I’m addicted to doing my nails. I love painted nails and chipped polish makes me cringe. Therefore when my mom introduced me to Shellac (aka Gel Manicure), I was pretty certain Christmas came early.
Long story short, the polish is a little more expensive, it takes a little bit more time to apply, but 2-3 weeks with chip free and shiny polish!? It’s a no-brainer in my book.
So how to do it… well 1st you need a UV nail lamp, nail polishes (including base and top coat), 99% alcohol (remover) and manicure accessories (file, buffer, etc.). Here we go…
1. Remove your old Shellac nail polish with Pure Acetone (there are multiple ways but the acetone must remain on your nails for 10 minutes – a. you can dip it in cotton pads and securing them on your finger with foil or b. soak your nails in a shallow dish filled with acetone).
2. Make sure your nail bed is CLEAN – I file/shape my nails, then buff to “rough” up the service. I then spray with this nail cleaner and (once dry) brush BondAid on each nail to dry it out, so that it really holds the polish.
3. Next… the fun begins! Brush a THIN layer of Shellac Base Coat onto each nail.
4. Put under lamp for 10 seconds.
5. Apply color coat. Then dry under lamp for 120 seconds.
6. Repeat color coat if needed. Followed by 120 more seconds under the lamp.*
7. Finish with top coat.
9. Saturate a cotton pad with 99% Alcohol and swipe over each nail. This will remove the “gooey” residue left behind by the top coat and result in shiny, gorgeous nails!
10. Go wash the dishes/take a shower/go swimming… whatever you couldn’t do if you had wet nails for 20 more hours! You’re good to go!
- Make sure to apply thin coats, otherwise the polish could bubble or when your manicure grows out the polish will stick out (see the first image – my middle finger = not going to be good in a week)
- Try to brush the edge of your nails to create a sort of protective barrier to keep the polish “contained” (see image*)
- Experiment! Layer different colors to create your own! I have done up to 3 layers and if they are thin enough I’ve never had a problem.
- Practice makes perfect! My polish used to bubble, crack, polish would be missing on parts of my nail, but after a few tries I am proud to say I am now consistently problem free!
- Favorite colors: Romantique (Nude/Pink), Negligee (White/Nude), Dark Lava (Cranberry/Purple), Fedora (like “Lincoln Park After Dark”), Midnight Swim (Navy)