Having well manicured nails is a time commitment and can be expensive! I love having polish on my fingers but let’s face it… as much as we use our hands and wash them, polish doesn’t stay on for more than a few days.
I love Shellac! I like how it looks, how long it lasts, and how strong it makes my nails (when they are done). Before kids… I was going ever 2 weeks. Sure, prices vary on where you go but no matter what way you slice it… it becomes expensive.
After Mae was born 4 1/2 years ago I became a stay at home mom. Becoming a stay at home mom is great but is also life changing on so many levels. I needed to cut back on unnecessary expenses…. like getting my nails done every 2 weeks. However, just because I stay at home doesn’t mean I don’t like to be put together (even if I am just wearing workout clothes and my hair up).
So, I decided at this point I have watched my girl do my nails enough times, I could do it too! I just needed to buy what they use. Sounds easy, right?!? Well after a few trial and errors and upfront expense…. it actually was!
Here I am going to share with you my tips and products that I use.
Starting with the LED UV Nail Light. This is huge. You want to make sure you get one that will actually work! I tried to get a small one to save money … I lost money that way! My exact one is currently unavailable but I will link one that has the same specs.
My tools besides your clippers and files
Cuticle Pusher – I use this to help remove the gel nails after soaking in Pure Acetone. I also use it to wipe any base, polish, or top coat that may be on my skin. You want to make sure to clean that off before curing in the light otherwise you do not get as good of a bond.
I also use cuticle cutters to clean up around my nails just like they do at the salons.
Then you need a Bond Aid. Now, this helps even regular polish stick to your nails better because it drys out the nail.
Here is what I use
Now as far as the Shellac brand… I have used a few different ones. My go to is CND Shellac because I find it to be the easiest to use. With that said… whatever brand you use make sure you use the same brand base abs top coat as the polish. I have tried to mix and match and it does work, it just doesn’t stay on as well.
I am going to share with you my CND Shellac polishes because again I think they are the easiest. I typically get mine off Amazon… some ship quicker than others so you do need to plan ahead.
CND Base Coat
CND Shellac Color (pictured – Wildfire)
CND Top Coat Duraforce
As far as my glitter nail… I use this.
Once your nails are done they will have a film on them. To clean that off you will use a Nail Cleaner. I use this one
Now that you have all the basics… here is how it’s done. These steps begin after you have trimmed, filed your nails, and cleaned up your cuticles.
Step 1 – lightly file that tops of your nails. Then wash your hands to removed any dust.
Step 2 – Apply a generous coat of Bond Aid to each nail. I do this step 2 times on each finger.
Step 3 – Apply a thin coat of base coat but be sure to get on your entire nail. Clean off any from your skin. Then cure in your lamp for 30-45 seconds. I do this step 2 times. *remember to do a thin coat
Step 4 – Apply a thin coat of your Shellac Color. Clean off any from your skin. Then cure in your lamp for 30-45 seconds. I do this step 2-3 times depending on color.
*remember to do thin coats
Step 5 – Apply a thin coat of Your top coat but be sure to get it on your entire nail. Clean off any from your skin. Then cure in your lamp for 30-45 seconds. I do this step 2 times. *remember to do a thin coat
Extra- if you are wanting to use the glitter. I put a scoop up a small amount with my cuticle pusher and shake it off on to the nail I want it on. I do this after the first layer of top coat. You will want to use your finger to tap the glitter down so it’s smooth and then apply 2 more layers of Top coat curing between the layers.
Once done you will clean off the Shellac film with your nail cleaner.
That’s it! It really is simple it just takes a few tries to get good at not getting it on your skin. It’s a little thicker and stickier than regular polish. The thin coats make it way easier to manage.
The beauty to doing you own nails… you can do them when it’s convenient for you! In my opinion most salons don’t have the convenient hours!
Please let me know if you have any questions!