“CND Shellac; natural nails have never looked better.”

CND Shellac nail polish is a hybrid of nail polish and gel, designed to deliver your client shiny, non-chipped and non-smudged nails for over 14 days.

In this article:

  1. What is shellac polish?

  2. Shellac manicure musts

  3. Removal

  4. Appointment length

  5. Difference between gel, shellac and acrylic

  6. Treatment cost

  7. Training

  8. Shellac colour chart

What is Shellac nail polish?

Shellac or ‘gel’ nail polish is ‘cured’ in a UV or LED lamp, and unlike regular nail lacquer, there’s absolutely zero drying time, perfect for an individual on the go.

Shellac will leave you with a high-gloss manicure or pedicure that lasts the test of time.

With over 160 designer shades, from classy nude shades and vacation blues to autumnal maroons, there’s so much to choose from.

With over 2 weeks of no chips, you can enjoy this superior service at most local salons.

Shellac gives clients high shine and high-performance wear with absolutely no nail damage.

The CND Shellac manicure includes the following:

Lengthening your nails

Take note of the aftercare your nail technician provides; you can have long nails in about 1-3 weeks. Make sure to do the following to achieve long nails:

Shellac nails should last up to two weeks, but only with the proper aftercare. Here are some tips on how to keep your manicure looking fresh and chip-free:

Shellac & gel polish explained

Many people refer to all gel polish services as ‘Shellac nails’; however, Shellac is the brand name of the product manufactured by the company ‘CND’.

Shellac applies like regular nail polish but stays un-chipped or damaged for over two weeks. The polish hardens in a UV (ultraviolet) or LED lamp, and a topcoat is applied to give you lasting high shine till your next soak-off and re-shellac.

The difference between Shellac and Gel Polish

Sometimes, the word ‘Shellac’ is used to describe gel polish manicure, but Shellac is a brand name for the polish. For instance, you may have heard of some brand names of gel polish, including Shellac, Gelish, Artistic Colour Gloss, OPI, Gellux, Cal Gel, etc.

The appointment

A good shellac nail polishing treatment should include all the steps recommended by the company (CND) that makes it. Your nail appointment for hands or feet should include the following:

Appointment length

A Shellac nail appointment will usually take no more than 40 minutes unless you require removal, in which case 1 hour. For nails and toes, allow one hour and twenty minutes.


Unsurprisingly, Shellac nail polish has taken the world by storm since 1979.

The CND brand has been one of the best and most popular innovations found in nail salons today. People across the globe fell in love with having a perfect, long-lasting, chip-free manicure for weeks at a time.

Before this type of nail polish was invented, nail salon manicures with regular nail polish application were the done thing. However, a good nail lacquer will only last around one week before chipping occurs; for the busy woman, this is a problem.

Going to your nail salon is an enjoyable and relaxing experience. Still, we can’t always come into the salon regularly, so Shellac nails are so popular.

A well-applied, good-quality branded Shellac nail treatment will last well over 2-3 weeks if proper care is taken, so it’s no mystery why people have fallen in love with the Shellac nail polish from CND.


We can’t resist a bit of glitz and glam, can we? That’s why you always want to stock the best brands of glitter to go over or add to our nail manicures.

Glitters are genuinely stunning and come in all different colours. Use a top-grade quality, non-toxic glitter brand like ‘Lecente’ or ‘Magpie’ to get the best results.

These glitters can be applied over your Shellac nails because they are so finely cut that they lie flat on your nail bed, meaning your topcoat will be completely smooth.

Professional glitters also have micro lock technology, which means the colour of the glitter won’t bleed and cause unsightly fading.

Rockstar nails

Let us explain precisely what rockstar nails are. Rockstar nails is a nail salon’s way of describing a gel polish or Shellac with glitter pressed all over the nail to create an eye-catching sparkle with people asking, ‘Where did you get those nails!’.

Soaking them off

It is highly recommended that you have your Shellac nail polish taken off by a professional, and most nail salons will charge anything from £5-12 for removal.

Like most gel polishes, Shellac removal is achieved the same way, by soaking the gel with acetone.

Picking or peeling your Shellac nail polish is extremely bad for your nails as doing so will pull a layer off the surface of your nail plate, leaving them soft and brittle.

Manicure musts

If you want your nails to last, yes. All customers must receive a file, shape and cuticle removal before applying their Shellac nails.

‘Cuticle Away’ is a fantastic product made by CND. It softens the hidden cuticle on the nail plate in minutes, providing a clean canvas for application.

The file and shape are necessary to get a neat finish and the shape you like best, e.g. square, round, oval, or square with a rounded edge.

Cuticle removal is necessary, too. Not only do tidy cuticles neaten and lengthen your nail bed, but the leftover cuticle will also not allow the Shellac polish to stick to your nail correctly, causing the gel polish to lift and peel.

Learn why Shellac can come off too soon: Shellac nails do not last.

Genuine Shellac

You can get Shellac nails in almost any salon, but is it genuine Shellac?

Shellac nails are usually at least twice the price of a regular nail salon manicure due to their glossy shine and because you can leave the salon chip-free for more than two weeks.

As the saying goes, “cheap nails ain’t nice”, and ‘nice nails ain’t cheap’ therefore, when you pay your local nail salon to use a premium product like Shellac, you deserve to have that product applied.

Non-genuine products are neither hypo-allergenic nor thoroughly tested for dangerous ingredients.

This means that your local nail salon could put you in danger of allergic reactions.

Non-genuine products do not have the identical ‘make-up’ or ingredients as more expensive, authentic Shellac products, which will result in poor service, e.g. chipping nails, etc.

Gel, Shellac and Acrylic nails 

Shellac and gel polish are very similar and are applied like regular polish onto the natural nail, which is then cured in a UV or LED lamp at your nail salon.

Length is not added to the natural nail with a gel polish or Shellac nail treatment. However, acrylic or gel nail extensions are used by your nail technician to add length to your natural nails.


How much Shellac Nails costs will depend on the type of salon you attend and its location. Shellac nails usually cost anywhere between £25-£50.

Vegan friendly

Yes, Shellac nail polish is acceptable for vegans to use. Shellac used for woodwork was made from beetle resin, but now the word Shellac describes anything that looks hard and shiny.

Buying CND Shellac polish

CND Shellac polish can only be purchased from Sweet Squared if you qualify for gel nail application.

Lasting power 

Shellac usually lasts 2-4 weeks if you take care of them.


Shellac should only be applied by a professional nail technician trained in the correct application process and knows salon health and safety best practices.

If you are curious about learning how to perform nail treatments, contact the company to find a training centre to teach you the skills to do Shellac nails.

Vinylux: CND’s not-so-ordinary nail polish

Have you ever wanted an alternative to shellac nails? CND has a ‘normal’ nail polish range called ‘Vinylux’.

Oranges & Corals

Orange colours like ‘charm’ or ‘electric orange’ can give ‘summer vibes’, but if you are looking for an autumnal shellac nail, perhaps a burnt orange like ‘fine vermillion’ might take your fancy.