|A shellac manicure typically costs between $40-$60 and lasts for up to two weeks.|
Recently, a coworker of mine was admiring my meticulously self-polished nails, and suggested that I was so good at it, that I should do my own shellac.
My immediate thoughts:
1) Why have I never thought of this before; and 2) how can I make this happen, like immediately?
Of course, super impulsive me got online right away and purchased all the necessary tools for shellac-ing myself to kingdom come. It took a couple practice rounds, but I eventually mastered the art of self-shellacing. I wanted to share this knowledge with whoever is brave enough to jump on the DIY train!
What you'll need:
- UV light (I purchased a Thermal Spa brand one on Amazon.com). You want one that has at least 36 watts.
- Shellac base coat & top coat (I purchased CND brand)
- Shellac color (or regular nail color- see variations below)
- Rubbing alcohol (90% + solution)
- Typical mani tools=Cotton pads & q-tips, cuticle stick, nail files, acetone polish remover, eyeliner brush
- Cuticle solution (CND Cuticle Away is a miracle product!!!)
How to shellac yourself:
- Remove all existing polish and make sure you're starting with clean hands (IE- wash them).
- Place a small dab of cuticle solution on cuticle area and let sit for a few minutes. Scrape away the residue that comes off with cuticle stick and push back remaining cuticle. Clean off any left over solution.
- Shape each nail to your liking with nail file.
- Soak a cotton pad with rubbing alcohol and cleanse each nail. This preps the nail for the shellac polish.
- Paint each nail with the shellac base coat and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes (my light has a setting for 2 minutes and for 3 minutes).
- Paint each nail with shellac color and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes. Make sure you are detailed during this part because once you dry under the light, it's permanent.
- Paint each nail with shellac top coat and let dry under UV light for 2-3 minutes.
- IMPORTANT last step: You must rub each nail with an alcohol soaked cotton pad to get off the tacky top layer and give it that trademark SHINE!
I find that there's not a very wide selection of colors in shellac, and I have a few normal polishes that I love, so I found a way to use normal polish with shellac!
- Do all your nail prep work, same as above.
- Paint each nail with the shellac base coat and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes.
- Paint each nail with shellac top coat and let dry under UV light for 2 minutes. Rub each nail with an alcohol soaked cotton pad to get off the tacky top layer.
- Paint each nail with your chosen non-shellac nail color and let dry completely. Do 2 coats.
- Use an eyeliner brush to dip in polish remover and touch up any mistakes. Run the brush along the curve of your cuticle to get a clean, professional finish.
- Once fully dried, paint each nail again with shellac top coat and let dry under UV light for 2-3 minutes.
- Rub each nail with an alcohol soaked cotton pad to get off the tacky top layer and give it shine, and voila! Personalized shellac mani!
|This is my own hand that I 'sandwich' shellaced (this is on the 6th day so you can see it lasts for quite a while)! The color is Sinful Nails- Big Daddy.|
Now that you know how to get a shellac mani using regular polish, you can do all sorts of nail art that will last for at least a week!
|Currently obsessed with gradient nails. Here's a great tutorial from Makeup Withdrawl!|
This technique has worked for me, but I am definitely not a professional. Take these tips with a grain of salt, and a glass of wine.
Okay! Now you know how to give yourself an at-home shellac for the fraction of the salon price, and with even more color and design options. Use this power wisely!