The term “Shellac” is mainly used by technicians and clients to describe a gel polish “blend” manicure service…
Essentials offers ONLY OPI Gel Polish, but most clients ask to schedule a Shellac Manicure. ( Shellac is just a Brand of a Gel Polish blend) so Shellac and OPI Gel Polish are the same thing!
CND Shellac/OPI Gel Polish is a blend of gel and nail polish. Because it is like a polish, it can’t be used to extend your nail. Because it is like a gel, however, it does add strength and durability. In the long term, Shellac /OPI Gel polish is much less damaging to nails than traditional Gels (or Acrylics). The main benefit is that it reduces chipping.
Acrylics and Gels are artificial nails placed over your natural nail bed. Both can be made to match the shape of the nail, or to extend it. So, when you want longer nails, you are asking for either Acrylic or Gel extensions. People also get Acrylics and Gels in order to have stronger nails (however, in the long term they actually weaken your natural nail).
Of course, Acrylics and Gels are very different products. Different ingredients, different application techniques, and different pros and cons
Shellac / OPI gel polish vs. Gel Manicure vs Gels…
Many people confuse Gels with Shellac/OPI gel polish. This is because Shellac/OPI gel polish contains gel, so many consumers have mixed up their terminology, asking for a “gel manicure” when what they want is Shellac/OPI Gel POLISH. So gel manicure is sort of a made up name for CND Shellac/OPI gel polish (people in the industry mostly use the term Shellac). Meanwhile, Shellac/OPI Gel Polish and Gels are not the same service. Just as the ingredients, procedures, and results for Acrylics and Gels differ, the same is true about Shellac/OPI Gel polish vs Gels.
On top of regular manicures, Essentials offers the brand OPI gel polish. We chose this brand because we believe it is less damaging to the nail and uses a LED light vs UV light which can cause sun damage to the hands.