Shellac Nails Vs. Gel Nails: How They Differ?

Gel nails and shellac nails are the same things marketed and upgraded in new packets. Don’t get it? Let me explain. When you buy shoes from a local shop they are just shoes but when you buy shoes from a Nike outlet, they are Nike shoes. That doesn’t mean that Nike shoes are something other than shoes. They are just branded products. Same goes for shellac nails.


Is Shellac The Same As Gel?

Shellac is a brand of gel nails that was created by Creative Nail Design (CND). So, the basic difference lies in the quality of the gel nails. And, of course, Shellac nails are better than the conventional gel nails.


Shellac Nails

shellac Nail

Shellac nails are here to make your manicure dream come true. Now you can have more shiny and glossy gel nails with the best durability of at most 30 days. These nails cost less than other manicure but last longer. The curing process includes a UV lamp beneath which you have to cure your nails like the usual gel nails. Besides, the wide range of shellac colors will meet your demand for a colorful manicure. Shellac nails have 116 variants of color as found on the website of CND. That’s why you don’t need to worry more about the match-making of your nails and attires.

Difference Between Liquid Gel vs Powder Gel Nails

Gel Nails

Gel Nail

Gel nails were one of the most popular artificial nails before the advent of shellac nails. Though the type and application process of these two nails don’t differ that much, shellac nails have taken the place of gel nails. You still can have gel nails if you are an old-school. The extra shiny and glossy look of gel nails can complement your overall look. As you already know that shellac nails are just an upgraded version of gel nails, there are not many significant differences shown in the comparison chart given below.


Shellac Nails vs. Gel Nails: Comparison Chart

The differences between shellac and gel nails are shown in the below shellac vs gel nails comparison table for better understanding.

Shellac   Nails Gel Nails
  • The prices of shellac nails fluctuate roughly from the minimum of 15$ to the maximum of 65$ depending on what type of manicure or pedicure you are having.
  • The curing process is similar to that of Gel Nails. The nails are cured under a UV light.
  • Gel nails are safe to have with respect to the products. But the curing process involves UV light which can be an issue for some people.
  • Apply a shellac base coat first, then the shellac nail polish, then the top coat. And you have to cure the nails after every time you apply shellac products on them.
  • The application process is simple; applying the base coat, top coat, polish etc. You just have to add the curing part extra.
  • You can refill shellac nails after two or three weeks. They remain quite ok for at least 14 days.
  • They are not refillable usually. Once they are damaged, you should renew them. But, a refill is also possible.
  • Shellac nails have a guaranteed durability of two weeks. They can even last for a whole month if you can take proper care of them.
  • The best way of taking off shellac nails is to use aluminum wraps with cotton balls soaked with acetone. You can scrape the shellac nails off easily by this process.
  • These nails are often hard to be removed. Either filing off your nails or soaking them in acetone is the best way of removing gel nails.


Infographic on Shellac Vs.Gel Nails:

shellac vs gel difference


Hard vs. Soft vs. Shellac: Difference Among Gel Nails

As both of the application processes involves the curing under UV light, this causes dehydration to the cuticles. This is not suitable for weak or damaged nails. So, having healthy fingernails is the prerequisite to having shellac or gel nails.

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