I am no nail technician, I will admit that. However, I am very good at Shellacking. The thought of a chipped nail repulses me - I have my priorities straight in life. So, I taught myself from scratch and through trial and error I think I have worked out the perfect techniques for the perfect nail. Now all you need to do is read and follow these simple steps and you can have very happy and pretty nails too! I re-do my nails every 2 weeks and they stay on without chipping for all this time. It is very low maintenance and you can easily sit and do them in front of Keeping Up with the Kardashians (again, clear priorities in life). I am also no hand model, so apologies for the pictures and my white is very well loved (grubby) - I wouldn't recommend getting yours into this state! It isn't good for them!
I order a lot of my Shellacking kit from Amazon, it is cheap and always turns up very promptly! I use Bluesky and Gellux, which I have used it for years and always find it has the best results and great colours. Here are the links for you to purchase the above (I find they last for 6+ months so the cost is very low). For the purposes of this blog I am going to do a French manicure, I think it is understated and chic - so me (maybe not).
1. To start off with make sure that your nails are completely polish free, cut to the length that you want, filed into the shape that you want, your cuticles are pushed back and cut if straggly! Finally here is the difference with Shellac, you need to roughen up the nail surface so that the Shellac bonds with your nail. I use number 2 on this 4 way block.
2. Once your nails are prepped and the surface is clean, apply the nail primer as a bonding agent. This also makes sure that any loose nail filings on your nails are removed.
3. You are now ready to start applying the base coat, you should coat the whole surface of your nail so that it is fully protected and make sure to seal the end of your nail with the base coat too.
The next most important part of your Shellac kit is your UV light, these are very cheap but make sure to change the bulbs every 6 months. Here is a link to one that I would recommend: UV Shellac lamp. Again this is available from Amazon and is a really great price.
4. Your base coat now needs to be set, so set the Shellac lamp to the timer settings and pop your hand in for the allotted 2 minutes. If you are doing this on your own nails I tend to paint one hand, pop it into the Shellac lamp straight after and then move onto the next hand, alternating for each layer.
5. Now you are ready for your colour, as I am doing a French manicure I am applying the soft pink as a base before the white. If you are doing a colour this would be your main coat. I always apply 2 coats, each coat needs to be set under the lamp after it is applied so don't be tempted to miss this step out!
6. My soft pink base coat has set and enough coats have been applied so it is now time to paint on the white tips. After years of doing this, I now have a very steady hand for this but trust me, this takes time! Shellac is different to normal nail varnish and is a lot more "mouldable" for touch ups. If you are going for a French Manicure, I would recommend that you use a cuticle pusher to touch up the lines and make them even, you can wipe over the top of Shellac and not ruin the base coat so don't worry about mistakes! I find with the white tips that it will get on your skin around the nails, don't worry about this, as soon as you wash your hands with warm water it will start to come away.
7. After you have set the white tips you are now ready for your top coat, pop this on and wait for it to set under the lamp. I like to be extra sure that it has set properly and once I have done both hands I put them both under the light and set the timer just one more time!
8. You will probably find that your hands now feel rather sticky. I use Gellux prep and wipe: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Salon-System-Gellux-Profile-Systems/dp/B003EGXHMK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1443537135&sr=8-2&keywords=gellux+prep+and+wipe which you will find on Amazon and a lindt wipe, I go over with this a few times and then wash my hands to make sure that stickiness has completely gone!
Now your nails will look amazing for the next 2 weeks, alleviating you of all nail anxiety.
If you have any questions on Shellacking, ask away!
Styling Happiness xoxo