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I have had these nails done 3 times -- they are good and last much longer than normal but if they start to 'lift' off don't pull and pick them off as it brings the top layer of your nail with it and then they crack and flake making them weaker. You HAVE to soak them off with Acetone - at least that's what I used.
Love shellac - will have it again and again till something better comes along
You do have to soak it off but it takes 10 mins and literally falls off.
They don't buff your nail as there's no need - shellac is just really tough polish - not a false nail. They just prep your nail as with a standard manicure then add the polish in a minimum of four layers - clear/colour/clear/colour. You put your nails under a UV light for about 30 secs in between each layer to set.
Shellac ruined my nails! I only had them done once, and I think the salon might have been at fault as they did buff before applying them, and then when they removed them, they soaked my nails but the shellac didn't come off cleanly, they had to scrape it with a metal hoofstick (set my teeth on edge!) and also file across the nail with an emery board. Within a week, every single nail had broken down to the quick and they are still breaking 4 months later!
BTW, I usually have quite good nails and hadn't used anything like nail varnish for 10 years prior to this (and that was only for my wedding!)
IME, Shellac looks and lasts great, but is an absolute bugger to take off. I had mine sat in Acetone for nearly 15 minutes per hand and I then had to rub the flakes off and was left with dark patches on each nail. Never again.
I do Gelac myself at home. I bought a cheap lamp, and the polish ( base, top coat and colours ) from eBay. I learned how to do it on youtube.
It's not rocket science, and pretty easy to do. I'm certainly no expert, and only do it on myself. It lasts about 10 days with no chipping, by which stage it starts to lift at the edge on a few nails. I soak it off in normal acetone nail polish remover, for 5 to 10 minutes, and it comes off easily with a wooden orange stick.
I very gently buff the nails when prepping, but it doesn't damage. them.
funnily enough, I was in a salon yesterday and they were telling me they have had clients come in with Shellac wrecked nails...... I have been using Cal gel but am thinking of switching to a hybrid, am now considering Artistic Colour Gloss, has anyone tried?