Thursday, August 30, 2012

Shellac nails at home

I've had a couple of Shellac manicures at salons.  One was a good experience, one was bad, and one was just fair-to-middlin'.  The problem I had was that many nail techs insist on filing (or drilling) your nails down quite a bit, contrary to my specific requests.  I have had problems in the past with that resulting in some pretty significant damage that left me cutting my nails down to near nothing.  However, regular polish manicures don't hold up to the stress of regular and vigorous strumming on a stringed instrument, and the shellac actually reinforces the nail a bit while remaining flexible.

So I finally gave up and grabbed a do it yourself package on Ebay.  It came pretty quickly, and included the UV lamp, top coat and base coat, and two colors.  I went with a very sheer pink and a clear with a bit of glitter in it.  I figure with an unsteady hand, neutrals are good.

I had to insert the bulbs into the lamp.  I don't know why it didn't occur to me that I would need to, but I was very nervous about breaking them.  It was fine though, just a little wiggle and click.  Then I painted base coat, color 1, color 2, and top coat, with a couple of light sessions after each layer.  Probably overkill, but whatever.

At the end it still felt sticky so I panicked a little and googled it.  Silly me didn't bother reading the directions.  At the end there is a sticky film left, and you just wipe it with a little bit of alcohol or nail polish remover.  Presto change-o, and no nail damage.  Feelin' pretty spiffy right about now, I'm not gonna lie.  You probably wouldn't be impressed, as it's really just a shiny effect with no color.

Next I will order a couple of actual colors and see if I can manage that all right.  They're 15 bucks a bottle on Ebay... so not much more than buying a nice brand of nail polish at regular price.  I still will do my toes with regular polish unless I need to match for some reason.   I'll also be buying the little gloves that protect your hands from the UV rays.  Not courting cancer.


  1. they should NEVER drill your nails for shellac. A light buff with a soft buffer ONLY

  2. and isn't that an LED lamp? no worries for UV with that right? If it doesnt say on it you can tell by how long the directions say. LED is like 10 seconds while UV is more like 1 min. I would think if you slathered on sunscreen youd be OK.

  3. I will double check when I get home.


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