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How To Apply & Remove Gel Nails Using CND Shellac


Posted on June 19 2023

Can't make it to a salon anytime soon?  No worries, we're here to help!  We're going to teach you how to apply CND Shellac gel polish. CND Shellac combines the ease of polish with high-performance wear and stunning shine. A true innovation in chip-resistant, long-lasting nail color. Let's get to the tutorial!

How To Apply CND Shellac

Step 1: P.E.P. - Natural Nail Preparation

1. P - Perform a manicure.

a. Wash your hands with soap and water and towel dry. 

b. Massage CND Cool Blue Hand Cleanser into your hands to cleanse skin.

c. Remove any existing nail color from the natural nail using an acetone-based polish remover (Recommended: OFFLYFAST Moisturizing Remover) and a plastic-backed lint-free pad.

d. If necessary, trim the length from each nail, using nail clippers.

e. Shape the nail edge with a soft grit Kanga File or Koala Buffer.

f. Apply a small amount of CuticleAway Professional Cuticle Remover evenly around the cuticle of each nail.

g. Gently slide a cuticle pusher along the nail plate to lift cuticle.

h. Remove any excess CuticleAway from the nail and use a curette to remove cuticle.

i. Clean with soap and water, rinse and towel dry.

j. Use a manicure nipper to carefully remove any loose pieces of skin or hangnails. Use a gentle touch and never cut skin as it can lead to infection.

2. E - Eliminate surface contaminants, dust, lint or skin

3. P - Purify nail plate layers.

Step 2: Shellac Base Coat Application

CND Shellac Base Coat



1. Shake to blend.

2. Apply one thin later of CND Shellac Base Coat to extension edge and nail surface.

3. Apply to five nails and cure each hand for 10 seconds in the CND LED Lamp. Do not remove the top film after removing the nails from the lamp.

Step 3: Shellac Color Coat Application

CND Shellac - Soiree Strut



Solid Color:

1. Shake vigorously to blend.

2. Apply one thin layer of CND Shellac Color Coat to extension edge and nail surface (this layer will be slightly semi-sheer if applied correctly).

3. Apply to five nails and cure each hand for one minute in the CND LED Lamp. Do not remove the top film after removing the nails from the lamp.

4. Apply a second thin layer of Color Coat to the nail surface. The second layer will provide additional coverage and color.

5. Apply to give nails and cure each hand for one minute in the CND LED Lamp. Do not remove the top film after removing the nails from the lamp.

Step 4: Shellac Top Coat Application

 CND Shellac Top Coat



1. Shake to blend.

2. Apply one thin layer of CND Shellac Top Coat to each nail.

3. Apply to five nails and cure each hand for one minute in the CND LED Lamp.

4. Remove the top film with a plastic-backed, lint-free pad saturated with 99% Isopropyl alcohol.  If you're using the CND "No-Wipe" Top Coat formula, you will not need to wipe off the film.  

5. Condition the nails an surrounding soft tissue with CND SolarOil Nail & Cuticle Care. 


How To Remove CND Shellac

Step 1: CND Shellac Removal

CND Cool Blue



1. Wash your hands with soap and water and towel dry. 

2. Use CND CoolBlue to cleanse the skin.

3. Wrap each finger with a CND Foil Remover Wrap.

a. Saturate the cotton pad on the CND Foil Remover Wrap with OFFLY FAST.

b. Place wrap under the finger with the edge of the cotton pad underneath the extension of the nail.

c. Fold the cotton pad over the top of the nail.

d. Wrap the CND Foil Remover Wrap around the finger, ensuring a snug fit.

e. Squeeze the top center of the foil together to secure.

4. Leave the CND Foil Remover Wrap on the finger for the designated time on the CND Shellac Top Coat used during application.

CND DURAFORCE - 15 Minutes

5. Securely grip each finger and apply slight pressure to the fingernail.

6. If necessary, gently slide off any remaining product with an orangewood stick in the direction of nail plate growth. Be careful not to scrape away the surface layers of the natural nail plate.

7. Rub the nail with a plastic-backed, lint-free pad saturated with OFFLY FAST to remove any residue.




For more DIY tips, check out these DIY nail articles

Love CND?  See all our CND blog posts & CND videos

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Tags: Beginner , CND , CND Shellac , DIY , DIY Gel , Intermediate ,


  • Marla Bommarito: April 18, 2020

    Your product is not drying even with THIN coats between using my LED Lamp. It is not a CND LED Lamp. It is Shany. Do you know anything about that one? Can you tell me how to buy your lamp and will that make a difference? I am 100% invested in your product with the nail shellac, base and top coat. HELP.

  • Emily F.: April 19, 2020

    To Marla Bommarito:

    Hey! Your polishes are not drying because CND requires an LED lamp. Shany is a UV-only lamp that will not cure certain gel or shellac polishes. You need to buy a lamp that says “UV LED” or just “LED.” I use the Terresa UV LED 76W lamp which you can buy from Amazon and it is guaranteed to cure any gel/shellac polishes, but any other lamp that is not UV-only should work.

  • Marya Wakeman: October 26, 2021

    Do you need to have the top coat and base coat in order for the polish to stay? I only have a color and a Uv Led from Amazon but it is sticky and won’t stay

  • Christina: October 26, 2021

    Hi Marya!

    Thank you for stopping by and reading our blog. Yes, you do need a top and base coat. Here is the link to purchase all top and base that we carry:

    Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.


    Beyond Polish Marketing Assistant

  • Tye: August 01, 2022


    I have tried at least four Led uv lamps and the polish is not drying. I have tried thing coats. When I use other brands nail polish it’s drying but it’s not drying the CND or OPI polish I bought from here. Please advise.

  • ⭐ Christina - Beyond Polish Team ⭐: September 20, 2023

    Hi Tye,

    Thanks for stopping by our blog and reaching out. Can you please email our customer service team at ( HELLO@BEYONDPOLISH.COM ) all the steps and tools you use to create your mani. We love to help you achieve your perfect mani! Have a nice day.

    BP Team

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