Health's Angel

Shellac Be Gone

on September 10, 2012

While in Portland, Oregon for Megan’s wedding, the bride treated her bridal party and some other guests to manicures and pedicures the night before the big day. Extremely generous of her! I hadn’t had a manicure or pedicure in a long time, so I was very excited about this.

Heaven!( Heaven!)


(A little confusion trying to figure out how the massage chair worked…)

There were eleven of us total, and we essentially had the place to ourselves. I’m almost positive that all eleven of us got the exact same manicure…


A classic French. My absolute favorite. It’s always what I ask for when I get my nails done professionally. I occasionally will give myself one, but I can never seem to get the white tips to look right. This was a bit different from your average French, though. I decided to try out a Shellac manicure and see if it really was better than regular old polish.

The picture above was taken the day after the manicure. I loved the way it turned out. I’ve heard some say that Shellac manicures are horrible for your nails, but I wasn’t too concerned at the time. My nails felt sturdy and strong, and I liked the idea of a longer-lasting manicure. The man who did my nails told me that the manicure should last two to three weeks.

I started noticing some minor chips around week two, but I fixed them up with a little white polish. I was able to keep the manicure on for a solid three weeks before any major chipping and peeling. Not bad.


When they began to look like they did above, I knew it was time to get the polish off. This was the tricky part. I figured that regular old polish remover wasn’t going to do the trick, so I sought out other options.


I ended up purchasing a new bottle of polish remover (which I needed anyway) and a gel nail removal kit from Sephora. I didn’t want to resort to soaking my fingers in 100% acetone, so I thought this would be a safer solution.

The kit came with five sets of ten pads to wrap around each finger, plastic gloves, and a cuticle pusher to scrape the polish off. You simply saturate a pad with the polish remover, wrap it around the nail, and repeat for each finger.


Then, you put a plastic glove on and wait about twenty minutes.


In hindsight, the plastic glove probably wasn’t necessary, especially considering my friend and I were just chilling on my couch watching a movie. But I guess it kept the room from smelling of nail polish remover.


After twenty minutes, I unraveled the gauze and saw that the Shellac was lifting off my nails. I then took the cuticle pusher, pictured above, and gently scraped the remaining polish off of my nails.


Success! The polish came off pretty easily, but I was left with some awful looking natural nails. You can’t tell in the above picture, but my nails were really rough. Now I understand why some say that Shellac isn’t the greatest for your nails. I washed my hands afterwards and rubbed a bit of lotion on them to help ease the dryness. I wasn’t sure whether to just let my nails go au-naturale or paint over them again.


But, my friend brought over this fun Barbie Doll pink polish, and I couldn’t resist. So much for giving my nails a breather…

As for the Shellac, I don’t think it’d be something I’d get on a regular basis after seeing the condition of my nails after I removed the polish. I think it’d be best for a special occasion or if I’m going on a trip where I want my nails to look nice and not have to worry about chipping.

What are your thoughts on Shellac? Have you tried it?

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10 responses to “Shellac Be Gone

  1. I have treid shellac polish before and while I do enjoy it for special events, I much rather prefer doing my own nails. I didn’t know about that fabulous way to remove the shellac. Instead, I picked them off myself! I damaged my nail beds slightly but they are healthy again! If I ever decide to do it again, I’ll be smarter about my removal method!

    • One of the girls I went with who had gotten Shellac before said she did the same thing- just picked it off when it was really peeling. But it was driving me crazy so I had to try another method! And I agree- I like doing my own nails, too!

  2. I’d never heard of shellac polish. Sounds intimidating!

    I’m more of a “sinful colors at home” kinda gal :)

  3. I love gel manicures! The Gelish brand has been my favorite so far. I bought 100% acetone and make my own wraps to soak them off using foil + a cotton ball. ;)

  4. I rarely ever paint my nails or get them done, so I’ve never had shellac…but that is so cool that you all got to get your nails done before the wedding!

  5. I’ve never used Shellac, but I probably wouldn’t because I’m low maintenance (aka lazy… haha). But I love that pink color!

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