Shellac Nails – What exactly are they?

four women of different skin colours holding varying shades of nude Shellac nail polishes

“Shellac; Designed to enhance the natural nail

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.

Shellac or ‘gel’ nail polish is ‘cured’ in a UV or led lamp, and unlike normal nail lacquer, there’s absolutely zero drying time, perfect for an individual who’s ‘on the go’. Shellac will leave you with a high gloss manicure or pedicure that lasts the test of time.

With 160 designer shades to choose from and over 2 weeks of no chips, you can enjoy this superior service at the majority of local salons. Shellac gives clients high shine and high-performance wear with absolutely no nail damage*.

The CND Shellac manicure includes:

  • Wide range of colour options
  • Shape, cuticle removal and gel/Shellac application
  • Complimentary Lecente glitter application

What is Shellac & gel polish?

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

Shellac applies like normal nail polish, but stays un-chipped or damaged for over 2 weeks. The polish hardens in a UV lamp and a topcoat is applied to give you lasting high shine till your next soak off and re-shellac.

What is the difference between Shellac and Gel Polish?

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

What will my appointment include?

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:

  • Assessment of the hands and nails
  • Cleansing of the hands with ‘Cool Blue’
  • File, shape & cuticle removal
  • Shellac polish application with any of the gorgeous 160+ nail colours to choose from
  • Finished with a drop of ‘Solar Oil’ to moisturise the cuticles and protect the nails from water and chemicals.

How long will my appointment take?

A Shellac nail appointment will usually take no more than 40 minutes. For nails and toes, allow one hour.

See our full price list for our Glasgow City Centre salons Shellac nail treatments: Click here

Why are Shellac & Gel nails so popular?

Shellac nail polish has taken Glasgow by storm as it’s been one of the best and most popular innovations in Glasgow nail salons today. Women across the globe just 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 normal nail polish application was the done thing. However, a good nail lacquer will only last around one week before chipping occurs and for the busy woman, this is a problem. Going to your nail salon is an enjoyable and relaxing experience, but we can’t always make time to come into the salon so regularly, and that’s why 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 woman have fallen in love with the Shellac nail polish from CND.


Us Glasgow girls can’t resist a bit of glitz and glam! That’s why we always stock the best brands of glitter to go over or add to our nail manicures.

Our glitters are truly stunning and come in all different colours. The glitters that we use are top grade quality and are non toxic unlike most cheaper glitters. The glitters we use over your Shellac nails are so finely cut that they lie completely flat on your nail bed, which means your top coat will be completely smooth. Our glitters also have microlock technology which means the glitters colour doesn’t bleed and cause unsightly fading.

shellac removal glasgow city centreHow do I get my polish nails off?

It is highly recommended that you have your Shellac nail polish taken off by a professional, and most Glasgow nail salons will charge anything from £5-12 for removal. At Tropicoco’s Glasgow salon, we charge £4 for removal.

Like most gel polishes, Shellac is removed exactly the same way by soaking the gel off with acetone. However, due to a new innovation by the CND brand we can soak your nail polish off in just 5 minutes. 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.

What are Rockstar nails?

The answer is YES, YES, YES! We love anything sparkly in our Glasgow salon, so let us explain exactly what rockstar nails are. Rockstar nails is a nail salons way of describing a gel polish or Shellac with glitter pressed all over the nail to create an eye-catching sparkle that will have people asking ‘Where did you get those nails!’.

Do I Need a Manicure Before My Shellac Nails Are Applied?

If you want your nails to last, yes. It’s absolutely vital that all our customers receive a file, shape and cuticle removal before their Shellac nails are applied.

The file and shape is necessary to get a neatly finish and to get the shape you like best e.g. square, round, oval, square with rounded edge. Cuticle removal is absolutely necessary too. Not only does tidy cuticles neaten and lengthen your nail bed, left over cuticle will not allow the Shellac polish to properly stick to your nail, causing the gel polish to lift and peel.

After Care For Shellac Nails

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

  • Always wear gloves when doing any cleaning or dish washing as harsh chemicals can affect the Shellacs strength and cause chipping
  • Use cuticle oil twice daily – this will make sure your cuticles don’t dry and look unsightly. Oil also creates a protective barrier around the Shellac polish, helping to protect the gel from water and other chemicals that may affect it
  • Don’t pick at anything and when cutting or cooking, make sure to be very careful not to cut your nail will anything sharp as this will cause chipping

Why Should I check a salon uses the genuine Shellac brand?

You can get Shellac nails in Glasgow almost anywhere, but is it really genuine Shellac? Shellac nails in Glasgow are usually at least twice the price of a normal nail salon manicure due to it’s glossy shine and because you can leave the salon chip free for more than 2 weeks. As the saying goes “cheap nails ain’t nice” and ‘nice nails ain’t cheap’ therefore when you are paying your local nail salon to use a premium product like Shellac, you deserve to have that product applied.

Non-genuine products are not hypo-allergenic, nor are they fully tested for dangerous ingredients. This means that your local nail salon could be putting you in danger of allergic reactions. Non-genuine products do not have the same ‘make-up’ or ingredients as more expensive, authentic Shellac  products which will result in a poor service e.g. chipping nails etc.

What is the difference between Gel, Shellac and Acrylic nails?

Shellac and gel polish are very similar and are applied like a normal 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 onto your natural nails.

Is Shellac ok for Vegans?

Yes, Shellac nail polish is fine for vegans to use. Shellac used for woodwork used to be made from beetle resin, but now the word Shellac is used to described anything that has the appearance of something hard and shiny.