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Q&A #4 Why do I need to shake the Shellac bottles?

Shellac color coat, topcoat and base coat must be shaken for 30 seconds prior to each use.

Q. Why do I need to shake the Shellac bottles?

A. When Shellac is not in use, the solvents rise to the top of the bottle. Solvents are the reason Shellac stays thin inside the bottle. If the bottle is not shaken prior to use, a disproportionate amount of solvent will be used as the brush is pulled through the top layer of solvent. Additionally, during use, more Solvent can evaporate out of the open bottle.  As more solvent is used, the formula becomes off balance and the thicker ingredients that settle to the bottom of the Shellac bottle are left. Overtime, this make Shellac seem thicker which makes it difficult to apply Shellac in thin layers and can lead to under curing and wrinkling.

SHAKE….. SHAKE….. SHAKE the Shellac

(prior to every application for 30 seconds.)

Click here for Shellac Step-by-Step

80 Responses to “Q&A #4 Why do I need to shake the Shellac bottles?”

  1. Pat Randall says:

    Question: What is the strength of the light? Does the time vary from light to light? If I have a gel light that is 9 watts would the time vary from application of base coat (10 seconds), nail polish (2 minutes), top coat (2 minutes)? Please advise.

    • CND says:

      Pat
      Pat,

      Thank you for your post. The wattage in lamps is the electricity required to power the bulbs. There are 3 bulbs in the Brisa lamp at 9 watts each (9 watts X 3 =27 watts) There are 4 bulbs in the new CND UV Lamp at 9 watts each (9 watts x4=36 watts). As you can see the wattage is different between the Brisa Lamp (27 watts) and the CND UV Lamp (36 watts). Yet they are both designed to completely cure Shellac or Brisa Gel. Wattage is not the concern when determining full cure of the product.

      More importantly the nail professional needs to be concerned about the UV output. UV output is what cures the product. The new CND UV lamp has the extra bulb to facilitate a 5-finger cure. The area covered by the UV is wider but the UV output is essentially the same for both the new CND UV lamp and the Brisa lamp, which allows for full cure of Shellac AND Brisa Gel.

      We guarantee the results of Brisa Gel and Shellac with the use of the CND Brisa Lamp or CND UV Lamp only.

      Thank you
      CND

  2. Misty Pina says:

    I was just wondering what the average charge for a SHELLAC serviceis?

  3. Claudia says:

    how can we clean the light bulbs on the CND lights?

  4. GINA says:

    HI IVE BEEN USING THE SHELLAC NOW FOR 4 MONTHS. MY CLIENTS LOVE IT.. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF SOAKING COTTON WITH ACETONE THEN PLACING ON THE NAIL WRAPPED IN FOIL IS AN ACCEPTABLE METHOD OF REMOVAL? ALSO SOME CLIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN USING SINCE THE BEGINING HAVE BEEN EXPERIENCING WHITE SPOTS AS WELL.

  5. Trudy says:

    I have not been able to have any of my clients go a full 14 days without any chipping at all. Some have gone 10 days but not 14. I am certain I am doing all the steps properly and have been reading the blogs and watching the videos to figure out the problem. I use the shellac lamp, cap the free edge always, use scrub fresh, shake the bottle, apply thinly – I do it all! Even on myself I sometimes get chipping after a day or two. HELP! I love the whole idea but am getting frustrated with what is promised by cnd as a 14 day manicure.

    • CND says:

      Trudy,

      Solar Oil is a key component to Shellac in helping the product remain flexible and help to prevent peeling. Also checking to make sure the natural nails are not peeling (delamination) prior to application. If this challenge occurs. Gently buff away the peeled area with a Koala buffer and proceed with application.

      Thank you
      CND

  6. Gina did you see this blog post about the white spots:
    http://shellacblog.com/2010/10/qa-3-why-are-there-white-spots-on-the-natural-nail/
    Foil and cotton will remove Shellac, but it offers the client less freedom and more mess. Sometimes I forget to bring wraps home for myself and I HATE using foil and cotton now that I am spoiled to the wraps!!

    Trudy, did you remove all the blue film from the inside of your lamp? how is the bulb life? Do you clean the mirror finish and the bulbs every day to keep them free of dust? When you cap the edge are you making sure product in not getting underneath the nail? What product are you using for cuticle work? Do you use ScrubFresh before application?

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  7. Nioole says:

    What can I clean the shiny surface of the lamp with? I tried using isopropyl algohol and it seems to take off the shine. I’m scared of ruining my lamp

    • CND says:

      Nicole,

      To clean the “Outside” of the lamp or any of the plastic parts: Unplug the lamp and wipe with and acetone-free, pre-moistened towelette to avoid exposing lamp to excess moisture.

      To clean the bulbs: Unplug the lamp and Use a soft cloth with isopropyl alcohol.

      Thank you
      CND

  8. Beth Anne says:

    I am a fan of a natural french with the shellac, and my question is if the longectiy of the shellac will stay the same without a color coat between and the base a top coats? In order to have a more natural effect,I prefer to base coat, then do white smile line, then top coat. This means most of the nail will have base coat covered by top coat no color layer in between. Please advise?
    Thank you

    • CND says:

      Beth Anne,

      Yes you can do base coat, White, the top coat. We suggest 2 layers of top coat for added strength. Keep in mind this may lengthen your removal time slightly with 2 top coats.

      Thank you
      CND

  9. Beth Anne says:

    Sorry, question was will the *longevity of shellac stay the same in this instance.

  10. Deanna says:

    I have noticed that the packaging of the Shellac products have changed from when they were first launched. Why is this? Has the formula changed as well? With the original Shellac my staff and I were having problems with our clients going the full 14 days without chipping, now with the new bottles we are having no problems, any suggestions for this?

    • CND says:

      Deanna,

      The outer packaging for Shellac has changed, this was to help assist in faster production times. The formulation has not changed. It sounds like you and your nail professionals are doing a great job at problem solving and application. Keep up the good work.

      Thank you
      CND

  11. louise says:

    Hi,Applied shellac to one of my clients today,everything fine until i got to the top coat which seemed really thick and was difficult to apply.I wasnt in too much sunlight,the bottle wasnt near the lamp and was shaken very well before applying.Is there something im doing wrong? Also will it affect the life of shellac on my client? Many thanks.

    • CND says:

      Louise,

      Is the bottle new or used for a while? Is the neck of the bottle clean? Sometimes the caps don’t get tight if there is residue on the bottle.

      Thank you
      CND

  12. Robin King says:

    Lately with the new base coat and dark colors we have been getting some wrinkling, it seems to smooth out some after the topcoat, but wondering if anyone else is having this issue? It has only happened since the new packaging. We LOVE shellac!!!

    • CND says:

      Robin,

      Are you shaking the bottle thoroughly before each application. Also make sure you are using ScrubFresh prior to application. And use very thin coats. When applying Fedora the first coat should apply semi-transparent. The second coat will give you your coverage even with a thin application. This will greatly reduce wrinkling.

      Link to Shellac Step-By-Steps
      Link to helpful videos on Shellac from one of our Education Ambassadors

      Thank you
      CND

  13. jenna says:

    hi i was just wondering if its ok to leave my shellac in the car in hot or cold weather in my beauty case ?

    • CND says:

      Jenna,

      We recommend with any product that you try to maintain a stable temperature environment. Storing in a vehicle is not an ideal case, and could cause thickening of the Shellac product.

      Thank you
      CND

  14. Shelley says:

    I just started using the Shellac but I did notice a few white spots when I took the product off. I am using cotton and foil as well due to the cost per person would be over $4 and that adds up.
    If we take the Shellac polish off and we apply solar oil on while we are working on the cuticles then we are removing all the oils with scrub fresh before repolishing is that going to help?? Little confused. I am not wanting to cause damanage to my clients nails by drying them out or making them brittle. I also apply lotion after I am finished completely. Thanks for your help.

    • CND says:

      Shelley,

      Use the Solar OIl at the “end” of the service and as a home care product 2 times daily. Solar oil does not need to be used during application as you are correct you are just removing it with ScrubFresh.

      Thank you
      CND

  15. Holly says:

    I am really concerned. My co-worker did a shellac mani on me for the first time the other day. She did everything by the book and it looked fabulous. We used Fedora with Red Barroness over it! Geat color! Would you believe it peeled off that night. I noticed my pointer was lifting and I was so upset that I couldn’t have it fixed until I returned to work 5 days later!!! A few hours went by and the rest started lifting. Do you have any ideas as to what could be going on? Neither of us have had this happen to any of our clients and are praying we won’t.

    Thank you for all of the other tips…especially the oil treatment idea. It works great.

    • CND says:

      Holly,
      It’s hard to determine the cause without asking some questions on application. We would love to trouble shoot this with you.

      What lamp are you using?
      Are the coats thin during application?
      Were the free edges of the nails capped with each layer?
      Did you use ScrubFresh on the nail prior to base coat?

      Thank you
      CND

  16. gloria says:

    Based of my home obligations I only do nails once every two weeks. I love your product however I am concerned with it drying out or getting thick since I don’t use it often. Is there something I can do to ensure it keeps its consistency. I shake each bottle twice a day in hopes to keep it from getting thick. Thanks, can’t wait for your new colors and looking forward to your response.

  17. Gloria,
    With my travel schedule I am only in the salon every other week too!! You only need to shake the Shellac before you use it. The shaking is to mix the gel and the polish components back together so that the Shellac stays thin and continues to work properly. You may need to shake it more agressively the first time you use it each week. Be sure the lids are on tight and that you store it in a nice cool place.

    Hope that helps!
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  18. gloria says:

    first i like to commend you and your associates on such prompt responses. A+ for customer service and product support. Thank you so much. I will tighten my lids, store appropriately then shake until my arms get tired :) thanks for the great advice.

  19. Amanda says:

    Hi all, I am just wondering when you say shake the bottle do you mean after every coat? As in, shake for 1st colour coat, then shake for 30 secs for the 2nd coat? Sorry if this is a stupid question but just want to make sure I’m doing everything by the book. Also when I use cuticle remover I remove it with scrubfresh not soap and water, Would this cause adhesion problems?

    • CND says:

      Amanda,

      Definitely NOT a stupid question. You only need to shake the bottles once “prior” to application. Hope this helps to clarify.

      Thank you
      CND

  20. Hanna says:

    Is there any way to make Shellec thinner? beside shaking it.

  21. Hannah,
    Shaking it, keeping the lids closed tightly, and storing it in a cool place are the best ways to keep it thin. Check out this video to see what I mean by shaking it:
    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1510184426812

    Hope that helps!
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  22. elizabeth says:

    I have two problems that are coming up with my clients and shellac. The first problem is that the white on the french shellac keeps bubbling. I have tryed everything i have tryed buffing the white off and replying it but the first 2 seconds under the dryer it is bubbling again. It doesnt bubble on all the nails just some. I do all the steps including shaking the bottle, using scrub fresh, applying thin and using the shellac dryer. I just cant solve this problem with the white. It has happended to me and another nail tech same thing different customers.
    My second problem is the shellac doesnt hold for the full 14 days. It keeps chipping and peeling.
    Please help me my clients are frustrated and iam too.
    Thank you

  23. Elizabeth,
    What lamp are you using?

    Check out these two videos for some tips and tricks with the white application:
    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1364314660159
    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1375009847532

    The peeling and chipping can be from undercuring if the Shellac is a little thick. Are you shaking them up really well before use? That can make a difference in getting a thin application as well, see what I mean by shaking here:
    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1510184426812

    Hope this helps!
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  24. elizabeth kurkowski says:

    I have been waiting for fedora forever! Alsowondering- i was looking at blog at least evey few days for more updates, but looks like no news since early October. I really appreciated your honesty when trhe demand was more than CND could come up with.

  25. I cant get all the cplors. And now that I have some colors, about to run out of base and top coat. now what am I suppose to do?

  26. Terri-
    Have you checked with several different distributors? You can find a listing at cnd.com just log in click locate and find a distributor.

    Hope this helps!
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  27. estelle says:

    Hello, i live in france and i want to buy shellac but no shellac in france.Have you shellac for me.If ok where can i find shellac to buy.

    • CND says:

      Estelle,

      We have a distributor in France that sell to CND trained Nail Professionals only.

      France & Luxemborg Erika H.
      1, Chemin de Thil
      St Maurice de Beynost, France, 01700 33.472.83.73.23
      http://www.erikah.fr

      Thank you
      CND

  28. lori says:

    i have a question …why cant you soak off the shellac in a glass dish??

    • CND says:

      Lori,

      By using Shellac Wraps it minimizes the exposure of acetone to target the area that needs to be removed every two weeks. Soaking the nails and fingertips in a bowl of acetone is excessive exposure to acetone and can lead to over drying and white spots on the natural nail.

      Thank you
      CND

  29. Leigha says:

    I understand the shaking of shellac before its applied is necessary but it is pretty hard to shake when the bottles dont have balls inside to help mix. Wishing there were classes near me to see in person the things I have questions about.

    • CND says:

      Leigha,

      There are balls inside the bottles of Shellac. You just can’t hear them due to the viscosity of Shellac.

      Thank you
      CND

  30. Kat says:

    I am finding that my shellacs are thick in the bottle. I shake it a lot before using but by the time I’m on the next finger it has thickened again. We have the shellacs displayed on a shelf in my salon and the temperature in the salon is about 69 degrees F. I don’t understand why they get thick. Also, will there be any more shellac classes by Centennial, Colorado? Would love to see it done live so we can ask questions.

    • CND says:

      Kat,

      Did you start shaking the bottles from when they were new? If not, some of the solvents may have evaporated already causing the shellac to thicken.

      Check the class listings at http://www.cnd.com for classes located in your area. You can also check to see if there are any local Education Ambassadors in your area that are doing private classes. Try calling our CND Hotline at 800-833-NAIL.

      Thank you
      CND

  31. sam says:

    how long should you allow for the removal process. It took me 30min for removal or longer, not 10 minutes. what am I doing wrong?

  32. cristina says:

    se puede esmaltar de la siguiente forma : una capa de base y otra de top .. A una clienta se le han despegado varias uñas y no se por qué

  33. Kelly Melanitou says:

    Cristina,
    claro que si! Puedes utulizar solo una capa de base y una de top si quieres “ayudar” la una sin tener color.
    La clienta de quien estas hablando es la unica que tiene ese problema? Que lampara UV estas utilizando? Estas agitando la botellas de Shellac muy bien antes applicar?
    (Espero que puedes entender mi espanol!)

    Kelly Melanitou
    CND Education Ambassador

  34. Beth says:

    I have been doing nails for over 20 years now and love the Sellac system. I understand that you have to shake the bottles before using, because I have had the same problem with the wrinkling with the Cream Puff as well. If the Shellac gets too thick, can you use any kind of Polish thinner or is the Shellac system not able to be thinned out at all????

    Thanks, Beth

  35. Beth,
    Shaking it each time should help keep it thin. Polish thinners will alter the chemistry and could cause service breakdown. If you don’t use a color for a few days it may need to be shaken longer than usual.
    Hope that helps :)
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  36. Tanya Golder says:

    Hi CND! THank you for your reply to my question! Sorry I asked it twice because I couldn’t find your reply in time, Im new to the blog, forgive me! Your answer was very informative and helpful! I have a second question: I shake my bottles as recomended 30 sec befor applying….should I shake 30 secs before each hand or just 30 secs, per bottle, once? Can bottles be over shook??
    THanks again!

  37. Jessica says:

    We were wondering if there is a product that we can purchase form you to thin the polish if it has thickened inside the bottle?

    • CND says:

      Jessica,

      There isn’t a way to thin Shellac without compromising the integrity and wearability of the product. To keep Shellac thin, shake prior to application, keep the bottle capped when not in use and away from direct UV light.

      Thank you
      CND

  38. Jane says:

    I’ve only been using shellac for 3 wks now. Awesome results, all are happy. Question for you, I also use CND Radial system, can I use shellac over radical system to grow out natural nails? If so is there any tips I should be aware of. This web has been a very heplful tool, thank you.

  39. Sjadira says:

    I’m having a lot of trouble with iced cappuccino. I’ve been trying to put a Konad (stamping) design on the second (cured) layer of iced cappuccino but it looks like this layer is still wet after being cured for 2 minutes. Before I stamp I always remove the sticky layer to make my stamping easier. This goes very well with all Shellac colors but NOT with iced cappuccino. When I try to remove the sticky layer of the iced cappuccino with alcohol, it will always remove all the polish. It seems that this colour need a little bit longer to cure, because it stays wet after being cured for 2 whole minutes. What am I doing wrong?
    I apply base coat (cure 10 sec)
    1st coat of color (cure 2 min)
    2 coat of color (cure 2 min)
    remove sticky layer
    do some stamping (Konad)
    Then I put the top coat and cure for another 2 minutes.

    I repeat…this works well for all the Shellac colours I have, but not for iced cappucino. I try to appy the coats as thin as possible. But still it’s not happening for me with iced cappuccino.

    What did I do to resolve this issue? I apply all coats as instructed and now I’m doing my stamping after I remove the sticky layer of the top coat. But why isn’t it working with iced cappuccino?

    • CND says:

      Sjadira,

      Thank you for your questions. We would love to troubleshoot with you, we will need a little more information.

      Are you shaking the Iced Cappucino prior to applying?
      Have you shaken it from the beginning (since you first opened it)?

      It could be that the bottle has evaporated most of the solvents, leaving behind more pigment than solvents. This could be why the color is removing.

      Even though you are applying your nail art after the 2nd color coat (and it’s working for you in most cases) we can’t guarantee that this will work as it isn’t in our protocol. We would suggest that you apply your nail art after the top coat is cured, wipe with Isopropyl Alcohol, apply art and seal with Shellac top coat, cure and wipe with Isopropyl Alcohol one more to remove the tacky layer.

      Thank you,
      CND

  40. Melissa says:

    Just a quick question. Our spa just started using Shellac and we were wondering on average how many clients would you be able to do in a bottle of colour?
    Thank you!

    • CND says:

      Melissa,

      Thank you for your question.
      The use per bottle for Shellac is as follows:
      Base Coat 35
      Top Coat 20
      Color Coat 20
      You can find a complete listing of cost per service for all of CND’s products on our website http://www.cnd.com click on Technical reference then cost per service.

      Thank you
      CND

  41. Laura says:

    where I can buy it in Argentina Buenos Aires need them urgently. many thanks

    • CND says:

      Laura,

      Currently we do not have a distributor in Argentina. We are checking if there is anyone that can service you and will get back with you as soon as possible.

      Thank you
      CND

    • CND says:

      Laura,

      We have sent you a private email with contact information.

      Thank you,
      CND

  42. patti says:

    I have been looking everywhere for an ingredient list for the shellac polishes and am unable to find one. Its not on the msds or the bottle and I’m unable to find it on the cnd website anywhere. Where can I get it?

    • CND says:

      Patti,

      The ingredients are listed on the MSDS sheets. You can contact our hotline for a set of MSDS sheets. 800-833-NAIL (6245)

      Thank you,
      CND

  43. Beverly says:

    I have a client who is interested in having a Shellac Manicure but she goes tanning and wants to know if she needs to cover her nails so they don’t turn yellow as with acrylics?

  44. Beverly says:

    I was reading on this blog that Shellac can be used on acrylic nails, I thought it was only used for natural nails? And if so, do you still need to use clear tips so it cures properly?

  45. Beverly, she should definitely apply Solar Oil right before applying tanning products and wash her hands after applying tanning lotions and/or bronzers.

    Shellac is a “power polish” it can be used in any way polish is used. When you use it on enhancements you do not need to use base coat and removal is done by filing it off as part of your debulking instead of wrapping. Full detailed step by steps are at cnd.com

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  46. pam perondi says:

    Can I do a wate manicure before the application of Shellac? I’m wondering because the nails will absorb the water. Or is it best to do a dry manicure.

  47. Wendy L says:

    Need help! We apply base, color and top coats exactly as we should. Bottles are shaken and stored properly. Nails are prepped properly. Application looks great until the final step when we wipe it down with alcohol. Half of the nail’s color wipes right off and all the shine is gone from the nails. Why would it work perfectly on one client and not on the other.

  48. Pam,
    Please avoid soaking in water before the Shellac, if you use CND Cuticle Away you can remove it using a spray bottle of water.

    Wendy,
    That sounds like the top coat may not be getting applied in a manner that seals all of the edges, see if this video helps:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vUqEIlNYBU
    Also ensure that top coat was applied and not by chance base coat! Another possibility is the lamp, if you are using the new CND lamp, make sure you have removed all the blue film from the inside and that all 4 bulbs are plugged in all the way and light up.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  49. Silvena says:

    Hello, we recently got Shellac in our salon and sometimes we get bubbles after the 1st coat of color. It always happens with one of the red colors and it has never happened with any of the other colors. I was just wondering what are we doing wrong that the Shellac is bubbling up? It only happens on some of the nails and not on others. The Shellac is applied evenly on all nails? What are we doing wrong?? Please help!!

  50. Silvena,
    Are they bubbles, wrinkles, or random bits? If it looks more like a wrinkle then the Shellac may be applied too thick. If it looks like random bubbled up bits it could be cuticle remnants. If it looks like little pits left from popped bubbles it may be undercured, make sure your base coat is really thin and that the hands are all the way in the lamp and the fingers are kept straight not curved down.

    Let me know if that helps or if we need to troubleshoot further.
    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

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