How to apply shellac yourself

Long-lasting manicure made with shellac is practical and convenient. And most importantly - it does not erase for a long time. That is why many girls are wondering how to apply shellac correctly: they want to learn how to perform this procedure on their own, and not pay substantial sums in the salon.

What is Shellac

Before telling how to apply Shellac varnish correctly, let me say a few words about what kind of coating it is. This is a hybrid of nail polish and gel developed by an American company. And this material has absorbed all the best properties of both. Firstly, shellac gel (how to apply - we will discuss below) lasts on the nails for up to 4-6 weeks. Then you need to change the coating. Secondly, it is applied as easy as varnish. Thirdly, you can remove the coating with a liquid, and not cut off, like a gel for building. Fourth, a large color scheme allows you to choose any suitable shade. Fifthly, shellac allows you to make the perfect manicure, since the material dries only under a UV lamp, which means that the master will be able to work without haste, gently and carefully, correcting the slightest flaws. Do you want to know how to apply shellac in stages? Use the simple instructions below.

shellac gel how to apply

Tools and materials

Before applying "shellac" at home, you need to prepare everything you need. What is required for such a manicure? First of all, the base, the bottle of color gel polish and the finish. But that is not enough. It is necessary to prepare a special lamp - it can be a UV device or LED-drying. It is worth remembering immediately that the ultraviolet lamp dries gel polish much longer. But LED-drying is much more expensive. Depending on the frequency of use, you must select the appropriate device. Additionally required:

  • file for natural nails ;
  • buff for grinding and polishing;
  • gel polish remover;
  • degreaser;
  • orange sticks for manicure.

Nail preparation

When the entire necessary set of tools and materials is at hand, you can begin the procedure. So, how to apply shellac? First of all, it is necessary to prepare the nails. Fortunately, this process is much simpler and safer for nail plates than preparation before extension. By the way, many girls, not wanting to expose their nails to aggressive procedures, choose shellac gel. How to apply it in accordance with all the rules? First push back the cuticle with the help of orange sticks. Then file the nails, giving them a symmetrical shape. Nail plates are aligned with a buff (movements strictly from the cuticle to the free edge). With the help of a degreaser, the gloss is removed from the nails. After that, you can start applying the product. Sometimes, while preparing nails, masters do not file them and polish them. But only if it is used by CND Shellac, and not gel varnishes from other manufacturers.

how to apply shellac gel polish

Stage One: Shellac Foundation

Before using the persistent shellac product, it is not necessary to polish the nails too carefully, which exudes them somewhat. And to apply the base with a thick layer, as some are used to doing before staining the plates with varnish, is also not necessary. The base for Shellac is applied with a thin film, carefully dried in the apparatus, according to the instructions. The adhesive layer is not removable - it is necessary in order for better adhesion of the material to occur. It depends on how long the manicure will last in perfect condition.

how to apply shellac

Stage Two: Color Layer

A colored layer of gel polish is applied to the base. Slim and neat. When wondering how to properly apply shellac, you should immediately remember that the material should not fall on the cuticle or side rollers. If this happens, then the coating will begin to chip and lag behind the nails. There can be no more than two colored layers. Each is dried in the lamp as much as the instruction requires. Only after complete drying of the first layer is the second applied. This is required in order to make the manicure more vibrant. If there are more layers, the nails will become too dense and thick. Firstly, it is not too aesthetically pleasing, and secondly, quality suffers. The thicker the coating, the faster the manicure is chipped, cracked and poorly held.

how to apply shellac varnish

Stage Three: Finish Layer

After the colored layers are dried, it is necessary to apply a top-fixer for gel polish. It is transparent, protects and gives shine to manicure. It is applied in one thin layer, dries in the device, according to the instructions. There is a special top finish from CND that gives Shellac a very strong shine (ultra-gloss). It is applied in the same way as regular topcoat.

About design

Before applying Shellac gel polish, you should consider the design. Dry spangles, rhinestones, sand and other decorative elements for nail art are attached exclusively to the color layer before the finish is applied. Painting can be done on both color and top coat (subject to repetition). Acrylic paints tend to spread over a glossy smooth surface. To avoid this, you just need to take a thicker paint, diluting it with water less. Repeatedly the finishing layer is applied only when the drawing is completely dry.

how to apply shellac at home

French with Shellac

Considering the question of how to properly apply "shellac", it is impossible to ignore the French manicure. This is a classic. So, we need gel polish of white and pink color, base and top. When the base dries in the lamp, a soft pink shellac (in one layer) is applied to it. It is thoroughly dried. After that, a smile line is drawn with white gel polish (you can not use special stencils, only by hand). If there is such a need, the action is repeated after drying. The last step is the top coat of gel polish and its drying. Beauty!

how to apply shellac varnish

Shellac Removal

Well, how to apply Shellac gel polish, in principle, is understandable. Let's talk about how and how to shoot it. The advantage of this material is that it is not sawed off like a gel. So, the nails are not injured. Shellac is removed using a special fluid called a “remover”. Apply it in the same way as a means for removing ordinary varnish. That is, a certain amount of liquid is applied to a napkin or cotton pad, then the gel polish is erased from the nail plates.

Material advantages

Shellac's biggest advantage is its practicality. There is no need to often refresh a manicure, as it always looks perfect. Another plus is that the nails are significantly tightened. That is, the risk of accidentally damaging them is practically reduced to zero. There is no need to worry that the nail will crack or break along the growth line. The third advantage of gel polish is its versatility. You can choose any suitable coating color and design. Even if the nails are too short, it makes sense to try a manicure with gel polish. In 4-5 weeks, the length of the nails will increase, which means there will be more room for imagination. Gel polish is one of the best ways to grow your nails!

how to apply shellac in stages

Disadvantages of Shellac

Shellac's biggest drawback is its price. Yes, the original cover from CND costs a lot. On the other hand, for home use, you can purchase a starter kit for two, having folded with a friend or acquaintance. And do subsequently manicure to each other.

Another minus is nitpicking is durability. Yes, this is both a virtue and a disadvantage. Many just get tired of the monotony for a whole month, wanting something new. If the manicure is performed at home, then there is no problem: the old coating is removed, a new one is applied.


Unlike extension, Shellac procedure can be performed at home independently. Problems with the preparation should not arise, especially if real American material is used. Having fried the nail plates, you can immediately start applying the gel polish according to the instructions. Removing the cover is also not difficult if there is a “remover” at hand.

shellac varnish how to apply

Common Errors and Problems

Shellac varnish (we discussed in detail how to apply the product) is a fairly simple material, but sometimes it causes difficulties in application. So, for example, some are faced with such a problem as a too thick consistency of gel polish. This usually happens if the product has been idle for a long time. It is necessary to put the bottle in the refrigerator for 5-20 minutes, then twist between the palms for a couple of minutes. The consistency will become normal, and the color uniform.

If during application the gel polish got on the cuticle or on the side rollers, then the excess is carefully removed with a cotton swab moistened with a “remover”. There is no need to completely wash the coating, because until the hands are placed in a lamp or dryer, the material will not harden.


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