Last Friday morning I had a Shellac manicure on my nails. I chose a "Barbie" pink and initially, I was very impressed. I had my nails shaped very square, as that's how I prefer my nails to look, almost fake looking. The process took about 45 minutes and it looked very simple, only 4 coats were needed, one base, 2 colour and one "sealant". In between each coat I had to place my hands under a UV lamp for about 3 minutes. One thing that made me dubious is that I couldn't file my nails once the process was complete due to the top coat being "sealed" over the end of the nail, if that seal is broken then it can allow for the varnish to chip/peel off.
Shellac claims to have a "14 day finish" and unfortunately, I can prove that wrong. By Sunday evening the tip of the varnish on my left index finger had peeled right off. You can see in this photo that I painted over it with a similar shade of pink but even that is peeling off now..
I think Shellac nails are perfect if you're looking for a couple of days of flawless nails but you should be prepared for one or two to suffer, especially if you type or do jobs that are very "hands-on" as such. In this sense I don't see why a normal manicure wouldn't suffice.
To look at the 8 nails that aren't chipped I am very, very impressed. They're long lasting and they look like I could have painted them five minutes ago! The chipping could be due to the fact I'm an ex-nail biter and sometimes I find my hands wandering up by my mouth! I don't blame Shellac for not being good enough in this situation, my nails are very impressive to look at and I've had a lot of compliments so I would definitely recommend them.