Shellac Nail Polish or Regular Nail Polish: What’s the Difference?

An easy way to feel more put together is by getting your nails done by a professional. Not only do they take their time to give you a good experience, but the final product looks great. If prepped and taken care of properly, a fresh nail look can last for weeks. However, there are some manicures that are more long-lasting than others with far less upkeep. If you are unsure which manicure to choose, below is a comparison between regular nail polish and shellac nail polish. Both are great options, but serve different purposes and offer different experiences.

Which one should you opt for the next time you book a nail appointment?

Regular Nail Polish

Regular nail polish has been the go-to for decades. It provides a smooth, glossy finish to make the nails look prim and pretty. The process of regular polish involves polish applied in a few coats, then air-dried or dried with a fan.

The main benefits of regular nail polish manicures/pedicures are: 

  • Is applied quickly and easily with just one or two coats
  • Easy to remove at home on your own without a manicurist
  • Can dry without any extra equipment like a UV lamp

The main downfalls of regular nail polish manicures/pedicures are: 

  • The nails take a little while to air dry, so you might damage the polish soon after getting them done. Extra caution is always needed.
  • After a few days of washing hands, the nail polish will begin to chip and flake
  • The shine also begins to fade after a few days, making the manicure less lustrous

While regular nail polish is easy to apply, it just as easily can fade if not taken care of properly. However, regular nail polish, unlike shellac, does not require UV light to set. For anyone who struggles with UV sensitivity, having a regular nail polish manicure might be the better option long term.

Shellac Nail Polish

Shellac nail polish, a brand of gel nail polish, is known for its long-lasting ability and lustrous shine. The UV light curing allows it to bond to the nail and stays put for weeks at a time. If you have a week-long getaway or work trip, opting for a shellac manicure might be the best option.

The main benefits of shellac manicures/pedicures are: 

  • Long-lasting with less post-appointment care
  • A brighter shine after initial application and even a few weeks later
  • Hardens the nails making them less likely to chip or break as you live your busy life

The main downfalls of shellac manicures/pedicures are:

  • These are slightly more expensive than regular polish mani or pedi
  • They require a UV lamp to cure the polish until it dries and hardens
  • Only a manicurist can remove them. If done on your own at home it can damage the nail.

How to Make Your Manicures Last Longer

Everyone’s beauty preferences are different, which is why having options is so great. Whether you like the ease of regular polish or prefer the resilience of shellac, you get to pick! However, despite the type of manicure or pedicure, there is always a chance of damage if you aren’t cautious afterward.

Here are a few simple ways to help make your manicures/pedicures last longer: 

  • Avoid washing hands more often than necessary
  • Keep skin moisturized and cuticles oiled to avoid nail polish chipping or peeling
  • Adding gel overlay to shellac can help to extend the life of the manicure even longer
  • Hire a professional manicurist because they have the best techniques for both types of polish

When it comes to looking great any time of the year, Wink and Wave is here to help! Don’t want to leave your house? No problem—we come to you so that you can look and feel great right from home. Visit our website today to book our manicure and pedicure services.



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