How To

How to Make Your Shellac Nails Last Longer

So, you’ve bitten the bullet and made one last trip to your local salon for a shellac manicure. For all the beauty lovers out there, fresh shellac nails are an amazing feeling, but one that’s easily destroyed once you notice a sneaky chip or crack in your otherwise-perfect talons.

There are however, a few simple steps you can take to ensure they last that extra bit longer. Keep on reading to find out our key tips for keeping your shellac manicure in good nick for two to three weeks.

How to Make Your Shellac Nails Last Longer

Your shellac nails should remain shiny and chip-free for 14 to 21 days if you take care of them responsibly. Don’t worry about your day to day activities: taking out keys, working on the computer and (light) cooking are no match for shellac. However, when your days fill up with cleaning tasks remember these important shellac maintenance rules.

1) Protect

If you’re going to be washing dishes, scrubbing floors or gardening, you should reach for a pair of gloves to protect your nails and the delicate skin surrounding them. Wearing gloves is especially important if you’ll be using any harsh detergents or chemicals such as bleach, which can cause the shellac to lift or chip at the edge of your nails. Once that’s happened (if you’re anything like our team at RY) you’ll want to call it a day and pick ’em all off to start from scratch. Leave that kind of behaviour in the past by protecting nails first!

2) Moisturise

Keeping your skin moisturised will extend the life of your shellac nails and keep your hands looking healthy and youthful. Use hand cream during the day (reapply as often as needed) and a richer cuticle oil at night before bed. The oil will treat your fingers overnight and keep nails from flaking for lack of moisture.

When it comes to hand creams, opt for anything that’s ultra-nourishing and preferably non-greasy, if only to avoid that sticky feeling while you’re trying to go about your day-to-day tasks. We love Weleda’s Citrus Hand and Nail Cream,which contains all natural ingredients to soften the skin and protect brittle nails. Another favourite is the AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream, which uses Dead Sea extracts to moisturise, smooth and soften.

For a quality cuticle oil, our pick is the Dr. Hauschka Neem Nail & Cuticle Oil. Using rich, apricot kernel oil, this product works to nourish and transform brittle nails. The Red Carpet Manicure Cuticle Elixir Serum is another hit product and works well to replenish dry skin around the nail bed, including hang nails.

3) Maintain

Add a layer of clear top coat polish to your manicure once a week. This will maintain a strong layer of protection between your shellac and the environment. If you’re following the previous two rules – protect and moisturise – adding a clear top coat every seven days will be all you need to keep the polish looking glossy and lustrous.

After 14 to 18 days (depending on how fast your nails grow) you’ll start to notice a bare nail area around your cuticles as your natural nails grow longer. At that point you should begin thinking about removing the shellac using the proper tools.

How to remove shellac polish at home

Try your best not pick at the shellac polish– we know it can be satisfying, but you’re also likely to peel and weaken your nails. Instead, apply one of the cuticle oils we mentioned earlier, to protect your nails and skin from the drying effects of acetone.

Exposing your nails to acetone for long periods of time can dehydrate your skin and damage your nails. We’d suggest using gel nail remover wraps, to keep the process as speedy and simple as possible. We love this handy pack by Kocostar, which includes removal gloves that utilise body heat for a fast removal. Note- you will need to use an acetone remover with the wraps!

After 15 or so minutes remove the wraps from your nails. To help loosen the product, push an orange stick underneath the shellac, from the base to the end of the nail. You may then need to go in with a nail file to gently buff off any excess. Once you’ve removed all traces of shellac, wash your hands thoroughly, and finish with a nourishing hand cream!

Your nails might feel dry and weak for a few days after, due to the effects of acetone. Using a strengthening polish regularly will help reverse any damage, transforming your nails back in top shape in no time. Ingestible beauty products are another surefire way to help get your nails back to their prime. We can’t get enough of Vida Glow’s Marine Collagen Powder, a powder supplement that will also work to thicken hair, ease joint pains and reduce the appearance of fine lines and cellulite for more youthful skin!


From the team at RY, we hope you’re all keeping well during these tough times. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our IG with any content you’d like us to cover!

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Beauty Editor

A coffee addicted, YouTube obsessed Libran, I absolutely live and breathe all things beauty! I love to try new products and find myself switching things up regularly, as I continue on my ultimate quest to find the perfect flawless base and skin-care regime.

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