When it comes to the world of manicures, two types of polish often take center stage: gel and shellac. If you’ve ever found yourself sitting in a salon chair, overwhelmed by the multitude of nail treatment options, you’re not alone. One term that frequently pops up during such visits is “shellac.” But what is shellac nails? Let’s delve into the details.
What Does ‘Shellac’ Mean?
The term ‘shellac’ often sparks confusion as it’s frequently used interchangeably with ‘gel’. However, these two are not the same thing. Shellac is, in fact, a patented brand name associated with Creative Nail Design (CND), a pioneer in professional nail, hand, and foot care.
Shellac nails represent a unique blend of traditional nail polish and gel polish, offering the best of both worlds. This hybrid polish is known for its signature high-gloss finish, resulting in a manicure that’s durable like gel but shines like traditional polish.
Shellac vs. Gel Nails – Breaking Down the Difference
When comparing shellac nail polish and gel nail polish, it’s crucial to understand that both types offer a long-lasting, glossy finish. However, the composition of these two differs.
Gel manicure are crafted from a liquid gel, a product developed by a multitude of manufacturers. The gel polish comprises a blend of acrylic monomers and oligomers, which solidify under UV light to create a robust, shiny coat.
On the other hand, shellac nails are a product of CND and boast a unique formula that combines traditional nail polish and gel. This fusion results in a manicure that’s thinner and softer than gel but harder than standard polish.
The Shellac Advantage: Longevity and Aesthetics
If longevity is your top priority, shellac mani won’t disappoint. A well-applied shellac manicure can last between 10 and 14 days without chipping, providing you with a salon-perfect look for an extended period.
Additionally, shellac nails deliver a high-gloss finish that mimics the shine of traditional nail polish, lending your nails a sophisticated and polished look. With over 100 shades available, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to experimenting with different hues.
The Application Process of Shellac Nails
Applying shellac nail polish is a meticulous process that requires professional expertise. The application involves applying a base coat, followed by two color coats and a topcoat. Each layer is cured under UV light, which not only sets the polish but also enhances its durability and glossiness.
The application process typically takes 45 minutes to an hour. However, thanks to the UV curing process, there’s no need to wait around for the polish to dry. The UV light activates photoinitiators present in the shellac formula, which harden and dry the polish in seconds.
Shellac Removal – A Breeze?
One of the notable advantages of shellac nails is their easy removal process. Unlike gel manicure, which require soaking and filing, shellac mani can be removed by a nail technician in just 5 to 15 minutes without scraping. This is made possible by a special acetone-based remover designed explicitly for shellac polishes.
While removing shellac at home is doable, it’s always best to let professionals handle the process to avoid any potential damage to your nails.
The Cost Factor
When it comes to cost, shellac manicures are generally on par with gel manicures. The price can range from $25 to $45, depending on factors like the salon’s reputation and your geographical location.
Safety Concerns: Should You Be Worried?
While shellac nails offer numerous benefits, it’s crucial to address the potential safety concerns associated with them. The main issue arises from the UV light used to cure the polish. Extended exposure to UV rays can lead to premature skin aging, age spots, and even skin cancer.
To protect your skin, you can apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to your hands before getting a shellac manicure. Alternatively, consider wearing rubber gloves with the natural nail area cut out for added protection.
Shellac vs. Gel – The Final Verdict
Choosing between shellac nails and gel nail extension boils down to individual preferences and needs. Both offer long-lasting, high-gloss finishes, albeit with different characteristics.
If you’re after a regular manicure that’s durable like gel but shines like traditional polish, shellac is the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer a more robust coating and don’t mind the more complex removal process, gel nails are your best bet.
Remember, regardless of your choice, ensure to get your manicure done by a nail tech to avoid any damage to your healthy nails. After all, your nails deserve the best care!
So, now that you know what is shellac nails, are you ready to take the plunge and try it out for yourself? Whether you choose shellac or gel, remember that your nails are a reflection of your personal style. So keep experimenting, and keep shining!