Do Regular Nail Polish and Shellac Mix? We Found Out




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Shellac is a combination of regular nail polish and traditional gel. It has all the elements of both worlds and that makes it versatile and unique. Shellac is designed to make you happy for two weeks straight up. With these in mind, the million-dollar question is, what happens if you put regular nail polish over shellac?

Applying regular nail polish over shellac will give you outstanding results. It will make your manicure last longer than usual and on top of that, it will make your nails stronger. Your nails will cure well and with speed because of the UV/LED lamp drying technique used to cure shellac nail polish.

Though it is not necessary, combining your regular nail polish with shellac will give you outstanding performance. This is doable and understandable especially if you are that person who likes experimenting with new nail recipes. But even if you don’t do the combo manicure, you will still get the best results from either of the two.

Whether you are doing it for fun or professional purposes, it is always important to follow all the steps when doing your manicure. I have compiled some helpful tips on how to apply nail polish over your shellac manicure. Keep scrolling for more inspiration on how to play around with nail polishes for unique manicures.

How to Apply Regular Nail Polish Over Shellac

Some of the regular nail polish is not as genuine as they claim. Ensure that whatever you are going to put over your shellac manicure is all-natural and genuine. This will help avoid unceremonious color alteration and early cracking and chipping of the polish.

1.    Assemble the Supplies

Ensure that everything you will require is all in one location. This will help limit the movement that might cause smudging or uneven drying of your manicure. Some of the things you will require include cotton ball, alcohol, base and topcoats, UV/LED lamp, CND shellac gel polish, your favorite color nail polish.

2.    Prep Your Nails

Start off by thoroughly washing your hands with clean warm water. Ensure to use an antibacterial soap to remove dirt and excess natural oils from your fingers and nails. Once that is satisfactorily done, push back the cuticles and file the edges of your nails. If they are overgrown, clip them to your desired size and file them for smooth edges.

3.    Disinfect Your Nail Beds.

Dip a clean cotton ball in alcohol and rub it on your squeaky clean nails. Ensure that you generously touch the surrounding skin to prevent any and kill any infection-causing bacteria. You can optionally use a spray bottle if you can’t use the cotton balls. Either way, ensure that the alcohol is evenly distributed to your nail beds.

4.    Apply the Base Coat

CND Shellac Gel Nail Polish Base Coat, First Step Adhesive Layer for Longwear NailPaints with No Nail Damage, 0.42 fl oz

Wait until the alcohol has dried. Apply a thin layer of base coat one finger after another. Ensure that the coating is not on the skin area before placing your fingers on the UV/LED lamp. Set the curing for 10 seconds once you are sure that you have cleaned all the unwanted fragments.

5.    Apply the Topcoat

Once your base coat has completely cured, apply two thin layers of topcoat one after another. Cure each layer in the UV/LED lamp for up to 2 minutes. Topcoats are harder to cure than the base coat because of the layering and its viscosity.

6.    Clean the Tacky Layers

Dip a new cotton ball on the alcohol to get rid of those tacky layers. They can be both annoying and hindering but all the same, you must clean them off to get that perfect manicure. Always ensure that you are generous with alcohol and your cotton balls are clean to avoid infections.

7.    Apply the Color Polish

Now it is time to apply your favorite color nail polish to your nails. Ensure that you are using a good genuine brand formulated with natural ingredients. Apply a thin layer one after the other until you achieve the desired opacity. Cure your nails on the UV/LED lamp for up to 3 minutes.

8.    Apply Shellac Polish

If you are optionally using shellac gel polish for color, use it instead of the color nail polish. Apply a layer to one finger after the other and repeat the process to achieve that perfect opacity. Once satisfied, clean the tacky layers before curing your shellac nails with the UV/LED lamp for up to two minutes.

9.    Apply a Topcoat

Once your shellac polish has firmly adhered to and cured on your nails, it is time to give them that shiny and glossy touch. Apply a thin layer of top coat to each nail and cure them under the UV/LED lamp. If they are not shiny enough, another thin layer will not be hurtful. Ensure all the layers are completely cured.

10. Go Rock Your Manicure

Voila! Your nails are all done, and you are now ready to go show them off. Always thoroughly wash your hands with warm soapy water after application. Gently pat them dry and apply a moisturizing oil specially formulated for your hands and fingers. Wear a complimenting outfit and ensure that you steal the day after working hard on your perfect manicure.

You must not let acetone come anywhere close to your manicure. Not even when you are cleaning the tacky edges and layers. They are the number one enemy to your gel polish, and it is just not a good idea to introduce them to your workspace.

Can You Paint Shellac Over Shellac?

Instead of using the regular nail polish to retouch your shellac manicure, you can optionally retouch them with shellac itself. It might, however, not come off well as it would with other nail polish. Your manicure will be thickened because of the extra layer causing lifting and chipping. It is much easier to just completely remove and start afresh, but if you must, use a thin layer.

3 Things You Shouldn’t Do with Shellac Nail Polish

 Shellac has climbed up the steep ladder over the years and it has now become the holy grail in the nails’ beauty arena. If you treat them with the utmost respect they deserve, they will equally serve you well for the next 14 days. Here are some of the things you should never do to your shellac manicured nails.

1.    Don’t Pick it Off

Does anyone else remember when chipped nails were all the rage? That must have been the medieval 60s! Years have passed and it gets sophisticated by the minute. No one wants to be caught dead with chipped nails. Not even in the middle of the night.

If your glossy shellac nail polish are lifting and they seem ripe for peeling off with your sharp nails, don’t even try it. Whether they are chipping or lifting, just assemble your removal paraphernalia and get to work. Peeling off your shellac is not only harsh and cruel it will also damage your nails.

2.    Don’t Mishandle Your Shellac Manicure

If you can afford to sit for yours just for your nails to get a serious make-over, that must mean something. You must deeply love your nails and you just want to pamper them and make them glamorous. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted into picking or peeling your worn shellac.

Be gentle and follow all the necessary steps when dealing with a misbehaving nail. If you must file, clip, or retouch your shellac nail polish, just take time and do it gently. However, you must consider completely removing the chipping nails unless of course, you are in a hurry.

3.    Don’t Put Thick Layers

It is so satisfying to achieve that classic aesthetic look with shellac. However, don’t get so carried away in it lest you find yourself with a heap of unmanageable paint all over your nails. Yes, too much gel polish is just very hard to cure, not even with the UV/LED lamp.

A thick layer of shellac nail polish will not last you long. It will simply lift off in a minute and before you know it, you will be irritated and picking and peeling them off. This isn’t a good idea for your nails. They will end up weak and brittle if they are not completely damaged.

How to Make Your Shellac Nail Polish Last Long

There is nothing as fabulous as a perfectly done shellac manicure. They are absolutely gorgeous, and they give you that touch of class. Every woman’s dream is to be both classy and gorgeous. Maintaining your shellac nail polish and keeping them in good condition is a sure way to bag that ultimate look.

·         Be Careful with Products

Shellac nail polish is excessively reactive. Especially with products that have strange chemical compositions and solvents. Check your body lotions, hand creams, sanitizers, and anything that comes in contact with your nails to ensure that it does not contain any elements that can react with your shellac manicure.

·         Cuticle Oils

There are oils specially designed to be used with shellac nail polish. These oils have sunscreen in them to protect your nails against harmful sun rays. They also act as moisturizers to keep your nails well hydrated all day long. Shellac after-care and pampering will certainly elongate your shellac manicure lifespan.

Maccibelle Cuticle Oil Milk and Honey 0.5 oz - Heals Dry Cracked Cuticles

·         Chipping/ Lifting

Be kind and gentle to your manicured nails. Should you notice chipping earlier than the stipulated removal time, consider retouching it with a light layer of shellac nail polish. If the polish is lifting off at the edges or it is severely chipped, consider removing it altogether and applying the shellac afresh.

·         Avoid Immersing Your Nails in Water

Always avoid immersing your freshly done nails in water for long periods. Especially in the swimming pool chlorinated water. This type of water can cause your fabulous colors to fade and in the worst scenario, it can alter the original color of your polish. Always dry your hands immediately after touching water and moisturize with the right creams and oils.

·         Retouching with Color

Sometimes you just need to retouch your shellac nail polish colors because they are fading or losing the gloss. Always use a genuine brand of regular nail polish or you can optionally apply a layer of shellac over shellac. It all depends on what you achieve at the end of the day. 

·         Correct Removal

If you can’t make a trip to the salon to have your shellac polish removed by a nail technician, always use professional removes. There are many brands available for removing shellac nail polish from your nails. These removers are designed to be gentle and to leave your nails moisturized. They also do not strip the nails’ natural PH but rather restores.

·         Never Use Acetone

Acetone is not always a good idea when it comes to dealing with your nails. They contain chemicals that deeply penetrate deep into the nails. Continuous use of this product can and will make your nails weak and brittle. It also strips them of their natural oils and causes them to dry. If acetone comes in contact with fresh shellac manicure, it will dissolve it.

·         Wear Protective Gloves

After a long day at the salon and the elaborate manicure now sitting pretty on your fingers and toes, there is still a lot of work to do. You need to protect your shellac nail polish by wearing protective gloves. Especially when handling aggressive materials, water, and chlorinated water. This will prevent your shellac nail polish from being immaturely dissolved.

·         Pay Attention to Detail

When making your nails, always pay attention to them to the tiniest detail. Ensure that you take a step-by-step process when doing your manicure at home. Also, take your time to let your shellac nail polish cure well. Ensure that you take your time on your nails when drying them after using water.

Cons of Using Shellac Nail Polish

There are always two sides to a coin and our beloved shellac nail polish is no exception. It has its fair share of the vulnerable side that needs close attention. There are some things about shellac nail polish that are unlikable and are a complete turn-off. However, it is nothing that good care and following instructions can’t fix.

1.    It is Drying

Shellac nail polish can be drying especially when it penetrates deep into your nails. It can destabilize the natural PH balance and oils. That is the reason why you should regularly drink water and use a moisturizer to keep those nails and the skin around them hydrated and supple. The one good thing about shellac nail polish is that it is porous, and it allows oils to sip right into the nail beds.

2.    Too Much Exposure to UV/LED Rays

Though we are exposed to harmful UV all the time, using too much UV light on our body parts does not sound like such a good idea. Shellac nail polish relies on UV/LED light for curing. Regular exposure might make your fingers and nails volatile and within no time, your skin becomes saggy and looks older. You can correct this by wearing protective sunscreen before the manicure.

3.    Needs Professional Removal

You want your nails to remain in perfect shape even long after removing your shellac nail polish. Have your nail technician do the removal. If that is not feasible for you, get professional removers specially designed for removing shellac nail polish. Removers made from natural ingredients are the best and they boost the health of your nails.

4.    Does Not Last Long Enough

Shellac nail polish is the in-between of traditional gel polish and regular nail polish. This means that its lifespan is also in between. Unlike gels, it can’t stay but and fresh for up to 4 weeks. However, it can stay up to 14 days without budging. If you give your shellac manicure all the TLC, you are sure to reap a bounty from it.

5.    Can Damage Your Nails

Too much of anything is poisonous. That includes your beloved shellac nail polish. Too much of it can make your healthy fingers weak and brittle. Also pulling off a loose shellac polish can be aggressive to your nails causing harsh tears and breaking. Always take time to wear your nails naturally after removing the shellac nail polish. This will give it time to revitalize and regenerate.

Can You Use Acetone to Remove Shellac Nail Polish?

Any acetone-based remover can easily dissolve shellac nail polish. Even the one with as low as 60% acetone will still work magic in dissolving your shellac manicure. However, it is not advisable to use any acetone-based product as a remover because it is aggressive and can damage your beautiful healthy nails. Always go for removers specifically designed for removing shellac polish.


Shellac nail polished is designed to improve the strength of your nails and the durability of your manicure. If correctly used and cared for, it is more beneficial than it is damaging. Always have an in-depth discussion with your nail expert or technician on all the dos and don’ts.


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