What Are Shellac Nails? Pros, Cons, How-To & More

Shellac nails are becoming the new go-to nail trend, and it’s easy to see why. A bug glue manicure will last at least two weeks without losing shine or requiring additional drying time. For women who love good polish and aren’t interested in extending their nails, bug glue nails need less work and stay beautiful for a more extended period.

This is a higher option for women who want an excellent polish without worrying about chipping or fading. Shellac nail polish lasts longer and stays on until you want to take it off. Want to learn more? Read on!

What Is Shellac Nail Polish?

Shellac nail polish is a hybrid look between regular nail polish and gel nails. This blend allows for a darker color with a built-in protective layer. This protective layer complements the “gel” to protect the color and the pin for a longer-lasting, more beautiful finish.

Part of the reason bug gel nail art lasts so long and looks so good is because most formulas are self-leveling, so there are no lumps or unevenness in the nail polish. The top coat is a durable gel top coat that dries immediately, although it does need to cure.

The curing process for a bug glue manicure is the same as for a gel manicure, which uses UV light. A bug gel manicure is a four-step process that produces a long-lasting, shiny, chip-free manicure.

How Long Does Shellac Manicure Last?

A good shellac manicure will last you a minimum of two weeks without chipping, peeling, cracking or fading. The absolute shortest amount of time a shellac manicure will last is a week.

Shellac nails stand up to everyday things like gardening and the chemicals involved with most chores. Normal everyday life will not affect shellac nails; shellac nail polish is designed to stand up to normal wear and tear and be removed only with intention.

Pros & Cons of Shellac Nail Polish

As with all things, there are benefits and drawbacks to wearing bug glue nail polish. Each option has many advantages and disadvantages, but the final choice is based on what works for the individual. Someone with a healthy nail bed and a penchant for shiny, glamorous colors will find bug glue nail polish a significant improvement over a regular manicure.
Here is a list of the pros and cons of bug glue nails to help you choose.

They last forever!
The application process is shorter.
Less disruptive than other options.
Bug glue is more budget-friendly.
It can be removed at home.
They last longer because they are cured under UV light.
Shellac nails are safe and can be obtained during pregnancy.
Shellac nail polish is also odorless.
The disadvantages of applying shellac nail polish are only due to the damage caused during the removal process.

Exposure to UV lights can be harmful.
Bug glue nail art can be damaging to the delicate nail bed.
Acetone wrap removal is harsh on your nails.
Bug glue nail polish has less color.
When bug glue nails grow out, it is obvious.
Shellac nails do not last as long as gel or acrylic nails.

Differences Between Acrylic, Gel, SNS, and Shellac Nails

There are so many innovative ways to apply nail extensions and color that sometimes it’s tough to make the best choice. Are shellac nails really for you, or should you consider acrylic nails, for example? Below, we will discuss all the differences between four of the most popular nail trends currently available – acrylic, gel, SNS, and shellac nails.

Acrylic Nails
Acrylic nails are made from a combination of liquid acrylic and a special powder that has been around since the 1970s. Acrylic nails have a remarkable appearance that is well known, as well as a high level of durability and one that can be cured without UV lights. They are not ideal for pregnant women because the combination of acrylics can be toxic.

Gel nails
Gel nails are another option for building up and protecting the nails. Gel nails are more flexible than acrylics, which makes them more suitable for those who want to lengthen their nails but may have damaged or soft nail beds.

Gel nails are safe to use during pregnancy and are applied by applying a liquid gel to the artificial nail tip and the natural nail. The gel is then cured with an LED or UV light to harden it.

Shellac Nails
Unlike acrylic and gel nails, bug glue nails cannot be used to extend the length of your nails. Shellac and gel nails get mixed more often than acrylic and shellac nails. With acrylic and gel nails, nails are built up and lengthened. On the other hand, shellac nails (pun intended) are meant to provide color and finishing effects.

Shellac nail polish is the next level of nail polish. Shellac nail polish does not thicken the appearance of the nail as significantly as gel or acrylic.

SNS Nails
SNS nails, also known as “dipped powder nails,” feature a gel base and a powder consistency. The principle is to dip your nails into the powder to get a natural color without harming your nail bed. This is the most innovative method of nail polish application available, allowing you to enjoy using odorless, stylish nail colors without any curing.

How to Do Shellac Nails at Home?

Like your bug glue nails? Want to do it at home too? You can!

Shape your nails
First, shape your nails with a file. Once you have the shape you want, clean your hands to remove the dirt.

Cuticle time
Gently push away your cuticles.

Apply the base coat
If your set has a base coat, apply the base coat starting from the cuticle. Apply to the top of the nail, leaving a space between the skin and the base coat.

Cure your nails
Whatever instrument you use, it should be set up correctly. Place your hand under the light for 30 seconds to cure. Your nails will be a little sticky, but this is intentional to create a sealed edge.

Applying Shellac polish
Apply the first of two coats of Shellac nail polish. Use broad, simple strokes, as the color will flatten out. Keep this layer as thin as possible and not over the base coat.

Cure again
Once all the nails are painted, put them back under the light to cure. Make sure you follow the time requirements set by your device.

Apply a second coat
Apply a second coat of Shellac nail polish in the same way.

Cure again
Cure your nails again.

Apply top coat
Apply a top coat to each nail, but cover the nail completely, from cuticle to tip, tip to tip.

Cure one last time
Cure your bug glue nails one more time.

Removing residue
Finish by wiping the sticky residue from your fingers with alcohol. Admire your handiwork!

How to Remove Shellac Nail Polish

The removal of bug glue nail polish is effortless and clean. You have to soak it off with acetone! There are two different options; here’s how you do it!

Wrap method
Aluminum foil will help block the heat from your hands and allow the acetone to work better.

Cut five makeup pads in half and cut out 10 large tinfoil squares. You will also need a nail file and acetone nail polish remover.
Use the nail file to rub over the bug glue nail polish gently, then soak half of the cotton pad in acetone.
Place the acetone-soaked cotton pad on the nail and wrap it in a foil square.
Let the acetone soak in for 15 minutes, allowing the gel polish to lift from the nail bed.
Wipe off any remaining sticky nail polish with a round makeup sponge. If it looks like more than a round makeup pad can handle, use a nail art stick or orange stick to scrape the residue off the nail carefully. You can likely also peel off any remaining bug spray polish.
Soak method
The soak method uses a bowl of acetone and, for the most part, soaks the nail in it. In terms of difficulty, the biggest concern is not tipping over the bowl containing the acetone.

Pour the acetone nail wash into a shallow bowl wide enough to fit your nails in one at a time (one hand or both, of course, as you prefer).
Apply cuticle oil around all of your cuticles and wipe off the excess. This will help protect your cuticles from drying out.
Place your nails in acetone and let them soak for about 10 minutes.
Remove your nails from the acetone and use the flat side of an orange stick to scrape off the bug glue nail polish. If you want to start scraping it off during the soaking process, you can start scraping it off after 8 minutes while your nails are still soaking.

Regardless of which shellac nail polish removal method you use, wash your hands with warm water and soap to remove the rest of the polish. Make certain to recondition your skin afterwards with lotion and cuticle oil to replenish the moisture that the acetone will strip from the skin.

Is Shellac Manicure Safe?

Bug glue nail art is safe, but not for everyone. The main problems are allergy-related, UV-related, and chemical-related. Those suffering from UV damage or skin cancer may not be as keen to have their hands exposed to UV light. If the apparatus is not set up correctly, the light may cause eye or skin damage, similar to a tanning bed.

As long as you are not allergic to any of the ingredients or opposed to UV rays, you should be fine. Just be careful how long you are under the UV lamp. It would help if you were not under the lamp for longer than the set period. As a safety measure, most lights for home and salon use have a timer.

Allergy problems are usually associated with the plasticizers mixed in with the bug spray nail polish. Many people who have questions can get answers from their nail technicians about the ingredients. Some will be free of fragrance, while others have been reformulated to remove more chemicals.

The chemical composition of bug spray nail polish is a concern for most people, and the message is one of strength and health. The most important thing to do is to ask and check the label. If you react to acrylic or gel nails, you will likely have a problem with bug glue nails.

Shellac Manicure Tips to Know

Tips and tricks are always welcome if they can improve your manicure and the health of your skin and hands. There are two things to remember – acetone is critical to removing the shellac manicure, and UV light is critical to curing it. Your hands need to be protected and the moisture replaced.

Here are a few quick shellac nail tips to help!

Apply a lotion with sunscreen on your hands. It will prevent some damage from UV rays.
Don’t pick at your bug glue nail polish. Unlike regular nail polish, you won’t just like your nail polish, but you’ll also be peeling off your nail layers.
You can use coconut or olive oil instead of cuticle oil, an excellent moisturizer for your entire hand. Use your cuticle oil of choice twice a day.
Be careful picking your home kit, as many won’t give you the desired results.
Let your nails breathe a few times a year and choose just a straightforward manicure for a great look and a comfortable feel.

Shellac Nail Prices at Beauty Salons

The price of a bug glue manicure is determined by local availability. Some people will find that their local salon charges $15, while others find prices closer to $60.

Applied bug glue nail polish can be more expensive at salons with a “custom” process, which is usually just a hand massage with a specialty lotion or something similar.

It depends on the service offered and the location where it is provided, but in most cases, the general price range for getting your bug glue nails done is between $15 and $60.

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