Shellac/OPI Gel Nail Polish


Dec 26, 2012
I loved the idea of Shellac, but had to stop using it. To be fair - I have very weak nails. As soon as the cool weather arrives, my nails start to split. Shellac made my already weak nails worse; I had to stop using it. Soaking in acetone every couple of weeks dried my nails out completely.


Jan 1, 2013
zportiss said:
Help! I am so frustrated with gel polish. I am just an amateur who loves nice nails, and is fully capable of learning how to use a new amazing product (from all I have heard about it) like gel polish.

I have tried to apply gel polish about 3-4 times, and every time the tips are chipping (worse than with regular polish) and the finish is dull, tacky still after cleansing with the gelish nail cleanser (states on the back its for cleansing after applying gel polish).

I purchased a 36 watt light, various gel colors from different brands, gelish, supernail Gelous, CND, plus I have the primer from a company called Geleration, and the base and top coat from a company call Lechat-Nobility. All products claim to be gel soak off products.

The products all say a max cure time of 2 minutes (some say much less time), and I even increased the cure time to 3:30 in hopes that the polish will "really" cure this round.

I am following all directions to the T and I just don't get what I am doing wrong.

Do you think these products may not be compatible - the Lechat-Nobility gel topcoat and the Gelish cleanser? I just ordered the gelish topcoat in hopes that it will be a better product and not give me the dull tacky finish like the Lechat-Nobility gel topcoat.

Any words of wisdom?
Thank you!

When I first started my own gel nails I had this issue too, but not anymore. The main problem is that if you go a cheaper light not even though it says 36w some are not that strong. Uv lights get weaker the more you use them and bulbs need replacing over time even if they still work. Try double curing it. Like 4 min instead of 2. Especially dark colors. They take longer to cure. If it is not cured all the way it will lift and peel.

Also make sure your nail bed is completely clean. No cuticles on nail bed and slightly buff your nail bed. Clean it off with alcohol. If your nail bed is not properly prepped it also will lift and peel.

Try not touch your cuticle with any polish. If you paint on the cuticle that part will start to lift. So clean it off before you cure.

That worked for me. Now I have a gelish LED lamp and its saved me sooo much time and manis last longer. Very expensive though. U can still use the uv lamp you have though. Just try curing longer. :smile:


Jan 1, 2013
if they over buffed your nail bed prior to painting them or when removing them, that will make your nails thin and week. they should never use a rotary file tool on your nail bed, those are damaging.

the gel polishes actually make my nails stronger. i used to never be able to grow my nails without breaking and now they grow long i have to keep filing them down. if they are taken off correctly it shouldnt damage your nails. they should not put your fingers in a bowl of accetone.

i slightly buff the top coat of polish off. i use cotton square pads and cut it into 4 pieces and put a little acetone on each and wrap the finger in foil. leave it on for 10-15 min and then scrape the rest off with a cuticle pusher. if it does not come off easily then i just put the foil back on a little longer


Jan 5, 2013
nc.girl said:
Glad you're liking it! I started out with Shellac, and I loved it. But I quickly grew tired of their small color collection, so my nail tech introduced me to the Gelish products. They're great too...they last just as long, stay just as shiny as Shellac, and there's a much wider array of colors to choose from. I have also tried the OPI GelColor line, and I really like them too. I think the gel polishes are the best beauty invention in a long time; the wear is unbeatable. I love being able to have a gorgeous manicure that doesn't ever chip!

If you ever visit the nail care forum on here, there are lots of threads on the gel polishes with tons of pictures and helpful information. Many of the ladies are doing the gel polishes at home with excellent results.

You should get your nail tech to mix up some colours to create a complete new individual colour only worn by you!! That's what I do for my clients and they love it!! :smile:


Hopeless obsesser
Dec 28, 2012
I have this problem too. I'd love some advice on how to get my nails strong enough to cope...
I'm 63 and have always had weak nails with ridges. Had a shellac mani done for my daughter's wedding and was totally sold. I find that after removal the ridges are so dry they actually peel off in little strips. The nails look extremely dry, but they are definitely stronger now after 5 months of constant shellac every two weeks. I've recently started doing it myself, and I found one thing that helps. Remove the shellac in the evening and just soak the heck out of them with solar oil, hand cream, cuticle cream, etc. while you're watching tv or whatever. You will see them soaking up the oil. Apply a really thick moisturizer before bed (I use my night-time face cream). By morning they look much less dry. I use solar oil at least three times a day while the nails are on, but I don't think it affects anything more than the cuticle and grow-out portion of the nail. I read that shellac is made with tiny tunnels so that solar oil can penetrate, but I'm fairly skeptical about that. Long story short oil and hydration while nails are naked really helps.


Jan 9, 2013
I loved the idea of Shellac, but had to stop using it. To be fair - I have very weak nails. As soon as the cool weather arrives, my nails start to split. Shellac made my already weak nails worse; I had to stop using it. Soaking in acetone every couple of weeks dried my nails out completely.
Should try using Starting over after artificals it helps splitting/peeling nails... worked to get mine stronger after i stop wearing hard gels after one week saw a huge difference.


New Member
Jan 29, 2014
I definitely think it's worth it to get the opi gel nails:smile: I just tried them for the first time yesterday and I totally love it!!!!! After getting it done professionally I am planning to invest in my own kit soon and so many stores are already carrying the gel nail kits but they are a little pricey if you have to buy everything like the led light and the products needed. I saw one kit by quo just the light is $80 then there's another starting kit sold sepetately for $40 or around there. Any tips for what brand to invest in?!? Thanks
Ive been using the SensatioNail gel kit and have been loving it!