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23 Oct 2012

Do It Yourself Guide to Shellac at home

Please excuse the paint job, this is the best my cack-handedness can muster.

About a month ago I tried the wonder that is Shellac. As a busy mum of 3 nail varnish never lasts long on me, but this stuff just keeps on going. Apart from a couple of minor chips I got the full 2 weeks out of it. It also helped protect my nails from the endless knocks and scrapes they are subjected to on a daily basis, so that by the end of the 2 weeks I had not had even one broken nail.
The only downsides I could see were the cost and not being able to change colours as regularly as I am used to. I found out that you can paint right on top of the shellac manicure and it will last the same amount of time as the normal polish would, then when you are ready to remove it, just use Acetone free nail varnish remover which can be bought from any Boots or Superdrug.
The cost however was not so easily overcome. It costs £25 for each manicure/ pedicure and so would cost me £75 a month (2 mani, each lasting 2 weeks and 1 pedi lasting 4 weeks)
So I decided to shell out of for the whole system and save myself some money. There was a lot of conflicting advice online regarding the lamp. The makers of Shellac assert that you can only use their lamp for shellac, but I bought a generic 36w model on Amazon from Proxima Direct for £30 and it works fine, so thats £100 saved. I then bought a base coat, top coat and colour from ebay, they were £15 each. I bought a bottle of pure acetone £2 and pure Isopropanol £3 from ebay, the acetone is used to remove the Shellac at the end of the 2 weeks and the Isopropanol removes the sticky “inhibition layer”. I also bought a small bittle of Solar oil to stop my nails drying out.
  • 36w lamp £30
  • Polishes £45
  • Acetone £2
  • Isopropanol £3
  • Solar Oil £5
I think if you view Shellac as a protective super shiny coat to your nails then you can’t go wrong. It makes having perfectly groomed nails effortless.
Here is the CND official literature about the application. insert link
Here are my top tips for a long lasting Shellac manicure.
  • Apply thin coats
  • Don’t file your nails (the flat bit that you paint) before this may increase the length of time your manicure will last but it will make it very hard to get off at the end and will ruin your natural nails so ypu will have to stop using Shellac due to weK damaged nails.
  • Remember to cap the ends of your nails, that means you need to apply a thin coat of the colour and top coat to the end of your nails so that it seals the ends and stops peeling, this also helps strengthen them.
  • Instead of using CND’s Scrubfresh which costs £10 a bottle before painting just wipe over your nails with Isopropanol which ensures the nail is clean and dries it out slightly which helps with longevity. Scrubfresh is made from Isopropanol and Acetone with added bacteria destroyers, but considering Isopropanol is used to orep skin before surgery and to clean equipment for tatooing, I doubt any bacteria will be lingering about after a quick wipe.

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