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How To Make Shellac Last Longer? [What You Can Do]

If you are contemplating getting a shellac manicure then naturally you will want to know how to get the maximum amount of wear from them. How does it compare to other types of manicures? Is it worth the investment? I would like to share with you today my experience along with my research to help you understand if this manicure is right for you.

So, how do you make shellac last longer? You can make your shellac manicure last for up to a month by visiting reputable salons and hiring experienced technicians. If you do your nails at home yourself you should be sure to properly prepare your nails before application, use reputable products and ensure you apply the shellac correctly. Either way you will need to proactively looking after your new shellac nails.

The manicure industry experiences a new trend almost every other year.

From basic manicure to mirror manicure, you may have heard a lot about the different techniques that the experts use to make your nails look great and also how to keep them healthy. The shellac manicure is a more recent trend.

With any manicure, their demand and effectiveness are largely correlated to how long they last before another session is required. That is why longevity plays a crucial part in this business.

Let us take a closer look into what you can expect from a shellac manicure.

Longevity of Shellac Manicure

There is nothing worse than when your nails chip or break within a few days after getting a manicure. Its one of the main reasons why a lot of innovation has happened within the space, and a main reason for the emergence of products like gel.

Shellacs are known to last longer than other types of manicure.

This nail treatments should last for up to month without any breaks or chips.

In fact, you would not need to provide an extra coating of nail polish on it to make it look beautiful. This is a manicure that is not only long-lasting but also cost-effective.

Of course, to get a full months wear from your shellacs there are a number of factors in play, like:

  • Experience of the technician
  • How the shellac was applied
  • Quality of the shellac used
  • Aftercare

As such, its difficult to give an exact time-frame. That being said if we are to assume that all of those factors are in place, a months wear is generally the average amount of time you should expect.

How to Increase The Longevity of Shellacs?

Just because this nail treatment lasts longer than other techniques doesn’t mean you will need to care for your nails.

You need to make sure that the nails remain healthy and don’t bump into corners, which would allow them to chip more easily.

So, here are a few techniques that you should follow to make sure that your shellac lasts longer:

Keep Your Nails Healthy

It doesn’t matter whether you are going to a manicure specialist or applying shellacs at home, your nails should be healthy before you add the gel polish.

Shellac treatment is excellent for durable nails, but you have to ensure they stay healthy for a longer period.

The secret to keeping your nails healthy is treating your cuticles regularly. If you see your nail beds and cuticles damaged, splitting, or peeling, don’t apply gel polish on them.

Let the nails recover before you go for a shellac treatment. If you still apply gel polish with them peeling, they won’t keep the gel on your nails for long.

They affect the durability of shellacs. So, you should either treat your nails before applying the gel or allow the peeling and splitting to stop.

You wouldn’t want to apply the gel polish again within a few days. It can become quite expensive if you have to do that.

If your cuticles need repair, then you should liberally apply a natural cuticle oil each day. This is perhaps the best cuticle oil that you can pick up very cost-effectively on Amazon.

Always Apply the Finishing Touch Under an LED Or UV Light

You can increase the longevity of your shellac manicure by keeping your nails under an LED or UV light.

Most manicure specialists will carry this light chamber along to make sure that they can provide a professional finishing touch.

If you do it on your own, you can buy a kit. The better kits will usually come with gel polishes and a light chamber.

Typically, all shellacs will last for at least 14 days. But if you want them to last longer, make sure you put your nails in the LED light chamber once you finish applying the gel polish.

Even if you use the UV light to provide a finishing touch, you still need to take care of your nails.

For example, you shouldn’t let pool chemicals or cleaning products to the nails at all.

So, you should avoid swimming after a shellac treatment and also be sure to wear gloves for any household duties.

Gel polishes are usually porous. They may fade away when they come in contact with these harmful chemicals.

Ideally, you should use an LED light lamp to make the shellac durable. UV light can lead to age spots, which again, is hard to get rid of.

You should also use gel polish remove it carefully. Don’t let it leave scrapes, pits, or cracks on your nail surfaces. That is why you should also cure your nails under an LED light before applying the next coat of gel polish.

Experts also recommend using a sunscreen lotion on your hands before starting a shellac treatment.

Curing Gel Polish

Shellac treatment is a two-way street. You need to pay attention while applying the shellac and also while removing it.

Your current shellac will not last long if there are cracks and scrapes underneath.

They will slowly pierce the gel polish, making your nails look horrible. In reality, removing shellacs take longer than applying them.

Most women feel tempted to peel their gel polish off in the excitement of applying a new coat.

That’s not how you should do it. It’s obvious for you to feel tempted to peel off your nail polish whenever you notice any loosening or chipping but keep in mind that by doing so you will not only remove the gel polish but will also damage the top layer of your nail.

When you see the shellac starting to lose and chip, don’t just peel it away. Get some special chemical-free acetone and dip your nails in it for a few minutes.

This will help to loosen the gel polish, allowing you to peel it slowly. Professional manicure specialists will wrap your nails with a special acetone solution to loosen the gel polish quickly.

When you wrap your nails with a cotton cloth or cotton ball, you allow your body heat to push the gel out from the nails.

In most cases, the gel comes out like a thick layer of skin. However, if there are a few bits and parts left, you can scrape it off slowly.

This should be followed by buffing the nails to make the surfaces smoother.


Regularly and properly marginalizing your skin will not only facilitate in making your skin look youthful and healthy but will also further extend the life of your shellac nails.

The market is already flooded with a variety of skin moisturizers that you should only use those your skin feels comfortable with.

Just apply hand cream during the day and a bit of cuticle oil before getting to bed.

When looking for hand moisturizer it’s always advisable to opt for anything that isn’t greasy and has ultra-nursing complements in it.

Stop Having False Expectations

The biggest enemy of a shellac treatment is a list of false expectations.

Women usually think that shellacs last for months. They don’t. With proper care, you can expect the shellac to last for up to a month, but not more than that. Y

our nails will start growing after a few days and will eventually push the gel polish out from its current position.

Moreover, shellacs are not nail strengtheners. You cannot expect them to make your nails stronger.

This is just a manicure technique that helps to make your nails look beautiful. You cannot hope that careful application of shellacs will make your nails stronger and prevent them from frequent chipping.

If you want your shellac treatment to last longer, make sure you follow the tips above.

When done properly and correctly, shellac looks incredible, especially on women with long natural nails.

Interested in a Shellac manicure? Check out my other guides on what to expect: