HOW TO APPLY GEL POLISH OR SHELLAC CORRECTLY ?
Step 1: Meticulous Nail Prep – ensuring to push the cuticle from the nail plate and remove all surface contaminants with a cleanser (i.e. CND ScrubFresh, Harmony Surface Cleanser, Jessica Clarify or other like products). This will also temporarily dehydrate the nail plate to promote better adhesion.
Step 2: Base Coat application – ensure to vigorously shake the bottle to mix and remove excess product from the brush before application. Apply the base coat to the nail plate and ensure to cap the free edge. Cure with UV/LED light for specified time depending upon the type of product used. Please note that Shellac will only cure with UV light. Jessica Geleration, IBD Just Gel, and OPI GelColour will cure with either UV or LED light at varying time intervals.
Shellac Base Coat 10 sec/UV lamp only
OPI GelColor Base Coat 30 sec/LED light or 1 min/UV lamp
Jessica Geleration Start 10 sec/LED light or 1 min/UV lamp
Gelish Foundation 10 sec/LED light or 1 min/UV lamp
IBD Just Gel Base Coat 10 sec/LED light or 1 min/UV lamp
Step 3: Colour Coat Application – ensure to shake bottle vigorously and remove excess product from the brush by wiping it on the bottle’s neck. Apply one very thin coat of colour to the nail plate and ensure to cap the free edge. Cure with UV/LED light for specified time depending upon the type of product used. Apply a second very thin coat of colour and again cap the free edge. Cure with UV/LED light for specified time depending upon the type of product used.
Shellac Colour Coat 2 mins/UV lamp only
OPI GelColor Colour Coat 30 sec/LED light or 2 min/UV lamp
Jessica Geleration Colour Coat 30 sec/LED light or 1 -2 min/UV lamp
Gelish Colour Coat 30 sec/LED light or 1 -2 min/UV lamp
IBD Just Gel Colour Coat 30 sec/LED light or 2 min/UV lamp
Step 4: Top Coat Application – ensure to shake the bottle to mix and remove excess product from the brush. Apply one very thin coat of top to the nail plate and ensure to cap the free edge. Cure with UV/LED light for specified time depending upon the type of product used. Remove the tacky/sticky inhibition layer with a lint free pad soaked with 99% isopropyl alcohol or nail cleanser.
Shellac Top Coat 2 mins/UV lamp only
OPI GelColor Top Coat 30 sec/LED light or 3 min/UV lamp
Jessica Geleration Finish 30 sec/LED light or 2 min/UV lamp
Gelish Top It Off 30 sec/LED light or 2 min/UV lamp
IBD Just Gel Top Coat 30 sec/LED light or 2 min/UV lamp
Step 5: Rehydrate – ensure you rehydrate the nail plate and cuticles with a cuticle oil and repeat this twice daily to maintain and promote longer wear.
Important Application Tips for Best Results
- Store products in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
- Shake the base, colour and top coat bottles vigorously prior to use.
- Prep nails properly
- Ensure to remove contaminants and temporarily dehydrate nail plate prior to application.
- Do not overload the brush.
- Always apply very thin layers.
- Always cap free edges
- Remove excess gel from cuticles or sidewalls prior to curing
- Cure immediately after application
- Follow correct cure times for the LED or UV light used
HOW LONG DOES SHELLAC/GEL POLISH LAST ?
Wear time is highly dependent on the condition of the nail plates to begin with. Wear will be longer on healthy nails. Damaged, brittle, peeling, ridged or uneven nail plates are prone to chipping and peeling and will not last the 2-3 weeks. It is worth the time to strengthen and treat the nail plates prior to having Shellac/Gel polish applied. When Shellac or Gel polishes are applied to healthy nails and the correct aftercare is maintained it should last at least 2 weeks.
HOW DO YOU REMOVE SHELLAC OR GEL POLISH CORRECTLY ?
- Saturate the cotton pad of a remover wrap or foil with the acetone-based remover of your choice (CND Nourishing Remover, OPI Expert Touch Remover, Jessica GELeration Remover, and Harmony Remover).
- Place the pad over the gel and wrap finger. Wait 10-15 mins.
- Securely grip the finger and apply slight pressure to the fingernail. Using a twisting motion pull the wrap/foil off the finger.
- Gently push off the remaining gel with an orangewood stick being careful not to scrap the surface layers of the natural nail plate. If the gel does not come off easily then repeat steps 1-3.
- Remove any product residue with a lint-free pad soaked with isopropyl alcohol or nail cleanser.
- Rehydrate the nail and cuticle with a cuticle oil.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF MY SHELLAC/GEL MANICURE. IS THERE ANY AFTERCARE ADVICE?
- Always wear gloves when doing household cleaning, gardening or hobbies that are hard on your hands and especially when using harsh chemicals.
- It is recommended to apply a cuticle oil twice daily to keep your nails and skin hydrated and healthy which will increase the longevity of the Shellac/Gel.
- Wash your hands immediately after applying suntan oil or insect repellent as many of these products will cause damage to your colour coat.
- To avoid colour fading always wipe your hands/nails after coming out of a chlorinated pool particularly when followed by extended sun exposure as this will bleach and fade your colour.
CAN YOU PUT NAIL VARNISH OVER GEL POLISH ?
Yes, you can change your colour temporarily whilst wearing Shellac or Gel colours. Simply paint nail varnish over the Shellac. Ensure you use an acetone-free remover to remove the nail polish.
WHY IS MY BRUSH STIFF ?
Unfortunately it is not unheard of for brushes to be a bit stiff initially or even sometimes become stiff when using the Shellac/Gel polish near the UV/LED lamp or under direct sunlight. The brushes are easy to soften if you work them back and forth on a plastic backed pad or lint-free pad or you can grip them between your finger and thumb, rubbing them this will loosen them. If necessary you can use a bit of remover to help.
WHY IS MY SHELLAC/GEL POLISH SO THICK ?
Every colour and effect has their own consistency depending upon the chemical, pigments and effects used to create the particular colour. It is really important to ensure that the bottle is shook vigorously prior to use to ensure the contents are well mixed. To apply thicker colours it is extremely important to apply a very thin layer otherwise it will be prone to bubbling or shrinking. To do so wipe all excess colour off the brush using the bottle neck’s edge before applying the colour. It will look semi-sheer but the full coverage will be obtained when the second layer is applied. Remember there is no problem with too thin but you will have a lot of trouble if the layer is applied too thick!
WHY IS MY SHELLAC/GEL POLISH CHIPPING OR PEELING?
Chipping or peeling shellac can be quite frustrating, especially after taking the time to go through the entire process of applying them. There can be several reasons why chipping or peeling occurs. These can range from application issues, nail bed issues, to wear issues. If your shellac/gel polish is chipping or peeling off, it is likely due to improper bonding between the nail bed and the base coat which can be due to a multitude of reasons.
To avoid chipping/peeling nails you must adhere to the meticulous prep and application process which is described above in How to apply Gel Polish or Shellac correctly?. If you use cuticle remover, make sure you properly clean the nail surface with soap and water of all chemical residue and natural oils. Also be sure to liberally wipe acetone or ScrubFresh on the nail surface to not only remove impurities, but to remove any moisture from cleaning the nails. This will also dehydrate the nail so that proper adherence of the base coat can occur. It is really important to only use the polish sparingly on every layer as thick layers are prone to under curing and then chipping. Uneven layers also are prone to chipping. Application motto is ‘thin to win’. Another critical step is to make sure that the nail is properly capped with base/colour/top coat this will also help prevent chipping.
Make sure that when you cure the nails, you use the appropriate lamp and follow the recommended curing times. Please remember if using Shellac it does not properly cure with LED lamps – Shellac requires a 36watt UV lamp. If you are using a lower wattage lamp, you may have to add additional time to curing process. Additionally, if the bulbs are well used or old, although they may still turn on, their candlepower output will be heavily decreased, so you may need additional time to cure. You should change your bulbs after extended use. Remember that curing is a chemical process, and although the nails may look “cured”, they may only be less than 100% cured through the full thickness of polish.
Even if all application steps are followed precisely, differences in lifestyle will affect the longevity of the wear of CND shellac. People who put their hands in water or chemicals frequently may experience reduced longevity. Protective gloves should be worn when doing household cleaning, gardening and when in contact with harsh chemicals. Hands need to be washed after swimming in chlorinated water and after application of suntan oil/cream or insect repellent.
Individuals with thinner more, brittle or uneven nail bed surfaces also tend not to wear Shellac/Gel Polish very well as it often that they will chip or peel. To counteract this it is important that the nail bed is buffed well and encourage nail strengthening treatments.
It cannot be stress enough the importance of using cuticle oil twice daily to maintain and keep the nail bed hydrated which will significantly increase the overall wear time.
IS THERE ANY SPECIAL ADVICE WHEN ON HOLIDAY ?
We love having gorgeous nails on holiday! Holidays are great but can be tough on our nails. When using suntan oils or creams or insect repellents be sure to wash and dry your nails immediately after application as many of these products contain solvents that will damage Shellac/Gel nails. After swimming in a chlorinated pool be sure to wash and dry your nails as the chlorine can bleach your colour particularly when exposed to prolonged sunlight.