At home Shellac/Gel manicure questions!

BagsNBaubles

Bag Stalker
Jun 6, 2012
501
2
Hey ladies, I just got a "shellac" kit for Xmas and I was hoping some of you with more expertise could help me out. It is a kit from Mally (QVC) and I'm NOT impressed with the color choices or quality of the polish. It definately chips, though not near as badly as regular nail polish. I'm on my 3rd mani and have been very careful with the application so I know it isn't user error.

So... I'd like to replace the nail colors with a better brand. Can you great tpfers recommend the best to buy online? And also I'm assuming I'd have to buy the same brand of base/top coat too? Thanks!!
 

sweetlilwolf

Hoooooooowl
Jan 9, 2013
1,240
7
Wisconsin
YOu dont always need to use the same base and top coat with the same polish. I actually started out with sensationail and have moved on the Gelish (mainly) but you can also do a gelish sandwhich (with regular polish - there are a ton of threads about it on here).
Main thing is you have to make sure what you get is compatable with your light. If its UV or LED and check your curing times.

I would go with Gelish, RCM... i know there are other brands those are the ones i use and you can always plain regular polish on top of a clear gel manicure so you can change up your polish and your nails are still protected!
 

BagsNBaubles

Bag Stalker
Jun 6, 2012
501
2
YOu dont always need to use the same base and top coat with the same polish. I actually started out with sensationail and have moved on the Gelish (mainly) but you can also do a gelish sandwhich (with regular polish - there are a ton of threads about it on here).
Main thing is you have to make sure what you get is compatable with your light. If its UV or LED and check your curing times.

I would go with Gelish, RCM... i know there are other brands those are the ones i use and you can always plain regular polish on top of a clear gel manicure so you can change up your polish and your nails are still protected!
Thank you, I will check out gelish brand! I read about doing it with regular polish but I feel like that wouldn't work for me, I'm SO rough on my hands. My nails are naturally strong but I'm lucky if I can go 24 hours without chipping a manicure, which is why I love gel/shellac so much :smile: The light box mine came with is LED I think... little blue lights. I'm not sure if it's a LED UV I'll have to look it up.
 

Shinysparkly

Member
Oct 30, 2012
141
0
Thank you, I will check out gelish brand! I read about doing it with regular polish but I feel like that wouldn't work for me, I'm SO rough on my hands. My nails are naturally strong but I'm lucky if I can go 24 hours without chipping a manicure, which is why I love gel/shellac so much :smile: The light box mine came with is LED I think... little blue lights. I'm not sure if it's a LED UV I'll have to look it up.
LED and LED UV are the same thing (with tiny LED lights), the other type is a UV lamp (long, cylindrical bulbs). They all emit UV light but the LED ones have a narrower range so won't cure all polishes.
Also, regular polish on top of shellac/Gelish etc lasts much longer than it would on bare nails, even without a gel top coat. Not sure why but its worth a go anyway, until you have your new polishes.
I use Gelish only and am very pleased with it. Hope you find something that works for you :smile:
 

gillianna

O.G.
Dec 27, 2005
8,400
2,168
I've been doing shellac since it came out. Bout it before the salons places here had this product. Been doing my nails and my daughters. Shellac has lasted three weeks for us with no chips. I will usually keep in my my toes for three weeks but hands two weeks because I love the polish change of colors.
I am not too impressed with Gelish-bought it all when it first came out but it seems a bit more difficult to apply because the polish seems too thin and you get uneven coverage even when you do two coats. My neighbor tried it a few times and she said the same thing so it was not just me.
With these products you are not supposed to have wet nails/manicure before you apply. The polish will not set right. My sister had a regular manicure with the soaking, ect and then they did the gel nails and her nails started to peel in two days.

There is a big shellac thread on here. It will provide great information and the pictures posted of do it yourself are stunning.
 

FLmermaid

Member
Aug 12, 2011
1,561
1
Florida, USA
The light box mine came with is LED I think... little blue lights. I'm not sure if it's a LED UV I'll have to look it up.
LED and LED UV are the same thing (with tiny LED lights), the other type is a UV lamp (long, cylindrical bulbs). They all emit UV light but the LED ones have a narrower range so won't cure all polishes.
Yours is LED UV then.

All lamps that cure UV-curable gel polish are UV lamps. One type has LED bulbs and one type has CFL bulbs. So they are either LED UV lamps or CFL UV lamps. Like Shinysparkly said they cure at different wavelengths. And some of the cheaper LED lamps don't seem to cure anything very well. Then you'll get performance breakdown, like peeling and chipping. Gel polish is supposed to go on very thin, much thinner than regular nail polish. Too thick at your tips will also cause chipping. Getting even a tiny bit of overlap onto your skin or cuticles will cause lifting or peeling also.

Recommended reading if you haven't seen these threads yet:

http://forum.purseblog.com/nail-car...off-gel-information-for-beginners-729204.html

http://forum.purseblog.com/nail-care/sog-led-nail-lamps-672862.html
 

koshik

Member
Jan 1, 2013
230
0
Sacramento, CA
You might want to consider purchasing several colors in Gelish, RCM, Geleration, Shellac etc. and see which kinds work for you. I mostly have RCM, a few Gelish and one Geleration which is just stunning and wears beautifully. I tend to buy more RCM, because it works on my nails, is cheapest per mL (when using a coupon at Ulta), and because I'm able to walk into a mortar and brick store and verify the colors. If I could find Geleration reasonably priced in my area, I would probably buy more of those.
 

BagsNBaubles

Bag Stalker
Jun 6, 2012
501
2
Thanks so much everybody for the help & tips! The polish that came with my kit is really thick & gloopy so applying it too thick might be part of my problem. Or maybe the curing box is just a piece of junk, or both combined. I'm going to search around my area to see if I can buy some of the mentioned brands in person. Some trial & error will be well worth it for long lasting polished nails!
 

kathyathome

Hopeless obsesser
Dec 28, 2012
437
0
Redmond, Oregon
I've only ever used Shellac, just since Christmas doing it myself, since August having a manicurist do it. Have never ever had any lifting, peeling, chipping, or cracking, nothing but perfect manicures every time. It shouldn't be really thick. You can warm the bottles up a bit to make a little thinner. Might sound gross, but I put the bottles between my thighs while I'm prepping my nails, a place where it's nice a warm! I wonder if what you got in your kit was just plain old? I recently tried Gelish sandwiched in between the Shellac top and bottom coats and one layer of Shellac and also had no problems. Sure wish I could tell you what the problem is, but I'd encourage you to keep trying, maybe just get yourself a new top and base coat set and one new color you like - I got all my supplies from ebay sellers with good ratings - and make sure you are doing really good prep on your nails first, removing any cuticle so that the nail bed you are painting on is completely flat without any cuticle (my manicurist showed me the difference between the cuticle and the eponychium, something I didn't know about). Another thing you could do is go to a manicurist in your area who does Shellac and have one done, watching to see if she is doing anything different from what you are doing. I would love to have kept going to the manicurist but couldn't afford it, and I've been really pleasantly surprised at what a good result I'm getting myself. Good luck - don't give up!
 

NancyG

O.G.
Apr 17, 2011
1,358
10
Boston, MA
You can warm the bottles up a bit to make a little thinner. Might sound gross, but I put the bottles between my thighs while I'm prepping my nails, a place where it's nice a warm!
Ha! That's a trick that the pros admit to using - along with sticking the bottle under your thigh for a while.
 

sweetlilwolf

Hoooooooowl
Jan 9, 2013
1,240
7
Wisconsin
Thank you, I will check out gelish brand! I read about doing it with regular polish but I feel like that wouldn't work for me, I'm SO rough on my hands. My nails are naturally strong but I'm lucky if I can go 24 hours without chipping a manicure, which is why I love gel/shellac so much :smile: The light box mine came with is LED I think... little blue lights. I'm not sure if it's a LED UV I'll have to look it up.
I was talking about the sandwhiching, Doing your base then wiping the tacky off regular polish (wait till its completely dry! like 20 mins or so), then your top coat. It will wear like gel.

I only mentioned the polish ontop of a gel polish because sometimes you want to change it up so this is an easy way to change polish every few days (and i havent really had mine chip yet and im a nurse). its alittle easier on your nail rather than soaking off if you want to change your polish for something...

:smile:
 

kathyathome

Hopeless obsesser
Dec 28, 2012
437
0
Redmond, Oregon
What is the best way to add a coat of color after you've finished and topped your gel mani off? Mine is a little pale and I'd like to add a coat or two.
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