shellac hack – perfected.

so there’s been a lot of hype on my instagram about perfecting the shellac hack and well … i think i’ve FINALLY done it!

i started out with this original recipe of hard as wraps + polish + no chip, which was alright, better than just a regular manicure with polish, but it just wasn’t good enough to satisfy me. it lasted 3-4 days before it was chipping off and not looking awesome.

DIY shellac hack - make your polish last a week! no curing light required, comes right off with nail polish remover.

well then i came across this tutorial and thought, maybe this will finally work! i still wanted to try incorporating hard as wraps because i actually was quite pleased with how much it helped my natural nails stay strong and not break off or chip.

so after a few rounds of trial and error, i believe i have finally come up with the shellac hack, perfected. here it is:

you will need:
sally hansen hard as wraps (i skip this step now!)
gelous nail gel (the key to the hack)
any nail color (i used essie mint candy apple + essie muchi muchi)
any top coat (i LOVE seche vite dry fast)

DIY shellac hack - make your polish last a week! no curing light required, comes right off with nail polish remover.

and then proceed as follows:

1 coat hard as wraps
1 coat gelous
1 coat polish
1 coat gelous 
1 coat polish
1 coat top coat

you’re done!

let each coat completely dry before moving on to the next. i wait 2-3 minutes between each coat because i usually do it after my baby’s in bed for the night and i’m watching something on my DVR. if you’re in a hurry then don’t do your nails you can probably get away with waiting about a minute between coats. :)

i LOVE LOVE LOVE seche vite dry fast. it really does dry super fast and i feel like it also has great shine. the tutorial i linked to above says to do another coat of gelous over your top coat and i tried that, and honestly i like it better with just the seche vite (or any top coat) as your last layer. i think my nails lasted longer.


1. does it really last: YES! here are some photos throughout my week of testing. 

DIY shellac hack - make your polish last a week! no curing light required, comes right off with nail polish remover.

i noticed some very tiny chips on the edges of my nails but you could only see them if you looked really, really closely. i didn’t have any bubbling problems at all whatsoever.

2. is this the same as shellac: nope, it’s not. real shellac for sure lasts longer (a couple weeks for me) and this hack lasts me 7 solid days looking close to perfect.

3. were you just really careful for a week so that your nails wouldn’t chip: ha ha. NO. i am pretty hard on my nails and this hack took the abuse really well!

4. is this just as good as an at-home shellac system: i’m not really sure because i haven’t tried one yet. if i do, i will come back and report!

5. is it hard to remove: nope. just some good old nail polish remover will do the trick. no biggie.

6. where can i buy this stuff in-store: i bought my gelous and seche vite at sally beauty supply, and my essie polish and hard as wraps at target.

i hope this answers all your questions! if you try it out, let me know what you think!

UPDATE: i added some tips and tricks to a new post for the shellac hack perfect that you can read about here.


  1. says

    Hi Corrine–you once left a comment on my home tour a while back. That blogger changed her format and all the comments disappeared, so I couldn't reply. You have such a great blog here, and I am definitely going to try this shellac recipe!

    • says

      hey! thanks so much for coming back and commenting. i loved the pics of your new kitchen! it's beautiful! let me know what you think if you try the shellac hack :)

  2. says

    This is genius! I love love love Seche Vite. It really is the best top coat ever. I just found your blog and love it! Let&#39;s be friends! <br /><br />{}

  3. says

    So bummed! Followed the steps and did this on Friday and it started chipping badly two days later. Wondering if I did something wrong? One of my nails totally peeled off. Ugh! Have you had any issues in your subsequent trials of this? LOVE your blog!

    • says

      gina, i am so sorry to hear this didn&#39;t work out for you! i have been using this formula for weeks and i have noticed that they peel, but not for at least 5-7 days! mine last for a week usually. sometimes i get a tiny chip on an edge of a nail before the 5 day mark, but usually they look great for a week. make sure your nails are super clean, no residue from former shellac or nail polish

    • says

      I have been using a similar method since october (minus the Hard as Nails)… my nails would look spectacular for a day or 2, then peel or chip. I was told to try rubbing alcohol on my nails (to remove all oils). It has helped immensely! Also make sure you run the polishes along the tips of your nails to seal your hard work. I am a healthcare professional and my hands take a beating, but my

  4. says

    My husband says I am obsessed because I have been painting my nails non-stop (ish) since I came across this tutorial. It&#39;s just fun and relaxing. I love it, thanks. When I purchased Seche Vite, it was buy one get one free. But instead of giving me another Seche Vite, the lady who checked me out grabbed a Seche Clear instead, which is the base coat? My Target and Walmart didn&#39;t carry Hard

    • says

      ha ha! ashley, i am obsessed too. it&#39;s okay. we can be obsessed together 😉 and i am so glad this is working out for you!! totally agree that clean, dry, filed nails make this last the longest. thanks so much for commenting!

  5. says

    I have been doing this for YEARS with the hard as wraps. It changed my life in college. and ive been using &quot;out the door&quot; top coat from sally. Im excited to try the gel coat and add that to the mix! Thanks for the tip!

  6. says

    I immediately went to Sally Beauty after reading this. (I may have issues with nail polish. And patience. haha!) Thanks so much for sharing! I had great results. I shared a link to this post on my blog, along with photos of my 7 day test! <br />

    • says

      rachel, thanks for commenting! i am so glad it worked out for you. i would love to see your blog post, but the link you left is not working? will you link again, please? :)

  7. says

    I get just as good results 5-7 days with minor chipping with Stickey base coat by Creative, 2 coats of polish, and the Seche Vite. And that&#39;s with washing dishes and showering. If anyone is getting chips remember you must prep your bare nail -alcohol or acetone. They need to be dry and ashy looking. They will not get damaged so don&#39;t worry. Former nail tech sharing my trade secrets.

  8. says

    Do you put think layers of each polish on? From your pics it looks like your nails are thicker than what mine look like after having painted the way you said. Please let me know. And by the way I love this idea and hope that it lasts as long as said, because I love having my nails polished even with having my little ones running around. :)

    • says

      daphne i actually honestly put a pretty thin layer on each time. since i do two layers total it always ends up being the perfect amount of coverage. hope that helps!!

  9. says

    this combo is intriguing. i’ll have to try the Sally’s as a base coat.

    but you must know……THE BEST AND MOST LONG LASTING top coat is ‘addicted to speed’ from Deborah Lippmann. NO LIE, it changed my life. not only does it dry in 60 seconds, but it’s so thick and long lasting that after 7 days I have NO CHIPS, and I USE my hands all day!! the only reason I have to change my polish is because my grow out is too much on my nail beds.
    now the downside, one bottle is $20 :(
    but if you look at it like i do, my time is $$$, and I don’t have time to waste painting my nails every two days, plus I dislike waiting for my nails to dry. and it certainly don’t want to pay someone to do my nails when I can save some cash for more important things, like a good massage or spa facial

    oh, and with real acetone, it slides right off with no trouble.
    try it, you will NOT be sorry.

  10. says

    It’s so thick!
    I think one coat of gelous is enough.
    And fast dry make polish chips faster, you know. It’s chemistry.

    Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Xtreme Wear — lasts on me 10 days.

  11. Kathy says

    Awesome! I have all these products…except the Essie nail color…in my bathroom cabinet! I have been using the gelous for awhile and it still would chip for me. I think the key was the extra coat in between the color. I will try that next time!

  12. Amanda says

    I wonder how would this would work wig path the Vinylux polish? It lasts 7 days anyways but with the extra coats, would it last longer?

  13. katie says

    so mine peeled off too, but i think i will try again using the advice others have given about the alcohol/acetone first. i feel like i have had trouble getting things to stick to my nails well. love the idea though, yay for round 2!

    • says

      katie i’m sorry yours peeled off! definitely try it again and maybe skip hard as wraps. i think that has helped a lot of people too! let me know how it goes!!

  14. Janelle Nicole says

    This is the best thing I have ever found! Just did it for the second time and absolutely love it! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Angie says

    I tend to only do soak off gel polish manicures. Being that my bright color chipped right in between appointments, I am going to give this a try. I will let you know how it goes. I am pretty particular about my nails and keeping them neat. Let’s see how this works… :-)

  16. Sara says

    Tip…omit the hard as wraps and do two coats of gelous instead. Also for those of you saying it is pooling it is probably because you did not buff your nails first. Lightly buff your nails then apply two coats of gelous and continue with her instructions.

  17. Ruth says

    Do you clean your nail with alcohol before applying all the coats? It didn’t work for me. But maybe I didn’t wait until was completely dry before applying the next coat…

    • says

      hey ruth, so sorry to hear you had trouble. i clean my nails with nail polish remover before, but i think the best thing to do on round 2 is to skip hard as nails. i’ve heard so many people say they have success after omitting that step. i hope that helps!! 😀

  18. Misha says

    Corrine, I finally got around to trying your shellac hack and it worked like a charm. I did what you mentioned that your friend did : 1 coat Gelous , 2 coats nail color, 1 coat Gelous, 1 coat Seche Vite. One week later my nails still look pretty darn good. They survived a newborn( let me tell you, it was no easy task finding time to paint these nails in the first place!), daily dishwashing, household chores, and normal wear and tear! Thanks! Keep the fab posts coming :~)

  19. says

    Love this idea, it is too time consuming and a waste of my money to go to my nail salon every 2-4 weeks! I have had ‘Hard as Wraps’ for a while, never quite worked how I’d always imagined. I am trying this, although instead of Gelous, I’m trying my bottle of Revlon clear gel coat, w top coat for their gel color polish. I will let you know how it works out. Thanks!

  20. Ashley says

    I just tried this and my nails look great. I skipped the hard as wraps step. A few nails gouged after about an hour, what would have caused this? Too thick of an application?

    • says

      hey ashley! so sorry about that. it probably was just that you didn’t let them completely dry. i only do the shellac hack after my little one is in bed and i know i have a lot of time to just sit and let them dry and watch netflix or something. otherwise they definitely can get marked up pretty easily before they’re fully dry :/

  21. Ruth says

    Sounds good. But I need the hardener. Acrylic really damaged my nails. I am going to try to wait a little longer in between coats. The look is awesome. I really liked it.


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