I have been hearing from a lot of people, whats the difference between a “Gel manicure and “Shellac”. Well Here is your answer:
A gel manicure is something that has been around forever, but has only gained popularity in the last few years. Do you remember going into the nail salon back in the day and seeing “UV Gel” on that long list of services on the wall? Yup! that’s the gel manicure that no one really talked about. The original “gel manicure” was applied much like acrylic nails with a little pot of gel and a brush.
From my research I have found that the process of applying these gel manicures was very time consuming and much like acrylic nails where one would go in for a “fill” every few weeks. Also, I have read that the process of removing these gel manicures can be damaging to the nail because it requires your nail to be filed with a drill in order for all of the gel to be removed. YIKES! It sounds a lot like having acrylics on. Also, these UV Gel sets were very expensive as well. I did read that these gel manicures did make your nails very strong and help to prevent from breakage. Also, the gel manicures had no chips dents or cracks for two weeks.
Now for Shellac, my personal favorite:
Shellac is a hybrid between gel and nail polish. It comes in a container that looks like normal nail polish. Shellac is applied just like traditional nail polish, but with a few extra layers. Your first layer is a UV base coat, then two coats of the shellac color polish and finished off with a UV top coat. After each layer is polished onto the nail it is set in a UV dryer for about two minutes. Also, some thing that I have seen that really helps for the polish to stay on is when your manicurist will use this product called “Bondaid“:
This product is used to balance the PH level of your nail to help assist with the bonding of artificial products to the nail bed. When I have had a manicurist use this product before she applied the gel polish I notice that I do not have any “lifted” areas of my gel polish, like on the corners of the nails. It is not a requirement to have the Bondaid, but it is a great plus! Now the Shellac is not as thick as the traditional “Gel manicure” however the shellac allows your natural nail to breath. Also, in my opinion Shellac offers a more natural appearance to the nails because it is not thick on the nail. Think of it like when you get acrylics on, most people ask for the acrylic to be “thin” why?…. so that it looks as natural as possible. Also, the most important thing about the shellac is the way it is SUPPOSED to be removed. I was getting shellac manicures for a year and hearing how they were “non damaging to the nails” yet my nails could only take about 4 months of the shellac and then they got too thin and I had to cut them and start over. I was thinking “this is what everyone is saying is non damaging”? Well, it was only until recently that I realized that the place I was going was removing my Shellac all wrong. They would soak my nails in acetone and then scrape off the shellac (which was fine) but then they would use a drill or a nail buffer to remove whatever color didn’t come off. HUGE NO NO! The way shellac is suppose to be removed is with little tin foil finger puppets.
First, they should put “acrylic remover” or any kind of artificial nail remover on a cotton ball, place the cotton ball on your nail:
and then wrap the cotton ball to your nail with tin foil:
Then after the nail sits for a few minutes the shellac should come right off with a cuticle pusher. This prevents any damage to your nail from any filing or drilling to remove the shellac color.
I have a favorite shellac color. Its this one you see below, called Negligee:
This color goes on as a really light pink with a slight iridescent color to it. It can be worn alone as a beautiful neutral polish. However, I love to wear it paired with a white shellac for a beautiful french tip. I will doing this on my nails in a few weeks and will make sure to show you guys how the Negligee looks on my nails. Stayed tuned for that post. Well, I hope this post cleared up any questions you all may have had regarding “gel manicures”.