Shellac, IBD or Gelish? Someone help me


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Creative Keren

Creative Nail Studio
Jan 15, 2013
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Hey geeks,

Okay so this may be a little long winded but I'll try to summarise it.

I've been using NSI from since I can remember and have always been really happy with their products especially the l&p which I use the most. I'd been looking into power polishes as my clients had been requesting it. I did research on NSI Polish Pro and Shellac and decided to go with PP as I'd been so impressed with nsi already. I've spent over £500 on pp products and even bought the led lamp as they said that I was having some curing issues because I should be using their lamp rather than my other lamp.

Basically since May when I bought the Pp I've had nothing but issues with it to the point where I've stopped offering the service except to my clients that won't have anything else. I've also been back and forth with nsi for them to say that there was an issue with the old formula and I needed new ones, then they said it's an issue with the lamp. I've managed to get a refund for the lamp but I'm stuck with 27 bottles of pp that are of no use to me. So.....I need some advice please.

I'm looking into offering shellac instead as it's the only other power polish I'm aware of and obviously has great reviews and is very good price wise. The thing is it's the cost of the product as I don't want just 4 bottles...I need the lamp and I'd want to get the package from ellisons that include the 40 colours. On top of that I'd need to do some training - I know some of you may say it's not necessary but to me, it's a must. So as you can see its a lot to invest when I only have limited funds. I'm sure I saw somewhere that they do a package for training with the kit? I can't find it on SS though.

My next option was to try either Gelish or IBD. In my salon we offer both and I've worked with both products and am happy with either. Again with the coatings though with Gelish I would have to buy the Gelish lamp which is about £300 on its own so works out as one of the most expensive choices but I do love the colours although clients tend to say it's one of the thicker looking gels?

Then there is IBD which is reasonable cost wise, I can cure it in my current lamp and it has a good range of colours but then it is just a gel and I don't really want to just offer a gel. Having gone from a power polish, I'd like to stick with a power polish but then no matter how well I explain the difference between a power polish and a gel, clients just assume everything is a gel polish.

Plus side is, with Olympia being on this weekend I'm hoping there will be lots of sales and offers on so great time to buy?!

Can someone please help advise me?!

Thanks in advance geekies
As you're going to Olympia it's the ideal opportunity to try and get a demo of each brand youre interested in so that you can see how it applies, coverage, wearability and then in a few weeks how it removes. Go with bare nails and get them to demo on you. Good luck!
The training for Shellac is not expensive, and if you stock up on additives you can create a huge amount of colours. I only have 16 actual shellac colours at the moment but with the additives and layering I have a really good selection of colours to offer clients. Have not yet had anyone say I don't have enough choice.
The training for Shellac is not expensive, and if you stock up on additives you can create a huge amount of colours. I only have 16 actual shellac colours at the moment but with the additives and layering I have a really good selection of colours to offer clients. Have not yet had anyone say I don't have enough choice.

I only have 12 shellac polishes and 5 additives it has let me create more too :)
I can only speak for Shellac as this is the product I have experience with and it has increased my business nicely. Not in anyway knocking other brands, I think it is fairly accurate to say that in and around where I live, one doesn't really hear a lot about for example, IBD whereas I hear Gelish and Shellac being mentioned a lot from both the public and therapists. It seems to be what people are asking for the most.

The newest CND lamp I think is about £99 as opposed to £300. When I started out in Calgel, I bought one lamp initially and my second lamp later on when I had some money in the pot.

I did the same when I took on Shellac. I built up very slowly. I would like to do the training but have not got around to it yet but am having little to no issues with my clients without it and I also started out with about 12 colours and purchased more as I earned more and that was before I really learned about how versatile Shellac layering could be in adding to the colour range.

I agree with waffle4, in that if you are going to Olympia, have different products demonstrated with a couple of fingers done in Shellac, a couple in Gelish etc... and wear them for a while. Then with whatever you decide, start small and grow from there.

My advice would be to purchase your essentials first ie. colours, appropriate sanitisers and one lamp. If your budget is tight, don't go for any additives just yet. Learn to apply your chosen product well first and hold off doing a course such as Shellac until you have saved a bit more. The reason I say this is because as much as you want to do the training ( and it is good value) you have the option of getting started without it until you have more money put aside and by now you would have a little experience behind you to ask loads of questions at training.

Just my humble opinion.
Thanks for getting back to me guys. I'm not actually attending Olympia as I'm moving house this weekend so bad timing. I'm just assuming online there will be plenty of sales e.g nsi sent me offers and some other...I've been fortunate enough to already have had both IBD and Gelish on many times myself and personally prefer IBD. So that and the expense I've ruled out Gelish. I've not actually worn shellac myself yet but have NEVER heard a bad word about it and some of my friends travel about 15 miles from here to get it so it's got to be good. So I think I've decided on shellac and perhaps in the future I may change my l&p to CND retention too as I like to stick with one brand. :wink:

Now just to choose which package! Does anyone know if they do a combined training and kit package?
Hi, shellac don't do a combined training and kit package I dot think, but I know to do the course you need to purchase the kit! The course when I did it was only £52 which is great! I'd recommend doing the course to get the product knowledge and so if any problems do arise you should know how to deal with it! We've been doing shellac for nearly 2 years now, my profits have def been increased! There's so much u can do with shellac too, I.e layering, additives, adding glitter or feathers, it's great! Our most popular colours are tropix (coral) and decadence (dark red) so I'd def recommend u buying them, hope you get sorted :)!
Don't get hung up on marketing terms. All of these are gel polishes (check the MSDS). "Power polish" is merely a marketing term - a very effective one, but all of these are gel polishes, some 100% gel and some hybrid.

Among the variables to consider should be market penetration and customer support as these bring people into your salon. CND Shellac probably surpasses all others in that regard (hence the impact of the term "power polish"). OPI is the other brand that can give CND a run for its money in that regard. Gelish is also a very strong contender. I think that gives you a leg up in marketing your services because people walk in already aware of these brands. Although IBD Just Gel is a great brand with a huge range of colors at a great price point, I think it is a much lesser known brand and does not have the customer support or marketing as the big three. I find customers often feel a bit put off when we offer IBD Just Gel instead of CND Shellac/OPI/Gelish. Once they try it, they like it, but it is often hard to attract customers to it.

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