How to Apply Shellac Nail Polish Step by Step

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How to Apply Shellac Nail Polish Step by Step

While shellac nail polish brushes on in the same manner as traditional nail polish, it is far different in other ways. Several shellac nail polish brands are available for both in-home and in-saloon application. CND, or Creative Nail Design, boasts at least 14 days between manicures when using its brand. Bluesky Shellac Nail Varnish is another popular variety. The company claims less damage in its product application and removal than with that of other brands. Most professional shellac nail polish brands follow the same application procedures.


Beginning the Application

The first steps in a shellac nail manicure require a clean palate. File the nails to the chosen shape and smooth their edges. Remove any polish, gel, or shellac from a previous manicure and clean with a lint-free alcohol wipe to remove any dust or debris. Push the cuticle gently back from the nail plate without damaging it.

Base Coat Application

The first application of product in a shellac nail polish manicure is a base coat. Using even strokes, paint from the cuticle edge to the nail tip. Take care to leave a narrow margin of bare nail around the perimeter. This margin should be between 1 mm and 2 mm of space between the product and the surrounding skin.

Curing the Base Coat

The application of base coat shellac requires curing for proper drying. The curing process uses a ultraviolet or LED nail lamp. Nail lamps differ in their time required for curing. Follow the manufacturer instructions that apply to the LED nail lamp or UV lamp used. Generally, the curing time for the base coat is 30 seconds. Leave the sticky residue that remains on the nail intact after the curing process.


Adding Colours

Colour options and manicure styles are plentiful in the shellac lines of nail polish. When applying the colour polish, follow the same rule of thumb in leaving the 1 mm to 2 mm margin around the entire area of the nail bed. This includes the free nail tip area previously painted with the base coat. The free edge of the nail should have 1 mm to 2 mm left free of the colour shellac inside the base coated tips and around the entire circumference of the nail bed.

Curing the Colour

The coloured shellac painted nails should cure again under the UV or LED light. The time for the curing process should follow the guidelines set forth by the manufacturer of the light.

Applying Second Coat of Colour

The second coat of coloured shellac should follow the same boundary lines established with the first coat. It is important to leave these margins to seal the manicure in its final stage of application.

Curing Again

This second coast of coloured shellac requires a curing period under the UV or LED lamps for the specified time per the manufacturer. Each coat of shellac polish needs to cure for proper drying and to result in a durable, long-lasting manicure.

Final Coat

The final coat of polish is the shellac top coat. It covers the entire area previously covered by the base coat and coloured coats. The base coat and the top coat sandwich the coloured coats between them. No polish should contact the skin around the nails, as it jeopardises the seals of the manicure and results in a faulty application.

Final Curing

The nails cure again under the light of the UV or LED lamps. After curing, the nails have a residue that is sticky to the touch. Remove this residue by wiping them gently with an alcohol soaked wipe.


Manicure Options

There are several different type options to choose in manicures. They include traditional polish, shellac polish, Gelish polish, and other types. These manicures are not equal in many ways. A comparison table of manicure types follows.


Manicure Type

Requires Curing

Application Process





2 weeks




3 weeks




1 week




1 week




3 weeks


The duration of any manicure depends on wear, tear, and the care given to it. Not every wearer experiences the same results.


How to Buy Shellac Nail Polish on eBay

There are several brands of shellac and gel nail polishes available on the market. Use eBay's advanced search options to determine which brand of shellac nail polish to choose. eBay sellers have a variety of shellac nail polish brands, shellac kits, and other manicure accessories. By following the correct procedures when applying a shellac nail polish manicure, you can experience two weeks of continuous shine and colour. Adhering to the instructions and curing the polish as directed yields a shellac nail polish manicure that lasts longer than traditional polish manicures.

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