Friday, February 4, 2011

Shellac Problems and Questions

I thought I would publish a conversation with a reader who has been having problems with Shellac.  Perhaps this will be of help to everyone :)

If you missed the series on using Shellac to fix a nail break they can be found here:
Part I - Introduction to gel polish
Part II - Application
Part III - Removal
Video




Comment 1: 
So after seeing your first post about CND Shellac I went and purchased some for myself. I followed your steps and the CND steps to a t! Loved the results.. AT FIRST. Within a day, it all peeled right off!

Response 1:
hmmm ... First lets try to eliminate a few reasons why this may have happen.

How long did you cure the shellac for?
What UV light did you use?
Were your nails completely dry (and oil free)before application?
After you put on the shellac did you shower immediately after in hot water?


Comment 2: 
Well I checked to see what the Wattage was on the CND UV lamp and it was 36W, wouldn't it be the same then!? Plus the polish says only 10 seconds in the UV light. Anyway-- I did different numbers of layers on each nail some 2 some 3 depending on how thin or thick. I let the cure 2 minutes after each coat.
February 2, 2011 9:56 PM


Response 2:
Each gel product needs a specific amount of UV light intensity (output) to cure it in a specific amount of time. Although your UV light is 36W, which is the same as CND, wattage is related to how much power it uses, NOT to how much light it puts out (output). How much light intensity a UV light puts out (output) is related to the number of bulbs, their placement, and any mirror (or reflective elements) part of the lamp.

It seems that since you are not using the CND lamp (even if it is the same wattage) it does not have enough intensity to cure Shellac in the time stated by CND. The gel is not curing properly, even if it seems hard. Since my lamp is crappy and not CND's, I cure mine for way longer than what CND says. Furthermore, I put tin foil all around it to give more reflection.

Since you have product and a UV light, try to Shellac again, but this time cure 4 layers worth for 4 minutes each time. :)

BTW, I have a 6W light and it works the way I described (*4 min cure per coat), proof that wattage is not as relevant as intensity (output). Good luck!

Let me know what happens! <3


If you have any questions or problems let me know! :)

115 comments:

  1. All your Shellac posts are making me want to order some O_o. Dunno where I'd start with the lamps and all that, though.

    Also, if I purchase a UV top coat and a lamp, say, would I be able to paint with normal polish and just cure it all wit the UV topcoat? That wouldn't destroy anything, would it? :P

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  2. I'm definitely not pushing anyone, but if you wanted to buy a UV lamp you could just buy something cheap on ebay (~$30) and adjust curing times to make the product cure ... BUT there are so many caveats to UV top coats...

    Not all gel products are the same:
    There are top coats of the "soak off" variety (like in the post), UV top coats formulated to only go on acrylics and gels (not for real nails), and UV top coats for natural nails.

    I have never tried soak off top coats over regular nail polish but the word on the street is that they don't play well. I have tried a UV top coat made for natural nails and it worked well enough, but because it cures harder than my nails flexibility it cracks as the week progresses (but it looks damn good in the beginning).

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    Replies
    1. I have spent ages making regular nail polish and UV top coats play nice with each other. What you need to do is: base coat (1-2 coats) regular nail polish (however many coats to get the look you want), then once the polish is dry go do something else, I go to bed as I do my nails at night. Then when you wake up the next morning use your UV top coat and you will have no issues, remember to wrap the tip, and cure for the specified curing time. Right now I use either Quo by Orly UV top coat or Sensational UV top coat, both do the same and last the same amount of time. I can get about 6-7 days of wear out of my manicure, no chips, no wear, just pretty nails. Hope this helps everyone.

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  3. Thank you so much for trouble shooting me in my nail problems! I tried the Shellac again last night-- Did 4 layers 5 minutes a piece(I wanted to be REALLY sure it worked this time) and the results were much better than the first time (so far). I could tell a big difference from the first time I did it and the second because the gel was Much tackier the second time than it was the first which im assuming was a good sign. I was going to polish them last night after I did them but I wanted to rule out all of the reasons I was having trouble in the past so I went to be without getting a single drop of water on them. I'm polishing them now and will let you know how they hold up. Again, thanks soooo much for your help!

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  4. Thanks for answering my question :P If you used the natural nail UV topcoat as a base coat and as a top coat, wouldn't that harden your nails and prevent that problem?

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  5. @Antoszewskia - yeay! Keep trying and let me know what happens! <3

    @The Student's Guide To Nail Polish - Suuure :)!
    Nail polish (including UV topcoats) don't change your nail plate structure like some hardeners can, like formaldehyde based treatments. Instead, you can think of it as a shield; underneath your nails are still flexible. The moment your nail bangs into something it will naturally have some give (at least that's what we hope for vs. breaking off :/) while the harder topcoat will crack easier under the same stress.

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  6. I had this very same issue with Shellac, although a Creative nut, I didn't want to $ buy the lamp, but it was unavoidable. I am in business and could not guarantee my work if I wasn't doing it "as instructed". I was curing for DOUBLE time with the old lamp,(six minutes between coats was a time waster!). I broke down and bought the lamp and there is a huge difference.
    No more peeling off (except for 2 problem nail clients).

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  7. @Lisa - I totally agree with you. Since this is your business you need to guarantee results; otherwise, clients will not come back. It's very well worth it for you to buy the proper equipment. As a professional, time is money so having to cure two times longer is no bueno. Any clue about the 2 problem clients? What's their deal?

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  8. I have just purchased a uv lamp and a wonderful shade of shellac only after realising that i am supposed to have also base and top coat.. I am eager to get started so my question is; is it absolutely necessary to apply base and top coat or can you just use the color?

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  9. Hi Anonymous!
    I have never tried to cure just the color on it's own, but I definitely don't think it would last (as long as it should) and it may not be as shiney. For example, I get much better wear using base + top (no color) than just using top coat without the base ... especially with more frequent polish changes.

    So what to do?! You can try it, but I doubt it will work like you want it to. Since you're buying shellace I imagine you are buying it for the wearability factor, which you won't get unless you use the system as a whole. In fact, normal polish might be a better option in this case UNLESS you adore the shellac color so much you are willing to give it a go to see if it works or even lasts.

    Either way let me knwo what happens!!! Actually I might just try this just to see :)

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  10. Does shellac have to be removed after 2 weeks or can you "fill" like other gels after regrowth?

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  11. So I tried curing the color on its own and it seems to work reasonably. (I have ordered also base and top coat now :) It is a bit less shiny than i would magine it would be with a top coat but so far seems to last allright.. I am on the fifth day and it looks fine :)

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  12. To the first comment - Unfortunately they say Shellac can not be "filled in" and must be removed completely and reapplied.

    To the second comment - Oh fantastic!! It will definitely be more shiny with the shellac top coat and last longer with the base for sure. Thank you so much for the update!!

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  13. I've been using Shellac for months now and I love it!! And what I do is base coat strawberry smoothy top coat curing in between ofc and then put any color polish I want over it all :D and then my nail art and top it off with another top coat. Shellac ftw, tho I am thinking of trying Gelish. And I use the foil method for removal.

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  14. @Chrissy - nice! what is ftw? I want to try gelish too, but I'm waiting to get low on shellac and who knows when that will be.

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  15. been using this for a few months but my nails have gone very very weak, do you need to file the nail before each time or just remove it, clean nail and put it on again, its been soaked off with the pads but then they have filed each nail after removal, has this made my nails weak

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  16. I never file the nail plate to prep. This step is unnecessary with Shellac and I curse the nail tech.'s that do this. UGH. My guess is that they are being lazy and trying to save some time. It really does come off completely within 10 minutes of soaking off in acetone.

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  17. she does it before she applies the coat, thanks for getting back to me

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  18. Oye vey! Can you tell her to stop?! lol or maybe ask to soak longer? I don't know, I guess there is a fine line between being a customer and telling them what you want and being a pushy braud and telling them how to do their job. You make the call. Email me and I can give you some more info.

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  19. we are having trouble with the right thumb not curing we have tryed everything please help

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    Replies
    1. I had the same problem until I switched to a CND lamp. The other lamp that we were using did not hold the thumb at the proper angle and the wattage may have been different (although I am not sure of this.) It happened particularly on the right thumb although it did not happen on every customer. You could try increasing the cure time. Also, use very thin coats of shellac. I took a class and found out I was using way too much product. After switching to the CND lamp, I have never had a thumbnail that did not cure, nor does it sag causing one side to be thicker.

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  20. Hi Anonymous! That is a pretty broad statement and I am not sure how to respond. Feel free to email me and we could talk specifics. My email is listed at the top of the page.

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  21. Hello to all,

    Is it okay to use a 45 watt uv lamp instead of a 36 watt uv lamp to cure gel polish?

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  22. Yes you can. Keep in mind that wattage is not the same thing as light intensity. All UV products have different specifications with respect to light intensity, that is why specific lights are recommended. If you don't use the recommended light for a specific UV product it may not cure within the specified time because the light intensity is not the same. So just adjust the curing times as necessary until it's fully cured. You may have to play around with the curing times.

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  23. Hello,
    I'm new to this blog. I just purchased all the necessary stuff to do my own Shellac. My problems were two fold. First I noticed that I got bubbles or lumps in my finished product. What did I do wrong?
    Second, my nail tech uses acetone to take off the tacky layer at the end. Her finish is always beautiful. I used acetone too. Mine turned out weird. Where do you get 99% isopropyl alcohol?
    I might have the wrong curing lamp. Mine is Thermal Spa by Mastex 45 watt. It says it is for gel. I had no idea when I ordered it that there was a difference. Some of my nails turned out shiny, but some turned out dull. They are all lumpy and bumpy. What did I do wrong?
    ~a

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  24. Don't worry sometimes it takes a few tries to get it just right.

    I think your lamp should work just fine. Most important at this stage is to make sure you are applying very thing coats. Second, how long are you curing each layer? Dullness can occur from under curing ... cure each layer for longer.

    You must wipe the last layer (inhibition layer) with 99% isopropyl alcohol, otherwise the finish may be dull. I bought 99% isopropyl alcohol online because I couldn't find it easily in the store. Perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough though. You can try 70% if it's at your house right now, but I did not have consistent luck. The water in the 70% isopropyl alcohol caused dullness.

    I hope this helps. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bunnings have both isopropyl and acetone in their paint section. It's cheaper than anywhere else.

      Delete
  25. hi,

    i'm using shellac now for 6 months. But is still get chipped nails. I already tried to stay longer in the lamp (5 min.), not to use so much products, using a bonder for gels,... but nothing helps. It seems also that not a lot of people have these problems. i really don't now how i can get beautifull shellac nails for two weeks. they always chip after two- three days.

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  26. Hi Anonymous - It might be easier to discuss this over email, since I have more questions than answers. My email is listed at the top of the page under the "About Me" box. Many factors can cause lifting. My first thought is you might need a thorough removal of the eponychium. Other thoughts ... avoiding skin, cuticle, wrapping the tips, etc. Please email me.

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  27. Ok I have bought everything to do shellac nails except I could not find 99% alcohol. My drug store had 91%. Do you think this would work?Please respond ASAP.

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  28. Hi! 91% may work, but it may also leave the Shellac slightly dull. I bought 99% isopropyl alcohol online because I too could not find it in the store.

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  29. Hi, I have all the corret supplies needed for shellac, but on 2 of my clients the shellac polish pulls away from the sides and tip and looks kinda like tyedye (they both used to have acrylics) I am curing as the directions state in the booklet. Not sure what the problem is?

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  30. Hi Anonymous,
    Try to pay special attention to wrapping the tips with the base, color and top coats.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi,

    I'm new to this blog. I have been using shellac for about a year now and really love it. It stays pn my clients 2-3 weeks, but when i was on vacation one of mt clients went to have her nails done, and the tech used a white very sticky product that dried immediately before putting on the base coat. Her nails stayed 1 month. Can you give me a hint to what this might be? I'm thinking it is a protein bonder.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hello,
    I am writing with a few questons, I have been offering the shellac in our wellness club now for over 3 months. We have been having some issues with the shellac bubbling and shrinking away from edges during the curing process, and sometime the french white looks cracked or like i said bubbly. We have 45 watt lamps with 6 bulbs in each and could this be the problem. the coats are being done think and not sure what else the problem could be. Would you be able to give me some quick tips as to what we should be trying. or if we do need to purchase a few of the shellac lamps. Please thanks
    Renee Smith
    Spa Director.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. bubbly could be because the nail may not have been prepped properly. First of all, the cuticle must be pushed back to ensure adhesion and prevent peeling away from the edges. I use 99% alcohol to clean the nail bed before aplying the first coat. Be sure to get into the edges of the cuticle to remove any oils that may lurk in the folds between the nail bed and the cuticle. Then let the alcohol dry completely before applying your first very thin coat of base.

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  33. Hi, I just purchased shellac, all materials and i got the thermal spa lamp (for both feet and hands) cheaper, i've looked at all the videos on youtube etc... so my lamp wattage is 45.. i know you said play around w/the cure times but can please be more specific, i tried it w/the Shellac cure times 10 seconds for top coat then 2 minutes for each coat with very thin layers..but it bubbled and didn't look right. Can you give me some examples of cure times for the 45 wattage lamp that i have, i really don't want to pay $150 for the CND one..what do you recommend for base coat, color coat and then top coat times to get rid of the bubbles? Thanks sooo much. Your blog is very informational!

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  34. Anonymous #1: OMG, I have no clue. Have you done her nails since your vacation? I hope they didn't give her traditional gels just because she didn't know any better. As you know, they will not soak off with acetone, but that would explain the long staying power. Sorry, I am not sure though.

    Anonymous #2: Perhaps the coats are just too thick. When the coats are very thick, the layer upon layer will not cure properly. Each layer must be cured before the next one is applied. Try applying thinner coats. The lamp should work. Increase the curing times (for each coat) if the thinner coats do no work. See below.

    Anonymous #3: Cure, the base 2 min, then the first and second coat of color 4 min each. Then apply topcoat and cure 4 min. Those times should prevent problems if you are using thin coats. If not, up each cure session by another minute. I hope that helps!

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  35. I'm a bit worried as just started out doing manicures and decided to try shellac, I saw bluesky shellac on eBay, thought I'd got a bargin then read on line that it's not the real shellac! Just tried it on my nails and so far they look great. But I don't feel now I can use this product on other people as there seems to b alot of bad right ups about it, have u used this product? Is it safe! :/

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  36. I just started doing shellac on my nails at home. I have both CND and Bluesky colors. So far there doesn't seem to be a difference. I have applied it to 6 household members so far and have even used both brands on the same hand. We can't tell the difference.

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  37. I am having a problem with when I am done curing and go to uSe the alcohol one or two will just wipe off. Its very disappointing and I embarrassing like I don't know how to do my job. I have been looking everywhere for answers. I have a 36 watt dryer but it does not have blower any ideas?

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  38. You don't want a dryer but a 36 watt UV lamp. You put your hand in and wait the 2 minutes for each coat (except base) and you are done. Just use a cotton ball with 99% pure alcohol on it and wipe off the sticky residue after your last coat which should be the top coat. Your nails should be nice and shiny and ready to go. Hope this helps.

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  39. Hi. I have a UV lamp with 4 9 watt bulbs and am using CND shellac varnish. I find that regardless of how long I leave it in for they still come out sticky and don't seem to dry properly. Any advice?

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  40. Hi, I have been doing some research on CND shellac and have found another product called Orly gel fx, this uses an LED lamp. Have you heard anything about this product? Also, can I cure CND shellac using an LED lamp?

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  41. You do know that each coat is sticky right? (It doesn't look sticky unless you accidentally touch something & get lint on it :)). I mean the coats go on smoothly after each 2 min curing and don't seem sticky unless you touch them. You take off the stickiness after the top coat with 99% pure alcohol. After taking off the top stickiness I have put nail stickers/decals on my nails, another top coat, another 2 min curing, and the alcohol to take off the stickiness and my nails look great and last the full two weeks if not longer.
    I do not believe LED lamps work with shellac polishes.

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  42. I'm late to comment, but I've had terrific luck finding 99% isopropyl alcohol at Safeway/Von's in two different states. Every one I've checked had it and much cheaper than online or the OPI/CND brand. I think I bought a 16oz bottle for $2.59.

    Good luck!

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  43. How do you know when the shellac is cured? I don't Have a CND lamp but i Bought a 36W 4 9V UV lamp it says 10 sec base 2 min each color and 2 min top coat. How do I know if those times cure the nail?

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  44. I would try it once as stated on the directions. If the shellac does not stay on for two weeks, then perhaps it could use longer curing times. Then bump it up to 2min/3min/3min/3min.

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  45. The shellac nail polish on my niece and friend peeled right off a couple of days after application. Someone said that is because they peeled off the old polish rather than soaking it off. Is this true? Also, that person said they have to wait 3-6 months before the nail bed is ready again? Is this also true? Does anyone know why the shellac sometimes peels off?

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  46. @Anonymous - If the nail was fairly healthy to start and prepped properly, then it just sounds like the shellac didn't cure all the way. If they are not using an official CND lamp then they might need to cure longer. I don't think the problem was because old polish was peeled off, or that you need to wait 3-6 months before trying shellac again. *IMO*

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  47. can super glue be used if a CND shellaced nail gets a break?

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  48. loodie loodie loodie - love this site! Thank you!
    Re: using super glue. I have used super glue before I applied the shellac and this has worked very well. I think (IMO) you use super glue on already shellacked nails you may have a problem getting it off and risk a worse break?

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  49. Thanks for the comment about possible peeling may be due to curing times. It is just odd cause on my friend, it was just one hand, on my niece, it was just several fingers. We just can't figure it out but will keep trying and let you know what happens!

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  50. @Anonymous 1 and 2 - You can try it, but I agree with Anony. 2 if you use it after shellac is already on, it might just make it brittle. I don't know, perhaps worth a try in a pinch until you can do a proper removal/reapplication.

    @Anonymous 3 - I thought of something else ... The thickness of each coat is also crucial. The thinner the better. If the coats are too thick, the shellac will not cure all the way. I hope that helps!

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  51. was wonderind why the shellac has cracked on the whole nail plate after applying

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    Replies
    1. Are you mixing gel polish products (i.e. brands)? Is this cracking after some trauma has occurred or right after curing? If only Shellac products are used and it is cracking right after curing, perhaps you are over curing. Try to spend less time under the UV light.

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  52. Do you know how shellac compares to Gelish? I'm not sure I'm entirely comfortable exposing myself to the UV and it's my understanding that Gelish can be cured with a LED lamp instead. Do you know if Gelish works as well for crack repairs?

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  53. Is a 10W LED light strong enough to cure shellac?

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  54. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  55. @Kelly - I am sorry I have never personally compared Shellac to Gelish. I believe Gelish is a bit more difficult to remove. You must break the seal of the top layer with some filing before soaking it off. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use it to fix a nail break or wear as a regular soak off mani just the same as you would with Shellac.

    @meganmhaley - I am not sure if the Shellac formulation contains the correct photo initiators needed to cure via an LED light. You may want to ask CND. They may tell you that you need the specific "CND" lamp, but it's worth a try.

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  56. Hey! I've read through your shellac tutorials and this q/a, but I don't see any reference to you prepping your nails with Scrub Fresh before base coat application. Scrub Fresh is much more beneficial to the process than just using 100% acetone. Some of your readers who are experiencing shorter manicures probably aren't fully cleaning their nail beds before base coat application.
    Another integral step I don't see addressed anywhere is using Soalr Oil (or any other cuticle nourshing oil) immediately following the removal of the sticky layer, and re-application of the oil AT LEAST once a day for the length of your manicure. It adds to the health of your natural nail and keeps it from drying out and flaking.
    You also mentioned (somewhere, I think it was on Part 1) that a shellac base-regular polish-shellac top wouldn't work/cure; that it would slip off. I have had great success with the regular polish/shellac sandwich. I prep the nail and apply/cure the shellac base coat as I normally would. Next, I wipe the tacky layer off with alcohol and apply the regular polish color of choice (I have only done this with butter London polishes). I place the regular polished nails in the lamp for 3 minutes, then I let them air-dry another 5 or so minutes. (my nails were dry to the touch, but not necessarily ultra dry). I then apply the shellac top coat and cure for 3 minutes, and wipe the tacky layer with alcohol. Finish with Solar Oil. I have been very pleased with the results.
    I am a shellac-aholic, too :) I love discussing it with fellow nail lovers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      When you did your regular polish/shellac sandwich, how long did it last? Did you cure the regular polish because it makes it dry faster? Also, did you cure the shellac top coat for 3 minutes because you used regular polish underneath or was it because that time is what works best with your lamp?

      Thanks and happy polishing!

      Delete
    2. Any tips on chiping from free edge

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    3. Try wrapping the free edge with the base, color and top coat.

      Delete
    4. Hi, sorry for the stupid question but when you say wrapping what does this exactly mean?
      Thanks for your help

      Delete
  57. hi i was wondering if you could help me?? i want to start use shellac i have gels on atm.. can i buy can uv light

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  58. i wanted to buy a bluesky uv light could i use that for shellac and also gel nails?? do you know much about the bluesky brand or should i go for another brand??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know much about BlueSky beside that it exists. I'm sorry.

      Delete
  59. I use the shellac system and also the creative lamp used specifically for the shellac. The bulbs are relatively new and so is the polish. I have several occasions of the base coat bubbling up and looking tacky even before it is placed under the lamp then once removed from the lamp it is so bubbly that the color polish doesn't smooth when its applied. HElp!!!! The polish peels off in just a few days and I have tried everything. I am prepping the nail properly before using and making sure all the oils ar removed. What are other suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try thinner layers of the base coat. If it still occurs, you may have a bad bottle of base coat.

      Delete
  60. I have a 36 amp uv light and have just bought myself some shellac. When I tried using it yesterday all was well untill I tried to wipe off the stickiness with alcohol, it took off some of the colour too and stayed sticky and dull. I cured the colour for 4 mins, because I don't have a CND lamp, but I didn't use a top coat could this be the problem? Love to get some help with this, thank you.

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    Replies
    1. What % was the isopropyl alcohol. Make sure it's 99%. I have had dulling when I used 70%.

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    2. It's 99%. My top coat CND finally arrived and yey!!!!!! It's worked. No more dull nails. I'm guessing you can't just cure the colour and that you need the top coat.

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    3. oh yea you definitely need the top coat for a permanent shine!

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  61. help me! my uv lamp doesn't want to go on, i have tried everything nd deosnt seem to work... help me...pretty please!!

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    Replies
    1. If the bulbs are not broken, it could be an electrical issue with the lamp itself. Also, try a different socket. Otherwise you may need a new lamp :-/

      Delete
  62. I have finally great looking nails all the time.......ive had fine brittle nails that peel and now ther amazing.....

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  63. I have had a 36 watt uv lamp for a few months now and am just using it for my personal use as well as a few friends. I'm curious how long i should expect the bulbs to last...any idea? Also I had been using the Gelish brands but developed an allergic reaction. My finger tips blistered and peeled...no fun! I was excited to read a few other stories of some girls that experienced that same problem but who had switched to CND and had no reaction at all. I have ordered and am waiting for the arrival of base, color and top coat. With the Gelish you're instructed to use the "ph bond" prior to putting on the base coat...is that necessary with the CND? And have you heard of any allergies that people have with CND? I'm so thankful for all that I've learned from reading your Q & A's!!! Thank you so much!

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  64. Has anyone had problems with soaking off with the acetone? Several of my clients nails have white spots on them where they didn't before? Also, I am using a LED light for CND shellac, OPI gel and the Gelish and having good luck...some problems, especially with the thumbs....but believe its the placement of thumbs. Another question...how do you tell if shellac is old? Is it suppose to be thick and what can you do about it? Thanks

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  65. Have you ever had the shellac discolor. The edges of the nail and down inside of thumb were a light denim color (has on strawberry smoothy. Nail professional had never seen before, however one other nail professional said with hairspray she had seen it. I didn't use hairspray however did wash my hair 4 days after shellac applied

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  66. Hi I am thinking about buying a shellac kit and I've found a Bluesky one online but it comes with a 9watt lamp. Will 9watts work properly or should I buy a 36 watt lamp? Thanks :)

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  67. bluesky shellac is different to CND shellac so check on their website what lamp you need to use as every system works differently.
    Also to anonymous you should be using a UV lamp not LED for shellac. are you shaking the bottle before application? this is important when applying shellac.

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  68. I used shellac a few times and I broke my nail. So i decided to wait and just get a regular manicure. Now since using shellac my nails are shot. I have always had beautiful natural nails, now they break, chip and peel. Its so sad, my nails have never been so soft in like forever. Why is this happening? Does it ruin natural nails?

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    Replies
    1. I have a few questions:
      1. Who is applying the shellac? Are they filing the nail plate before applying the base (they shouldn't have to). Dehydration is sufficient.
      2. Who is doing the removal? How are they removing it?
      3. Are you sure they are using a true soak off and not a traditional gel? They shouldn't have to do any filing for removal.
      4. Do you moisturize? How often and with what?

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  69. Hello, I am new to this blog and am trying to figure out which direction to go in. I usually get gel nail polish done at salon and love it because it last 2-3wks with barely any chips just outgrow. I work with satin and silk fabrics and really need for my nails to be strong and have no chips that might catch fabric. I am wanting to do them myself because times are tough right now and need to budget. I am wondering which lamp is best for gel soak off polish, how much watts is sufficient and which brand is best to try? I also am wondering about the reg polish and the UV top coat process, do I use the same top coat for base and then cure base, do reg polish, cure or dry in UV lamp,do UV top coat then cure again for how long?
    When I go to salon, they also take dremel to take gel polish off, then apply the new process of doing gel polish and my nails are strong. R they not supposed to do that?

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    Replies
    1. Hi!
      First I want to establish that there is a difference between traditional gel nails and soak off gels.

      Traditional gel nails are filled every 2-3 weeks at the base (cuticle area). The old product remains on the tips. If you want to completely remove traditional gels soaking in acetone is ineffective. The product must be filled/buffed off the nail bed completely.

      Soak off gels last ~ 2 weeks, but require complete removal with acetone before the next manicure is applied. A fresh manicure is reapplied on the entire nail.

      Traditional gel nails often times have a greater chance of nail damage due to incorrect/improper nail prep OR removal. It's common practice, although not very good practice, for nail techs to use the drill to prep the nail plate before traditional gel application. I don't particularly care for this method as it's too easy to get carried away with this power device. Also, removal should be done carefully (slow controlled filing) to avoid further nail damage.

      Soak off gels have less propensity for nail damage as long as the product is not picked off. Proper removal procedures should be followed. The drill should never be used to prepare a nail plate for soak off gels because it's simply not necessary.

      The first thing you have to decide is whether you want to start DIY traditional nail gels or soak off gels. In terms of UV lights, I don't have anything special. I own a 6W lamp and cure for longer. You can experiment with curing times. Read through all of the posts for the soak offs I have, as well as all of the comments. There is a lot of information discussing UV lights and lamps.

      You can experiment with regular polish and UV topcoats as well. A lot of people have had success. Good luck!

      Delete
  70. I can't seem to get my base or top coat to dry. I have had it under the uv light for over 10 minutes and it is still sticky and will not dry. I put one coat of base on. Two coats of colour then one coat of top coat I cannot seem to get it dry. Do you have any suggestions?

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    Replies
    1. You need to wipe the top coat with 99.9% alcohol. Please note - Jack daniels wont work :D

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  71. I ordered my bluesky shellac this weekend there mixed reviews particularly as its not an original brand but will be good to beta test and demo at first. Will let you know the results. I never realized cnd were the original shellac brands. I bought a 36w uv lamp but thanks to this thread I will need the 99 percent Alcoa and not 70 percent! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bluesky is the devil. It's a fake product that isn't regulated, it contains all kinds of harmful chemicals that have a high chance of producing allergic reactions over time.

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  72. The two times i applied pink shellac myself, the tips of my nails get darker spots at the tops- like darker stains at the tips of every single nail...What am I doing wrong?

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  73. Target has99% alcohol! My clients shellac wont stay on for more then 3 days.it peels off.she is the only one that has this problem. She has healthy nails maybe she's to oily?

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  74. I suggest you go back to school and get some "proper" training before you start giving advise on a subject that you are totally clueless about.

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  75. Hi nail addicts,
    I've heard you talk (write...) about bluesky soak off lack. This is just another brand of soak off UV nailpolish. Has nothing to do with "original" or not.
    I've just done mine with the Bluesky base and top and a chameleon polish. This gives a darker color when your hands are cold and it gets lighter if you are warm.
    Very nice. I have to get more practise to cover the end of the nails but I'm very happy.

    My nails always peel off and the normal nailpolish just stays on for 2 days. For my work as a make-up artist I must color my nails so this is great for me. I use al 36W lamp from LCN (from Germany) for each layer 2min.

    I've been to a professional first to see how the proces goes and now I know what to do.

    Enjoy it girls!

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  76. Hello,
    I was wondering if it is possible to use base and top coat from Shellac and colour from Gelish?
    Thank you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi

    Similar question to Kate, i was wondering if I can use Mani-q base and top with CND Shellac colour?.


    Thanks

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  78. What happens if I just use 70% alcohol?

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  79. Hello. I reeeeally want to try shellac but don't have the money to be getting my nails done. There is a daily deal for Bluesky Shellack for $77 for 4 colours, top coat, base, and 3w uv light. Is this too good to be true?? Can you tell me what you know of Bluesky? The reviews I see online are mainly complaints that they have ripped of the "shellack" tm from CD, but not much about the product itself.
    Also, is shellac a safe option for pregancy and breastfeeding? Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  80. I also would like to know if the Bluesky offer for $77 is a good deal? You get top and bottom coat plus 4 colours.

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  81. Add to last question, you also get 3w uv light.

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  82. I just bought the Thermal Spa 45 watt UV lamp and I have looked everywhere and cannot get a definitive answer on whether is too harsh a lamp for your skin and what the light intensity is for curing time for shellac. I've seen reviews that are not great aboute the CND lamp as well as this lamp but once again the wattage is 36 vs 45 and I do not know the light intensity of either.

    ReplyDelete
  83. I just bought the Thermal Spa 45 watt UV lamp and I have looked everywhere and cannot get a definitive answer on whether is too harsh a lamp for your skin and what the light intensity is for curing time for shellac. I've seen reviews that are not great aboute the CND lamp as well as this lamp but once again the wattage is 36 vs 45 and I do not know the light intensity of either.

    ReplyDelete
  84. I just bought the Thermal Spa 45 watt UV lamp and I have looked everywhere and cannot get a definitive answer on whether is too harsh a lamp for your skin and what the light intensity is for curing time for shellac. I've seen reviews that are not great aboute the CND lamp as well as this lamp but once again the wattage is 36 vs 45 and I do not know the light intensity of either.

    ReplyDelete
  85. I am a licensed nail tech and I have 2 clients that I have problem with the shellac bubbling up even doing a thin layer on the base coat. I also notice that it pulls away from the cuticle area and sides. It is not consistent either when it happens. Do you have any suggestions. I am shaking the product good and doing thin coats. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Genetically ModifiedSeptember 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Just wanted to share I have used Gelish base coat + CND Shellac colour + Gelish top coat and it worked well - 2 minutes each coat with Proxima 36W lamp (don't know the output, but has 4 x 9W lamps and reflective foil covered panel at the bottom). I prepared with cuticle remover before application, washed hands, then dehydrated with regular 100% acetone. The coats applied were as thin as it was possible, wiped the sticky residue at the end of the whole process with finishing wipe liquid left over from Rio old-fashioned gel kit. Worked like magic. The nails are just beginning to chip at the free edge a tiny bit, almost not noticeable on the 7th day, but I'm a Web Developer, so my nails work non-stop hitting plastic keyboard all days long! And I do gardening myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have had gellish nails done in the past by professionals and have myself just purchased a bluesky shellac pack. I have found the pack amazing! I have done my own nails, plus family members and friends. I work in retail and handle boxes all the time and it really stands up to the job. The negative comments mainly come from nail techs for them stealing the shellac name. At the end of the day it does it's job it lasts as long and looks as good as my gellish ever did. I have no complaints and love this site

      Delete
  87. Hi
    Could any one tell me if you smudge inbetween coats what to do on shellac application.Can you use 99% alchol or d-sperse to correct and then reapply colour or do you need to clean nail and re apply base coat then another colour ?

    ReplyDelete
  88. oooo, I want to know about smudges too! I have just bought bluesky base, top and two colours to do my own French. I'm an absolute amateur and had my first try last night and so far so good! Lovely pinky nails with a near-perfect smile line, really shiny. I got my 36v lamp from ebay for £15 ($30). BUT, what do I do if I mess up my white tip, can I rectify it quickly without having to start from scratch?

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  89. If you mess up your smile line then get a very thin angled brush,dip into your alcohol and then wipe your brush so it leaves is slightly damp then run the brush over the mistake and tidy up your line.

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  90. I use anti-bacterial had gel to wipe of residue & it leaves nails super shiny

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  91. hi,
    my top coat brush has hardened, do i soak it in acetone?

    ReplyDelete
  92. hello!!I do SOG all the time and i love it, but i have a problem.....when i use my red gel polish (Ladybug-Progel) and cure it, then i apply the top coat but some red residue seems to go on my top coat brush!!! my manicure is ok, but its annoying cause i have to clean my brush so it doesnt turn my top coat ''red''

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hi, I have just started using shellac polish, please can you tell me is it supposed to be wet between coats? Also I'm using a 9w but for like 10min between coats! Please help

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only use the CND lamp with CND shellac, the light wavelengths are specific to the brand. The only time your gel coats will be 'dry' is once you've removed the inhibition layer (sticky layer after the top coat). Do this with a plastic backed cotton pad and 99.9% alcohol, wipe away from the hand and make sure you don't get ANY of the uncured product on your skin. You do not want to end up with an allergy and an unusable box of gel products.

      Delete