Shellac Layering


Did you know that you can create great color
combinations by LAYERING Shellac?
Here are some of our favorites!

Click on the link below!

86 Responses to “Shellac Layering”

  1. i love layering iced cappacino then strawberry smoothie…

  2. Fedora and Red Baroness its lush
    Red Baroness and Wildfire a nice deeper red

  3. Lisa Reiter says:

    I also love Iced Cap & Straw Smoothie…perfect for customers who love light frosty neutrals!

  4. CiCi says:

    How many Shellac manicures can you do with 1 bottle?

    Thanks :)

  5. Claudia Hundley says:

    Apply Wildfire (1st) and then Negligee (2nd). Looks very much like a well known brand of You’re a Pisa Work or Koala Berry. Beautiful!

  6. Cherie Pollard says:

    Coming into summer in Australia, I love Tropix, I do not need a tan to do the Shellac justice though.

  7. Penny Palmer says:

    If you use Red Baroness with Hot chillis on top you get a beautiful color. You have to try it. I have been wearing it on my nails and have had several people want the same color. It has been a great advertising color for me with this product.

  8. Heidi says:

    when will there be more colors to choose from?

  9. Laura says:

    I am having a lot of trouble with the layering. I can’t figure out why. I am following the steps just as it says and it is coming out streaky and two toned looking.. Any advise?

  10. Linda says:

    Some of the combination of the layering doesn’t come out right, like Topix and Romantique, Fedora and wildfire. I have a lot of trouble with the layering, can you tell me why?
    The color doesn’t come out right? it doesn’t come all even or the same color when you done with the 10 nails.
    can you give me any advise to get better result because a lot of my clients always pick those 2 shade.

  11. Debbie Williams says:

    Try Wildfire under Hot Chilis and, Tropix under Hot Chilis! Beautiful!

  12. Mallory says:

    My mom did the purple combination on me, and it came out streaky. Any advise?

    Also, what are some of the new colors that will be out? Anyone know???

  13. Lindsay says:

    Can a french manicure be done with Shellac? If so, what colors are best?

  14. Liliana says:

    Today i noticed that in my wildfire shellac nails appeared dark zones. I’m thinking if it can be due to lemon because i was preparing something with lemon.

    • CND says:


      I have referred your question to our R&D department. We will respond as soon as possible.

      Thank you

    • CND says:


      Shellac is formulated with Acetone Soluble Polymers (tiny tunnels) making it removable in 10 minutes. These tiny tunnels allow acetone to travel all the way down through the coating breaking it down from the inside as well as the edges and finally down to the base layer where the acetone breaks down the “quick-release” polymers releasing Shellac from the natural nail without the use of files or buffers which can be extremely damaing to the natural nail.

      These tiny tunnels also make Shellac less chemically resistant than gels, liquid & powders or other enhancement products. Thus exposure to household chemicals can affect Shellac wear. As lemon juice is acidic, we recommend wearing gloves when working with it and other chemicals.

      Thank you,

  15. Pam says:

    having trouble with layering, lifting, peeling, I know the colors are not to be mixed does that have anything to do with this

    • CND says:


      You are correct, Shellac colors should not be mixed together. However layering is ok, as long as you cure between each color layer. If you are experiencing peeling and lifting during layering, it could be caused by thickness. Remember to use thin even coats. Dark colors on the first layer will appear streaky and semi-transparent. That’s OK!!! You will have to do 2 coats for even coverage.

      Thank you

  16. glamorize says:


    Do i need to use nail primer prior to putting shellac and minx on ??


    • CND says:


      Here is a link for Shellac Step-by-Step

      When applying Shellac
      Follow your P.E.P. Steps
      Shellac Base Cure for 10 sec
      Shellac Color Coat Cure for 120sec
      Shellac Color Coat Cure for 120sec
      Shellac Topcoat Cure for 120 sec
      Wipe with 99% Isopropyl Alcohol

      We have not tested with Minx so unfortunately we don’t have any technical information on application.

      Thank you

  17. Wendy says:

    Tropix first then apply wildfire. Makes
    an orange red

  18. Here is a video on layering that I hope would help:

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  19. Kelly says:

    I read that you’re not supposed to mix Shellac colors but I did try it after not getting a good streak-free polish when layering. I mixed wildfire and fedora and got this deep dark red that is absolutely fabulous. I have it on my nails now for at least four days and it’s still as good as it was when I first applied it. Could there be an exception to the rule?

    • CND says:


      Unfortunately there is not an exception to the rule. Each color is mixed with it’s own unique amounts of solvents and ingredients, to allow for full cure. By mixing 2 colors together there is no guarantee that you are achieving a full cure with Shellac. Keep in mind that under-curing can lead to sensitivity or allergic reaction.

      Thank you

  20. Megan says:

    I wanted to add that I had a shellac manicure done with Fedora and a second color. It started peeling after 48 hours. I have not had this happen with using only one color. I had the 2 nails fixed only to have 2 more start peeling. 7 out of 10 peeled (not.including the 2 original that I had fixed). This is not acceptable for the price that the salons are charging.

  21. Patti says:

    Does anyone know how to make a dark purple?

  22. Shasteen Clarke says:

    Hello to all, anyone able to describe to me the difference between the Shellac and other “Shellac like” attempts. I am a die hard Shellacian… and cant seem to find a reason other than lack of colours…. to allternate. I removed the Axxium product from a client, took forever. Her nails were sore after. Nothing is like Shellac…. what’s the difference with the others on the market?
    I have been an esthetician for 12 years, Living in Trinidad. Shellac is amazing especially having sun and sea at every corner…. does anything compare?

  23. Becky says:

    when i layer, even tho i’m putting it on very thin, i am getting what i can only describe as a fingerprint on some of the nails after they are cured. Any ideas?? I mean i really put it on thin. I have applied it too thick and have seen what that results in . This is different. Looks like i toughed it w my finger before it cured.

  24. Amanda says:

    I was hoping you could suggest a website with video of how to do a french mani using the shellac please because im looking forward to haveing it done, I miss having the look of it but dont want the tips

  25. Susan says:

    I used Red Baroness with Tutti Frutti on top – very pretty color.
    Also, just did Strawberry Smoothies under Red Baroness – very nice red, not quite as intense as 2 coats of RB.

  26. Becky-
    Do you notice that the first layer has a little bit of wrinkling before you put the second layer on? That could make a fingerprint type look. In addition to getting the layers thin, also make sure the colors are shaken up really, really well!! Also be sure the client is putting their hand all the way in the lamp. Let me know how that goes :)

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  27. Taren says:

    Becky and Holly,

    I have had the same issue, the wrinkling/fingerprint. I have only noticed it with 2 Shellac shades, Fedora and then Cream Puff when doing a French Manicure.

    I apply the coats thinly, and I do not see the wrinkling until the first coat cures. After the second coat cures, still some wrinkling. Most of the time after the top coat cures, it seems to smooth out the wrinkling, but some times still present.

    Any further advice? Thank you!

  28. Taren,
    Make sure you’re shaking them:

    Make sure the coats are thin, see what I mean here:

    Hope that helps!! :)
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  29. Michelle says:

    I’m wondering how I would go about having a hard copy of the Shellac Layering combinations mailed to the salon. I’m concerned that a pdf print out will not translate well.

  30. Michelle
    I made tips with the combinations and used address labels to denote the combination. This gives clients a true idea of what the combo will look like as well as the chance to hold it against their skin. If you are interested in doing something similar you can see what I mean here:

    Hope this helps
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  31. Sarah says:

    I absolutely love the strawberry smoothie with the negligee on top…its a very light pink very clean and classic look.

  32. Rachelle says:

    Can I file my nails if I am wearing Shellac? I had a manicure a week ago and it still looks perfect but my nails are just too long!

    • CND says:


      You can file your nails shorter, however you will be breaking the seal on the natural nail. We would suggest if you could wait until your next appointment to shorten them it will extend the life of you Shellac manicure. However if you “have” to shorten your nail prior to your appointment, be aware you could have some peeling and/or chipping.

      Thank you,

  33. Taryn says:

    I have been layering romantique with negligee on top, and also layering strawberry smoothie with negligee on top.. both combos look amazing, and my clients love them!

  34. Michelle says:

    Thank you for that suggestion Holly!

  35. Becky says:

    I love shellac manicures, but I got a french about a week ago and my nails have a dirty look to the white part. I noticed it after I did some dishes and was cutting a lemon. I tried cleaning them off, but it will not go away. I guess I need to wear gloves while cleaning.

    • CND says:


      Thank you for your comments. It is always a good idea to protect your nails when cleaning or using any acidic type of products.


  36. MaryBeth says:

    i have 2 questions?
    1st ? how do i know when to change the bulbs and were do i get them from???
    2nd? i have shellac on myself and whem im removing someones shellac nails i wear rubber gloves but the problem is it eats through the rubber glove. and then it takes my shellac off. what can i do to prevent this???

    • CND says:


      If you have the new CND UV Lamp there is an hour countdown on the lamp. Press and hold the reset button for a few seconds and the remaining hours will display. Check out this quick video on the CND UV Lamp here.
      You can order CND UV replacement bulbs from your local distributor.
      How are you removing the Shellac? Are you using the Shellac Wraps?
      There are solvent resistant rubber gloves available for purchase. You may want to research this online.

      Thank you

  37. I am so ready for some new colors

  38. kate wardle says:

    i love shellac !! my clients love shellac. just a quick question, the top coat seems thicker then the colours and base coat, is this how it should be ?

  39. I have been enjoying Shellac but recently I dont know why but when I am applying the base coat it seems not to be curing then when the coat of shelac color goes on it just keep on shrinking. I know my lights are fine because when I do the CND Brisa gels they cure fine. I wipe with cscrub fresh and they will not cure!!please help

  40. Are you shaking your Shellac for 20-30 seconds before you use it?
    Similar to this:
    Let me know and we can go from there with toubleshooting!
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  41. Tracy Caster says:

    I wanted to share a Shellac tip for all you fellow manicurists. DO NOT use fedora with a frosted color on top like Strawberry smoothie if the fedora has any wrinkles. Frosted colors tend to show any imperfections in nails as it is so if fedora does wrinkle like it does sometimes cause we put it on to thick then you won’t be able to correct or disquise the wrinkling with a frost over the top like you usually can by just applying the second coat and top coat. The color fedora and SS was really pretty but I learned a big lesson. Be perfect the first time so if first coat of fedora doesn’t wrinkle then you are good to go with a frost on top ….:) Thank you CND for Shellac!! I still am in love and my clients love it. It has really doubled my business and am hoping to stop doing acrylics and regular gels so I can concentrate on the natural nail industry. I have seriously been waiting for Shellac for over 20 years in the nail business!! Thanks again! Also love the BIG bottle of Shellac topcoat. It’s a better deal for the manicurist who are doing tons of Shellac …:)

  42. Tracy Caster says:

    Sorry forgot a question,
    When the new colors come out, will there be a softer more creamer white ( not so stark ) to use for the french instead of cream puff?
    I’m so glad that black is coming out. My clients want it and it’s so nice looking on short short nails. I love the dark color nubby look!! So classy. Will the black have the same problem wrinkling like fedora if applied to thick? I only experience 3 colors that always wrinkle if applied to thick but some colors that maybe I apply thick don’t wrinkle at all? Why is that? Sorry, 10 questions in 1 small paragragh……;)

  43. Katie Mathein says:

    I have 2 ?’s. Can glitter be safley added to Shellac for the rock star look. Also can the colors be mixed out side the bottle on a palet and applied. e-mail me if you prefer @
    PS this product rocks but I am having a lot of dehidration / white spots, problems…..

  44. Tracy, to my knowledge there is not a soft white, I apply a layer of Negligee over the Cream Puff if people are looking for a softer white, my most popular french looks are Stawberry Smoothie, cure, Cream Puff, cure, then Negligee, cure OR Romantique, cure, Cream Puff, cure, then Negligee, cure.

    Any of the Shellac can wrinkle when thick, I was in a hurry doing my own nails one night and the base coat wrinkled! Keeping the Shellac well shaken and applying in thin layers is the key! Some of the shimmery colors do not seem to wrinkle as easily when thick, but they do tend to peel from undercuring, again thin to win :)

    I have had success with some glitter applications in the Shellac if you want to check out my step by step videos:

    CND suggests layering vs mixing because of keeping the proper ratio of photoinitiators for the cure. I have not tried mixing them for that reason. The dehydration can be taken care of with regular use of Solar Oil buy the clients at home. They should be using it 2-3 tims a day at least. Easy way to think of it is hair and nails are both keratin, how often do they wash hair without conditioner? Solar Oil is conditioner for the nails.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  45. Tracy Caster says:

    Thank you Hollly!! Your Awesome and extremely helpful! That’s it! No questions this time haha..:)

  46. Rosemary Kostakis says:

    I used Iced Cappicinno and topped it off with Strawberry Smothie and got a light Mauve which 3 people are using right now it’s very pretty would like to know what will create a darker mauve

  47. Diem le says:

    I work in the nailshop and I bought some Cnd shellac polish ,
    But the only thing I don’ t like that is the colour totally different from outside and inside, I mean the colour look very nice when you see it but when you open it , just not the same colour, why? That lie people, my customer so disappointed

  48. Tracy, thanks! Questions are always welcome :)

    Rosemary, try the Fedora under Rosebud, let me know if you like it!

    Diem, the Shellac actually should look just like the bottle after two coats. The exceptions would be the sheer or semi sheer colors like Negligee or Romantique. Make sure your Shellac is thoroughly shaken to get best color results.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  49. Amanda says:

    the new colors are out but what about the new layering combanations?

  50. Jennifer says:

    Just used the new colors yesterday. I have Cocoa with Iced Coral on top. I love love love it! My tech said that the Iced Coral is very light by itself, but this combo has more depth and looks awesome together. I have been a layerer since the beginning and love to see what new colors can be created.

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