Can You Use Any Lamp for Shellac? Let’s Find out




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The Shellac has been the star of the manicures when it showed up for the first time. Every woman out there wanted to try this revolutionary product that basically represents a hybrid between nail polish and gel. No one was paying attention to the lamp that’s used in the process of curing the Shellac.

Considering the fact that the Shellac was something completely new on the market, many nail technicians raise concerns about what type of lamp will provide the best results for the Shellac manicure.

The Shellac is recommended to be cured in the CND’s UV or LED lamp. It can also be cured in UV and LED lamps made by other manufacturers, but it is not guaranteed that the Shellac would cure as it is supposed to. The 14 days duration of the manicure is also only guaranteed if the CND’s lamp is used.

If you are not a professional, it would be hard for you to find a difference between regular UV and LED lamps and CND’s lamps. In this article I will describe the differences in detail, explaining the pros and cons of each type of lamp.

What Watt Lamp Is the Best for Shellac?

Since the Shellac is a registered and patented product, meaning the company really put some effort into protecting their innovation, it is natural to assume they would create a special lamp for it. The question here is – is it worth investing the money into it?

CND LED Nail Lamp, UV Light Technology for Manicure & Pedicure, Designed for Proper Adhesion and Longwear, Easy to Use (Pack of 1)

To answer this question, I’ve made a sort of experiment. Since I do own a regular UV lamp at home, I’ve called my friend to have the CND UV lamp to bring it over to my place to test the nail polishes.

I’ve applied the Shellac according to the procedure and cured it under my UV lamp, and she cured her polish under the CND UV lamp. And now we waited for the time to show the results. 

Quite astonishing, my manicure lasted significantly shorter than her manicure did. After no more than 7 days, my nail polish started to break and chip off at the edges of my nails. Her nails last for more than 14 days, which is supposed to be the minimum guaranteed time the Shellac would last.

I also did research where some girls were reporting that under some UV lamps their Shellac did not even cure properly, refusing to harden or creating an uneven surface. This was a clear sign that the CND really did invent a lamp that had different settings than the regular one.

Let me just make a digression for a moment and explain why you need a lamp after all. The Shellac is a unique product of the market, made as a combination of regular nail polish and gel. Since it comprises both of these products, it makes it half polish – half gel. 

Because of the gel half, it requires a lamp to be cured. All gels are photoreactive, meaning they contain photoinitiators, a chemical that requires UV wavelengths to set on the nails. This is why the use of a lamp is unavoidable with the Shellac. 

Types of CND Lamps for Shellac

The CND offers two lamps for the Shellac – a UV lamp or LED lamp. There are several differences between these two types of lamps in general. One thing they have in common is that both of them emit waves. The difference is that a UV lamp emits a broad spectrum of waves, while an LED lamp is capable of identifying the nail and sending waves only to the specific surface covered with the gel.

Besides this one thing, they have in common, UV and LED lamps to have many differences that make them two really distinct products on the market. Women will usually decide which one to use based on their preference.

It is known that because of the wave range, a LED lamp takes significantly less time to cure a gel polish when compared to a UV lamp. LED lamps can cure the polish in no more than 30 seconds, compared to the 120 seconds a UV lamp would require. 

This can be considered an advantage only if you are a pro when it comes to applying the gel or the Shellac on the nails. Typically a nail technician would require a lot more than 120 seconds to apply a new layer that needs to be cured, so in this situation, the time you would save would not be of importance.

How long a lamp is gonna take to cure a gel solely depends on the wattage. The standard is 36 watts for both LED and UV lamps. If you have a 36 watt LED and 36 watt UV lamp, still the LED lamp would cure the gel faster than the UV lamp. Regardless of the wattage, the LED lamp will always cure the polish faster than a UV lamp.

From all aforementioned, you could easily fall to believe that LED lamps are superior to UV lamps. But, the thing is that UV lamps are universal, meaning they can cure any type of gel polish. On the other hand, LED lamps can be used only for gel polishes which were formulated and adjusted to be cured under LED lamps.

Also, some nail polishes, like the Shellac, require specific lamps to be used. The Shellac should be cured only by using the CND’s UV or LED lamp. This is because the CND, just like many other brands, wants to prevent their nail polishes from over-curing in universal lamps.

CND Shellac Gel Nail Polish, Long-lasting NailPaint Color with Curve-hugging Brush, Red/Burgundy Polish, 0.25 fl oz

Another noticeable difference between a UV and LED lamp is the type of light bulbs they are using and their overall duration. A UV has light bulbs that require changing every 6 months on average since their lifespan is only 1.000 hours. I said only because the lifespan of a LED lamp is 50.000 hours!

This means that in the long run, the LED would be considered to be a better investment since you practically never have to worry about replacing the bulbs. But, as a downside, the LED lamp is much more expensive, so the initial cost would be significantly higher.

Also, some women believe that a LED lamp is healthier than a UV lamp and that’s why they prefer it. The CND has confirmed that UV can pose little or no risk at all, the same as the LED lamp. The only thing you should focus on when choosing between these two products is your personal preference.

CND LED Nail Lamp, UV Light Technology for Manicure & Pedicure, Designed for Proper Adhesion and Longwear, Easy to Use (Pack of 1)

To ensure the best results with the Shellac manicure, consider only the CND’s lamp. Using another manufacturer’s lamp is okay only if you don’t mind taking the risk of not getting a good result with your manicure. This article will help you choose between the type of lamp, but the manufacturer should not be in question if you decided to go for the Shellac.

Here you can read more about CND shellac.


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