellac might start to peel after 14 days, it is really only natural nail growth that sees us returning to the salon for refills.
As with all gel and acrylic nails, you shouldn't try removing them at home. Your nail technician will wrap your nails in acetone, to professionally remove the colour without damaging your skin.
Shellac is generally quicker to remove than acrylic, due to its molecular structure. It sets with tiny invisible holes in it, which allow the acetone to penetrate the layers, making it easier to remove. As little to no buffing is required, your nails will remain healthy.
Many people prefer gel to acrylics, believing it produces a glossier finish. Gel nails are great for those allergic to acrylic, and nails tend to feel more natural. In addition, gel nails don't produce any odour.
However, fans of acrylic nails will tell you gel is not as durable and, of course, you can't use it to add length.
Shellac is perfect for those who like the look of traditional nail polish, but don't want to be bothered with weekly salon appointments. Shellac will stand up well to everyday chores, like washing dishes and gardening.
For those concerned about the use of the UV light, rest assured: research has been done and the level of UV light is extremely low. If you are still worried, simply apply sunscreen to your hands beforehand, avoiding your nails.
CND Shellac offers more than 100 designer colours, so you'll never run out of inspiration. You can even produce your own unique finishes using glitter or nail art.
If you are looking to try Shellac, it's best to start with healthy nails. That's something you can discuss with your nail technician, so hop onto Bookwell and make your booking today.