Gelish V Shellac Gel Nail Polish

Gelish vs Shellac

So you’ve probably heard all about Shellac, so what about Gelish? Gelish is also a gel-polish made by Hand and Nail Harmony. Both Shellac and Gelish are applied like polish from polish bottles and are cured under a UV Lamp. Neither requires filing the nails surface before application and both are removed by soaking in acetone. Both Shellac and Gelish are Formaldehyde, toluene and DBP free so contain no nasty chemicals.

Which is safest, Gelish or Shellac?

There is an common line of thought that Shellac is better because you don’t buff the natural nail before hand, therefore you aren’t damaging the natural nail. This is not correct! Gelish only advises a light buffing off the nail surface not filing, which doesn’t harm your natural nail whatsoever as long as it is done properly! If anything this is of benefit to the nail as it smoothes over the nail base, preventing it from flaking. Most UV gel products require a minimum of filing/buffind as it is removed by chemical acetone. When used properly acetone will not damge or dry out your nails or fingers.

Best colour range, Gelish or Shellac?

Gelish currently offers 112 gel polish colours while Shellac is offering 40. Gelish colour range includes plain, glitter, matt, gloss and other special affects. Each colour has a numeric ID as well as a descriptive name such as “Diva”, “Go Girl”, “Hot Rod Red” and “ShowStopping”. The glitter polishes give a fantastic deep glitter effect which is really eye catching.

Both Gelish and Shellac manicures are able have nail art added to the finish, there is a wide range of diamontes, gems & transfers that can be applied to the nail to give it a unique finish.

Which lasts longer?

Gelish advises a three week manicure, while Shellac claims two weeks plus in their marketing. However this is just a rough guide, UV gel producuts can last different times for different people, it also depends on how skilled the nail technician is that is applying them.


With these products, I don’t think it’s a matter of one being better than the other. Currently, Shellac is better known due to CND’s superior marketing. However, I do believe Gelish is more durable and better for people who are harder on their nails, the slightly longer last and the wider range of colours available is the reason I choose to use the Gelish product over Shellac.