What is shellac?

шеллак Nails

A small number of girls do not know what gel polish is, since well-groomed and neatly designed nails are the main trend of recent years. To make their hands look feminine, woman are ready to go to nail technician every month for manicure services.

However, there are relatively new pigments that are also used in salons, but they are less common. So, not all women know what shellac is, although the composition has good characteristics regarding the wear resistance of the manicure and the strength of the adhesion of the decorative coating on the nail plate.

What is shellac?

Shellac is a varnish gel composition that includes a large number of polymers, film-formers and thinners, which provide a dense decorative coating on nails.


Despite the fact that most girls consider shellac a separate type of pigment for nail shaping, the composition is only a name for the types of dyes that were first produced under the CND brand. It is also considered a gel polish, so an ultraviolet or LED lamp is used to solidify during the session.

To perform a manicure in the salon, the pigment is applied in several layers:

  1. Base layer.
  2. 1 or 2 layers of main pigment.
  3. Top.

However, it is preliminarily recommended to use a dehydrator, which removes the fatty film from the nail, increasing its adhesion to the decorative coating.

The primer, which is used when working with conventional gel polishes, does not need to be applied. This is due to the presence of strong active ingredients that, without excipients, adhere tightly to the nail, preventing premature discharge of the dye.

Pros and cons

Most girls do not know what to choose a regular gel polish or a modern composition in the salon, since only a few know the features of the latest option and its main advantages.

The positive aspects of shellac:

  • Versatility. You can wear the pigment on nails of any length, shape;
  • Suitable for extension;
  • Long-term retention of work. The pigment stays on natural nails for at least two weeks. Often, girls enjoy the result for more than a month;
  • Increased strength. The high adhesion rate of the product on the nail plate prevents the occurrence of chips, scratches, cracks or other cosmetic defects of the manicure;
  • Ability to create an unusual, unique design. Suitable for a glossy surface for drawing, stamping, fixing stickers and any other type of nail design. Shellac also has a large assortment of shades, effects (sequins, mother of pearl, matte top, etc.);
  • The convenience of use. The gel has a homogeneous texture, medium consistency, which is convenient to distribute evenly over the nail plate, avoiding leakage to side rollers;
  • Saturation of pigments. Most often, shellacs are able to overlap the natural nail bed in one layer, which ensures the economical use of the composition.

Even a beginner can now use shellac. To do this, you need to pay attention to the purchase and preparation of all consumables, tools that will be needed in the work, and then you can start practicing in coating.

However, keep in mind that you need to be careful when choosing a pigment. Because of this, that the type of gel polish is now becoming quite common, many brands are trying to create its analogue, which affects the deterioration of the original quality. In order for the result of a manicure to be neat and effective, it is better to trust the first manufacturers, such as CND or Bluesky.

What is shellac?

Despite the fact that shellac is an excellent analogue of the classic gel composition, it also has disadvantages:

  • High price. A large number of advantages are also due to the high price, which set by the manufacturer. Because of this, the use of the product in the salon increases in the price for a manicure in several times;
  • First you need to pay attention to the processing of the nail. Due to the medium consistency and density of the solution, shellac does not spontaneously level out on the nails and does not fill cosmetic defects of the nail, on the contrary, it can only emphasize irregularities and bumps. It is important to grind the nail bed with buff beforehand in order to remove the entire gloss, prepare nails for work.

The main advantage that is an indicator of how much shellac lasts on the nails. Because of this, many turn a blind eye to the high price and the risk of highlighting small plate defects.

When choosing a good nail service master, you ensure that you get a neat, a natural result that will stay the same for more than a month.

Differences between shellac and other coatings:

Despite the prevalence of the composition, many girls still prefer to use gel polish or regular varnish at home. However, there are many differences in pigments that can convince everyone.

The main differences between shellac:

  1. Absolute safety. Some gel polishes still contain harmful and aggressive components that are hazardous to the health of natural manicure – formaldehyde, toluene, and their derivatives. The manufacturer almost immediately excluded from of their composition, these components, which is why on many packages you can find the mention of “3/5/7 FREE”.
  2. Only UV lamp is suitable for drying. There are also LED and hybrid devices used by nail technicians, but they are much less effective when working with modern pigments.
  3. Does not require prior application of a primer. The increased adhesion of the components contributes to a strong fixation of the decorative coating on the nail bed without auxiliary compositions.
  4. For removal, use only a remover. As a standard, you can use one of two options for removing gel polishes – hardware or chemical. When working with gels are only suitable for performing a compress with the addition of a manicure remover, which gradually softens the agent.

There are no differences in the step-by-step pigment application technology. For this, the master also first carries out a rough treatment of the nail plate, then processes it with a dehydrator and starts the decoration.

What is shellac?

Also, using a dye, you can create almost any design that is often used with other formulations:

  • Stamping;
  • Stickers;
  • Drawing patterns with a brush;
  • Foil;
  • Rubbing;
  • Rhinestones.

But be careful – you should not combine the decor with each other, as it can look ridiculous and inappropriate.


Despite the fact that shellac is now used in almost all nail salons, not all girls know what it is and what features the composition has. The pigment has increased strength and wear resistance, which is why it remains in its previous state for up to 4-5 weeks. This is the main feature of the varnish, because of which many girls prefer to use it in the salon or at home, since it is distributed quite simply.

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