If you have ever had a shellac manicure you likely understand why trendy girls everywhere love them so much. They dry instantly, they make your nails look glossy and fabulous, and they last FOREVER. Seriously, except for new growth at the nail bed, it isn’t uncommon for a shellac manicure to look flawless three weeks after getting it done. But, like many other things in this world, if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Now I’m not saying shellac manicures are bad for you, but I am saying you may want to indulge in them sparingly.
Shellac manicures use a base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat. And between the application of each coat you spend some time with your fingers in a box with UV light. Yeah, you know, the kind of rays that we all slather on the sunscreen to avoid? Those UV rays. So, a shellac manicure might be virtually impossible to chip or smudge, but that rock hard veneer might just come at a hefty price. Oh, and then there’s the removal process. Shellac polish won’t just rub off with a cotton ball and some normal remover. You need polish remover that is 100 percent acetone, which is extremely drying. You must soak your fingertips in this drying polish remover for quite a while to soften the polish and then your nail tech will hopefully scrape the softened polish off with an orange stick or other utensil. Some nail techs use a file to file off the remaining polish and after a few shellac manicures you can end up with really thin nails. It’s best to keep those shellac manicures for vacations or really special occasions and give your nails a break with regular manicures.