Gel Vs. Shellac: What’s the Difference?

If you’re unsure of the difference between Shellac and gel – you’re definitely not alone. A lot of people think they are one and the same because of their many similarities, however, there are a few key differences that you should be aware of to get the best result for your next manicure.

What Are the Differences Between Shellac and Gel Nails?

Gelish polish was created in 2009 and was the first gel polish available to buy in a bottle – since then it has taken the nail world by storm and has become a staple in beauty salons across the world.

Shellac is a half-gel, half-polish blend developed and patented by CND. It combines the best of both, offering no dry time, high-shine, vibrant colour, easy removal and a long-lasting chip-free finish.

Application & Removal

Both types are applied using a similar process and need to be cured under a UV lamp rather than left to air dry like regular nail polish. However, with Shellac the natural nail surface doesn’t need to be roughened before application, resulting in a less damaging process.

Removing Shellac nails is also quicker and easier as they can be soaked off gently with acetone without the need for filing or harsh scraping which can thin and weaken natural nails.

Chip-Free Time

Both Shellac and gel are longer lasting than regular polish, with Shellac generally lasting between 10-14 days and gel up to three weeks. It is also a lot more robust and is less likely to chip than Shellac which makes it more suitable for busy lifestyles and those of us who are on the clumsier side.

Colour Options

Another important difference between is the variety of colours available to choose from.

Though the CND Shellac range is still expanding, there are currently more gel colours available than Shellac colours. At the moment, CND offers over 160 different Shellac shades whilst there are endless gel colours available on the market, produced by a number of different brands such as Gelish, DND, Essie, OPI and more.

This could be a key decision maker if you’re a fan of nail art or love trying a new colour with every new set!

Shellac and Gel Polish from Hollywood Nails Supply

Now that you can make an informed choice on whether gel or Shellac is better for you, shop our extensive range of nail supplies including over 90 CND Shellac shades and a variety of gel polish colours.