Q: I usually like to get Shellac because I think it's better for my nails, but my manicurist told me it’s the same as a gel manicure. What’s the difference?
A: Like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, these two are practically the same. All "gel" manicures — whether brand-name or not — have very similar technical properties: UV light cures and hardens the polish, which makes it last up to two weeks. The downside of this durability is that removing these varnishes requires an acetone finger-bath.
The one difference is that Shellac, created by nail-polish company CND, uses a formula they call a "Power Polish," which is basically a blend of UV-cured and regular nail polish. Unlike other gel polishes that dry down to a thick, turtlelike shell on nails, Shellac paints on less goopy and appears a bit thinner, like your everyday manicure. The removal process for Shellac is also slightly different in that CND sells their own acetone wraps, which isolate the powerful remover to just the nail-bed area so you don't have to entirely soak your fingertips in a bowl. This saves your fingers slightly, as acetone dries out nails and skin.
Whichever you choose, don't forget to apply sunscreen to the backs of hands prior to sticking them in a UV lamp, which emits harmful rays. Once you remove the polish, use nail oils and creams to keep your hands hydrated and healthy.
Most Viewed Stories
The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
25 Famous Women on Being Alone
22 Intimate Lost Photos of Marilyn Monroe
How Angelina Jolie Won the First Big Battle in Her Divorce
Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
It’s Time to Get Over Your White Feelings and Start Taking Action for Black Lives
The Will & Grace Reunion Was Intensely Documented for Social Media
Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
Amy Schumer Went All Out for the Kiss Cam at a Mets Game
The 6 Best Denim Shops on Etsy
From Our Partners
The Fashion Spot
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Beauty FeaturesTo the Eternal Relief of Amanda Chantal Bacon, Father John Misty Has Deactivated His Twitter and Instagram
Amanda Chantal Bacon’s good crystal vibes have worked in her favor.Decadent Jewels in the Midst of Destruction
Where diamonds and rubies collide with the grotesque.Desperate Tom Hanks Scours City in Search of Weddings to Crash
He’s at it again.A Brief Encounter With the Screaming Reality Stars of Marriage Boot Camp
Jim and Amber Marchese explain that alleged domestic-violence incident, while Jade and Tanner Tolbert promise to make more reality TV.Imagine Being Able to Get a Year’s Worth of Birth Control at Once
California women can, starting in January.Adele Could Not Care Less About the Brangelina Divorce
So please don’t pretend like she does.Los Angeles Police Confirm Active Criminal Investigation Against Derrick Rose
It’s separate from the civil suit, which will come to trial next week.Renowned Founder of Pussy Posse Goes to Washington
Leonardo DiCaprio met with President Barack Obama for another historic hotness summit.We’re Very Worried About Brangelina’s French Vineyard
We hope Château Miraval keeps making wine.Prince George Has No Time for Justin Trudeau’s High Fives
No time at all!
Christelle Kocher splits her time between Chanel and her own couture-meets-streetwear line.What Fashion Anthropologists Think About the Relentless Cargo-Shorts Boom
There’s a lot going on in those pockets.Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of September 26
Mars enters Capricorn.Lupita Nyong’o Dropped a Rap Video to Celebrate Her 3 Million Instagram Followers
She debuted a short video on Instagram.Amy Schumer Went All Out for the Kiss Cam at a Mets Game
She had a kiss for her dad and her boyfriend.The Fashion Executive Who Doesn’t Wear Underwear on Dates
This week’s sex diary.Marc Jacobs’s Dog Has His Own Coffee-Table Book
Neville Jacobs, Instagram celebrity.The Will & Grace Reunion Was Intensely Documented for Social Media
Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, and Sean Hayes want you to feel FOMO.Emma Watson Helped Make a Short Film to Inspire You, Ladies
Jump those hurdles. Swing from a chandelier.Get Gender-Free Fashion Delivered to Your Hotel Room
Best room service ever.