shellac hack – make your polish last a week!


did you know you can paint your nails and make them LAST A WEEK?! yep! truth. you wanna know how?? keep reading.

this isn't exactly breaking news. in fact, i came up with this formula last summer. but i figured it deserved another updated post because a) what if someone didn't already know this amazing secret!? it's one of my best and one that i truly use WEEKLY. which leads me to b) i've had even more time to perfect this! and found a few additional tips and juicy secrets to go along with the hack.  and i would just be a bad friend if i didn't eventually share these secrets, right?

but first thing's first.

you will need:
hard as wraps (i skip this step now)
gelous (THIS IS A MUST)
polish (any will do)
seche vite top coat

the way to hack that shellac is this:

1 layer hard as wraps
1 layer gelous (mimics shellac – they KEY to the hack!)
1 layer polish
1 layer gelous
1 layer polish
1 layer seche vite top coat

why i am OBSESSED with this method:
– it lasts 7 days with minimal to no chipping! (see photos below for proof)
– NO drilling off your shellac at the salon! or wrapping your fingers in tin foil. what are you, leftovers? this comes right off with good old nail polish remover.
– super cheap! for less than 1 trip to the nail salon you can buy everything you need to do this over and over.
– change your color weekly. who doesn't get sick of the same color after 2 weeks of shellac?

i seriously love this method of doing my nails so much that i do it every friday night, without fail. and i've saved myself hundreds of dollars that i would've spent every two weeks getting shellac done.

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

– a few people have reported that their shellac hack peels after 3 or 4 days. if this happens to you, skip the hard as wraps. you actually don't need it! it's nice for strengthening your nails but totally optional. skipping that step should help.
– one friend told me that she has the best success with doing just 1 layer of the gelous, 2 layers in a row of polish, and the topcoat to finish.
– be SURE that your nails are clean and dry before you start the hack. actually, sometimes it sticks even better if you lightly file the top of each nail first! it sounds weird i know, but try it. just a very light filing all over the top of each nail.

i actually got to go hang out with brooke walker today at studio 5 to talk all about my shellac hack! here's the video:

so tell me what you think if you try the hack! do you love it? hate it? want to write me into your will because i changed your life? 😉 ha. let me know!

Corrine Stokoe

Corrine Stokoe is a blogger, podcaster and content creator behind the brand Mint Arrow. She and her husband Neil live in South Orange County with their 3 little girls (and soon to be baby boy!) and run a blog and business with 8 total team members, where they find the best daily deals and share favorite finds in fashion and beauty. They also run a podcast called Mint Arrow Messages. Mint Arrow has been featured in Forbes, Women's Wear Daily, Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal, AdWeek and Allure. Corrine is passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ as often as she can and teaching others to use social media for good.

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  1. Please tell me again, where to purchase these items for the shellac nails. I love your piece with Brooke Walker. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. thanks so much sharon! you can get everything (except the essie polish) at sally beauty supply. you can get essie at target, nordstrom, most drug stores 🙂

  2. Love the hack…..from someone who is extremely hard on her hands. My nails have the ordacity to split halfway up my nail bed which has forced me to wear artificial nails until they grew out. If you have anymore secrets….bring them on!

  3. I watched you on Studio 5 today! Thank you for the awesome tips, and great ideas for a DIY gel nails. I appreciate you doing research on what works best!


  4. I was wondering why you changed your other nails to a baby pink instead of the original mint candy apple that you left on your ring finger? I really hope this works. I have nails that grow so fast and a really long nail bed so there’s no need for me to use acrylics and I just can’t afford shellac nor the damage or cost of having it removed. Thanks in advance, I am excited to try this.

    1. hi kathryn! i took pictures of different times i did the shellac hack and the baby pink is just what i happened to have on the time i took the pics for the 3 and 7 day progress. i’ve used the hack on every color i own and it works with everything! hope you love it too!! XO

  5. What am I doing wrong? Used all the same products except for the top coat. I just used what I had already (nutra nail speed dry). My nails chipped after two days. One nail completely slid off on the second day when I was cleaning!

    1. shannon i’m so sorry! try skipping the hard as wraps – that really helps for some people! let me know if you try it that way and if you get better results! 😀

  6. Totally love this method!!! The top coat you use, I got that as well, is by far the best one I’ve ever used. I had a couple small little bubbling on some of my fingers….yes I’m impatient, and this top coat smoothed them all out and gives the BEST shine!! My advice if anymore is having issues is do this method exactly. I didn’t do the hard as wraps. Thanks for the info!!

  7. I have all the supplies and going to try this method. Any suggestions for drying between coats? I don’t always have 3 hours to devote to fully drying and then at the end I smudge them up! Sometimes I soak my nails in ice water between coats. Other ideas?

    1. hey grace! sorry for taking a couple days to get back to you. just let them dry for 1 minute between coats – then you should be good 😉

    1. what?! did you use seche vite? that’s so weird! i’ve never had that feedback, i’m sorry! let me know how it turned out after it finally dried (hopefully it did haha!)

    1. @Kelly, If you’re “sorry” for saying that, then why did you even post it to begin with? Corrine did us a nice service via the shellac hack, and the best thing you could think to say was something to put her down? If you felt that strongly about her cuticles, why didn’t you instead just comment something helpful, like, “I found a tip that works for me in order to keep the polish off my cuticles,” and then continue with a helpful tip???

  8. Not sure what i did wrong – i did one coat of gelous, one coat of a Sally Hanson Instant dry polish, one coat of gelous, another coat of polish and then the seche vite and same day i had 2 nails that chipped 🙁 .Any ideas? I’ll try again with a different polish i guess.

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