What is Shellac Nail Polish (Pros and Cons of Shellac)

Beauty is in the details and no one knows it better than us women. That is why you are wondering what is shellac nail polish, to know more! I have talked about Shellac multiple times here at BrokeMyNail, from comparing gelish vs shellac to manicures I have personally given using Shellac. Everything we choose to wear and to take care about our image talks about us a little. But every treat we indulge ourselves into takes time, money and perseverance.

Among those things that deserve some special care are our nails, which are often the most troubled part of our bodies and require ceaseless attention and treatment.

Everyone appreciate beautiful hands in a woman, and God knows how much we seek for perfection. It may happen that we are totally happy with our nail art, but then it ruins after just a few days and our beautiful work of art already needs renovation.

What is Shellac Nail Polish?

Luckily, the cosmetic industry constantly comes out with new solutions to help us keep looking beautiful and flawless. The new trend in nail care is the semi-permanent nail polish as an alternative to Gel manicure also known as Shellac by CND™ Shellac™. You can match the manicure to your lifestyle and see which one would suit you best, for example; OPI Gelcolor vs Shellac.

After doing some research to find some useful user reviews (therefore some honest opinions and personal experiences) I came up with this list of pros and cons about CND™ Shellac™ nail polish.


6 CND Shellac Pros

1. A more long-lasting manicure.

The semi-permanent nail polishes out there last at its best from 14 to 21 days! Of course, it depends on how much pressure your nails have to bear in your everyday life and your habits, but it is definitely a good duration comparing with Acrylic nail polish.

2. A less invasive removal procedure compared with other gel solutions.

We all are aware of how much stress nails have to endure in the process of removal of gel polish. Peeling and scratching gel off our fingers not only removes the gel it also takes off the top layers of some delicate cells leaving nails dry and unhealthy.

For the semi-permanent nail polish, you will restrain part of these damages since it’s easier to remove: a special solvent and a nail file to gently scrape it off with less stress for your nail. If you go to a nail spa to do it, it will not be your concern and will only take about 20 minutes (They use the best electric nail file). However, if you are willing to remove shellac nail polish yourself, you can follow my instructions.

3. A more natural look for your manicure.

Unfortunately, gel nail art is quite apparent, giving an unnatural look to your nails. Even if it’s professionally made, it will still pop out. Semi-permanent nail polish will give you a more fine, polished look, also allowing you to play with colors and create different shades.

4. A more easy and quick application.

We all hate to stay still for hours waiting for our nail polish to dry. Well, thanks to the LED Nail Lamp, in just 20 minutes you are good to go! (well, 20 minutes at the salon, maybe we can add some more minutes if you are doing it by yourself). If you're wondering "how much is a shellac manicure", don't worry. It's only about $20-$20.

5. You can try this at home!

It will still take some practice, but it seems that applying the Shellac at home is quite as easy as applying your usual nail polish. There are plantly of tutorials and how to list around the internet if you are willing to take things into your own hands!

6. That Glossy look.

Besides offering a really wide range of beautiful colors, Shellac will give you a shiny glossy finish that will make your nails pop! A favorite among a lot of people is the CND White Shellac nail polish.

CND White Shellac Nail Polish

6 CND Shellac Cons​

1. You cannot lengthen your nails during the process.

Before the application, you will have to make a little effort to obtain the desired length. It is also not a nail strengthener, therefore you will still be a victim of accidental breakage. Remember to take proper vitamins and minerals for healthy nails.

2. You will still have to use chemical solvents for the removal.

Like any other chemical substance, even if it’s specifically designed for this, it will still harm your nails and skin, experts warn. Use a natural nail polish remover instead.

3. The UV Nail Lamp will also dehydrate the skin and leave some age spots on.

Health experts prefer LED Nail Lamps vs UV Nail Lamps, but recommend applying sunscreen prior to the application of the polish and also to often carefully moisturize your hands to keep them beautiful in time.

4. It will still leave your nails a bit dry and stressed.

A lot of users around internet advise to let nails breathe some days between an application and the next on, otherwise, the polish will peel off after just 3 to 4 days. They also recommend a daily use of cuticle oil to keep your nails from drying.

5. Users discourage the use of semi-permanent nail polish periodically and using it for just those special occasions seems to be the best option.

6. You must stick to that color for a while.

Certainly not a problem for those who are addicted to their favorite color and shade, but a lot of us love a change that will match our mood, outfit or occasion. The best thing to do is to choose from a nude palette, pale pink, red velvet (a classic), different shades of grey will also be a good option, but will still be a limit to our preferences.


Overall, some more things are worth being said: the first semi-permanent nail polish to be introduced on the nail market was the CND Shellac in 2010 creating a new product category in the alternative to Gel Nail Polish. It is also being voted year overby year as the best product in its category by “Nails Magazine” readers. CND Shellac is one of the most popular nail polish brands.

CND Shellac also has 103 designer colors to choose from, allowing some shade customization by using the layering technique, but you may not find them all at your local nail spa. You can get your very own shellac nail polish kit and try your hand at it. A few youtube tutorials are enough to have the basics down.

CND™ Shellac™ is hypoallergenic and "7-FREE", so it is void of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, DBP, formaldehyde resins, xylene and methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) as they claim on their official site.

The nail art lovers out there still divide between Gelish vs Shellac manicures, and they both have their pros and cons. It is not that easy to be flawless in our everyday life, but we do have some tricks up our sleeves with these great products brands.

I, and also the readers of BrokeMyNail would be happy to know your experience, so don’t be shy and leave us a comment!


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