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Durable Color for Nails—New alternative to traditional polish

Nov 22, 2010 06:33PM ● By Anonymous

Last month I treated myself to a manicure and picked very pale polish, just to ensure that when the polish started chipping it wouldn’t be so obvious. (No, I don’t have a lot of time and patience to preen my nails) And then I saw a new product that grabbed my attention, called shellac. “What is that?” I inquired and the manicurist explained that while she wasn’t trained to apply shellac, it was quickly becoming very popular because it lasts approximately three weeks without chipping. Wow, three weeks!! My polish usually doesn’t last three days, I thought to myself.


In the furniture trade, shellac is a resin used to protect wood. In the beauty business Shellac is a brand name for a nail product that is half nail polish and half gel. Applied, in several coats like nail polish, it is cured by UV light. The result is flexible nails that are completely dry when you leave the salon. Nail polish dries by evaporation, which mean that is takes several hours to cure. To have perfect nails, after applying nail polish, you really need to refrain from using your hands for two to three hours. When your nails have been coated with shellac, you can do most office and household related chores without worrying about damaging the color on your nails, as long as you don’t start using powerful cleaning products without the protection of gloves.

Shellac can only be applied by a trained professional. It can only be removed with 100 percent acetone and the aid of a wooden nail stick for clearing out edges, so it is best if you leave removal to the professionals as well.

Shellac is suited to people who like their nails at their current natural length, as it cannot be applied to synthetic materials ie fake nails. Prior to application, your nails are thoroughly cleaned, trimmed, and buffed, removing any irregular or uneven edges. No lotion is initially applied to your hands because the nail bed must be completely dry until after your nails have been done.

This past weekend I had my nails painted with shellac, a bright daring red. Two days later, they still look beautiful. How will they look in two or three week? I’ll keep you posted.