Frequently asked questions on Shellac:

What is Shellac?
Shellac is the brand name for a new, nail product created by Creative Nail Design. It is a hybrid, meaning half nail polish, half gel. The product is thin and strong enough to be applied similarly to nail polish, but it is cured in a way that gives it great flexibility and durability. It also has the incredible shine associated only with gel nails.
Who is Shellac best suited for?
Shellac is for people who want to maintain natural nails. The formulation looks as good from day 1 to day 14, but does not appear to damage nail beds. (see photos)
Who is Shellac least suited for?
Shellac is not for those who are looking to lengthen their nails. You cannot use Shellac to create a longer nail. Also, Shellac isn't for clients with extremely damaged nail beds, split or peeling nails. It is best to get on a corrective program with your manicurist before thinking about Shellac. If your nail is peeling off, it will take Shellac with it.
How is Shellac different from the traditional polish manicure?
Typical nail polish dries by evaporation, which means your manicure is not cured until 2-3 hours after your service. Think about it – most of your manicure time is spent waiting for polish to dry. But Shellac is cured by UV light, and within minutes. Your nails are completely dry by the time your manicure is over, and strong enough to withstand accidental knocks. It acts like a plasticized coating, suitable as a long lasting polish.
How is a Shellac service different from traditional nail enhancements (fake nails)?
Drills are never used or needed with Shellac, and removal does not leave nails dry, thin or possibly torn.
Can you apply Shellac at home?
No, Shellac can only be applied by a licensed, trained manicurist. Improper tools or techniques will give a less than desirable result with Shellac.
Are the UV rays from the lamp dangerous?
I began researching this back in February. Standard use of the product (every 2 – 3 weeks) is minimal, but there is no real data. Use sunscreen if concerned. (I recommend Neutrogena pure & free baby, spf 60+ or Renee Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30). Wash off or wear out after service. Sunscreen for your hands is a good thing anyway.
Can you take Shellac off at home?
You can. It requires the use of 100% acetone. Removal at home can be done; proper removal is only 10 minutes overall. However, removal at the salon very minimally increases the time and may be less of an inconvenience for you.
Wait, what is wrong with artificial nails?
On the whole, nothing. But as a manicurist and proponent of natural and organics, there is nothing is more exciting for me than seeing natural nails on a client. While I love the creativity made possible through gel nails or liquid & powder, I think artificial nails are often used to mask a nail problem (peeling, splitting, flexible) when a focused regiment can improve the condition. As a former skincare formulator, the most rewarding part of my job is identifying clients' troublespots, and working out a program to bring the hands, feet and nails to the point of perfection. Knowing Shellac can withstand even the rigors of salon life, the focus for the everyday woman can be more on care and maintenance of skin and nails - leaving perfect polish in the hands of Shellac.

Hillary Fry is a beauty writer, blogger and site designer with a marketing background. She is also a licensed manicurist at Harpo's in Whitefish Bay, WI. Drop her a line via www.solessence.com and www.solessencespanails.com.

Frequently Asked Questions on Nailtiques:

I have weak peeling nails apart from two which are hard and thick. Can I use two different formulas on the different nail types?
Yes you can select the correct Formulas to treat both nail types.
If I use coloured polish will the Protein Formula still work?
Yes the Protein Formula will still work (if used as a basecoat and a topcoat) but the results will be much slower.
My Protein Formula is peeling between coats. What is wrong?
You are applying your Protein Formula too thickly, you need to apply very thin coats to build up the layers. Ensure the nail plate is clean and free of any oily residue before applying.
How long will the Nailtiques Protein Formula last?
If used correctly 1/8oz lasts 3 weeks, 1/4oz lasts 6 weeks,1/2oz lasts 12 weeks.
My polish bubbles after my Nailtiques manicures. Why does this happen?
Nailtiques is very hydrating so it is important to ensure that all oils are wiped clean from the nail plate prior to Protein Formula application. If not bubbling may occur.
My Protein Formula becomes thick towards the end of the bottle. How can I prevent this?
Thickening is caused by air pockets in the bottle. To prevent this from happening do not shake the bottle to mix the Protein Formula, turn the bottle upside down and gently roll in between the palms. Ensure the neck of the bottle is wiped clean to ensure an air tight fit. If this has not been done and the product has thickened, use two drops of Nailtiques Formula Fix which will thin the protein without diluting.
Does Nailtiques test products on animals?
No. Nailtiques nail products are dermatologist tested and salon tested.
My nails are naturally hard and therefore split and break easily. Why is it necessary to use Nailtiques Nail Moisturiser if I use the Oil Therapy?
Nails that are hard and brittle lack moisture and flexibility, therefore they split and break. Dryness could prevent the nail protein from giving the results required. Nailtiques Nail Moisturiser Promotes moisture and flexibility to the nails. The Oil Therapy Seals in moisture to the nails. Therefore no matter how often the Oil Therapy is applied, the nails will not soften.
I have Gel on my nails at present and would like to grow my nails naturally can Nailtiques help?
Yes Nailtiques have an After Artificial Treatment Kit, which is a therapeutic 12 week treatment for nail recovering from artificial nails. Included are two specially developed Formulas of nail Protein; A & B, and a Cuticle Skin Gel. The kit naturally builds damaged nails back to a healthy condition.